Category Archives: Love
Daily Prompt: Cupid’s Arrow – It’s Valentine’s Day, so write an ode to someone or something you love.
I unintentionally wore a red sweater today. When David pointed it out over breakfast, I joked, “Ugh, now I have to change….” But I did not, because I really love this sweater and the way I look in it. This is the goofiest holiday of all. I don’t need a special day to love or feel loved. I eat chocolate almost every day, and David doesn’t believe in giving flowers as gifts, so that’s not happening either.
I am incredibly lucky to have two great loves in my life. Yes, two! There’s my boyfriend David, and my dog Izzy. What’s so remarkable is that I never imagined that I’d love either of them as much as I do. For months, I insisted that David and I would never work as a relationship. As for Izzy, I have never been attached to an animal in my life. In fact, I thought the idea quite ridiculous. And yet, these two bring me insane amounts of happiness–more than I knew was even possible.
But love isn’t all about romantic dates, flowers, chocolates, or stuffed animals. What about the other 364 regular old days when I’m just doing my best to share my life and my home with another human being and a small dog? It’s not always easy, and it’s not always fun, but that’s love too. Sometimes it’s in those moments of frustration or disappointment that I realize how much I care. I don’t just want the good stuff, I want all of it!
Here’s a blog post I wrote during my first attempt at a blog a few years ago. You can still catch the film on Netflix.:
I just finished watching an indie film called TiMER a little while ago that made me think. For those of you who haven’t seen it (mostly likely everyone reading this), here is the storyline according to IMDb:
When implanted in a person’s wrist, a TiMER counts down to the day the wearer finds true love. But Oona O’Leary faces the rare dilemma of a blank TiMER. Her soul mate – whoever and wherever he is – has yet to have a TiMER implanted. Staring down the barrel of thirty and tired of waiting for her would-be life partner to get off the dime, Oona breaks her own rules and falls for Mikey, a charming and inappropriately young supermarket clerk with a countdown of four months.
Early in the film, I immediately identified with Oona. My 30th birthday is right around the corner, and I still haven’t met my “soul mate” (or have I?). I have had my share of disappointments, so I can understand feeling frustrated and tired of waiting. Finally, I can absolutely relate to wishing there were some way to know without a doubt whether a particular relationship were meant to be before investing so much time and emotion.
At first, the TiMER seemed like a great idea. It would completely take the pressure off in dealing with the opposite sex… or would it? The underlying question seems to be whether knowing the future — in this case, your romantic future — is worth it. Would it make you any happier? To seriously consider these questions, you would obviously have to accept ideas such as the existence of soul mates and, ultimately, fate and destiny. That, however, is another topic for another day and another film.
But, before I continue with this discussion, I have to admit that I have been known to check my horoscope daily, and I have even paid for long term forecasts (Don’t judge me!). I, like Oona, feel a lot of anxiety regarding the future, and I suppose it is somewhat comforting to have some insight, even if it does come in the form of vague or cryptic horoscopes that may or may not be accurate. But, that is why I found this film so interesting; it made me question my own beliefs and fears.
Although the protagonist struggled with not knowing her romantic future, other characters in the film struggled with knowing the future and feeling helpless to change it. Her brother had his TiMER go off when he was only a child, and with the most unlikely person. Her sister, on the other hand, had a TiMER that was set to go off when she would be much older. In neither of these cases did knowing the future make life any easier. In fact, it created more complications than it was worth. Oona, however, was no better off; she began a relationship that made her happy, only to spoil it by constantly questioning whether it was real and not giving it a fair chance.
That brings me to my next point, which is that knowing the future would inevitably affect the way you view and live in the present. And what if that knowledge made your present less meaningful in some way? Who would be brave enough to enter a relationship that he or she knew for a fact were doomed, while waiting to meet his or her soul mate? On the other hand, if you chose not to, you might be alone for a long time, which could arguably be more painful than heartbreak.
Finally, as cliche as this may sound, what is there to hope for, when the future is known? I feel certain that if I had known how some of my relationships were to turn out, I would not have entered them with hope and excitement. I probably would have avoided them and thereby avoided the pain of loss, disappointment, and betrayal. But, I also would have missed out on much more. I would not have had the amazing experiences that these failed relationships provided me. I would not know how it feels to love or be loved, nor would I have learned so much about myself or human relationships. Most importantly, I would not have had as much fun in my life as I have had. Would I readily give all this up for the chance to know some date that may or may not make me happy? I am not ready to answer this question, but thankfully I don’t have to, because it is not an option.
