Tuesday, May 13, 2014

You Look Back, You Turn to Salt

One of Ma's favorite movies is Something To Talk About, where a really youthful Julia Roberts (has it been so long since 1995?) discovers her husband has been having an affair. It then turns out many affairs. 

Let it be clear: I do not, in any way, remotely tolerate adultery. What I can see the appeal in the film is how two people, young and "in love," change, but they don't see the change. They focus instead of what had been, instead of what they are now, believing what is important is what they had, as opposed what they can give now.  
At the end of the movie (obviously, spoilers ahead) they acknowledge that they are no longer the same people, and date on that premise, pursuing not only the new model of their relationship, but their career dreams as well. Marriage can outlive even the vagaries of self-improvement.

Mary Elizabeth Williams divorced from her husband, then dated him again, and committed to him again ("A Second Embrace, With Hearts and Eyes Open"). They didn't try to reclaim that ancient youthful "magic". Time has, should make you a different person. Which should mean the relationship morphs as well. 
But falling in love again after a breakup is no simple matter of retreat. We are not the people we were when we met two decades before, and we had no desire to relive a marriage that had, to the best of both our recent memories, failed unequivocally.Yet if we had taken the leap of faith it takes to end a long-term relationship, surely, we figured, we could muster the even greater trust it would take to open our hearts again.
Don't look back. Go forward.
Nobody writes songs about sitting on the edge of the tub while a man applies topical antibiotics to your oozing skin graft. There are no poetic odes to women with gaping scars, no sonnets to men who may be wearing the same shirt for the third day in a row.
But maybe there should be, because everything I thought I knew about love at 24 seems pretty absurd now. I didn’t know then that a wonderful relationship would one day become unsustainable. I couldn’t have imagined that later on, strangely enough, it would become a new kind of wonderful.
Lehavdil, even when a favorite cosmetic is discontinued and I plunge into a flurry of mourning, Ma firmly tells me something better will come along. It usually does. After all, as I posted yesterday, I've reconciled with eye pencil. Who knew?  

Wait, I don't think that metaphor is the best. OK, that grand time one has with a new love is the eye pencil, not the significant other. The relationship itself is the pencil. Feel free to realize that the pencil is getting a little stubby or a little runny or otherwise defunct, try going for a new tack. They have great long-wearing formulas around now.  

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