21 Days of Posts – Day 3 – Romance

Est. Reading Time: 4 minutes

Hello to all who have decided to follow along as I post for 21 days straight as part of our church fast. As you can see, each entry is numbered as a particular day, so if you are reading this and the title above doesn’t say Day 1, then you should stop now and go read from Day 1, or take a peek at Day 2 and pick a topic you are interested in. Thanks for being brave enough to join me.

It’s Day 3 of my 21-day post sequence and I know many of you are wondering “is this just some kind of Internet confessional?” and are about to quit reading from either boredom or horror. Bear with me for this post, as it does have a point.

It is time to play some self-imposed “truth or dare”.

Want to know a big, ugly, weird, juicy, truth about me?

Sure you do…

I’m a heart-fluttering-weepy-falling-over-stupid romantic. Yep, I confess, that’s me. It will never, ever come up unless I bring it up, so here it is. Welcome to my hidden thoughts…

I’m a sucker for a good love song (The Cure’s Love Song or Dave Matthew’s You & Me are good examples), a sad break-up song (Liykke Li’s Possibility* and The Cure’s Apart both prime examples), various Nicholas Cage movies (The Family Man, It Could happen To You, City of Angels), some Nicholas Sparks books/movies, and even crazy stupid romances like Twilight (you are free to laugh hysterically at this point, if you didn’t start laughing at “Nicholas Cage”).

People like me love both the romances that make perfect sense and those that don’t. The real question is why are we drawn to contrivances such as impossible romances? Isn’t love and romance hard enough without fighting social norms, ridiculous twists of fate, and death itself? I would wager we (us romantics) have been fascinated with the impossible romances since even before Romeo and Juliet.

Which is why all kinds of people were drawn to Twilight…all three books and four movies. We’re drawn to stories where it seems impossible any peace or equilibrium can be found in a potential relationship. We’re particularly drawn to stories where a huge sacrifice must be made by one or the other romantic partner, or by both of them, to make the romance work. Twilight has this motif in spades. City of Angels also invokes this theme of ultimate sacrifice in pursuit of love. Sometimes it works out great, a la Twilight, sometimes not, as in City of Angels (oops, mini-spoiler).

We like to see the happy couple stay together forever after overcoming such adversity. Sometimes we get that glimpse, sometimes we don’t. It all depends on what idea the story creator wants us to take away from the story. Does the author want us to believe it is better to love deeply for only a brief moment in time after overcoming all odds, or does he want us to finish the story, or movie, with a perfect sense of “all is well” because the main couple fought and overcame <insert terrible adversity here>? Some would argue one is better than the other. I find them equally satisfying, if the author does their job correctly.

When Harry Met Sally is one of my favorite movies of all time. I tell my wife that is “our” movie. Some couples have “their” song…we have “our” movie. The movie is about friends who eventually become lovers, who eventually marry, but along the way fight with every fiber of their being at various times to reach a different goal. The movie falls into the “leave the viewer happy” category, and not just for the main protagonists.

Other movies, like The NotebookThe Family Man, and City of Angels all show the work and/or sacrifice that went into the relationship, but leave the viewer, if not sad, at least a bit melancholy at the end. We see incredible devotion and love displayed by those in the relationship, and we see them happy, for a bit, then the movie shifts and moves on, just like time moves on.

I have to admit that romance as portrayed in books and movies is usually problematic. That’s part of what draw us to them. My favorite book/movie series to pick on, Twilight, has all kinds of problems and has been lambasted by critics for its glaring relationship issues (but I’ve read the entire series at least three times). Books and movies by Nicholas Sparks are so dependent on outlandish twists of fate that we all usually breathe easier because we don’t have to suffer through what his characters experience. But we still indulge in escaping to those fictional landscapes, if only to shake our heads at the characters as they struggle.

We haven’t even touched on one of the the most difficult aspects of most book and movie relationships, that of the “love triangle”, where gut-wrenching, heart-rending decisions have to be made by the characters involved. Sometimes the author will ease us out of that frightful tension with a unicorn-and-rainbow solution (see the Twilight series, from New Moon to Eclipse to Breaking Dawn), but sometimes they will not (see The Notebook and the decidedly unromantic Hunger Games series), and we have to vicariously experience the heartbreak and fallout from someone’s decision. At least it is vicarious, and not real.

Yes, love, romance and relationships are hard enough without crippling diseases, terrible accidents, and <gasp> vampires. Why do we subject ourselves to the fictional heartache? Don’t we have enough hurt to deal with? Maybe, but we get to experience, and then discard (sometimes with effort) the pain and suffering of another, and maybe, just maybe, experience a taste of unrepentant and wildly ridiculous romance without disrupting our real lives. Catharsis is a powerful tool and running ourselves through the wringer of fictional, impossible romance every now and then is probably healthy (but I’m no expert).

So what is the point, you ask? I remember; you were promised a point. The point is that as much as these crazy, impossible, fictional romances may appeal to (some) of us, the greatest, craziest, most possible of impossible love stories is that of our God desiring to be in communion with us, his children. This REAL love story has it all – a complete lack of equilibrium, an unimaginable sacrifice, even a happily-ever-after. It outshines all other love stories ever written. May the love of God wrap you up in complete contentment, or as complete as it can get on this earth, for the duration of the fast and beyond.

