[Editorial Note: Forgive me here for being a little esoteric. It's how my brain works. And while I might categorize this as a rant, it is almost (but not quite) a ramble. But if I have to start making in-between categories (rantble? ramblant?) I will just end up with too many SporkTags]
I was sitting there innocently listening to one of the Octomom's interviews and she said something that infuriated me. No, it is probably not what you are thinking. Sure, I am bothered by the fact that she has 4 times as many mouths as she does nipples. And gosh darn it, it also bothers me that it appears she can spend an almost countless amount of money on conception (and quite probably plastic surgery) when she doesn't have money to spend on living. And, yeah, I guess it also bothers me that the only real money she has is from a worker's comp claim. (I mean, really: your back hurts enough for worker's comp, but not so much as to refrain you from viral pregnancy?). No, the thing that really stuck in my throat was her reasoning for massive reproduction: her desire for unconditional love.
And that just sets me off. It seems as if love is the thing.... the One Big Thing™... that we all seek in our lives. And there is just so much wrong with how we see it. The concept of unconditional love always seems to pop up. But there is really nothing desirable about unconditional love. It is a false concept to begin with... and certainly isn't something to be desired. And it's about as damaging as the stupid ideas of the rescuing prince or destiny's soul mate.
Think about it for a minute. Do you want to love a child unconditionally? Really? If one of your unconditionally loved children kills another one of your unconditionally loved children, are you still unconditionally in love with the first? If they work hard to hurt you or scam you or steal from you... does your love for them not change somehow? At least a little? Isn't the fulfilling of conditions exactly what makes love desirable? Don't you want a child that loves you back and tries to please you? Don't you want a kid to become something? Don't you want to sit around the old folks home and talk about little Johnny the doctor with 2 vacation homes and his own airplane? (Don't get me wrong here... it's pretty unlikely that your goals for them will actually be their own goals... it's just that you want them to have goals and succeed at them.) The whole unconditional love for the child thing is some icky offshoot of the story of the Prodigal Son... another concept I have serious issues with, but won't get into for the moment.
Worse still is this concept of unconditional love as applied to romantic love. And that is even more common for me to hear -- the desire for a spouse that loves unconditionally. Really? So you can screw around, gamble away all the money, drink yourself to a stupor every day and still want the person to love you like that hot young thing you once were? I don't think that is the least bit desirable. And the only reason I can possibly imagine for desiring love with no conditions is the expectation that you yourself will be an utter and complete shit. And if you really think that, you're probably already on the wrong track.
It is, in fact, conditions that we fall into (and out of) love with. It is the condition that there is trust and respect that makes us love. It's the condition that your partner brings home a steady pay check or makes dinner or mows the lawn or takes out the trash. Its the condition that he goes to the titty bar with $20 in his pocket and comes back home with change and no venereal diseases. Love is full of conditions. Love is conditions.
And I cannot tell you how many times I have heard it: a good marriage is hard work. I also cannot tell you just how much this irritates me. It comes from everyday folks, from friends and family and even from the "experts" on TV.
If a good relationship is hard work, that is a subtle hint to me that it just isn't as good as you think it is. That's like me claiming my 1975 British sports car is a great car that just needs a lot of work. (Why don't I divorce it? There aren't enough shrinks in the world to determine that.)
Isn't some measure of "good" synonymous with "how much maintenance is required"?
I am an expert in marriage... as I have done it more than once, so listen to me here. If you are in a relationship and constantly are thinking how hard it is, then it might just be time to think about something else. If you dread seeing your significant other and look for excuses to get away, then it might just be time to quit. And, oddly enough, if you really feel this way, there is a good damn chance someone else in this relationship feels this way, too.
Now I am not saying that every single day of your life should include champagne at breakfast, caviar at noon and your own starring role in your own personal porn flick. That would be unreasonable expectations. As long as you don't marry your own identical twin (which is probably illegal even in Massachusetts) there will always be differences. There may even be arguments. But these just shouldn't be the norm. If you can remember your last 3 arguments then you might have a problem. (Or you are a woman.)
And ask yourself: do you like the person? Not love, like. It seems like we are able to fool ourselves when it comes to the word love. We can rationalize and justify and say its love when gosh darn it, we don't even like them. (And if you don't like them, I dare say, you don't love them.) But it might just be important to like them... be friends even. Is this someone you would want to sit down with in front of the TV with a large pepperoni pizza and a 6 pack? No? Then they aren't your friend and they probably aren't your lover. If you don't want to spend an evening with them then consider you might not want to spend a lifetime with them either.
You should want to hang out. Not that you don't want/need time apart, but you should look forward to time together. You should also sometimes have to suppress that stupid smile when you see them. You know the one... the one you had back during the first week when all you felt was lusty sunshine.
The smartest person I have ever read once put it somewhat like this (and forgive me if I mis-paraphrase): The person you love should reflect your own highest values. In other words, if you are a bright, smart, funny, tremendously attractive person and you are dating a scum of the earth low life -- you have issues. You don't much care for yourself -- and you probably don't really care for the scumbag either. You are going to find out that one day -- either in the near term or in the distant future.
It's much better to look back and think about all the good times you've had than to think about the time you've wasted.