This is not at all intended to be a review, but I would recommend watching the film, as it is entertaining and original. While it is not Oscar-worthy, it did make me think, which is what any art should accomplish.
[On a personal note, I have decided to stop checking my horoscope.]
Daily Prompt: Whoa! What’s the most surreal experience you’ve ever had?
I have a fantastic dream life. I’ve experienced things in deep sleep that are supposedly uncommon, or so I’ve been told. I have traveled to alternate universes, I have flown above town several times, and on one occasion, I actually experienced death (words cannot describe). But the most impressive dream I’ve had involved no sci-fi/fantasy themes. In fact, the dream itself was unmemorable. What stood out was that my cousin Xavier, who I hadn’t seen in several years, appeared in it.
Xavier was actually my mother’s first cousin. When I was a kid, I thought of him as a cool young uncle. Having grown up in New York City, he knew all the fun places to take my siblings and me, whether it was ice cream at the Haagen Daz in Brooklyn Heights, or catching a movie in the East Village. I wanted to be just like him when I got older: smart, independent, and just plain cool.
I use the past tense when I speak of Xavier because he and his wife disappeared one day, seemingly out of nowhere. Not even his own mother knew what had happened. Years went by, and there was no trace of either of them. He was slowly becoming a distant memory to me, until that night when he appeared in my dream. The next morning, I found myself thinking a lot about him–about the adventures we had, the songs we would sing together, his signature knock on the door. Later that day, I casually mentioned my dream to my mother, and much to my surprise, she divulged that she had dreamed of him as well. But what still blows my mind until this day is the fact that my great aunt had called her that morning to let her know that Xavier had contacted her the previous day, while I was asleep. He told her that he was okay, and that she shouldn’t worry or try to search for him. It seems that somehow, on a level I cannot comprehend, I felt his presence, even if it was just over the phone.
I never saw Xavier again. By now, a good 25 years have passed since I last saw him. I wonder if he is alive, and if so, where he is and what he is doing. I wish he’d been around to see me grow up, and to offer me the guidance that my parents could not. I wish I’d had him around to talk to when I was going through difficult times in my life. He would have given me one of his awesome hugs that I remember so well. I wish I could tell him how important he was to me, and what a lasting impression he’d made. Most of all, I hope that I’ve become someone he would be proud of today.
Daily Prompt: Musical What role does music play in your life?
I’m not a musician. I can’t read sheet music to save my soul. I don’t have a huge record or CD collection, and my iTunes collection is rather pitiful. Still, I think music has always played an important role in my life.
As a child, music was solely a way to celebrate. There wasn’t a single family gathering where salsa and merengue were absent, along with plenty of dancing. Sad music was unacceptable to me. I couldn’t even watch the Muppets because of their inevitable mopey songs, usually sung by the sensitive Kermit. Even then, music affected me, but I did not always understand or enjoy its effects.
I grew up and grew out of that, of course, once I got to know the world and myself a little better. I came to appreciate and eventually love the way that music stirs me emotionally, whether it amplifies the positive feelings of love and joy, or offers me solace in times of sadness and grief; whether I’m singing my heart out at a karaoke bar, dancing my butt off at a party, or simply tuning out the world during my morning commute. Like a faithful friend, music is always present.
I must have jinxed myself last week when I bragged about how I rarely get sick, because right after Christmas I came down with the stomach flu, followed by the actual flu, which I have yet to recover from…. But there was no way I was going to pass up the opportunity to kiss 2012 good-bye and good riddance!
Somehow I managed to drag myself down to the greek restaurant where David currently works as a waiter. With a stuffy nose, puffy eyes, and clogged ears, I sat at the bar enjoying complimentary drinks while David finished his shift. We munched on some delicious fries with feta cheese and shared an entire sea bass. At midnight, along with the restaurant staff and some of the owner’s family, we toasted with champagne. Everyone hugged and kissed, and then the Greeks started breaking dishes and dancing and shouting “Opa!”
All I really wanted was to be with David at midnight, so I had no other expectations, and I was pleasantly surprised to have had such a fun New Year’s, even with my dreadful cold. Here’s hoping that this year will be full of happy surprises–with plenty of good food and wine, good people to share it with, laughter, dancing, and most of all, lots and lots of love. OPA!