I stumbled across two very interesting posts today in blogs I read regularly. Both are written by men, and both concern themselves with the conditions of love and/or a lack thereof. The first comes from Not30Yet, who has just (within days) ended a short-term relationship. The post he wrote immediately after the break-up was a bit contrite, and somewhat pining at the loss. A quick read of today's post will tell you that he's starting to get a bit... well... Irritated at the whole process. Maybe even disillusioned.
But disillusionment in love is a luxury only the very young can afford, as evidenced by yesterday's post over at WaiterRant, where our intrepid hero is still a bit wounded from a long-ended love affair, and waxes philosophical (and biblical) about the condition of solitude, loneliness, those nagging inner voices (a professor of mine calls them "chattering monkeys"), and resolve. Waiter is (I believe) in his very late thirties, early forties, and knows some things that Not30Yet hasn't had the chance to figure out.
First and foremost -- time is fleeting. At 27, you think you have all of it in the entire world. You can't imagine being forty, much less facing it alone. One day, you're 38, and you look up... on some Tuesday or other... and it occurs to you that all that time you had is gone -- along with you flat stomach and lineless forehead.
If you're a woman, and you have no children, every article about infertility catches your eye, and you are surfing the internet praying for that combination of amino acids and vitamins that going to preserve your eggs just a few more years until Mr. Right comes along.
If you're a man -- or at least, if you're Waiter -- you're going to think in terms of how your life reflects your level of success. Your "Legion" is going to let you know what a cock-up you are, and unless you're prepared to tell them to take a hike, you'll have to listen.
I guess what struck me more than anything is that I still don't really believe deep down that men take love all that seriously. I know, I know... it's wicked and unfair. I learned how men love from my father, who cannot or will not love. He has made it clear that he would prefer to be alone rather than have a loved one touching his stuff, because the stuff is more important than the love. It's something I have to get over, I realize. I'm working on it. But I have my own legion, my own band of chattering monkeys to overcome.
Give me a little time.