29 March 2011

Nervous Breakdown

"You know me all to well but you never had the chance
To find out who I really am, who I really am
I'm spinning round, I'm calling out
I'm gonna have a breakdown

I'm spinning round coming out I'm falling down
I'm spinning round coming out I'm falling I'm falling
I don't care, I don't care what you think of me right now
Cause I'm gonna have a breakdown"

14 March 2011

How Often Must We Say "I Love You" Part 2

Having given attention to his initial ramblings on love, I was introduced to the second installment of his "How Often Must We Say "I Love You"" thoughts. Once again, dear old Caesar-Édouard Perrin has taken to his computer and typed down his love-driven realizations.

This time, he delves even further into his romantic side and offers bits of advice on how to treat a lady. Admittedly, there were various circumstances when I felt the abject loss of hope that a man could understand the workings in a woman's mind - that men feel women's desires lean at times, towards the impractical and the illogical. How often do I hear men frustratedly exclaim the hopelessness of understanding women, and women quite conversely feel the same way.

"There's a lot of hooraw about how love can be quantified by how often you say "I love you," among other methods, but that's not the true measure of love. Saying "I love you" can become as routine as brushing your teeth, or as automatic as switching on your turn signal as you drive. A lot of people make the mistake of oversimplifying the concept of love, or dismissing it entirely as something capricious and sophomoric. The fact is, love is complex, it is formed through a complex series of emotions, and people are emotionally complex.

I wrote "How Often Must We Say 'I Love You?'" after I saw a question on my news feed that went, and I paraphrase, "How often do you say I love you?" The comments beneath this post was a feeding frenzy of posturing, one-upmanship, cynicism and abject ignorance. I was deeply affected and saddened by it.

A lot of people seem to lack the creative thinking to tell the difference between consistency and monotony. A man can kiss his wife in the morning, tell her he loves her while on the 7:30am ferry from New Jersey to New York City, have hothouse flowers delivered to her doorstep without fail at noon, dinner at Le Bernardin after work, spontaneous, passionate lovemaking in bed, and offer another I love you before falling asleep, and the wife can still feel empty and unfulfilled.

Crazy? Let's see what the woman might be thinking: She might be thinking that her husband sees her as nothing more than a living, breathing barbie doll. He cares not for her opinion on anything, she once tried to offer him a home cooked meal which he ate absently and without relish despite the fact that 1) she spent the entire afternoon preparing it, and 2) it actually was really good. She dissolves into bitter tears while scraping off the remnants of his dinner from his plate. He tries to make up for his insensitivity by inviting her to dine at an expensive restaurant, not knowing that he was actually adding further insult to injury. He has NEVER hand-delivered flowers to her. They're all sent from his office. (A man would ask, what's the difference? At least she gets her goddamn flowers.) And while their lovemaking is pleasurable, in the end she always feels like a nautilus machine, something he straddles, works out strenuously, and finishes by gloating over his own "maleness."

What kind of situation have we got here? We have a woman who feels that her husband isn't stimulating that part of her that makes her feel "womanly." She feels like a plant; watered, spritzed, and occasionally turned towards sunlight. She wants to be able to take care of him, be the source of happiness, to make him laugh, to make him smile, to hold his hand during times when he's vulnerable yet heartrendingly endearing.

We have a man who thinks he's doing his duty as a loving husband because he hasn't missed a box on the checklist. He thinks that by establishing a certain number of romantic gestures daily, and by being complacent to her material needs, should be sufficient for her to feel loved. He blindly refuses to see her as a living, breathing person, and believes that to ask for more than what he feels is his capacity for "generosity" is outright ungrateful.

Love is never simple. If it were, we could buy a jar of the stuff at Costco and gorge ourselves silly with love until we're just about sick of it, and that simply is never the case.

There are men who understand the gravity and responsibility behind committed love, and there are those who just want a woman to confirm their masculinity, and there those who just want a good time.

Each part of us sends us different signals of desire, whether you are a man or a woman. Each part of us desires and requires one form of nourishment or another. The mind requires synergy. The soul requires security. The heart requires compassion. The body requires physical contact. It is important not to isolate any of the signals of desire but to combine them to form a unified goal. The idea is not to find a perfect partner, but to find a partner who has enough wisdom, emotional and intellectual competence, and empathy to know what a woman needs. There are too many men who pursue women with the wrong goals in mind, and there are too many women who misrepresent men, either by refusing to acknowledge their base nature, or by translating their own desires for the purpose of sculpting the man they want into something he isn't.

Love is meant to be built. It doesn't sculpt, chisel or alter anything. Certainly it makes things different, but it is not meant to take away anything from anyone. This is one of the reasons why I don't say a woman is "unavailable," or "taken." Call me a pedant, but I do not consider women to be possessions. They still have free will. As man proposes and God disposes, a man must prove and a woman must decide. Once the bond is formed, there is no such thing as incompatibility. There is only compromise, cooperation and mutual understanding. Without it, it is only a lofty form of hypocrisy which cannot be described as love, only a poor imitation of it."

