Forgive me, Father-God, Mother-Goddess, and Other Faceless-Haters (Part 1)
I hate myself because I really love pop songs. I hate myself because I know pop songs are lies; I hate lies, but love these songs. I’m in hell. It makes me want to sing: “If loving you is wrong, I don’t want to be right.” It makes me want to quote from “I want a new drug” by Huey Lewis and the News.
The reason I hate pop songs may surprise you.
I hate these songs because they are basically saying that I’m an unfeeling asshole. It doesn’t help that I know that the songs are lies, and it doesn’t help to follow the advice of my parents and the countless mom-minions: don’t worry about what other people think! (except when it comes to love and marriage)!
I am not a bad guy!
The songs say that I’m an asshole, not only because I was never a Catholic—-which makes my article’s title kind of misleading–-but because I’m not a romantic. Which isn’t strictly true either, I guess. The truth is: I’m a romantic in recovery. I’ve been down the rabbit hole. I’ve chosen between the “red pill” and the “blue pill.”
But it was a horse pill that I swallowed without the Kool Aid.
What I mean is, I distrust how pop songs describe “love” as well as its connection to “marriage”. Many pop songs are immature and superficial about love. I like the cleverness of a well-turned phrase—-don’t get me wrong—-but there are many, more fascinating ways to say “I would drink a whole tub full of your bathwater” without promising to support you and your children, defend you from danger, from insult as well as from poverty, boredom, and homelessness, despite my socially excused disloyalty, lasciviousness, and covetousness (which, surprisingly, got past spell-check). There are too many songs that are too clever about NOT telling the truth. They lie: “Too often, we think of love as an almost passive state of being, as opposed to a conscious choice we make. When we regard love as something we simply fall into, we can easily slip into routines with the person we value or lose a sense of separateness and respect. Instead, we view that person as a part of us. “
This fantasy is dangerous: “We then run the risk of creating a fantasy bond, an illusion of fusion in which real feelings of fondness and attraction are replaced by the form of being in a relationship. In other words, we come to see ourselves and our partner as a single unit. We then fall into roles rather than appreciating each other as individuals and experiencing the exciting, loving feelings that result.”
I know that “love” and “marriage” has each changed in meaning over time. The cupid we celebrate during Valentine’s Day represents something different. Love among royalty had more to do with politics and contracts joining resources and cementing alliances, at least, according to The Game of Thrones, a fantasy series that kind of looks medieval except for the dragons and dire wolves and the…um…fantasy.
However, love can be taught. It is, at least in part, a set of skills: “With love being so closely connected to meaning and fulfillment, it’s valuable for each of us to define love as an action, or series of actions, we can take to bring us closer to the people we value.” In fact, they are communication skills, executive function skills, self-regulatory skills, as well as social and emotional skills: “In a romantic context, some essential characteristics that fit the description of a loving relationship include: Expressions of affection, both physical and emotional; A wish to offer pleasure and satisfaction to another; Tenderness, compassion, and sensitivity to the needs of the other; A desire for shared activities and pursuits; An appropriate level of sharing of possessions; An ongoing, honest exchange of personal feelings; The process of offering concern, comfort, and outward assistance for the loved one’s aspirations.” These skills, or lack of skills, have huge implications in terms of disabilities, intelligence, communication disorders, ADHD, and aptitude, in addition to the personality disorders and other mental health issues.
So, as you might have gathered, I obviously have a perspective on love and marriage which is different from the romantics and spiritualists. This doesn’t make me a lot of friends. So, I’ve decided to split my self to live like the Secret or like Batman: I’m living a kind of double life. As a policy, I stick to ritual and ceremony at rituals and ceremonies. I don’t talk about stillbirth around pregnant women, and I don’t talk honestly about endless, rapturous passion when invited to weddings.
More on the last paragraph at some much later time.