Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Greatest Love Story of All TIme

With a title like this, you must be a little suspicious. I am not talking about my own relationship with the love of my life, Hank. I am not talking about some epic but fictitious love story. I am not talking about the love story of two people who have been together for 75 years and are still in love. What I am talking about I will get to later.

First, the worst love stories of all time:

Remember, this is not based on entertainment value, just sick and twisted "love," Some other suggestions include Beauty and the Beast, Leaving Las Vegas, Natural Born Killers, Love Story, Silence of the Lambs, My Fair Lady, Oedipus, Closer, Leap Year, the Bounty Hunter, and "my first marriage" (not mine, someone else's), but these are my personal favorites:

5: Gone With The Wind

Some people consider this a great love story. It's a great story. It is historical and we see the transformation of a beautiful, naive, selfish southern belle turned into a hard working alcoholic who finds "true love" with a man who, in the end, she can't have. She treated him badly, pined after another woman's husband, and ultimately lost her husband when she finally realized she loved him. The two, of course, are Scarlet O'Hara and Rhett Butler. Rhett scorned her, mocked her, made unwanted and inappropriate advances toward Scarlet and others, but truly wanted her. He finally made her his wife, and they continued a marriage full of infidelity, callousness, and ridicule. Scarlet realizes, when she is basically offered Ashley, by his dying wife, that it was never him she wanted. He is weak, but Rhett is strong, and has awakened in her desires she never knew she had. These desires might be what we would call sadistic. Let's not overlook the fact that he not only raped her, but threw her down a flight of stairs causing her to miscarry his child. Sadistic, doomed, and selfish. Also, one of my favorite books and movies.

4: Pretty Woman

Julia Roberts is a hooker, and Richard Gere is a very wealthy businessman who picks her up one night. He is divorced and recently split from a girlfriend. He doesn't have time for a relationship, but somehow falls for a prostitute, who turns out to be intelligent, doesn't use drugs, and is classy when he dresses her up from clothing stores on Rodeo Drive. How romantic. He has a fear of heights, yet climbs up the fire escape of her apartment to rescue her from life on the streets. This does not happen in real life. Richard Gere's character will never be able to sustain a healthy relationship, and it is unlikely that Julia Robert's character will either, but most especially with each other. Wealthy, attractive, successful men do not fall for prostitutes. Completely unbelievable and glorifies an occupation that is ugly and born out of desperation on both sides.

3. Romeo and Julie

My favorite Shakespeare play. The debate on this play is lust vs. love. I studied Shakespeare at BYU with a man who's name was William Shakespeare, I kid you not. He went by Bill, and tried to be a P.E. teacher because he could not bear to be an English teacher with a name like that, but English, and Shakespeare in particular was his first love and won in the end. He argued on the love side. I tend to agree, because if the author says it's love, it's love. But, as my sister pointed out, the author may be expressing sarcasm in their "true love." This is a valid point, because Romeo is madly in love with Rosaline as the play opens, hopelessly pining after her even as he lays eyes on Juliet and decides she is "the one." Now, I do believe in love at first sight, and I also know that love does not conquer all, so I am first and foremost a believer in taking your time to get to know each other before jumping into marriage. Romeo and Juliet quickly marry, although their families are bitter enemies. Long story short, Juliet fakes her death, the messenger tells Romeo she's actually dead, he poisons himself next to her body, she awakes, and stabs herself in the heart. The true message of this story is not love, is not lust, but is the ridiculousness of such a feud. However, this kind of "love" is poison, quite literally in this case. True love does not cause one to kill ones self at the other's demise.

2. Grease

We all know the movie, the songs are extremely catchy. Summer love between Sandy and Danny. When they get back to school he is too cool for her, and she is very naive and chaste. He is hurtful, but they still like each other. In the end, she basically dresses loosely, which she thinks he would like, and he's hot for that. She completely changes who she is, which, mind you, is the person he actually fell in love with. This is gross. NEVER change yourself for a man. Or a woman. It's not real, it won't make you happy. Advocating this kind of "love" is despicable and I will never forgive Grease for it. I will always remember Mr. Brown saying, "This school will never do Grease as long as I'm here. Changing yourself for a man...ridiculous." He was grumbling to himself, but I heard it. He was the music teacher, constantly disagreeing with the theater director.

