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GENESSA -- ADVICE!!

Lady G Expounds Upon Love

If you would like to see my expoundings upon the topic of objectification, a topic which has some bearing upon that of "love" because it interferes so greatly with it, you may check out my blog, RANDOM RAMBLINGS, where, if you click on 2008 in the righthand column, you will not have to scroll as far to find OBJECTING TO OBJECTIFICATION (no, there is no direct link to that; just go to the blog, click 2008 and scroll, baby, scroll).

But I offer plenty of advice, albeit also random, here (and not just my own).

Mark Twain had some advice for girls:

First, girls, don't smoke--that is, don't smoke to excess. I am seventy- three and a half years old, and have been smoking seventy-three of them. But I never smoke to excess -- that is, I smoke in moderation, only one cigar at a time. Second, don't drink -- that is, don't drink to excess. Third, don't marry -- I mean, to excess.

I don't see how anyone could possibly argue with advice like that, but Oscar Wilde would find a way, disagreeing not only with what Twain said (if one were to take Twain at face value, not necessarily a wise thing to do) --

"Moderation is a fatal thing.... Nothing succeeds like excess...."

-- but with the very concept of advice::

"The only thing to do with good advice is to pass it on. It is never of any use to oneself."

He adds:

"Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught."

So much for advice... and yet Wilde naturally proceeds to pass on quite a bit of advice, and some of it concerns romantic love:

"Ultimately the bond of all companionship, whether in marriage or friendship, is conversation."

"If you want to know what a woman really means -- which, by the way, is always a dangerous thing to do -- look at her, don't listen to her."

Men want to be a woman's first love. That is their clumsy vanity . Women have a more subtle instinct about things. What [women] like is to be a man's last romance."

Wilde is far less cynical than usual when he declares:

"They do not sin at all/Who sin for love."

But I, rather cynical myself and not much less humble than Wilde, albeit far less famous (and notorious) have advice to offer, too, also to be taken with varying amounts of salt.

If you can't love yourself, who (besides your parents, who signed up for the job before you were even born) will love you? If you don't know who you are, how can you know if you're misplacing your affections?

It's all very well to say "do unto others as you would have them do unto you," but nobody says "unto" anymore, and no one is immune to surges of temper, hormonally or otherwise induced. But if you're going to apologize, make sure you're sincere and make sure, too, that you know for what you're apologizing. Above all, don't apologize for the other person's feelings. Apologize for your behavior.

It's easier to love someone who does not snore than someone who does... at least during the snoring.

You may be carrying around a bundle of resentments but you should dole them out one at a time, according to the topic of the argument. "You cheated on me three years ago" doesn't help you prove (or prove the villainy of) "you woke me up tonight."

Oysters are only an aphrodisiac if you both happen to like oysters. (I do. He doesn't.)

"I love you" is usually nice to hear but don't use it as blackmail, a bribe or pressure. Some people are more communicative than others and furthermore don't want to be beaten to the punch. "I love you too" should come naturally but if it doesn't, that doesn't mean the love isn't there. It just means the other person might feel more comfortable showing it than saying it. Come to think of it, don't use saying it as a substitute for showing it.

Doctor Laura is an idiot.

I keep a commonplace book and it's full of quotations, long and short, some famous, some obscure, some but a line long, others rather extensive. The topics in this book vary wildly, but some themes emerge upon close examination (I learn a lot about myself by looking at what this aging person thought to copy down in these aging pages): personal identity, dreams, cruelty, the human (and animal -- as if we were anything but!) mind, the nature of evil, love.... I don't have the book handy at the moment. You may wonder why, of all the wise and/or witty folk who chose to philosophize about love, I chose Samuel Clemens and Mr. Wilde as my spokespersons. Well, I didn't. They speak (quite well) for themselves, not for me. I speak for myself. But there are others who speak for themselves as well, and their observations and/or advice are also worth quoting here:

"Never go to bed mad. Stay up and fight." -- Phyllis Diller

"In real love you want the other person's good. In romantic love, you want the other person." -- Margaret Anderson (this one I have in my still-not-close-at-hand commonplace book)

"True love is a discipline in which each divines the secret self of the other and refuses to believe in the mere daily self." -- William Butler Yeats

"Love is what you've been through with somebody." -- James Thurber

"Love is the condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own." -- Robert A. Heinlein

"Love is the irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired." -- Mark Twain (no, we have not forgotten him! Not had Robert Frost, to whom this line is sometimes attributed.)