Leo Buscaglia, a reknowned writer and commonly known as Dr. Love has written, "I have a very strong feeling that the opposite of love is not hate - it's apathy. It's not giving a damn." Love is a constant giving of oneself, of being constantly thinking of the welfare of another more than of one's best interests. He adds, "Like any other living, growing thing, love requires effort to keep it healthy."

As an end note, Gloria Estefan sings, "Love on a Two-Way Street, Lost it on a lonely highway"."

How Often Must We Say "I Love You"

I was mindlessly wandering through my friends' profile pages when I chanced upon this interesting piece of reading that a friend of mine, Mr. Caesar-Édouard Perrin had composed. It caught my attention, as I feel there seems to be a scarcity of sensitivity and trivial sentimentality in the masculine psyche. His little mind adventure into the female emotional tendencies sparked an admiration on my end, for at times I find it rare that a man would bother himself with a woman's obsession over little, at times, inexplainably complicated way of perceiving things.

Thus, I requested his permission to export his Facebook note into my blog - perhaps for my reading convenience and also perhaps to aid propagate his epiphany.

"I feel that love is not necessarily best expressed in words. While it is most heartening to hear someone tell you that they love you, I feel that love should not be comprised of passing encounters or random fancies, but instead love should either be the cloud that you float upon, the pedestal that supports you, the blanket that comforts you. Love should be as constant and as all-encompassing as possible, and is best expressed not by three words, but by two: commitment, and consistency.

You wake. She sleeps. Kiss her eyelids. She may not know you did it, but her heart will remain warm for the rest of the day.

Got time to spare? Make her breakfast. Doesn't have to be fancy. Simple, sinful, the way she likes it. Butter. Maple syrup. Leave a rose on the tray.

You don't have to text her every five minutes, giving her the minutiae of your daily routine. You don't have to tack a poem on her fridge everyday before you walk out the door (although that would be nice once in a while). But you can be considerate. Try to be home when you say you will. If she asks you to pick something up on the way back from work, don't forget to come back with it. As often as possible you should make her feel like she is a part of your life. That she is important to you. Be considerate. Know her, understand her, feel for her. You're at the supermarket. Do you remember whether she likes dill or sweet pickles? Little things like these matter to a woman. If you remember what she likes, if you pay attention. Committed, consistent.

You don't have to bury her in balloons, greeting cards, roses, teddy bears and chocolates every time you return home. (Although now and then it would be very sweet of you to do so.) Instead, kiss her on the mouth, linger, and tell her with your eyes and your smile that you are glad to be home, that her arms around your shoulders are the solace that makes even the most tiresome day at work seem worthwhile.

Dinner. Ask her how her day was. Tell her how yours was. She cares for you, she wants to know how you've been. Be happy for her successes, concerned for her troubles, and be ready to defend her when you must. You are her knight, she is your princess; perhaps not in the lofty horse-drawn carriage castle-in-the-clouds Cinderella type way, but in the more prosaic 21st century concrete jungle manner, but that doesn't make knighthood any less romantic, or any less necessary. When a man loves a woman, the man means so much more to a woman than a man could ever hope to fully understand. When a woman loves, she remains a foundation of strength, a core of compassion and empathy. It is not so much that she wears her heart on her sleeve, but rather that she entrusts to her man the keystone of her foundation. For a man to fail a woman is to witness her collapse, and while she can indeed be rebuilt, for a woman is strong, what emerges from the detritus may not be the same woman.

Bed. Be her lover. Be her protector. As you take, so should you give. When you are both spent, don't let her go right away. The thin sheen of sweat that glistens upon your bodies will quickly grow cold, clammy and uncomfortable. Hold her. Do not abandon her to the soul-stabbing chill of isolation. Allow her to savor the afterglow of your mutual pleasures. And when she finally begins to drift into the land of dreams, whisper softly in her ear, "I love you." You may have only said it once today, but you will mean it, and she will believe you. Yours will be a love without uncertainty or trepidation. Hers will be a trust that will be founded upon your promise of commitment and consistency. You are her keystone.

She sleeps. She might not have heard you say you love her, but her heart will remain warm for the rest of the night."

As another dear friend of mine has oh-so-often, quite wisely expresses, "God is in the details".

It is in the minute and often discarded trimmings that bring a bit of meaning in certain acts. People have often bothered with packages more than the content. To me, specifically, an expensive store-purchased bouquet weighs exaggeratedly less in my heart next to a simple hand picked flower chosen specifically because of an underlying story between two people. As Anubis would weigh your heart against the feather of justice, it best be said that women tend to weigh a man's heart against the feather of sincerity and thoughtfulness.

Then again, I wish I can generalize for all - yet, women in current surveys have proven that money has increasingly improved a man's desirability in their eyes contrasted against that of love. Practicality comes into the picture and then love becomes quite an anomaly, perhaps a secondary and optional add-on to a successful relationship. This I would like to merely state, and leave hanging for the time being - best left for another day's discussion.