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Monday Musings & Motivations – Part Fifty- Five — Love, Sweet Love

Love. Desire. Wish. Hieroglyphs.net.

Love. Desire. Wish. Hieroglyphs.net.

Oh love! Poets and writers have attempted to describe it since the beginning of time. I don’t know for certain but I’ll bet there’s some hieroglyphics written on a rock somewhere about it.

Love can render us speechless, have us act in ways we never would and scientifically speaking, it has the same addictive effect on our brains as drugs do. According to one study, love can paralyze us, in terms of decision-making and make us feel well, kind of stupid, when we’re in the throes of it.

The culprit? It’s those dopamines swirling around inside our brains, dancing all over the ventral tegmental area, the “reward circuitry” portion of our grey matter. This is where the party happens, the place where intense emotions (and psychiatric disorders) are highlighted when we experience them.

No wonder Plato referred to love as a “grave mental disease” and John Ford called love “desperate madness.” It feels so good and it hurts so good.

What Becomes of the Brokenhearted?

We’ve all had our hearts broken at one time or another. My first heartbreak was in grade school. I was in the third grade and my boyfriend, let’s call him Adam, had chestnut brown hair and blue eyes. We passed notes in class. It wasn’t as if we announced our love, it was just understood in that way third-graders have of understanding love; giggling, teasing, a tug of the hair, shunning others who vied for attention—that kind of thing.

A string of clover flowers, bound by love.

A string of clover flowers, bound by love.

Adam presented me with a string of clover flowers twisted together one day at recess. I tied the ends together and wore them as a necklace.

“I like you,” he said before running off and screaming with a passel of other funky-smelling little boys. I was the envy of the other girls in my class.

My blonde hair sparkled in the sunshine that day and my freckles, being the bane of my existence, even felt beautiful. Colors were brighter, birds sang louder, and I skipped back to class while thinking this:

 

I was in love. You’ve felt it, let’s all sing:

 

Everything changed the next week.

My glasses arrived. This was when you actually had to wait for something to be made. I know, weird, right? Three-D printers can make ears now.

How I looked, but my glasses were blue and cat-eye shaped.

How I looked, but my glasses were blue and cat-eye shaped.

A week before, my Dad had taken me to the eye doctor. I was terribly nearsighted and we’d picked out a pair of cat-eye translucent blue glasses, to match your pretty blue eyes, my Dad said. When I put them on before school, I was horrified. My eyes were magnified. I looked like a frightened frog. With translucent blue glasses.

I slithered into class, my head down. I heard whispers and a few giggles. I surreptitiously glanced at Adam. He looked startled when he saw me and quickly turned away. A boy next to him punched him and said something. They both laughed. Adam didn’t look at me at all after that. No notes were passed.

At recess, he ambled over to me. I was with my posse, he with his. He stood in front of me, he poked me in the arm with his finger and said: “You look like an ugly monkey.”

It had come to this.

 

Oh, yes it is.

The day dragged on and I couldn’t wait to get home. When I did, I cried and thought this:

And this too: 

My sister, three years my senior, found out about what went down in the schoolyard. She sat down on the bed next to me, as I cried. My necklace of flowers lay broken and crumbling (like my heart) on the nightstand beside me.

“Don’t cry, Brigitte. He’s stupid anyway. I’m going to take care of this.” She kissed my forehead and snuggled the covers up around me.

Like this but without any physical harm or psycho-ness.

Like this but without any physical harm or psycho-ness.

The next day at recess she walked over to Adam, as he stood talking to his minions. She got all Hand that Rocks the Cradle on him, grabbed him by the sleeve and lowered her face down to his, about an inch away, and snarled with voracious venom: “Don’t’ you EVER call my sister an ugly monkey again, you got it?”

Adam, humiliated by her, a sixth-grade girl, in front of his boy pack, well, he never called me an ugly anything again.

