Forty-Something Years in Ninaland


What’s Love Got To Do With It?


So I met a guy who lived in a trailer with his mother. I’m not going to judge and either should you. (Just to give you a clue what a big deal it is that I don’t care, my father thinks 100K is the minimum salary my future husband should make). I honestly gave this guy a chance, however the problem was I didn’t find him attractive. What makes someone attractive? He had all that going for him but it was the physical that turned me off. I’m being serious when I say it wasn’t the trailer that turned me off, it was his look and his aura.

But what makes someone attractive to another person? It’s this thing, this unnamable thing. Some of the men I’ve fallen for in my life were not objectively handsome. Do we still use the word ‘handsome’? It makes me feel British.

What happened to handsome gentlemen?

Now with Internet dating and stuff, it’s hard to come at it with any kind of old fashion charm. I’m not old fashion, but some things never get old. Like manners. Also I really do think a guy should pay on the first date not only because women don’t get paid as much as men for the same jobs, but because women are usually risking their lives by sitting in a car with a completely unknown man. How many dudes are worried about their safety on a first date? What are the chances that a man will get raped by a woman on a blind date?

If we trust you enough to be alone with you, have the decency to pay for dinner. It’s all we ask, a little decency.

And after the man pays, this does not imply that he gets sex. In fact nothing implies that he will get sex until he gets sex or she moves on. The Internet is speeding things up in the dating process, you can go from texting to sexting in a minute. You can go from friends to friends with sextual benefits before you know it. You can have virtual sex before actual sex, or even before you ever meet in person. This is a disturbing trend.

What happened to courtship? Romance?

I know a couple who after many years still write love notes to each other on post it notes. They don’t email it to each other or text each other. They leave them around the house or the car. They really do love each other. You don’t have to express yourself like that to love…but it’s neat.

What happened to love anyways?

It got lost in the shuffle of life.  A lot of people don’t really believe in falling madly in love anymore. They think it’s a myth, a fairytale. I think hate is a myth and a fairytale.

I still believe there is such a thing as true love, even though I haven’t found it yet. I’ve fallen madly in love with the wrong men though, at times. That’s how I know crazy love can exist for another person. I don’t mean the kind of insane love that is self destructive.  I mean the kind that brings you up.

I know, I know all this lovey dovey talk sounds like a bunch of bull to a lot of people. We’ve all been hurt by love and know its dark side. Love can suck. The last time I was in love my heart got ripped out. Would I do it again? Yes. Why? I don’t know, I like love.

I might seem like some dopey romantic…maybe I am…but is there anything really wrong with that?

Let’s talk about the times I thought I was in love. I actually remember the name of the boy who I was in love with in Kindergarten, yes as a five-year-old I thought I was in love. He’s a real person so should I say his name? Well, what the hell if he ever reads this he should be flattered.  His name was Derrek White. I am amazed that I can’t remember what six times seven is, but I know his name. He was the first boy in our class who could spell, “white.” He was the most popular boy in class and he kissed all the girls in our class but didn’t kiss me. I remember someone asked him why and he said he just couldn’t.

Yes, as a five year old, that hurt. I don’t know why I feel a tinge of that five year old hurt right now. Wow, it’s funny how much childhood matters. You see when I was in kindergarten I developed sweat glands a little early and Derrek White and his friends would run around chanting, “Stinky Nina!” and chase me around the playground at Livonia Little Tots school. Again I feel a pang of pain. However that didn’t jade me from believing in love. I would obsessively watch soap operas when I was a little kid, that crap was not about love, it was about senseless drama. However I know somewhere in there Luke really loved Laura, Bo really loved Hope.

You wanna know how much of a romantic I was, in first grade? I would make up soap operas with my numbers in math. I remember it very clearly: The number two was a dude who wore suits, five was the bad boy, four was the good girl and six was the back stabbing bitch. This is in the actual mind of a six year old.

Alright, I will admit I watched too much T.V. as a child. I have a couple friends who did not grow up with T.V. at all, both of them think this true love biz whiz is hooey and I’m a naive romantic. I think they are jaded, tainted. They’ve been in love before and they loved it too. There is something they don’t trust about it.

The thing about love is, it’s not exactly trustworthy. It changes, the euphoria goes away and sometimes you are married to your best friend, but every now and then, they can still light your fire. I think passion can be sustained, and it is for some people. I think they work consciously hard at it though, they make it a priority.

Anyways…as an adult another time I thought I was in love was with a guy who was in Med School in the Caribbean. He was an Indian Muslim, my parents were a wreck that he was a Muslim. In their defense they are old. So, we would talk on the phone, my phone bill was astronomical. We would chat online and then we decided to meet in his hometown of Vancouver. To make a long story short I made a few days trip there, his father was dying, he met me for one night and never came back.

Why am I telling you sad stories to convince you that real love exists? First of all because I’m not going to reveal my actual love life for the whole world to read. That’s a little too much, even for me. Second of all, if I can believe in love after having many instances where my heart was shattered, then anyone can believe in love.

I have never been in a love that worked out, but that doesn’t mean that love doesn’t win in the end. This is not the end. Even if I died today, I know I’ve been loved by at least a couple men.

We exist in order to love. I mean I know it’s not just romantic love. However romantic love is sooo wonderful. It’s so amazing. It makes life worth living.

I know most of you either love or have loved someone deeply, with all your heart. Remember that…don’t let it make you doubt that truth and love exist. That true love exists.

“Love is that condition in the human spirit so profound that it empowers us to develop courage; to trust that courage and build bridges with it;
to trust those bridges and cross over them so we can attempt to reach each other.”
Maya Angelou


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 October 14th, 2015  
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