I’ve been accused of being terribly unromantic, although my brilliant friend who made this assertion believes that my affinity for sending/receiving letters and packages makes me slightly less so. I do not completely understand what his definition of a romantic is, but I can assure you that it does not comport with our culture’s skewered concept of the word. I believe my friend is referring to my logical mind, particularly when it comes to relationships. I’ve often wanted to give dates a five page questionnaire prior to our first date—trying to reduce the intangible to a test of sorts. Sure it is somewhat practical (see the success of websites like Match.com), but it is terribly unromantic to think that relationships can be reduced to some type of formula. In fact, I proved my own desired methodology wrong last May when I met a 25 year old who lives 1200 miles away and would have failed my questionnaire simply based on age and geography. Upon meeting him, my excitement/feeelings for him far outweighed these "problems." Imagine all the joy (and Inside Out Reeses) I would be missing out on if I had ignored my feelings as a result of practical considerations.
So anyway thinking about this genius friend and romance reminds me of the e-mail I received from him on Valentine’s Day. Instead of trying to explain his feelings on VD (my mother’s nomenclature for the holiday, which I find hilarious), I’m pasting a portion of an e-mail he sent me on February 14:
“With no disrespect for your cookies or cupcakes, I personally score Valentines as the nadir on the holiday score card. The crass commercialism generally makes me feel like I ate a Hamdog [a hamburger with chili, cheese, bacon, etc. that is served on a Krispy Kreme doughnut]. Perpetuating the notion of it being a barometer for romance makes it the most ironic of holidays, as I see it as the asylum of the intrinsically unimaginative and unromantic. It only wants a heart shaped tub and a bottle of cheap champagne in the Catskills to reach perfection. Forgive me the cynical venting; I had to keep a stoic stance going all day as the kids still think it's cool and I'm against jading them prematurely.”
Wow. I told you my friend is brilliant. My response did not do his e-mail justice, but just so all of your curious minds know how I feel about VD (in case you were going to send me flowers….please note: I will accept gift certificates to Spa Sydell in lieu thereof):
“Although I agree with your scathing review of Valentine's Day and have often said that it is a Hallmark created holiday promoted by florists who charge 3x their normal prices (and deliver subpar products), restaurants that are overcrowded and overextended, and the candy industry, I don't think VD is all bad. My take is that (1) any holiday on which you are encouraged to give/receive candy has some value, (2) if that is what it (sadly) takes to get some people to be nice to others, then it is better than nothing, and (3) I look good in pink, so VD provides yet another designated day on which I am to wear that color. Plus being sour grapes doesn't change anything and watching men scramble around the mall/grocery store is entertaining. So I refuse to buy cards or flowers or go to a restaurant on VD, but I still made a card for my niece and ate a few chocolates.”
Ok, anyway I originally was talking about romance. So I never go to the movies, but I actually felt compelled to see one this last weekend. Pride & Prejudice. I’ve never read the book, although I feel like I should. There are a lot of books (and museums) that I feel like I should enjoy, but I do not. Oh well. The movie was AWESOME. It was so refreshing to see a movie in which no one got naked, cussed, had sex, etc. Keira Knightley did not look as hot as usual (for my male readers), but the sentiment of the movie was lovely. I simply cannot write a review that does the movie justice, but I am pasting in a link to a fantastic article that discusses the important themes in the movie including what people are really searching for—a different kind of romance than we typically think of in our society. It’s a notion of love and romance that I find very appealing and that is much more biblical than what we are typically exposed to in popular culture.