What is it about being in love that makes us think in poetry? That makes us want to sing songs and dance and jump off of rooftops, grow wings, and fly to the stars? That burns holes in our hearts while simultaneously making them feel fuller and brighter? That transforms all of our rational thoughts into mush and makes us want to say “forever” over and over again like a lyric stuck repeating on a broken CD? That turns menial activities like doing homework, going to CVS, and walking to class together into grand adventures? That makes us literally feel colors when our loved one is in the same room as us? I don’t know, but it sure is weird sometimes. So, I’d like to talk about it.
I apologize in advance. Writing today’s column about any other topic besides love would seem too contrived. I know you’re trying to avoid knowing it, but today is Valentine’s Day. Not talking about it won’t make this day exist any less. It will probably just make it exist more, like that giant pink elephant in the opinions section of a student newspaper that just so happens to come out on Feb. 14 where people seem to have something to say about everything except love. Or, like the sole female opinions columnist for this particular Heights issue (me) purposely doesn’t have an opinion on love today. Don’t worry, she does.
It’s really easy to become jaded when it comes to love. Some people have had their hearts severely broken and claim never to want to get involved in another relationship ever again. Others passionately throw themselves into new relationships and find themselves completely devastated or pleasantly surprised at the outcome a few months later. Others are good at staying above the surface of extremely deep emotional waters when they enter a new partnership. Regardless of the situation, the truth is that we’re going to continue getting hurt until we don’t-that is, until we find the person who wants to spend forever with us. And even then we’ll probably still get hurt sometimes.
It is said that people’s levels of happiness remain pretty steady throughout the various happenings of their daily lives. Some events cause happiness to temporarily skyrocket, while others cause it to temporarily plummet. In the end and after a bit of time, though, a person will always level out back to their default level of happiness. I’d like to compare this to how I feel about love. Regardless of whether something devastating or beautiful happens in my love life, I will be temporarily affected but will soon level back out to my original view of love. I’m happy to say that I’ve remained un-jaded, relatively optimistic, and hopeful.
I’ve been on a Sex and the City kick lately, soaking in the love lives of four of the most fabulous women in television history. I think I’m the most like Carrie Bradshaw, weaving in and out of the Aleksandr Petrovskys and the Aidens and the Mr. Bigs and staying positive (and writing a column about it), despite the way-high ups and the way-low downs. In the final episode of Sex and the City, Carrie finally snaps at the cold and semi-heartless Petrovsky, the Russian artist with whom she flew to Paris to live and with whom she eventually has a failed romance, and says, “I am someone who is looking for love. Real love. Ridiculous, inconvenient, consuming, can’t-live-without-each-other love.” In a perfect world, I’d like that, too. I think anybody would, really. I completely admire that level of idealism and positivity, and I’m still trying to figure out how that kind of love can mutually exist between two people for forever. I am also still trying to figure out the lesson in the fact that, no matter how many times Mr. Big was a huge heart-breaking jerk, Carrie ended up with him anyway. HBO, does love really conquer everything?
While self-proclaimed idealists like myself want to believe that love is the thing, we should also appreciate the Mirandas of the world-the slightly cynical realists who keep the Carrie-type dreamers from soaring too high without a safe way down. We, the Carries, need those. It’s really easy to get caught up in a new romance or in those intensely passionate butterflies-in-your-stomach feelings and lose your ability to think about a situation rationally. Then again, “It wasn’t logic. It was love.” Thank you, Carrie. I knew I could count on you.
If you think about it, love is just a series of hormones being released into our bodies one after the other after the other. Our bodies are well-oiled machines, systems of complex processes and mechanical operating systems that follow a pretty rigid set of procedures. It’s the ultimate paradox, however, how these allegedly “typical” hormonal processes cause such atypical behavior. How many of us have ever done something particularly crazy or irrational in the name of love, including but not limited to masochistic Facebook stalking, throwing our iPhones across our dorm room as if it’s the phone’s fault that our texts are going unanswered, spewing an intense drunken love confession, creating a pathetic iTunes break-up playlist and sobbing hysterically to it, or standing outside of somebody’s window in the rain (tossing pebbles not required or encouraged, Taylor Swift)? Even the strongest of strong feminists and the manliest of anti-emotional manly men go weak at the knees for their loved ones.
Now that today is Valentine’s Day, we must celebrate these natural bodily functions and use them to make our boyfriends buy us nice things and take us out to fancy dinners in the North End. (I’m kidding. Or am I?) Better yet, take this day to thank everyone in your life for just being there. Eat dark chocolate and think about red and pink a lot. Watch romantic comedies because they’re fun. Listen to music that makes the air around you shift. Whether you’re waiting for that text from you-know-who, in a happy and thriving relationship, continually waking up next to your exclusive/non-exclusive “thing” on a Saturday morning after a night off-campus, recently going through a bad break-up, perpetually single and stuck in your room watching, rewinding, and re-rewinding the sex scenes in Game of Thrones, heavily considering getting back with your ex, or using Tinder and feeling sufficiently awkward about it, I hope you have a fantastic Valentine’s Day.
Editor’s Note: The views presented in this column are those of the author alone and do not represent the views of The Heights.