Our love, however brief, was ill fated. Because sometimes it’s like this:

 

The Good Stuff

"Then there's the story of ill-fated love. It's universal." --Rita Moreno

“Then there’s the story of ill-fated love. It’s universal.” –Rita Moreno (Moreno said in an interview to the NY Post about her obsessive love of Marlon Brando: “I remember how he spoke to me, how he played the drums, how he made love . . . and how I almost died from loving him.”)

Okay, so maybe childish love can’t be compared to mature love, especially puppy amour. But the same things go on in the brain. The euphoria of falling, that precious first swoon, the way the heart flutters, the stomach roils, and the mere sight of the beloved makes the breath quicken. There’s nothing that compares to it.

There’s even a bittersweet aching of letting go when it goes wrong, of heartbreak—it’s the stuff songs and books and poems are full of. It prepares us for the next love and/or heartbreak. We learn who to give our heart to and who not to.

When we do fall in love, the real kind, it’s different. In the beginning, it’s the same but it sticks. It doesn’t fade after all that intenseness. The ups and downs of love level out to a sweet cadence. When you find it or it finds you, you guard it with your life.

One can’t maintain that “desperate madness” for extended periods of time. But love, true love—the falling, the getting to know each other, the settling into a rhythm, and the growing old together is priceless.

And good news, another study conducted in Paris (ah, the French and romance, oui?) found that some older couples in love, when shown a picture of their partner, had the same activity in the love-gasm part of their brains as young people who were deeply in love do. Je t’aime! Tu es l’amour de ma vie.

Go old along with me! The best is yet to be…”–Robert Browning

We can write about it all. Immortalize it in stories, songs, poetry, and memoirs. It’s universal and the best thing about being human.

***

Do you remember your first love and/or heartbreak? What are some love songs you like? What’s your favorite love story?

Happy Monday everyone and celebrate the love in your life. Enjoy a love song from the 80s. Yeah, that’s right—the 80s.

References:
Lahat, Itay. “The Brain Looks The Same When We’re In Love Or High On Cocaine.” Business Insider.com. Jul 9, 2014. Accessed Apr 10, 2015.
Gauthier-Faure, Manon. “Inside The French Retirement Hones Where Sex Is Encouraged.” Aug 28, 2013. Accessed Apr 10, 2015.

About Brigitte

Writer/Editor/Wanderer

Discussion

29 thoughts on “Monday Musings & Motivations – Part Fifty- Five — Love, Sweet Love

  1. You are back–when my husband and I met at 27 I think we were both recovering from other people–but our theme song was “Love Stinks”–however we did not play it at our wedding

    Posted by on thehomefrontandbeyond | April 13, 2015, 11:06 am
  2. Oh, l’amour. Oh the Adams of the world. Sadly, there’s enough heartbreak to go around for everyone to have seconds. But luckily there are people like your sister to comfort and protect our fractured hearts.

    I agree with you–desperate madness is wonderful, but growing old together tops it. 🙂

    Posted by Carrie Rubin | April 13, 2015, 1:41 pm
    • Isn’t that the truth? But it’s all part of this thing called life, yes? Sisters can be wonderful in times such as these, don’t you agree Carrie? Happy Monday and thanks for stopping by. I think there was some problems with my blog and hopefully they are resolved.

      And yeah, growing old together tops it all. :).

      Posted by Brigitte | April 13, 2015, 1:50 pm
      • I must confess, I first read this post yesterday because it came to my email. I was happy you put it up today, because I wanted to comment and let you know how much I enjoyed it!

        Posted by Carrie Rubin | April 13, 2015, 1:57 pm
      • Yep, I accidentally hit publish when I was putting finishing touches on it last night, then I put it back to a draft, then I published this morning. But I think people went by the old alert notification and clicking on that (the one from last night) gives an error message. I’ve learned that once you hit that publish there’s just no going back. Jeez. I always meant to publish just wanted to do it today. This is way more information that you needed to hear so I’m shutting up now.

