"One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture
and, if possible, speak a few reasonable words." ~Goethe

~ also, if possible, to dwell in "a house where all's accustomed, ceremonious." ~Yeats

Friday, February 14, 2014

Inordinately Realistic


Plow & Hearth Birdseed Wands

Not to be too cynical on Valentine's Day, but while driving along in the car one day last summer with the radio on, the irony of these lines from the ABBA song "Angel Eyes" caught my attention:

"And it hurts to remember all the good times
When I thought I could never live without him"

For months, my brain has been circling around these lyrics, and now seems a good time to take a closer look at the irony. The singer's fondest thoughts are of a time in her relationship when she "thought she could never live without him." I usually just sing along, but this time, I started to wonder, How good of a relationship was that? Or how bad? Bad enough to make me rethink the nostalgia that I have for some of my good / bad old days. What am I recalling with such fondness? The years when I thought that my heart would break in two? Well, if those were the good times, maybe they weren't so good after all despite the hazy romantic edges of memory. Perhaps the narrator is saying that it hurts now because those times were so great and now they are gone for good. More likely, I suspect she's recalling a time that may have seemed good enough but was also hurtful -- and that's why it hurts to remember.

Good times shouldn't hurt, yet sometimes from the very beginning, a relationship consists primarily of the kind of good times that it hurts to remember. Come to think of it, it can even hurt to have some of those good times in the first place. Kind of like -- in my chick flick choice for Valentine's Day this year -- Georgy Girl's relationship with Jos.

As Georgy learns, those are the kind of good times that you have to stay away from. Learn what you can and move on. I was pretty pleased with myself twenty - five years ago, when Gerry and I completed some personality profile questionnaires to help us understand our relational issues, compatibility levels, and marital readiness. When I scored in the range of "Inordinately Realistic," I was convinced that I had used all of my bad relationships wisely!

In honor of Valentine's Day, here are a few inordinately realistic proverbs that have spoken to my heart in troubled times:

"A long time ago I was desperately in love.
In fact, you could leave out the 'love'
and still get a pretty good picture."

from "True Romances #2"
in True Stories
by Margaret Atwood

" 'Love,' says Squire Allworthy, 'however much we may corrupt and pervert its meaning . . . remains a rational passion.' "
from Tom Jones

by Henry Fielding

"It is overdoing the thing to die of love."
~ French Proverb ~

After awhile you begin to realize that lots of people have had
previous marriages that just never come up in conversation.
Especially if there are no children, then it's really nothing
more than a bad date, a long bad date."

~ A Wise Friend ~

"I can't believe we once threw dishes at each other, but we did.
I can remember which plates, which cups, which glasses,
and which ones broke."

~ Margaret Atwood / same story as above ~

"What can be broken, can be fixed, he thought.
What can be broken, can be fixed.
There was a dimension to all of this he had to ignore,
a reality, if you will.
But a balance wheel can be reattached,
a shaft can be machined, from scratch if necessary.
Still, it would be too late for him.
The normal, or maybe
not the normal,
part of the doll still worked perfectly.
The other could be fixed.
But not for him, never for him, fixed or not,
that was gone forever."

from "Moriya"
in By The Light of the Jukebox
by Dean Paschal

Inordinately realistic or not, I still adore a sentimental Valentine!
~ like this collage of vintage favorites from my friends Diane & Vickie ~

Next Fortnightly Post
Friday, February 28th

Between now and then, read
my shorter, almost daily blog posts

Looking for a good book? Try
my running list of recent reading

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