Jack Lemmon in Luv (1967)
"Love is a four letter word." And it's one of those enigmatic bombs in life that continues to confuse me and play with my mind. In Annie Hall (1977), Alvy tells Annie, "Love is, is too weak a word for what I feel - I lurve you, you know, I loave you, I luff you, two F's, yes I have to invent, of course I - I do, don't you think I do?” A play I read a while back on a plane ride from New York called Play with Tiger (1962) mocked the idea of love when Dave told Anna, “It’s lurve, it’s lurve, it’s lurve.” Even the Bible has a whole entire section on the concept of love:
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NIV)
My question in regards to this biblical definition of love is: are any of us really that pure when we do love nowadays? I know I’m anything but perfect (I’m probably this instead) and will never embody the kind of sheer purity that’s described in the Bible’s love passage. As of now, to me, love is acceptance and loyalty, knowing a person’s flaws and trying to be understanding. There is a major difference between platonic love and romantic love (a.k.a. being “in love”), but I’m only going to be focusing on the latter. Have you noticed that the English idiom/phrase “fall in love” starts with the word “fall”? To me, this phrase conveys that falling in love deals with letting your guard down and suddenly becoming emotionally vulnerable to the person you’re falling in love with; maybe that’s why people are “weak in the knees” when they fall in love.
Movies and songs project different types of romantic love, some of which are a bit too farfetched for my taste. For example, one of the most ridiculous movies on “love” that I have ever seen is Love Story (1970), which turned out to be a commercial success when it was released. Its most famous line, also its tagline, is “Love means never having to say you're sorry”; that is probably one of the most b.s. lines I have ever heard on love. In the beginning when you first meet someone and you realize it’s (romantic) love, it might be a magical walk on Cloud 9, but for the most part, it demands for both parties to work at making their relationship survive. If people change as time goes by, their relationships also change as well and so it does take work for someone’s romantic love to last. Contrary to Love Story’s concept of love, I think that love is dependent on having great communication between the two people who are in love, so the idea of not conveying you’re sorry to the person you love is a completely idiotic idea. If you can’t manage to say sorry to the person you love, then that’s one big reason (out of possibly many reasons) for you to not deserve the person you love. Love isn’t always raining puppies and roses; like for many things in life, sometimes bad things have to happen for good things to come. What comes up must come down.
I feel like the word “love” have been overused so much that sometimes people or probably the media have sucked the meaning out of it. Instead of a nice juicy grape, love is some dried up raisin. I often wondered if love was like milk – it has an expiration date and at one point or another it will turn sour. Perhaps I’m way too young to be cynical about the concept of love. I’m know my opinion on “love” will continue to change, but I’m half hoping that love turns out to be something like wine – it’s something that gets better with old age.
I can only hope that if I ever get married, I’ll be as happy as Ma and Pa Newman here:
I’ll leave you with this quote that I encountered when I watched The Last Station (2009), a movie that I’m not exactly enamoured with (but I do think this quote is fantastic):
“Love is life. All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love. Everything is, everything exists, only because I love. Everything is united by it alone. Love is God, and to die means that I, a particle of love, shall return to the general and eternal source.”