        Thanks again Carrie.

        >

        Posted by Brigitte | April 13, 2015, 2:23 pm
      • Haha, no, I’m with you. They need to add an “Are you sure you want to publish this post” alert before publishing it. I don’t understand why they don’t. I think we’ve all published too early at least once.

        Posted by Carrie Rubin | April 13, 2015, 3:17 pm
  3. Love is a battlefield at times, isn’t it! And I don’t think I would be alive today if it wasn’t for my older sibling (brother) I love the way they stick up for us. Although with a brother it was more– hands off my little sister and don’t you dare ask her out! Not that I was ask out-able.. I was and am a very dorky duddette. I had big glasses and braces.

    I am all for growing old together– . I met my man at 18, he is my one and only. I like your fact about the brain and the reaction of looking at a photograph of their long time love. I feel like that. Love-gasm. Ha love that word.

    Great post, love the musical clips. I am going to listen to the full songs now. Nice flashback to the 80’s. Dating myself here now, aren’t I?

    Posted by UpChuckingwords | April 13, 2015, 5:20 pm
    • I think that’s what older siblings are for, A. How cool your big brother did that for you. I always felt safe around my Sister. That’s what we all call her, even now, just Sister. Hubby and I met later in life but I think we both met exactly when we were supposed to because we fit, you know? I feel that too. I pull out wedding pics from—it’ll be 12 years this June—and it takes me back to about the happiest day of my life, so I can certainly understand that part of the brain “lighting up.” It does.

      Glad you enjoyed. The 80s did have some good tunes and we were all so groovy then. And yeah, I’m dating myself, but oh well, I’ve earned it. ;). Thanks my dear friend. You rock.

      Posted by Brigitte | April 13, 2015, 6:06 pm
  4. What a splendid post, Brigitte. Love makes the world go around. I’ve always loved that Bee Gee song! Oh, I’ve had my share of heartbreak. I don’t remember the grade school stuff so much. I certainly never had my sister stick up for me. Way to go, big sis. I do hope the best is yet to be…such a romantic post.

    Posted by Amy Reese | April 13, 2015, 7:37 pm
    • Hey Amy, How wonderful to see you here. I love that song too. One movie I’ve always loved is Notting Hill. When Hugh Grant’s character is heartbroken over losing His lady, that song is playing and we watch him walking through the seasons. I always thought that scene was done so well and the song perfect for it.

      I’d like to think that as well. I think love just grows richer and deeper and that’s definitely something to look forward to. Be well Amy and thank you.

      >

      Posted by Brigitte | April 13, 2015, 8:43 pm
  5. Peter Gabriel! Excellent choice! (I was going to skip the last song until you said it was from the ’80’s and then curiosity got the better of me. Thanks for the reminder about loving well. And a funny aside: in your paragraph about dopamine, I read, “This is where the poetry happens!”

    Posted by Sally | April 13, 2015, 8:07 pm
  6. Excellent post, Brig. You capture what love is well. Romantically, I have only experienced the mad, foolish kind which in the long run, is disappointing. My last serious romance of a few years back was ill-fated from the get-go and we both knew it. She’s with someone else now who I think she could be with for the long haul. My logical side knows that’s for the best, but my little bad wolf side thinks little bad wolf things. Because I am only a partial turd, I stay away. I am also at an age where I am very tired of romance. My dear friend Milton loathes the idea of me getting wrapped up in something crazy and stupid again. When that happens, it does cramp our style. Over the weekend he asked me in exasperation, “Why would you want to go through that again?” I said, “The sex is better.”

    Posted by lameadventures | April 14, 2015, 8:31 am
    • Why thank you, V. I think we’ve all experienced that mad, crazy unhealthy “love.” Bad little wolf, that’s funny. You should write about that. Seriously, you and Milton do make a fine pair/couple but is this enough? If the answer is yes, then I’m thinking you’ve found your love. It comes in all kinds of shapes, sizes, and shades of amour. As long as you’re okay with the sex part, you’ve got a soulmate in Milton, right? And a soulmate, in any form, is a good thing to have. Thanks, V.

