Eternal Sunshine Valentine

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Those were the days.

Valentine’s day is unfortunately fast approaching, according to both the calendar and the increasingly-pink candy shelves at CVS.

Recently I had the privilege to listen to a discussion on LOVE.  It was a consortium of ladies (The Bitches via Genius Pills, to be exact) brainstorming for an upcoming show.

The answer to the question “What’s funny about love?” morphs into several different subsets.  But the gut reaction?  NOTHING AT ALL!

Romantic Love is serious business, a contract between law-abiding mortals governed by the unruly Emperor Emotion.  We fight for it constantly.  It’s the dream of dreams to experience that continued reciprocation of affection.  Enough of that unrequited stuff!  Takes up too much damn energy from my experience.

And now for the platitudes in which I completely believe:

  • Romantic Love is all about timing.  
  • Romantic Love is blind. 

You can dance and dance, but if that brown-haired guy with the penchant for charcuterie hits on you while you’re still with your boyfriend, you’re going to have a long history of hits and misses.  

“Love is blind” has always interested me. All others melt away.  You give and reciprocate until you’re a hybrid of yourself and your significant other without having made the baby.  So for most people after the heartbreak, the break-up process is one of extracting, and then piecing yourself back together.

One thing we did in the consortium of ladies was recount a memorable Valentine’s Day.  It didn’t have to be the best, necessarily, just one that stuck out.  So here’s mine.

My senior year of high school, Valentine’s Day fell on a Saturday, so my boyfriend and I took the Metro out to Hollywood.  It’s a lovely day trip from Pasadena.  We walked among the glitz and glamour, the street mascots, lingerie stores and innumerable girls in ridiculous, ankle-breaking high heels.  For dinner?  We walked into McDonald’s and dined on McNuggets and Coke.  It seemed like a good idea at the time, seeing as it was cheap.

Cut to a month later, we went out on a movie date to see Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, starring a blue-haired Kate Winslet and Jim Carrey.  For my money it joins a crew of movies that accurately portrays the truth of the pain of love, alongside Before Sunset, Before Sunrise, and 500 Days of Summer.  FYI, these are terrible date movies.

There’s a scene in which Joel (Jim Carrey) enters his foyer in his apartment building to gather his mail.  A neighbor approaches him and asks him his plans with Clementine (Kate Winslet) for Valentine’s Day.  “Make plans now.  You don’t wanna end up at McDonald’s on Valentines Day.”

We turned to each other and had a good laugh.  That was US only a month earlier.  Ahh, irony.  It is rich with truth.

So I am consoled that since that high school date, I have had much better dinners for Valentine’s, ranging from gorging on chocolate by myself while watching Love Actually, to having a steak dinner at home to the soundtrack of Sam Cooke.

And that’s one thing I lose sight of but appreciate about love, is that it gives you the ability to laugh at yourself.  Passion exists under conditions of free flowing mirth, forgiveness, and an appreciation for the absurd.

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