One of the cutest love stories I know is that of my parents, who were married 31 years ago today. I’m not going to splash about the details all over the internet (at least not this year,) but suffice to say that my Dad stole my Mom’s heart. Oh yes, he is a sly one my dear Dad. They are still very happily married.
Posts Tagged ‘love’
I originally picked my most recent book choice because I thought it was a historical fiction about an educated, forward-thinking feminist from the middle ages who was a catalyst for historical happenings. What I got from The Fruit of Her Hands: The Story of Shira of Ashkenaz was something a little different, something good, but not quite what I expected. The book, written by Michelle Cameron, is more a story or a devoted, educated, albeit conservative wife and mother to whom historical events happen. The major difference being that it takes better writing to keep me interested in the latter type of story. I’m happy to report that I was interested. Granted, there were a few slow spots, but those patches didn’t last too long, and there were enough big historical events to keep the plot moving at a good clip.
The other thing I didn’t expect from the book was a wonderful love story. I loved reading about the love between Shira and her husband Meir. Cameron uses the Hebrew “b’shert*” frequently to describe their destined love, how they were made for one another and suited each other to a T. It’s adorable! I so much enjoyed reading about a marriage instead of reading about a courtship. All too often a novel is all romance with the struggle for the couple to get together then it’s happily ever after. This book, however, was the after, and it was charming.
Actually, their relationship reminded me very much of my parents. The words and phrases Cameron uses to describe how the two characters act toward and think about one another is nearly identical to how my parents act toward one another, and some of the language they use, as well. (And they are about to have their 31st anniversary, too!) Even though it may seem fantastical to some, I believe Cameron may have hit the nail on the head when it comes to this b’shert business.
Something else worth noting: Cameron is actually the main characters’ ancestor. How cool is that?!
*”b’shert – A soul mate. According to the Talmud, it is predestined whom a man will marry before he is born” (Cameron, 430.)
Just to show that women are truly different and each individual wants completely different things, I wanted to write about my favorite Disney princess. (My reasons for using Disney are twofold: 1-In order to continue the theme begun by my eloquent co-writer, Sapphire. And 2- Because most people, especially women, have seen the Disney movies and they are highly relatable.)
My favorite Disney princess is, and probably always will be Ariel from the Little Mermaid. Aside from all of the amazing songs (which I still sing on a regular basis in my shower) I love the general message sent about relationships.
Let me tell it from my possibly-feminist-biased point of view: (Feel free to skip to the next paragraph to get to the point)
Ariel sees Eric and falls in love entirely. (Like, Sapphire, I am a bit uncomfortable with this aspect, but for arguments’ sake I’ll overlook it.) Basically, she sees what she wants. Then she rescues the guy. I love this! She makes that hurricane her %#&@$! Then, Eric also instantly falls in love with her and her voice. (At least they are equally unbelievable.) Ariel stands up to the Man (her father) and convention to defend her love. After which she goes to extremes to get what she wants. When we see Eric again, we discover through causal conversation that he has also been searching for his lost love. (Granted, at this point I am a bit miffed he doesn’t make the connection between his savior and the girl in rags; however, in his defense, Ariel’s voice is a very memorable feature.) Is Ariel deterred by his thickheaded-ness? No, sir! She keeps at it. She gets awfully close, too. Until Eric is hypnotized by the Sea Witch; and Ariel must rescue him again! (You go girl!) Finally, Eric sees what has been right in front of him. She gets taken away from him, and he in turn rescues her. Love!
So, in short, it’s a fairly equal relationship. Yes, for those keeping score, Ariel does a bit more than Eric. However, Eric comes back in the end (as Sapphire points out) which sort of makes up for it. I really like that model. If something is just too much for one to bear (either a gigantic Sea Witch or a hurricane) the other comes to lend a helping fin or ship or whatever.
Perhaps we all have been influenced a bit too much by our experiences in childhood, because, like Sapphire, this has largely been what I’ve looked for in a relationship. Equality. I want a man who will rescue me, but I want to feel secure knowing that I will rescue him right back when he needs it.
I was just accused of being “too picky” when it comes to the men I date. And, yes, I have given some poor excuses for ending a relationship. A list follows:
- He gave really bad gifts.
- His sex drive didn’t match mine.
- He lived in a different state.
- He talked too much.
- He talked about one specific, boring topic too much.
- He was too feminine.
- He didn’t like my dog.
- He was too touchy-feely.
- He didn’t touch or try to touch me at all.
- He was too religious.
- He was only dating me because of my height.
- He was in love with his roommate. (Yes, his roommate was a girl.)
- He was too pessimistic.
- He was the worst kisser I have ever encountered.
- He was too dumb.
- He didn’t eat eggs.
- He was boring.
See? Pretty sorry excuses. But that’s all they were, excuses. I have more logical reasons to break up with a guy besides the not-so-justifications on the list. However, the real honest-to-goodness truth is that there was some ineffable quality about the man that simply didn’t work well with me and my personality. Although good luck explaining that to some people.
The truth is, I’ve only been with one man in my life that I could see myself having a future with. Maybe two more that might have had a chance, but those two were practically over before they began (due to unfortunate circumstances that I can only assume is the Fates effing with me.) The “one man” was…..so complicated that I won’t get into here. Suffice to say that I thought we had a future together until I realized how controlling, inconsiderate and selfish he was. (In the words from a favorite movie “not a nice guy, actually.”)
I am upset by being blamed for being “too picky” about men. I don’t have some magical list in my head and a man has to meet every single point for me to consider dating him. In fact, my rule for firsts dates (with very few exceptions) is that if a guy asks me out, I’ll go out with him. Or I’ll ask him out. After that it gets a little more muddled. After that it’s more about how I feel when I’m with him. Does the conversation flow well? Does he have a good sense of humor? Do I like being around him? Is he considerate? (See? This is me learning from past mistakes.) Do I smile when I think about him? Etc.
It is difficult if not impossible to articulate why I liked those particular three men so much. I could list some reasons, but they would seem about as ludicrous as the reasons I listed for breaking up with other men.
I don’t think I’m wrong to want that inexpressible feeling. I know it might take a while to find again, if I ever do. But I’m alright with that. I just wish those around me would be equally alright with keeping their mouths shut while I lived my life, and loved on my terms.
I remember sitting at my kitchen table carefully scrutinizing every valentine that came in my package of 24 cards. Which card is the best? Which will tell him that he’s special? Will he know that I agonized over his card and that he is special? Obviously, I had to make sure I didn’t inadvertently give the best one to the boy who ate glue. Eww. He would get the wrong idea.
Remember when love was simple? When you loved the boy who shared his lunchable and didn’t pull your ponytail (or hit you with a backpack with a rock in it, Cole Hunter, I’m looking at you). When you loved the boy who stood up for you and told the bossy girl that playing the Pink Power Ranger’s pet dog was stupid and she should make up another character for you; the boy who helped you with your fractions because your brain doesn’t work that way.
Check out this video and be inspired by these kidlets over at DailyCandy. They know the true meaning of love (although the girl who wants to marry her brother is in for an awkward conversation in the future).
And with that, have a wonderful Valentine’s Day weekend! Be sure to stop by later and see what Sapphire has in store for us today (although I’m not sure things can get better than chocolate, yummmm).