Sunday, February 7, 2010
In The Name Of Love
Valentine's Day is coming up next weekend which should trigger many memories of sweet romantic stories. Instead what comes to my mind are all the lamebrain things I have done In The Name Of Love. (Thank you, U2.) My dating experiences have required equal amounts of vulnerability and amnesia, with a fair amount of nausea thrown in for good measure. No matter how bad my dating recipes have turned out, I never seem to stop trying to jump, sing or eat my way headlong into romance.
For example, even though I am hysterically afraid of heights, I once jumped into a lake—off a 30-foot cliff—because my love interest jumped first. I hurled myself over the edge shrieking like a banshee and landed with my swimsuit floating around my neck. . . nice visual. I wanted him to be impressed. Oh, he was impressed alright. . . with the girl on shore in the perfect hair and makeup. . . who wasn’t nerve-shattered and nauseated from a near-death experience.
Despite the humiliation, hope seems to spring eternal in me, and once again I found myself drawn to the flame like a moth. One freezing winter night I was invited to go Christmas caroling by a very cute guy. I must've been snow-blinded by stupid love, me thinking it would be a fun adventure, even though only four of us showed up for the big event. We went from house-to-house, me croaking out a pathetic solo while the other three sang so softly even the dogs couldn’t hear them. It was sheer torture. The appeal I had felt for my date went completely flat by the end of that painful performance. Afterwards, I wished it had been a totally silent night.
Following the passage of some time and even some shame-based counseling, I was ready to try again. Perhaps I was overly confident because I actually tried to juggle two dinner dates on the same night. By the time I realized I was headed for a fiasco, it was too late to cancel. I decided I would spare each guy’s feelings by secretly going out with both (yeah right.) Date #1 worked the night shift at a television station, so our early dinner was over by 6 pm. That conveniently worked out in time for me to force down a second meal with date #2. What at first sounded like double-my-fun turned into double-my-heartburn, triple-my-guilt and me still. . . well, single.
I have been willing to do some crazy theatrics to please someone I love but, in all honesty, my basic motivation has been to convince a man to love me. After these painful experiences (disast-o-dates), I think I realize (finally) that true love is giving and not receiving. The things I do for love that matter over the long haul are not how impressed a guy is with me, but what I give of my spirit to him. There is no better description of love than in the Bible: "Love is patient and kind. Love never ends while it bears all things, hopes all things and endures all things." In other Bible words, "The greatest of these is love." Or to quote the late Michael Jackson from the movie, THIS IS IT: "It's all about the L-O-V-E LOVE!"