As I read some entries from the website www.fmylife.com (a great site if you want a good laugh), I noticed a prevailing pattern – love, as bombastic and whirlwind-like it can be, is not the ultimate in having a relationship with someone. Even more so, love is not the end-all-be-all when it comes to successful relationships. I then was reminded by that “Lions, Tigers and Bears” song of a line where the woman sings that just because two people love each other, it does not mean they should be together. By no means am I making reference to an Ike and Tina setup, but this all begs the question (at least for me); what is the use of this love business?
Maybe this is what happened to Cupid?
Admittedly, this stance is skeptical and pragmatic – two things that love seemingly “overcomes at all odds” in many of its descriptions and personifications. According to many romantic people, love is the ultimate in fairness and justice – it holds no prejudice, no favor, just strikes like a tactical snake, filling you with love venom until you burst. But I maintain – what is the use in this love business?
I’m brought back to the line from the song I mentioned. There are many schools of thought when it comes to love and relationships, with the hopelessly romantic on the side of “love will be enough to make the relationship work,” and the antithetical school being “relationships aren’t built on love alone, they need actual work.” Now, if this “Love” character (if I am going to personify this so-called undefinable entity) works for fairness, it would seem to me that if two people indeed do love one another, then that actually should be enough for the relationship to go. Granted, relationships of any sort do require work to maintain and continue, but the fact remains that the second school of thought looks at the first with the assumption that no work happens and the relationship is powered by love only. My thought? What is the relationship of the second school of thought, heretofor called “Love Work,” running on? Work? In a society that disparages work, I feel safe in admitting that work alone will not create a successful relationship – it creates a job that one eventually comes to despise, be annoyed by, and either quit or gets fired due to poor performance. Now then, with all this said, I ask again about this “Love” character and his/her business in the world.
Shots to the mouth hurt too...
A problem I hold with the business given it by us humans who are supposedly influenced by it is that we are defining something that infects us with no known origin or knowledge of transmission. (That’s right, I’ve equated love with a virus) Love is like an infectious disease that infiltrates your system and crosses up your natural mental wiring. So we aim to define and describe this disease as we’re already infected. You can give the symptoms, but no doctor really self-diagnoses. Because the diagnosis is not objective any longer, which is the exact issue with the common personifications, descriptions and evaluations of love. We give symptoms, and we try to give these symptoms cause, but the reality of it is that we have no idea how this “Love” character chooses to strike. How he or she strikes. Much like an assassin, we only know after the bullet has punctured our chest.
Yet again and again I ask, what becomes the purpose of this love? Many of us claim love prior to even having the mental faculties to interpret what love is, but when someone asks what love is, all we hear are the descriptions of what love has done to that person. But that person’s wiring has been crossed! It’s akin to asking an insane person about the world around them. They’re able to perceive, but how they perceive is shockingly different than how we do, and we don’t trust their perceptions. Yet we trust the perceptions of those in love, because it is what we all aim to be. We all endeavor to feel this insanity, this mental recklessness. And we excuse our desire for insanity by saying that “love” is bigger than us, it’s more powerful than us, it knows what’s best, blah blah blah! We praise love for the good times and we do not blame love for the bad.
It appears, in this respect, love has entered the realm of the deity – indescribable yet palpable, intangible yet we desire it to be tangible so much so that we create its tangential body, and because it is like the deity, we excuse it from all blame. When things go wrong when you’re in love, you blame the other person. When things go right when you’re in love, you thank God (which is in this case thanking the “Love” character) for having found this person, and you’re so happy you have found love. Love has earned its fair share of blame, and we avoid blaming love because if what’s supposed to be the most purist thing in human interaction is love, it must be considered faultless for faith in humanity to continue, just like God must be faultless for faith in a higher power to continue. I don’t want to rain on anybody’s parade, but culpability is not a one way street.
But before I continue on, I’ve had to speak about Love from a completely theoretical and conceptual standpoint. The difference between love and god is that with God, you know his “powers” (Omni-whatever you want), but with love there is no definition of this “deity” (because let’s face it, the damn concept has been personified so much so that it’s a sub-deity unto itself) and as such we use our romantic imagery to conceptualize the abilities of love.
Spellbound lovers have created the powers of love, and we all caught on like moths to a flame. And as such, we’ve become accustomed to accepting the semi-deity like status of the concept of love. Ask someone what love is, they give a fluffy anecdote or story or tale or some sort of half-cocked description because they cannot actually accurately explain this love deity. And as wild as it sounds, any conversation about love already begins with the presupposition that we are all talking about the same “type” of thing, but in reality we are all grasping at straws.
So what does love give us? No guarantees, supposedly some funny feelings and warmth on the inside, a desire for another person and yet none of that means much if the relationship never comes to fruition or even is successful. No, this love game is much more like a business venture than a deity working his or her magic like some old Greek God. We have some emotional money – we invest in another person. The hope is that this person will provide a more than adequate return on your investment, but sometimes they keep your money or you just lose money on the failed investment. Some people are gung-ho with their emotional money, or emotional capital, and continue to invest. Others become more guarded, worried about having the same fate. Sometimes we hit on winners…until they too fail. Sometimes we find the most consistent thing and ride it to success. Sometimes we don’t sell early enough; sometimes we sell too late. Love ends up mimicking a business, or even the stock market much more than its romantic descriptions would have us believe.
Is this how the Love stock market is?
My personal opinion is torn. I am actually a romantic – I want to believe in this love guff, but I can’t bring myself all the way around. If love is like a deity, then perhaps I have to give myself fully to reap the benefits of his or her existence. But if the other side of the coin is right, and love is nothing more than consistency and continuity in some person doing their job that you have assigned for them better than any other person so you keep them around knowing there is no other upgrade possible, then I am worried. I’m worried because this love thing we all buy into could be a huge sham, and what’s the point in believing a lie?
Then again, I still believe in Santa Claus…(but that’s another story)