Love is like cake.
It’s gooey and enticing on the surface. It’s spongy enough underneath for room to expand.
But, more importantly, it doesn’t need our verbal assessment of it to be enjoyed.
Ya just eat it.
So, why can’t we just eat it and shut up?
This is what I thought as I read a recent article, however hilarious it was, about “love lives” in the modern age. The author’s take was that we’re mostly terrible at expressing our feelings when it comes to intimacy. We use phrases like “we’re talking” and “we’re hanging out” when someone asks us about someone we like. And while I don’t disagree with our poor self-expression as a culture on a more general level, the implication here was that that’s categorically bad when it comes to love. Is it? I feel like it’s only “bad” if the person you’re asking already felt bad about it before you asked them to start analytically macerating his love life with a knife. While I love his term “vicinitizing” (his made up word for just happening to be in the same place but, god no, not on purpose, because I don’t know what we are to eachother and don’t wanna seem desperate), not all of his article resonates with me down to my own gooey center. I mean, yes, the culturally programmed part of me wants to analyze every life situation and decide which file of my cephalic filing cabinet to put it under:
“Are we on a date?”
“Is this a relationship?”
“How many calories do you have in you?”
(All these questions are directed at the same object, incidentally).
But a larger part of me steps outside of that brightly lit interrogation room of my internal police station to realize I’m being both the suspect and the bad cop to myself by asking any of this at all. And that needless wondering comes from a place of being afraid. Afraid of dying alone. Of not having someone there every day as a human blanket and to center me when I’m too spineless or lazy to do it myself. News flash, Ash: we all die alone. But before that happens, we also all have love everywhere – in every direction. Just like the Bjork song says.
It sounds campy, but if you give off authentic loving vibes (and not just from your loins), you get it back. You get it back in the form of a smiling cashier. You get it back in the form of a hug or a “thank you” from a friend who needed help. You get it back from your kids or nieces or cousins if you have them. The sense of lack happens when we don’t get it from where we want it how we want it. How stubborn is that of us? Love is love is love. And it doesn’t need definitions or parameters. When you put a label on parts of it and say it’s romantic or friendly or familial, you’re cutting it all up and giving away the pieces. Then, when the slice you really wanted (with the icing cartoon Garfield on it) isn’t given to you, you can’t even imagine lowering yourself to accepting another slice even if it’ll be just as satiating and only looks different from all the other slices. That’s just cutting off your nose to spite your face. But we don’t have to live like that anymore. Language is just a metaphor for experience. And often a bad one. All the best bits get filtered out in translation which is annoying. Why bother? Just eat the effing confection and be delighted. So, as your magnanimous ruler, I hereby give you all permission:
Go forth and love without limits.