Confession time (this is gonna be a long one). I’m a romantic. A hopeless romantic who is always looking for who is going to get together and when in movies and TV shows, even if the movie/TV show in question falls in the action genre or the sci-fi genre. I don’t care. I can’t help but look and hope. Then when characters do get that dreamy look in their eyes and you start to see their mouths inching closer together, something inside me shouts for joy at someone finding love and joy, even if it can only be for one night. I still love Disney movies and I smile like a fool every time I watch or just remember the ending of Beauty and the Beast, where she holds Beast in her arms (by the way, why was he never given a real name? Way to go Disney) and he says “At least I got to see you, one last time.” I positively melt, as they say. Then when he’s human again and she reaches out to touch his hair and looks into his eyes, *sigh* (is there a proper way to punctuate a sentence with *sigh* in it? Idk, it’s an unprofessional blog, deal). Beautiful scene, wonderful story, a “tale as old as time.” And worthy to have survived that test.
Alright, now you know the smart mouth Wiccan loves romance. Here’s a little oddity about that particular trait that has actually developed within the last year. One of the best books I read in 2011 was Shadowfever by Karen Marie Moning. If that seems like a random insert, just hang with me for a moment. The entire Fever series was built around the knowledge that the Unseelie King, former King/Consort to the Seelie Queen, created the dark fae, the Unseelie as it were. Do you want to know why? This might be a spoiler, but I figure it’s insignificant enough. He created the Unseelie almost by accident. They were his attempts to recreate the Song of Making, I believe it is called, which only the Queen has access to. This desire to recreate the Song is not just a bid for power, for once in history. It was, however, a bid to make his lover, his “concubine” immortal, a fae like him. All the pain and misery that the fae and humans alike went through as a result of the Unseelie King’s creation was because he loved.
To sum it all up, I’m going to insert my favorite quote from Shadowfever, which also happens to be one of my favorite book quotes ever.
“He’d loved her for all time.
Before she was made.
After he’d believed she was gone.
After he’d believed she was gone.
Sunshine to his ice. Frost to her fever.” – Pg. 653 in the paperback edition
This brings me to the point I am trying to make about my preference in romance: I like stories about lovers who have loved each other for a long time. The epic love that can span a lifetime, even perhaps across centuries. The kind of love that has people chasing each other through heaven and hell because they cannot bear to be apart. The chance love stories where people meet and fall in love (and in the sack) in one night kind of bug me at this point. Perhaps it is because of how I see my generation acting that I do not like that kind of love story anymore. Too many people I know swear up and down after a week that they are more in love than they have ever been in their entire life. A month or so later, girl ends up pregnant, they break up, kid pops out, and there’s a new great love in aforementioned girl’s life. I don’t buy it. I think too many people mix up lust and love, especially in my generation. I am not sure why, but there it is.
Not everyone will have that great love in their lives. Some are lucky to just find someone they can stand to spend the next fifty years with. But the realization and what it takes to get to the point where you can stand to spend more than a night with this person does not happen over night. Relationships are work and I like stories that present that with a careful and meticulous craft. I love the idea that if you can make it work in today’s tough world, full of temptations as it is, that perhaps you were meant to be. Perhaps in a past life you danced with that person in a ballroom in some distant country, or laughed and loved in a wooden hut in the rainy hills of Scotland centuries ago, or something like that.
The movie What Dreams May Come is fantastic for two reasons. One is how it presents the afterlife, full of wonder and discovery and eternal joy. Two is the idea of soulmates. Twin souls, as Cuba Gooding Jr. explains, who are so connected they find each other lifetime after lifetime. The part where Robin Williams’ ghost stands behind his wife at the gravesite and tells her he’ll never leave her and she screams, it gets me every time. The sentiment is amazing for one thing, but what really makes that scene is the sense that she knows he’s there with her, but she doesn’t believe that is possible, so the end result is it is hurting her and possibly driving her insane. I think he realized that and that was why he left her two minutes later. And he would have waited in the afterlife for her, however long it took. But nothing can ever be easy, especially when you are talking about something as fantastical as soulmates. It is that natural balance of the universe, which I wholeheartedly believe in, but that’s an entire other blog.
Perhaps my generation thinks they love so easily because they were never taught the difference between love and lust. And to top it off, we came up in a world filled with stories of couples falling in love after only a night together and then they live happily ever after. We’re taught to believe that and some of us take it at face value. I won’t deny the possibility, but I believe that is even rarer than finding your true love, that person you will love for eternity and hunt through heaven and hell. The soulmate you would hunt for through heaven and hell alike, that is the best kind of story. Somehow, it seems more real.