I've never been the mushy kind. I've never been one for PDA or romance movies. I've never really been a HUGE Valentines Day supporter (but I do love chocolate, so keep that coming any day of the year). I hate flowers. I can open my own doors, pull out my own chairs, and put on my own darn coat. But what does all of this really mean? What does it say about me? The idea of love is one of the most complex of all time. Every song seems to be about it, most movies seem to have an underlying theme of it, most fiction novels are based around some sort of love story. It's everywhere! It's force fed down our throats from a tender young age, as our ultimate quest. To find love. It's all so very overwhelming if you think about it. The thing is though, there are many forms of this multifaceted enigmatic feeling. There is also an unlimited amount that can be given. Today I will be exploring just a FEW of my recent thoughts about romantic love.
The inspiration for this particular subject matter surprisingly wasn't tomorrow's holiday. This past week, I attended a few different shows (two operas, and one musical concert commemorating songs of the late Cole Porter), which all provoked a certain thought process. Romantic love has changed so much over the years (I'm talking hundreds of years). I just recently started to become exposed to Operas, and I must say, I'm hooked! The productions are simply amazing! I didn't know this, but in Opera, nobody uses a microphone! That's right, the huge multi-story, 3,800 seat Metropolitan Opera house in NYC is completely un-mic'd! On top of that, the singers memorize stage choreography and complicated arias, which are mostly in Italian. Then there is the Orchestra. Each musician delivering crisp tone and texture in a delicate yet complimentary way. Just amazing! Anywho, the first 2 shows I saw were Il Barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville), and I Puritani (The Puritans). While the Barber of Seville had some pretty over the top romantic situations, The Puritans really took the cake. While sitting and listening to the melodic voices of each singer, you kind of go into a dream like trance and really put yourself in the story. The Puritans storyline was basically a lady named Elvira wanting to marry a guy she liked who went off to battle. After he returned, and they were to be married, he goes off with some other lady (who is later revealed to be his queen, which he saved from execution). When Elvira finds out, she goes mad because of her lost love. After a while, he comes back and explains everything. They confess their love for each other (through like an hours worth of singing), they marry and live happily ever after.
I have never really thought of love in as dramatic a way as they did back then. Two people could barely know each other but fall so hard, so fast, even to the point where they wait for months or even years to be reunited. They fought hard for their love. No mountain was too high, no valley was too low. Now, I don't know about any of you, but I've never quite experienced anything like that. When I moved to NYC, I broke up with my boyfriend at the time, and he didn't seem to give a hot darn! People these days seem to just give up super easy on love. There is no fight anymore! At the first sign of not working out, we are willing to throw in the towel. There is so much more divorce compared to just 100 years ago. Also, it seems as though people are more afraid to profess their love these days. It can often take super long for a dating couple to say those 3 words. When they do, it's a huge deal. Alternatively, it can even be perceived as a turn-off in some situations. Crazy! There seems to be some sort of power struggle between who says it first I suppose. But if you do, you do. Better out than in is what I always say.
The last show I saw was a collection of Cole Porter songs sung by a group of extremely talented individuals. Now, honestly, I didn't even know who Cole Porter was before I went to this show, but when they started singing his songs, there were a few familiar ones. This show wasn't just singing his songs though. There was also a speaker who talked about Porter's life and described his musical style. I believe he was the first openly gay composer and songwriter for Broadway. Even though he WAS gay, he married a woman, who knew that he was gay, and they seemed to be perfectly peachy together! His music was also very romantic and led me to think about how the music of today isn't nearly as such. We no longer compare our love interests to a Shakespeare sonnet or the smile on the Mona Lisa. Now, we get compared to jeeps and bank accounts that want to be ridden and spent (whatever that means). Is this a mere reflection on our society as a whole? The love stigma?
Well everyone, if you have plans for tomorrow or not, just remember, love CAN be very complex, but it can also be extremely simple. It CAN be deep and all-consuming, mountain climbing, English channel swimming, or it can be sharing your last fry! It is whatever you choose. It is whatever you allow. While waiting for a storybook romance (if that's your thing), remember that there is so much love that can be given in the meantime; friends, family... yourself! I do admit, it's fun to think about an over the top romance every once in a while. Unfortunately, I think some of us may be too stuck in our subdued modern perception of practical companionship to go back to the days of Prince Charmings and Cinderellas. But seriously though, don't worry about waiting for the right person who shares your viewpoints on what a love should be. In true fairytale form, wait forever if you must! There really is no time limit. And who knows, sometimes the people you least expect to end up with can turn out to be your happily ever after. Whether you like it our not, life is a weird twisted, romance novel.
P.s. No but seriously, take Cinderella for example. The guy met this broad once! For a few hours! In a mask!! He jumps through HOOPS to find her. Who does that these days?
P.p.s. I admit, after the opera, I did a bit of singing in the shower. I'm telling you, I can hit those high notes!
P.p.p.s. All of these shows have also sparked quite a creative bug in me. This week I will begin working on my greatest masterpiece yet...