I went with out with my friend Marlene today to see the New Moon movie. Actually, it wasn’t bad at all, I quite enjoyed it. When I got home, I was telling Leif about the movie and how a common theme in women’s romance (novels, movies, whatever) is the two guy, one girl triangle. He asked if that was an ego thing, to which I replied that of course it was, but look at porno–how many men fantasize about two girls, one man? So everybody, in one form or another, would love to be the center of affection of two.
Women, of course, have to moralize it. In these stories, it is unusual that the woman will have both at the same time–good girls just aren’t like that. They ultimately have to pick one. Whereas for men, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with two girls at the same time, and if they get it on themselves, so much the better. But women put so much pride in the idea of monogamy and soul mates and Mr. Right, all of which I feel have no basis in reality. I’m not a cynic exactly, but I think people are so multifaceted you can pick a mate that matches the different parts of yourself.
I’ve actually found that my tastes in all that have changed quite a bit. Well, for one I don’t read nearly as much fiction as I used to. For another, I find myself interested in the all the nitty-gritty of love when it is no longer fresh and new. Every day, there are couples deciding to split or to stay, people deciding to have an affair or abstain–what is love really? I was reading a forum post that said to truly love someone is to be willing to die for them. That’s a high standard, and I’m not sure it’s relevant for all situations. For example, I have several close friends that I do love–but if push came to shove, would I die for them? I don’t honestly know.
And children complicates things a great deal more. No question, I would be willing to die if it meant saving my daughter. However, there was an interesting article in the NY Times about one of the first pregnant women who came down with H1N1–she was in a coma for five months. She survived, but while in a coma, the doctors came to her husband and told him that it may be necessary to make a choice–his wife or his unborn child. Now, I believe they already had a young child, but he chose his wife. They did try to save the baby, but it didn’t work out.
I don’t think a true definition of love has to include the willingness to die for someone, but it is interesting that part of the appeal of romantic love is just being into someone for who they are. Rowan needs to do nothing, just be, and I adore her. Ironically, probably no one else, with the exception of her father, will love her as unequivocally as I do.
Likewise in the first flush of romantic love, you don’t have to be anything but yourself. Somehow the you that is you is special enough. It is only later, if you have been with someone a long time, that you see the flaws more than anyone else does. But the potential sacrifice of being with someone for decades, because it is slow and occurs over time, is weighed much less than hormones declaring, “But I’d die for you!”