Aren’t you tempted to go into a paroxysm of rage when you think of how much you’ve had to unlearn through the years? Think of how credulous you once were – maybe you still are, I don’t know. Parents, religious leaders, teachers, police, presidents, etc. are not inerrant and never will be. Yet, this is a slow realization and quite a contentiously sour topic for those whom want to hold on to such fallacious beliefs. The reason why is a mystery to me but I suspect it’s for comfort. Embracing the human condition and the imperative significance of reproach, I learned how foolish I was by remaining a hopeless romantic.
What do the following have in common?
- Paul Revere rode to Concord to warn that “The British are coming!”
- Einstein failed math in school
- Edison invented the light bulb
- Napoleon was short
- Vikings wore helmets
- We only use 10% of our brains
- Walt Disney was frozen after his death
- Cleopatra was Egyptian
- If it rhymes and sounds good, it must be true
They’re all absolutely false.
Here’s something else I’ve heard that requires rephrasing of some kind: “Every woman should be treated like a princess.” There are so many variations of quotes like these and they’re all generalized crap. To illustrate, let’s invert it: “Every man should be treated like a prince or king.” Can any adult actually believe this and not feel some sort of embarrassment? I mean, the royal life isn’t some Disney fairytale. Case in point, look up Tower Hill.
I’ve met plenty of men and women who are hopeless romantics and let me tell you, it doesn’t make any sense; all those grandiose gestures on Valentine’s Day, giving 10x more than receiving (when it comes to literally everything), making nonsensical sacrifices where any normal thinking being would realize that they’re being taken advantage of, knowing that they have found their soul-mate (again), etc. These people are just in love with the idea of love, and I used to be one of them.
I daydreamed of creative romantic gestures as though it were a performance piece eagerly waiting to be acted out. You name it. Whether it’s poignant poems, love letters, dedicating songs, hiding notes for them to find, doing chores they hate, celebrating every little anniversary, breakfast in bed, or spontaneous massages or gifts or getaways. Part of my mindset was that if I did all these things, I’d be a great boyfriend. However, most of the time, you’re just playing second fiddle.
This post isn’t supposed to denounce and undermine romance. My point is that people are not infallible, and some behaviors or habits don’t deserve to be inured. Don’t be a pushover, think for yourself, and challenge those around you. Are they worthy of your benevolent deeds? Will you be recognized for your sacrifices? Are you burying your regrets? Unrequited love gestures are insidious recipes for disaster.
“Beware the irrational, however seductive…Distrust compassion; prefer dignity for yourself and others. Don’t be afraid to be thought arrogant or selfish. Picture all experts as if they were mammals. Never be a spectator of unfairness or stupidity. Seek out argument and disputation for their own sake; the grave will supply plenty of time for silence. Suspect your own motives, and all excuses. Do not live for others any more than you would expect others to live for you.” -Christopher Hitchens
Not everyone is the romantic type and just because they don’t openly display their love every waking hour, doesn’t mean they don’t care. Yet, in spite of the message here, love will make you do stupid things. And I’m guilty of that too.
-Single Guy in NYC