Summer air. Full of infatuation, full of possibilities, of nights that run wild and chase after sunrise…most of us can never get enough. Though my summer days are lacking in employment for the most part, somehow I’ve managed to do so much throughout each week. Lately I’ve been surrounded with a group of people and am becoming more and more entertained by what the summer air is filling them with: there is the classic love triangle, the competition between the guys, the happy couple, the rough-housing jocks, the flirt, the whispering of budding relationships….all in one group.
Here’s an example: there’s this guy…let’s call him Jack…who is dating…Clara. Jack is a major flirt to anything with a pulse, so when Clara landed the “girlfriend” position a few months ago, everyone was shocked. However, for the last month Jack and…Libby, have been all too friendly with each other. Everyone knows they like each other, everyone but Clara it seems. But Jack isn’t breaking up with her. Meanwhile, a different guy…Cary…has been talking to Jack and is attracted to him. Jack seems to be flirting with him at the same time as flirting with Libby and dating Clara. Who will he choose? Who knows? Is he switching teams (going from hetero to homosexual)? Can’t be sure. And so we have our love triangle, contracted by one massive flirt.
Maybe it’s something in the air. Everyone is in love or flirting or something in between it seems. The lines that define companionship are blurred in the summer heat by skimpy tank tops, long, tan legs, and smooth muscles. Do we all convince ourselves that it’s just some summer fun, or is it merely a coincidence that lovers seem to meet under the blazing summer stars?
Recently I read a mini blog series about attraction from another WordPresser, “thelovemanifesto”. He broke it down into the nature and nurture, the social aspects and the environmental. After witnessing the experiences of my friends, I can’t help but wonder if this is a case of teenage hormones or an actual biological tendency. I’ve heard of a mating season for certain animals, but could the same effect be taking place with people?
Anyway, just some thoughts for the day. The summer has always made me a bit reckless, and by this post I guess I’m just looking for conformation that I’m not alone. Let me know your thoughts/feel welcome to comment!
When you watch a movie, do you ever see a scene that makes you whisper to yourself, “I want to do that someday–I want to have that moment.”? Sometimes stories from books or your own imagination inspire people to make certain things happen in life for real.
Like love, perhaps. People see other people in love and tell themselves they want that.
Take a sunny afternoon. You lie on a colorful blanket in the grass, shaded by a familiar tree. It is around eleven in the morning. You hear birds chirping happily all around you, insects humming with the excitement of a full day ahead of them. In the not-far distance, you see your childhood home, filled with your family quietly working away. Your skin is warm, your heart young.Beside you lies the person you are in love with, breathing softly with lazy sleep. Their eyelashes are long, brushing their cheeks with a tenderness that melts your temptation to wake them, to see those beautiful eyes… Their hair curls around their head, brushed with the occasional, flighty breeze. Finally, in utter adoration, you press your lips to their nearby hand, cradling them as they dream, a sweet and unsuspecting kiss.
Wouldn’t you want that? Even if it may not be the most absolute beautiful moment you can think of, it’s not half bad. So we say to fate, “Ok, sign me up for that.” But what we don’t know is that later in the week we will be unable to sleep that night, tormented by that same love for that same person. “Why didn’t they try to call me or text me or anything today? Probably busy with a project…but, don’t they miss me like I miss them so much right now?” And the night swallows you up in the absence of their pounding heart next to yours.
Love is so freaking bothersome sometimes. It takes a lot of trust in another individual, and often the rejection of temptation to compare what you have to what the rest of the world tells you to have. Once you let insecurity and greed filter in your heart, love becomes spoiled. So you must fight for your love…to keep it innocent, and as your heart originally intended it.
Most of the time we spend with these loved ones give us reasons to fight, but as a person who feels the sting of depression more than the average person, I worry that the time I spend with my boyfriend is something I do not cherish as much as I should–meaning, that I greed for more than “normal” because of my already struggle with insecurity, and the last thing I want to do is push him too hard.
It’s a complicated thing, love. Often just a fluffy, beautiful picture on the outside, the inside can transform from everlasting bliss to bitter loneliness (or worse, cruel indifference). How you let it grow decides everything.
No pressure or anything.
The American dream is to go to college after high school, then find a great career that will support all kinds of awful money habits, then a totally cute story of how you met “the one”, followed by a marriage to said person, and a couple of squealing babies as well. At last is retirement where you grow old with your significant other, have tons of grandkids to dote on, and eventually die together.
Then there’s the other American dream of becoming Brittany Spears or the next Angelina Jolie. Maybe even the next Beatles or president. Either way, all of those take longer than the standard American dream, and may leave certain parts out, but include the soul mate you die with at the end.
I mean, who wants to die alone? My question is why exactly should that include a soul mate? Or a marriage? Or, for another discussion, a successful career that others will appreciate and wish they had? Why do we just have those options for happily ever after?
In movies they try to make you see how great the American dream is. They create characters who question it as you might, then they make those characters go on some sort of self-discovering journey, then they find “the one” and get married in a way that is a new, cute love story. The big deal is supposed to be that they still got the American dream, but in their own cute way.
What about the people who aren’t playing parts in movies? How is that supposed to help people actually find “the one”? How is that teaching them a new way to look at the world around them? Isn’t that what movies are supposed to do, after all?
Music can have a similar effect. All those pop songs that aren’t about getting wasted or having sex are usually an ode to how much they love someone. How they complete them. How their life is so much better now. Where are the songs that talk about how love doesn’t make things simple and happy, but complicated and confusing as well?
Don’t get me wrong, I believe in love. I like to imagine a really attractive guy out there who is listening to Green Day right now and dreaming of a girl with poofy brown hair and a ruler body shape. But I gave up my seat on the I’m-saving-everything-for-the-one train a long time ago. There are plenty of good prospects out there that I intend to look in on. Other equally attractive guys who may need some music education but are here and real and could be lying on top of you in the next five minutes if you wanted them to. Waiting for “the one” is becoming increasing out dated in our society. And I’m not talking about just sex, here. I’m talking about the numbers of singles picking up other singles at clubs and taking them home, knowing full well that tomorrow night it will be someone else. The women who hunt for men at the gym. The men who check out women in the mall. We’re always looking, but now we’re usually looking for someone who can fulfill our needs right now instead of forever. Eventually the game changes and it does become forever, but that usually makes people feel crazy after all the frustration and loneliness because they’re not finding anyone right away.
Why? Why do single women look at married ones with envy? Why do married men look at single ones with envy? Why are we always stuck unhappy with our romantic lives?
My theory is this “the one” idea. Not one person can fulfill all our needs. Not all two billion of them. All of those people we label as “the one” are just people like us, not superheroes. They’re not gifts from the heavens any more than you or I are. They’re dumb people who are walking around, not sure who they’ll end up with, either.
Why weren’t there any fairy tale love stories about people who live as bums and travel together, in love some days and other days on their own. Or love stories about the lovers who live on different continents and never speak unless one visits the other in France or whatever. What about the love stories about people who are completely open about what they want: love, but not ownership.
I’m not an expert on happily ever after. I’ve barely left a footprint on the earth, let alone any other sort of impression. But as a member of the current generation of teenagers, I can say that where we’re headed in terms of love looks dreary. Passion, and love, are beautiful. And we should all know that you can’t hold onto beautiful things forever. You have to let them go and find different ones.
Originally written: 8/7/11