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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Valentine's Day- February 14, 7007

In this day and age when relationships last no longer than a snowball fed to the microwave oven set on high, and thousands of couples kissing simultaneously for ten seconds is the most romantic some people will ever get to be, archaeologists in Italy have discovered what is being touted as the world’s most enduring image of love.

Reuters recently took us to the excavation site where two skeletons were found lying side by side, arms intertwined, as if locked in an eternal embrace. In a planet majority of whose denizens are agog in Valentine’s Day frenzy, this seemed a fitting announcement, a grander Valentine gift that a Monet or multi-carat diamond ring, eliciting a chorus of wistful sighs.

Some argue though that the remains’ posture can also be interpreted as two beings out to kill each other; without a doubt, they seem to have succeeded. Some prescribe caution when making a Romeo-and-Juliet-esque reference to the archaelogical find, pending the determination of the sex of either departed Stone Age earthling. Still others suggest the possibility that this was a parent-child or sibling-sibling burial site.

Funny how these scientific musings somehow mirror the state of love affairs nowadays.

That there are relationships which do last.

And, apparently, they run in my family.

From their formative-slash-bf/gf-years to their current state of marital bliss, my sister and brother (in law) have been together for close seven years while my parents have been officially “on” since October 1967 or for almost 40 years.
My grandparents are the real deal though- having celebrated their- gasp!- 66th wedding anniversary last November 22nd.

These three pairs- the loves of my own life- are commendable, admirable, and rarities. But they still have a long way to go before they reach the record of Liu Yang-wan from Taiwan who was married to Liu Yung-yang from 1917- until the former’s demise in 2003- for a grand total of 86 years. Just the same, they make me believe that forever is not at all impossible.

That relationships that are seemingly perfect at first glance are not exempt from internal turbulence and strife

Show me an impeccably peaceful, conflict-free relationship and I’d show you a couple that will wither and succumb faster than you can say I do. From skirmishes and upheavals we learn much about the other and our own selves- our convictions, our stance with regard to issues, the non-negotiables and the lambing-ables in our life. We become skilled at useful everyday survival tactics from dodging fights to enduring silent treatments, from making compromises to sticking to promises. We learn to temper honesty with respect while coating everything with love. We grow, we thrive, we flourish.

That relationships nowadays take on hues and configurations that break the mold

The hands clasping each other come from two separate individuals who have the same kind of chromosome pair 23s. Regardless of how we feel about them, they are here. With us, around us, close to us. We cannot deny their existence. They are human. They love. Let us let them be.

That true love, in its truest form is not exclusively felt by those in romantic relationships

Love among parents and their children. Love among siblings. Love among friends (virtual and real). At the end of the day, of practically each day of our lives, they bring about that inner warmth that vanquishes fear and gloom to the point that being-alone-but-not-lonely is a happy reality I gladly embrace realizing how much love surrounds me from my family and friends.

If in five thousand years we’d still be hugging each other as tightly as the ones in that Italian archaeological site, I can’t wait for day one of those five millennia to begin- wrinkles, beer bellies, arthritis and all.


Those in my immediate circle would attest to the fact that I’ve developed a distaste for Feb the 14th and I was hell-bent on spreading the fact that love is evol. That was what I set out to do when I began to write this entry. Now I’m still not a fan. But I know I have enough reason to dress up a little smarter than usual tomorrow…

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