1. Twilight

Hands down, the worst love story of all time. There are so many, many reasons. I will just highlight a few. I've read all the books. They kept me hooked although I thought the writing was bad and the characters completely unloveable. I won't talk about underdeveloped characters or the way Bella unrealistically flies off the handle at the smallest nothing. It's Edward's obsession, invading her life by watching her sleep and trying to read her mind. And Bella's obsession toward him spiraling her into a ridiculous depression when he leaves, without a trace or explanation. Now, I was once a teenager in love and my 17-year-old depression of losing my boyfriend was scary when I think about my rational adult reactions to loss. But she doesn't DO ANYTHING and never completely gets over it. When someone good finally comes into her life and she starts maybe allowing herself to have some feelings for a guy who has her best interest at heart (Jacob), Edward flies back into her life, and they're back. An obsessed, sick couple again. Edward is possessive, and overprotective. She foolishly puts herself in harm's way causing the whole vampire family to have to battle and fight for her. She puts everyone in danger in her selfish need to be with Edward at all times. I could go on. I can only imagine the look of disgust on my face at nearly every page I read of this series.

The Greatest Love Story of all Time

I wanted to blog about the worst, and then decided I needed to counter with the best. I thought about it and it came to me in the last couple of weeks. There are a few lines of songs that I believe illustrate true, unselfish, uncompromising, unconditional love. The whole song may not necessarily be true for me, but these lines hit me very strongly recently.

"God Only Knows" - "I may not always love you, but as long as there are stars above you you'll never need to doubt it, I'll make you so sure about it."

"Until Now" - "I thought that I knew everything about love until now. Words to describe it I could always think of until now..."Cause I never loved anyone like you until now. I never met, and I never kissed, and I never loved anyone like this, until now."

"You are the Sunshine of my LIfe" - "You are the sunshine of my life, that's why I'll always be around. You are the apple of my eye, forever you'll stay in my heart. I feel like this is the beginning, though I've loved you for a million years."

"Annie's Song" - "Come let me love you, let me give my life to you, let me drown in your laughter...Let me always be with you. Come let me love you...You fill up my senses, come fill me again."

Some of you may recognize this kind of love, or have other words or songs to describe it. This is the kind of love I have for my children. I waited and waited for them to find me. But I have loved them for a million years while I waited. They are the sunshine of my life as crazy as they make me. I could not have explained this kind of love before I finally met them, it's all new. The total dependence they have on me is sweet in a frustrating way. The unconditional love they reflect back to me, and the way I know they were meant to be mine is like nothing I have ever known, and could not have been prepared for.

It's been different for me than for a lot of moms, including adoptive moms. But make no mistake. I love these kids in a way that is unconditional and makes me put their needs first, and, yes, I would lay down my life for them, but not in an unhealthy, selfish or suicidal fashion. I want them to be happy more than I want to BE happy, and will do whatever I can to make it happen.

When I first saw Henry I knew he was mine, and the first time I held Sam I became a mom, or Mom-mom, as I am known around here. And there is nothing else like it.


  1. What has been different for you than other adoptive moms? I'm curious.
    Great premise for a blog post! Very entertaining. The love stories we cherish are screwed up, so true. I would go so far as to categorize their appeal as rags to riches, Cinderella complex and Stockholm syndrome. Rapunzel is another; Disney's Tangled messed up the fairytale but totally should be included, as it's the only movie about the fairytale, to my knowledge.."

    1. I don't have that feeling of, "It's so rewarding," that I hear others talk about. It hasn't completed me. Not bearing the children myself, I felt that I might relate more to adoptive moms, but moms are moms, and a common theme is the rewards, and cherishing the moments, being grateful to be able to be a stay at home mom. I don't love being a stay at home mom. I love the children. I AM grateful that I don't have to work while they are still young, but I do not choose to make motherhood my career. It's hard to explain but when I read things that moms have said, I just don't feel the tone of their words within myself. I love the kids, I'm glad I'm their mom, I know they were always meant to be with me, and I thank God for hearing my prayers these last 10 years that they would find me, and that the things they would have to go through to get to me would be minimal. But I think my experience is not the norm.