"All love that has not friendship for its base, is like a mansion built upon sand. " -- Ella Wheeler Wilcox

"You have to walk carefully in the beginning of love; the running across fields into your lover's arms can only come later when you're sure they won't laugh if you trip." -- Jonathan Carroll

"Life has taught us that love does not consist in gazing at each other but in looking outward together in the same direction." -- Antoine de Saint-Exupry

"Forget love - I'd rather fall in chocolate!" -- Sandra J. Dykes

"Without love, what are we worth? Eighty-nine cents! Eighty-nine cents worth of chemicals walking around lonely." -- Laurence Marks

"Anyone can be passionate, but it takes real lovers to be silly." -- Rose Franken

"Love is being stupid together." -- Paul Valery

"Love doesn't sit there like a stone, it has to be made, like bread; remade all of the time, made new." -- Ursula K. leGuin

"The heart has its reasons that reason knows nothing of." -- Blaise Pascal

"We waste time looking for the perfect lover, instead of creating the perfect love." -- Tom Robbins

"Love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image... otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them." -- Anonymous

"I don't wish to be everything to everyone, but I would like to be something to someone." -- (Ali) Javan

"To love is to suffer. To avoid suffering one must not love. But then one suffers from not loving. Therefore to love is to suffer, not to love is to suffer. To suffer is to suffer. To be happy is to love. To be happy then is to suffer. But suffering makes one unhappy. Therefore, to be unhappy one must love, or love to suffer, or suffer from too much happiness. I hope you're getting this down." -- Woody Allen

"Just because somebody doesn't love you the way you want them to, doesn't mean they don't love you with all they have." -- Anonymous (who apparently was quite prolific)



Erich Segal said, in his (to me extremely sappy) novel Love Story, which was made into a (to me, even sappier) film called (big surprise) Love Story, "Love means never having to say you're sorry." Sorry (oops, I must not love you!) but that's (to my admittedly brilliant, logical and loving mind) crap. Love means knowing when and how to say you're sorry.



My friend Marion liked some songs I didn't (and still don't) and often said I didn't like them because they were love songs and I had never been in love. I always responded that I didn't like them because I didn't believe them, musically or lyrically. Musically they were unpleasant and lyrically they were unimaginative and clich?. I have not changed my mind, now that I am in love. Good music is still good music and an apt lyric can knock me flat, but I am still unimpressed by "I love yoooou, yes I doooo," unless it's awfully darned catchy... and I'm not that easily caught.

So I've been trying to come up with some respectable love lyrics to share with you and what keeps running through my mind includes neither Moon nor June nor even Spoon. I can't shake off the Grateful Dead song "Box of Rain" somehow. It doesn't look, feel or act like a love song, but I think it's a love song of the truest kind. Here are the lyrics (by Robert Hunter and Phil Lesh; if you want to hear it you'll have to find their American Beauty album):

Look out of any window, any morning, any evening, any day.
Maybe the sun is shining, birds are singing,
No rain is falling from a heavy sky.
What do you want me to do, to do for you to see you through?
For this is all a dream we dreamed one afternoon, long ago.

Walk out of any doorway, feel your way, feel your way like the day before.
Maybe you'll find direction,
Around some corner where it's been waiting to meet you.
What do you want me to do, to watch for you while you are sleeping?
Then please don't be surprised when you find me dreaming too.

Look into any eyes you find by you, you can see clear to another day,
Maybe been seen before, through other eyes on other days while going home.
What do you want me to do, to do for you to see you through?
It's all a dream we dreamed one afternoon, long ago.

Walk into splintered sunlight,
Inch your way through dead dreams to another land.
Maybe you're tired and broken,
Your tongue is twisted with words half spoken and thoughts unclear

What do you want me to do, to do for you to see you through?
A box of rain will ease the pain, and love will see you through.

Just a box of rain, wind and water,
Sun and shower, wind and rain,
In and out the window like a moth before a flame.

And its just a box of rain, I don't know who put it there,
Believe it if you need it, or leave it if you dare.

And it's just a box of rain, or a ribbon for your hair;
Such a long long time to be gone, and a short time to be there.









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