Monday, March 31, 2014

If only for one summer.


How like a winter hath my absence been

From thee, the pleasure of the fleeting year!
What freezings have I felt, what dark days seen!
What old December's bareness everywhere! 
And yet this time removed was summer's time;
The teeming autumn, big with rich increase,
Bearing the wanton burden of the prime,
Like widow'd wombs after their lords' decease:
Yet this abundant issue seemed to me
But hope of orphans, and unfathered fruit;
For summer and his pleasures wait on thee,
And, thou away, the very birds are mute:
   Or, if they sing, 'tis with so dull a cheer,
   That leaves look pale, dreading the winter's near.

--W. Shakespeare, Sonnet XCVII

I make fun of people for loving anything too much; working out, their kid, their dog, their significant other. 
But sometimes something will remind me--a song playing in the background of a bar, a line from a movie, two people passing me hand-in-hand--and I remember a summer where every song was about new love, where my heart skipped beats when my phone rang, where even in moments of silence, my mind seemed filled with the noisy chaos of being in love. 

I remember being one of those people who wasn't afraid to be a fool in love, even if only for one summer. 





Tuesday, March 18, 2014

certain only of what she didn't want.

"[She] expected something very different out of love. She had reluctantly accepted suffering as an inevitable component of deep passion and was resigned to putting her feelings at risk. If you asked her what it was she was gambling her emotions to win, she would not have been able to say. She knew what she didn't want, however...."

--Vicky, Cristina, Barcelona

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Spinster Superstar

As the summer draws nearer and I consequentially inch (or, rather it seems, fly at a calamitous speed) towards turning 27, I find that more and more of the conversations I have with friends and family (and admittedly as well as embarrassingly with myself) center around the fact that although I'm single, I very rarely mingle.
On Valentine's day, the teacher whose class I tutor asked me to collaborate with him and my co-tutor on write-around love poems, to give the students an example of what a completed cooperative poem would look like. & where the stanzas penned by my teacher and co-tutor were very romantic, profound, and touching, my stanzas were sarcastic, pessimistic, and wry.
"You should give up on this lawyer thing and become an angry spinster-writer," the teacher joked.
"Can't you tell: this IS me giving up on the lawyer thing; this IS me on my way to spinster-dom," I barked back. & if I haven't entirely exposed my defensive, translucent, inner layers, the thing is: I have been thinking the exact things.
Am I doing this wrong?
If there's anything I've asked myself more persistently as of recent, nothing comes to mind (a close second, however, being: what kind of rash is this? Which is not only a cheap joke but also an embarrassing truth, as I suspect I've developed a latent allergy to tomatoes).
& though I usually proceed through relationships at a pace that would frustrate even the most precarious of snails (& you may believe that the sheer amount of relationships I've had negates that statement, but trust me, I take my sweet ass time when it comes to romance), I've lately felt a pressure that makes me second guess my molasses-drip methodology.
Today, I talked to my dad about things.

"Dad, when you talk about me, do you ever feel embarrassed?"
"That's crazy, baby. You're the best thing I've ever done. I would never be embarrassed of you."
"Thanks, dad. But I mean: do you worry?"
"Sure I worry; I worry about you driving around Texas late at night & not looking for deer, I worry that you're not checking your surroundings when you walk through parking lots, I worry that you're too quick to trust people..."
"Dad. I'm asking you something specific. Do you worry that I'm not where I'm supposed to be in life right now?"
"& where is that?"
"Married? Or like, getting married?"
"Here we go again," & I can almost hear his eyes rolling all the way in West Virginia. & so my dad puts on his southern drawl, the one he uses when he means to be mocking. "Well, shucks; I reckon it's a right tarnation ya ain't seen fit to be married before turnin' the ripe old age of twenty-seven." & you'd think this sort of thing is kind of cute; my Puerto Rican dad doing his hillbilly impression to alleviate the pressure. But just imagine growing up with it & hearing it, for example: when your first crush rejects you in the fourth grade; when you get your first period on a day your wore khakis to school; when the computer-lab teacher consistently picks on you for correcting her every time she mispronounces your last name; and a million other childhood traumas, or even now...
"Dad, I'm serious. This is real. This is a real thing that's happening to me...or, not happening, I guess?"
& my dad, who is marrying for the second time this July said, "My thing is, Lauren, no company is always better than bad company. I don't think you should settle down until you're 100% about someone. & when I say 100%, I mean 100%. You know why I married your mom? I thought she was good lookin' and I liked her cookin' (momentarily using his drawl again). That was it. There were other things but those were the major ones; all together, what I liked about her was maybe 90%. Now, I know you didn't go to law school so you could solve math problems, but that means I didn't like 10% of her. That's all. But 10% of dislike is a lot when you have to get through the rest of your life with someone. I know that for sure after 27 years of marriage."

Later, I was watching 10 Things I Hate About You and a line stuck out to me:

"Don't ever let anyone
 make you feel like
you don't deserve what you want."

I heard this line and my brain was like, Well, what do you want?
All I know is that it's a feeling--an inconvenience; a nagging, persistent hunger; a hopeless addiction. More than that, I can't say for sure but I know now that I won't feel bad or apologetic or guilty for expecting it and holding out for it. I won't settle for anything less than 100%.