Monday, January 05, 2009


The television ads mostly have to do with trying to sell us cars, beer, and fast food, but the subtext that gets our attention is sex.

“Buy this car and you’ll get laid.”

“Buy this beer and you’ll get laid.”

“Buy this pizza and, with your stomach full, you’ll forget about the fact that you are not gonna get laid.”

The ads don’t say this directly, but they might as well.

The Glass Teat may try to use sex and lust to sell you Useless Shit, but sex and lust are not the whole story. At least, once you get past your fiftieth thirtieth twentieth birthday. Love is more than just about how the plumbing works. Personality plays a crucial role in any relationship that survives past “Wham, Bam, Thank you, Ma’am.”

I suspect that more words have been written on the topic of Love and Human Compatibility than on any other subject, except perhaps on the topic of religion. And what is religion, after all, but one of the tools we humans use to manage our tendencies towards Sex ’n’ Violence, and to provide a framework for our relationships?

I’m not sure what impelled me to write about this topic. Perhaps it’s my daughters, both of whom are engaged in that eternal pursuit of the Ideal Significant Other...or perhaps it is old memories surfacing of my own youthful search for True Love.

Love is more than mere shared tastes or values. Those play an important part, but there’s more, and that “more” does not reduce to a few simple paragraphs. There’s physical attraction, mutual respect, an ability to communicate on the deepest level...and to recognize when communication should be temporarily suspended.

There’s trust. Maybe that is the most important component of the mix: a knowledge that the person you love will protect you from the slings and arrows of life and will never betray you.

It took me a long time to find someone that kindled those feelings within me. Oh, there were the inevitable false starts. Holding hands in summer camp...middle school...and the First Serious High School Relationship. All steps up the ol’ Staircase of Life.

There’s the first experience with pain and betrayal, and with loss. It’s no fun, but it is the price one pays for having a working set of emotions. Part of growing up. You cannot grab for that brass ring on the Merry-Go-Round without the risk of falling off the carousel horse and landing on your face on the asphalt.

But when you find the right person, somehow you know it... even if you don’t figure it out right away. As I did, thirty-three years ago. Within a few days of meeting She Who Must Be Obeyed, I knew in my heart of hearts that she was The One... even if I tried to delay overt acknowledgment of that fact for months, until it was too obvious for even me to ignore.

OK, enough philosophy. Now I gotta go write something about B.O., or farts. It’s how I roll.

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