Thanks for reading all the way to the end! I sincerely hope it was worth it to you and that you will continue to read along with my fasting journey.

*This song, I believe, was originally written as a break up song, but the sequence of scenes it is used with in New Moon make it even more wrenchingly impactful. I can’t listen to the song without hearing Bella’s desperate screams of emptiness. Stupid romantic…

Photo Credit – Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

Repost – My Inaugural Post on the WordPress Platform

Est. Reading Time: 4 minutes

Here is another gem from the past – my first post after moving from Blogger to the WordPress platform. Like the previous repost, this one is a little raw, and after reading this post and my previous one, you may be done with my site, as my political leanings are spilled out all over everything. I urge you not to leave, but read some other posts, and have a dialogue with me through the comments. I won’t call you names as long as you reciprocate, and even if you do, I still won’t call you names, but I will post your comments in the Hall of Shame (that place where useless ad hominem attacks and silly name-calling go to be seen by everyone who checks out the site).

Inaugural Post Seems Random, But It Is An Allusion – originally posted April 4, 2013

Here I am!

I posted on my other blog over two weeks ago that I had a new blog site and that it would be more personal, close-to-my-heart topic oriented. I am covering a wide variety of topics in this post, but it really is not random, I promise.

First, I want to rant a little about the ongoing, immensely frustrating “ammo shortage”. I enjoy shooting, but now that I have come back around to focus on it, I can’t find ammo to shoot. It is ridiculous to go to my local Wal-Mart and not be able to find ammo of any kind except for my shotgun. I don’t have exotic firearms, just .22s, a .30-30 rifle, and a .45 1911 clone (and my shotgun). I should be able to get that ammo easily, and not pay through the nose for it. The last time I bought .22 ammo from a reputable reseller, I still spent $0.08 a round for it. The last box of .30-30 ammo I saw (at WalMart) worked out to a dollar a round.

I don’t think so.

I’ll just use my .22 rifle, which is a single-shot bolt-action, and shoot what I have very S-L-O-W-L-Y.

It is not that there is a shortage in actual supply, just that “entrepreneurs”are capitalizing on the fear that some gun owners have that they may not be able to buy ammo in the not so distant future. They snatch up large quantities of ammo and sell them on sites like GunBrokers.com for ridiculously inflated prices. As long as others continue to pay these prices, there will continue to be a “shortage”. Stop buying over-priced ammo!

Follow the advice offered in this YouTube video by “beelikestowatch” (Caution: In his passion he does use some coarse language)

Cool your heels and let the vultures eat their investments. Speaking of vultures…

While there are still highly flawed gun control bills floating around, both at the state level and the federal level, it looks as if we may scrape by this frenzy and return to some semblance of status quo – at least at the federal level. Some areas will be impacted by state legislation. Some states, namely Colorado,Connecticut, and New York along with others, have passed some nonsensical bills to limit magazine capacities, “strengthen” background checks (another illusion – more on that shortly), and introduce other mostly useless measures to improve gun control. Someone should tell them that “gun control” can only be improved at the range…

The next illusion I want to clear up is the so-called “generally supported” measure of improving background checks, now cloaked in the innocuous term “universal background checks”. These bill must be stopped. Think about it. The goal of these bills at the federal level is to make sure that criminal and “unfit” persons are not able to purchase guns, even in private transactions, much like it is in California now.

How is this accomplished?

In short, the government must first know about every gun currently owned. That means a database of guns, with all of the owner information included in those records. What happens after that? I can’t explain this any better than YouTube personality “nutnfancy”. Watch this video of his for an excellent description of the “universal background check” insanity.

Speaking of insane… would you believe that Our Dear Leader (POTUS), who has never had a budget to constrain him his entire presidency (good thing, too, as he would break it every time) and who has spent recklessly (to put it mildly) his entire tenure, has declared April “National Financial Capability Month”, with the stated goal of helping Americans learn how to live within a budget and make wise financial decisions.

You can’t make this stuff up!!!

Free political humor!!! You can read all about it here.

Enough said about that…

Finally, I want to end on a happy note (literally) by mentioning that if you are into smooth, well-mixed, ambient music, you should head over to Ambient Nights. While the site is in a bit of a transition, once you find the music (free forum registration is required) the journey through the site’s twists and turns is all worth it. Alex (the mixing genius behind Ambient Nights) works magic with the music there. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

(Sadly, it looks like the forum site is no longer accessible, but you can listen to this great music at MixCloud and as a bonus, it is easier to navigate than the forum site).

By the way, if you want more information from sources more “in the know” than me, check out “hickok45”, along with “nutnfancy” on YouTube and others that pop up in the recommendations after you watch one of their excellent videos. Get involved at the local level, contact your representatives and let them know what you believe, talk with other gun owners and keep pushing back against infringement on the Second Amendment.

Until I write again, stay safe, live life joyously, and always move forward (but not in that weird liberal “forward” way).