      Posted by Brigitte | April 14, 2015, 9:41 am
      • Milton and BatPat, my best friend from college, are both very dear to me, but I’d still like to have someone to get frisky with for the long haul, but it’s more of a challenge to find someone who hasn’t gone entirely to seed, is financially solvent and isn’t dragging steamer trunks of baggage. Might have to resort to being a cougar now.

        Posted by lameadventures | April 14, 2015, 10:22 am
      • Rar-r-r! Girl gotta do what a girl gotta do. Everybody’s got baggage. That’s not gonna change, V.

        >

        Posted by Brigitte | April 14, 2015, 10:31 am
      • True, but I carry mine in a small valise that fits nicely on the overhead shelf.

        Posted by lameadventures | April 14, 2015, 10:57 am
      • HA! There could be another like you and her valise could make a lovely accompaniment to yours on your shelf. The yin to your yang.

        >

        Posted by Brigitte | April 14, 2015, 12:23 pm
  7. Sometimes it takes a few wrong turns before we find the right one. I’ll date myself somewhat, too, and say that my husband and I are coming up on our 24th anniversary next month. I consider myself so lucky that I found him to grow old with. 🙂

    Posted by jmmcdowell | April 14, 2015, 7:12 pm
    • Isn’t that the truth, but it’s all worth it I think. I date myself all the time. I mean seriously, did you hear the music? HA. I always thought Close to You was a happy pappy little love tune. So kvetchty it’s cool. And I know what you mean about the lucky thing. It’ll be 12 years for us this year. Thanks for stopping in, JM. I’ve got to get myself over to your place.

      Posted by Brigitte | April 14, 2015, 7:51 pm
      • Most of your musical offerings are very familiar to me. And not just because I heard my older siblings playing them! 🙂

        Posted by jmmcdowell | April 14, 2015, 7:53 pm
      • We are close to the same age if I remember correctly, aren’t we? Or, i may have three to five years on you. 🙂

        Posted by Brigitte | April 14, 2015, 8:45 pm
  8. I’ve had my heart severely sprained when I was in college and rather than being heartbroken, it was more a matter of having my pride stomped on and thrown away. Nevertheless, I’ve learned that some experiences are necessary in order to dispel the illusions and misguided fantasies I had about falling for another person. I have yet to seriously fall in love with anyone (which probably makes me some rare breed of human, especially in this day and age) but I’ve never liked investing my emotions in people who I don’t think are worth it. It can get a bit deflating especially as my friends begin to couple off and get married but I’m sure the right person will come around eventually, right? 😉

    Posted by lillianccc | April 15, 2015, 2:39 pm
    • Yeah, I’ve had those sprains myself, Lillian and it’s just all part of it. I applaud you for not having your heart broken! You have always seemed to be such an intelligent and energetic spirit (as well as an old soul)—I can surmise this from your eloquent and thought-provoking posts. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with your not “seriously” falling in love with anyone yet. I would credit myself if I were you, despite the fact that many may be coupling off, you’re just going to be in that enviable spot of being in the exact right spot at the exact right moment for when that right person does come along. I would predict major fireworks, most of which will take your breath away. So great to see you, as always.

      Posted by Brigitte | April 15, 2015, 2:54 pm

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Word of the Day:

Happiness.

hap·pi·ness

/hapēnəs/

noun
noun: happiness; plural noun: happinesses

synonyms: pleasure, contentment, satisfaction, cheerfulness, merriment, gaiety, joy, joyfulness, joviality, jollity, glee, delight, good spirits, lightheartedness, well-being, enjoyment;exuberance, exhilaration, elation, ecstasy, jubilation, rapture, bliss, blissfulness, euphoria.

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