"'Love' is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own."
- Robert Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land

go see my first love rant

You know, I think it's kind of silly to call falling in love falling. Maybe it feels like that to some people. In my experience it's more like flying, although not really. It's kind of like feeling lighter than air. It's a nice feeling. The part that bothers me is the randomness of it: you don't get to choose who you fall in love with, and often the mere fact of being in love with the person clouds your judgement about them. So it's not really a fair or rational choice. But despite that, it's not a bad gig. Usually I'd rather be in love than not, although if I'm not happy I usually don't want to inflict myself on other people. (hmm, caroline=pain. i think some people would agree with that...)

Anyway, because we don't usually get a choice in who we fall (for lack of a better term) in love with, it often happens that people like those who are "bad for them" or some such rubbish. Everyone you love will end up changing you in some way - for better or worse depends on both involved parties. Even if the relationship is one-sided (ah, unrequited love), you often learn something from it. (such as: a two- sided relationship only works if the other person knows 1) that you exist and 2) that you like them.) Anyway, enough of that garbage.

Love hurts. I fell in love, once. The kind of love where you want to be with a person all the time, touch him (I'm using the word "him" because it was a guy, in this situation) all the time (don't take that sexually; I think there's some kind of current that passes between people in love when they touch. It's nice.), and you're so comfortable around him that you could just fall asleep and drool and not be embarrassed. That's really what I miss about love.

When I said I was afraid of the word love, I meant that I was afraid to use the word love. But I'm also afraid to fall in love, because although love is wonderful, it, like all things, must come to an end. Breaking up is one of the most emotionally turbulent experiences ever; it's like being in a boat on a placid lake and suddenly coming around a blind turn into class 5 rapids. The boat flips over. You feel like you're going to drown. That boat image is stupid. If you want to know how it really felt, here's a letter I wrote to a friend about it:

hey, katester,
i just realized (in the middle of programming that stupid homework) that i didn't give you my official permission to tell eric how i was after being dumped like a sack of rocks. what exactly are you going to tell him? that i felt like my heart got ripped out and stepped on and pounded with one of those little meat-tenderizing hammers? that i walked around for days (weeks?) looking cheerful but feeling like a stone was sitting in the middle of my chest that i couldn't get rid of no matter how much i tried not to think about it or told myself i was over him? and that i would think i was happy but someone would say something or mention him and my mind would go all painful and then numb and the rock would come back in my chest and i would cry sometimes? i guess i laid a lot on my friends for a while; thanks for helping me through all that. it was hard those first few days. and it made me really tentative about liking people again; i couldn't even imagine it for a while. i mean, letting someone get that close to me. the funny part is, while i was going out with him, i told myself i didn't trust him enough, i should trust him more, but after he dumped me, i thought, how could i have trusted him so much?

you can tell him all that if you want. it really tore me up pretty good, didn't it? i hate to admit i'm weak and pitiful, but i was. it hurt a lot. so maybe i haven't experienced true love, but i think i do have emtions, and that i make them pretty obvious a lot of the time, which is why it knocked me completely over when eric told me i had none. i'm pretty light-hearted about it now, but it was a rough experience. so if he thinks unrequited love is bad, try having someone love you more than anyone and then throw you away and tell you they don't want you anymore. how's that for emotions? you know, this letter seems bitter and stuff, but i'm not. i think it's because when i was feeling all this stuff most strongly i was pretty bitter and angry, and i felt like crap. i mean, when the person you care about most evidently doesn't care about you at all anymore (and proves it by ignoring your very presence), it doesn't go far towards making you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. at least not in my personal experience.

i guess what i'm getting at is, go ahead and tell him how i was that week, because you were one of the select few who actually got to hear my (pitiful, heartbroken) side of it firsthand. sorry i had to unload all that on you AGAIN, but i guess it's all the stuff i wanted to tell eric when he said i had no emotions and couldn't feel love but didn't think it was worth the effort of typing in because it wouldn't change his mind about anything anyway. if you want to read/forward him parts of this letter (or the whole thing, i guess) that's okay with me too. i'm sick of having to act like the strong, invincible little butch girl all the time; i want to have friends who don't have stupid crushes on me because so far in the past month i've lost two of my three good guy friends that way, and i lost the fourth because he DUMPED ME a couple months ago. is it even that long? it seems like forever since he dumped me. i guess i've been trying to fit in all the stuff i missed out on, like getting to know my friends (especially girrrrl friends) better, and taking up lots of activities, which is going to destroy me sooner or later. :) well, i'd better get back to pascal now. but you have my permission to tell him, in my words or yours, what you think is necessary. k? love u - caroline

Woah. To make that long babble a bit clearer: After I got dumped, my friend (or so I thought) Eric emailed me and told me bluntly that I was a cold-hearted bitch who didn't know what love was (Eric, if you're reading this, that was for the sake of explanation, NOT to un-bury any proverbial hatchet... if it's ever been buried). Katie wanted to try to convince him that that stuff was untrue by telling him how I acted after being dumped. There.

That was one of the more traumatic experiences of my life, coming as it did at a time when everything seemed to be going wrong in my little world. But I got over it (rather quickly, actually) when I saw what other people had seen in him: that having friends had made him arrogant and annoying. He wasn't the guy I'd fallen in love with anymore, the sweet, thoughtful, gentle guy who'd go to great lengths not to hurt anyone's feelings. He'd gotten friends and didn't need to be a nice guy anymore. He had girls hanging all over him now. He wasn't a sweet loner anymore; he was a cocky popular guy. It made me sick; it also made it very easy to get over him.

It scared me that I had changed too, the same way he had. I used to be an insecure loner; when I switched high schools and met lots of cool people, I would bend over backwards for them, become a human doormat, go out of my way to make other people happy. But that's an exhausting way to live, as I realized, and as I narrowed my group of "cool people" down to a much smaller group of good friends, my behavior toward the world had changed. I'd like to think I hadn't pulled a Brad and become a bastard, but I was afraid I had. Yikes. But life is exhausting and ever-changing; there was no way I could have stayed the same. Nor could Brad. We've drifted apart and don't talk much anymore, which I find sad since I haven't loved anyone like that since. I'm sure I'll recover, when I find another person as wonderful as he seemed to me way back then. But until then I think I'll steer away from relationships. Hearts - and minds - need a while to bounce back from heavy stuff. Although I'm totally over Brad, I'm not over being hurt that bad. Not yet.

Related Thoughts:
o love thought #1
o next thought: love thought #3

"It's such a lie that you should do what's in your heart.
If everyone did what was in their heart, the world would grind to a halt."
- Angela Chase, "My So-Called Life"

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This blurb o' nonsense written by Sparky ( kumquat37@hotmail.com )
Written 01/29/98