Sunday, February 10, 2008

Living In Sin



Although I don't like Valentine's Day, I often give my friends gifts to celebrate the evil holiday, things like Anne Sexton poetry collections or crosses with knives in them, that sort of thing. But my very favorite Valentine's gift to give my friends, whether single or coupled, is an obscure book about breaking up called Uncoupling. This book has offered me comfort in many a dark hour in many a dead end relationship -- reading about other people's problems thrills me to the core and puts my own into perspective. Breaking up may be hard to do, but everyone does it in remarkably similar ways, slow death, fear of contagion that your married friends experience (and those on shaky marital ground should -- if you are unhappy, the implicit or explicit enouragement of the newly broken up offer can expose fault lines), the sad division of things. The book documents both married and what they used to call living in sin couples, gay and straight, short and long-term. It's a strange study of case histories that give you lots of insight into the human heart with lots of references to bondage and liberation.

Today I read in the paper about a slew of books coming out to support single people during the cursed time of hearts and flowers, titles like Better Single Than Sorry and Single and Proud. I'm glad these books exist, but I'll stick with my daily devotion of Uncoupling to counter the plethora of Zales commercials that purport being in love is the very best things in the world. It's pretty great, there's no question about that. When it works, there's nothing better. But being alone has its perks as well. This idea isn't new, of course, but sometimes its nice to hear a voice in the wilderness that isn't all about the promised land.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"I've never hated a man enough to give back his diamonds." Zsa Zsa Gabor

Cocktail Hour
Drinking music suggestion: Midnight Love Marvin Gaye

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Sunday! Stay warm!

14 comments:

RRN said...

As usual , the first thing that comes to mind is...

Wow.

This post was awesome. It made me first want to give you a hug...But more over ... It made me want to give me a hug.

I'm all over this book you speak of.

Thanks ~~

Lana Gramlich said...

Love seems to me an ephemeral concept at best & the term is overused. What is love, really? I don't think I could ever answer that question, although I'll fall in with the rest of the sheep & say I love Charles.

RRN said...

I asked a friend of mine what she thought the definition of love was once and she said....

""It is just levels of tolerance.""

JAM said...

I'm blessed with a wife that would much rather have a night at the movies or DVDs at home or maybe some new electronic gadget than expensive flowers or diamonds. For us Valentine's is just an excuse to spend more time together, and has little or nothing to do with the "traditional" take on this strange holiday.

Neither of us has a love for Valentines day because of the pressures of the whole rigamarole surrounding the giving of Valentines cards as kids in school.

We each were similar to Charlie Browns in our respective worlds as kids and ended up with a pretty thorough distaste of the whole thing.

In our mid forties, we're just way to tired to care about tradition for this most flimsy of holidays.

You've definitely thought this through. A great post.

Sheila said...

valentine's day never goes as planned for me. this year I have school and joe is working. I'm thinking it might be one of the best valentine's days ever.

Zsa Zsa said...

I miss Merv. He was so entertaining. My heart goes out to him, no matter where he is, on this heartfelt holiday.

Johnny Carson said...

I'll be right back.

Kwame said...

Love is not getting caught.

the walking man said...

Seeing as the old lady and me have been together going on a quarter century, give or take a year or two,there is no more reason to us to try to give each other any more testimonials of love. Although she could easily replace me, she doesn't and I am to lazy to try. Valentines is unspoken 365(6) a year, which ain't so bad for a guy who hasn't broken every romantic bone in his body.



Very funny Kwame love your home page.


Peace

mark

robthefob said...

I LOVE THAT BOOK! If there's ever a book to pierce the fantasy balloon of ego-based relationships...it's that one.

Brian in Mpls said...

I love this line, "sometimes its nice to hear a voice in the wilderness that isn't all about the promised land"

Cheri said...

You're right by my house, in that picture. ;D

Cheri said...

It is the most evil of all holidays. And Michigan has two of them, that stupid Sweetest Day crap.

I went with my cousin this weekend to buy candy for her kids classes and they all wanted the most expensive, coolest candy to hand out so that they'd be popular. What a bunch of commercial bullshit it all is!

Charles Gramlich said...

As to what Lana says, yeah, all the sheep love me. That's for sure.