Love in the Time of Imperfection

Remember Love in the Time of Cholera? It’s a timeless romantic novel of Gabriel Garcia Marquez. It tells of unrequited love for over fifty years. I read the book back in my stoic days of college (meaning I’ve softened a bit nowadays, just a bit). I was very inquisitive about the hoola-boolas of the so-called love then. My inner circle of girl friends would often talk about our ideal relationships and ideal men. The four of us were raised by strict and conservative parents. Only one of us had a boyfriend then. The rest of us were not allowed to have boyfriends until after we graduate. We would listen to our more experienced friend tell us about her relationship with her man, and we would unabashedly bombard her with the most personal albeit embarrassing questions imaginable. She would gamely answer without batting an eyelash anyhow (Miss you, girl! You’re famous in my blog now!).

Anyways, my friend’s story is not that exciting really. In fact, my friends and I would often be shock absorbers (and later on would turn into flattened cushions refilled with repugnance for boys) to her seemingly perennial problems. Sometime in college, she got pregnant and she left the guy. Well, the guy left her. No, she left the guy. I never got to straighten this out. If it were any false consolation to her, two other girls from our bigger circle of friends were impregnated after her, like she sort of started some trend hahaha! And at one point, I would hear nasty remarks from other groups, comments that are better left unsaid about my circle.

Well, their impregnators turned out to be SOBs in one way or another (and for the record, this is my very strong and unrelenting opinion). And I became a man-hater at a very unfortunate time. See, since my other two friends (yes, the girls who came from conservative homes) and I came from an exclusive girls high school, we saw college life as a major unraveling of boys! And oh boy, did they really disgust us very early. These are the boys who promised our friends the world and just as soon as left their girls in deep shit when the promised world became too heavy to carry.

Then I read a story about unrequited love. Fifty years? Get outta here! The book’s a bestseller because of the many readers who live on a dreamboat!

I was branded as stoic in college. But in time, cutie cupid’s arrow also hit me (as baduy as this statement can be). And although all my ideals and book knowledge on relationships shattered into pieces, I realized that love in all its complications is indeed wonderful. I cannot speak for unwanted pregnancies. It takes two to tango always. There will always be assholes. But there are also the uninformed. Shall we call them stupid? Choose your own words. But experiencing love myself softened me a bit. The imperfections surrounding the whole arena of relationships is crushing at one point but the teamwork to beat all the odds of something worthy is what makes all of this giving it a shot.

Tonight I read a beautiful love story on Reader’s Digest (“I Will Wait For You,” Feb 2005). It’s a true story of a North Korean man and a Vietnamese woman who surpassed three decades of war and forbidden love before they were finally bound legally and got to live together. How romantic! It’s like Love in the Time of Cholera! Now I think I’m in a better disposition to read this book again.
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