EVE: You never take me anywhere.
ADAM: There is nowhere else to go, Eve. This is the garden. The garden.
EVE: Bor-ing. And can’t you get an autumn maple leaf or something? That fig leaf you wear is so last year.
ADAM: Oh, here we go. God, you are impossible!
GOD: Hey, leave Me out of this!
EVE: And we never see anyone else. We never go out with other couples.
ADAM: There are no other couples yet!
EVE: Boring. More boring.
ADAM: Come here. Let me … calm you down.
EVE: Here we go again with more of that procreating thing. Always time for that, isn’t there? But go for a ride to the city or in the country? Never.
ADAM: What do you expect me to do when you walk around “jiggling” like that all the time?
EVE: Ugh! Men!
EVE: Whatever! God!
EVE: No, no, no, not you. Augh!
Some things never change, do they? The battle that rages between men and women has been going on for thousands of years. Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent. No matter how much technology advances to streamline things, “A kiss is still a kiss, a sigh is just a sigh.” Indeed, the fundamental things do apply as time goes by. Whether you met like Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman did in Casablanca or online finding your most “harmonious” match, there is no dynamic more interesting, addicting, fascinating and fulfilling than that “flame” between man and woman.
Look at some of life’s “homerun hitters,” who have been “taken out at the knees” because of the hypnotic allure of the opposite sex--people you think had achieved so much else in their personal lives that they would be above the petty nonsense that presents itself during the pursuit of the proverbial Adam or Eve. Under that spell, we are all putty in the hands of the object of our desire.
Head Over Heals
Bill Clinton took his presidency to the brink of impeachment, Tom Cruise labeled himself a love-smitten idiot while jumping on Oprah’s couch, Frank Sinatra attempted suicide over the loss of Ava Gardner, Owen Wilson tried something similar when Kate Hudson broke off their relationship, and Woody Allen left Mia Farrow for his very young adopted daughter, for God’s sake. Recent accounts of the life and times of Abe Lincoln even show that his wife was often given to rages of jealousy that were so over the top he was sometimes challenged to complete his presidential duties while having to appease her tirades. Outrageous as it all may seem, that very human side of all of us, celebrity or civilian, has a switch that can only be thrown by the passions stirred by the endless pursuit of the opposite sex.
What are we really talking about here? In a word--control. We all want to control the person we are most interested in so that he or she will see how much we care and balance that control by reciprocating our love. But it has been my observation that the death of romance has come about because of people’s desire to be insulated from pain or the chance of pain. Ironically, it is a loss of control that leads one to the most passionate, fulfilling experiences in life, simply called “falling” in love. A term like “falling” does not necessarily evoke “control,” now does it? Is it reckless abandon? Yes.
A Logical Explanation
In the movie Meet Joe Black, Anthony Hopkins’ character wants his control-addicted daughter to find someone to love the way he once cared for her now-deceased mother:
“Love is passion, obsession, someone you can't live without. If you don't start with that, what are you going to end up with? Fall head over heels. I say, find someone you can love like crazy and who'll love you the same way back. And how do you find him? Forget your head and listen to your heart. I'm not hearing any heart. Run the risk. If you get hurt, you'll come back. Because the truth is there is no sense living your life without this. To make the journey and not fall deeply in love--well, you haven't lived a life at all. You have to try. Because, if you haven't tried, you haven't lived.”
Let me repeat the most important line: “To make the journey and not fall deeply in love--well, you haven't lived a life at all. You have to try. Because, if you haven't tried, you haven't lived.” Are you getting this, folks? This is good preaching. “You haven’t lived.”
Legendary jazz guitarist B.B. King has stated that one should not even attempt to play the blues until one has had those blues so deep and so hard that the heart feels like it will break wide open. Then--and only then--can one truly play the blues. Well, the message about love is the same.
Yes, we are living in modern times and yes, they are more challenging in many ways than ever before. But I guarantee the one thing that allowed people to “get by” during the challenging days of their youth was the abandon and distraction of real love. Love that makes you hurt down to the bone when it goes missing, and love that takes you to the highest heights when it is real.
A Beautiful Thing
I’ve been best man at a number of weddings, but once I was somewhat reluctant in that role because the couple was very young and seemed destined for disaster. There was such bad karma from the whole experience I almost withdrew. At the bachelor party, I expressed my hesitation to the groom-to-be, and he smiled and put a hand on my shoulder. He looked me in the eye. “Fuzz,” he said, “there is only one thing that scares me more than beginning a life with this woman.” I nodded and returned his steady gaze. “Trying to even consider living my life without this woman,” he concluded.
That was more than 30 years ago. They are still married and very much in love. And man, it is a beautiful thing to see. Just like it always has been.
Ron Ciancutti is the Purchasing Manager for Cleveland Metroparks. He is not on Facebook, but he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org