In quest of love, sex and the Land of Oz

What does it feel like when you are in love? Is there music? Are there bells? Do birds sing louder or does the sun shine brighter? Having never experienced this phenomenon myself, I can’t say. One would think that the way the media portrays love, it could cure cancer and end world hunger. But exactly what aspects of love contribute to a better and more fulfilling life? Maybe sex without love is the key?
With a 50 percent divorce rate in the United States, the holy state of marriage is becoming less sacred and more like a free-for-all. Although the other 50 percent do stay together, what about those marriages that end in shambles? Do you get a refund on your emotional commitment? Are there stacks of gold or Aladdin’s lamp involved as an insurance measure? Do you get to return it within 30 days for a trade-in?
Not really. Basically you have to commit. That horrid six-letter words that frightens everyone out of their complacency.
As you can probably tell, I am not the biggest fan of that most popular institution aptly named marriage. The word marriage translates into a lifelong bonding for most people. Having had relationships that lasted no longer than a moon cycle, I really can’t relate to the word “forever.”
In between planning for the flowers and the decorations, no one seems to realize that after the honeymoon is over, there is a lot of random everyday stuff with which to contend. The sharing and caring and loving and fighting, the passion and love and jealousy, all have to be dealt with to make a relationship, let alone a marriage work.
Who knows. Maybe somewhere there is one perfect soul mate for each of us, just waiting for a lifelong commitment. Many people spend their whole lives looking for that special someone, that elusive goal that promises endless bliss.
I myself am looking for the Land of Oz, and if one of you hapless questers of love happens to find Oz before I do, just e-mail me. Believe it or not some, people believe that the world of the Care Bears, Munchkins and Little Monsters exist. Are those the same people who believe in the love fairy, or is there a different delusional group meeting these days?
But how can one perfect person just be waiting out there? Are they sitting on a rock somewhere, just sending brainwaves out to their soon-to-be soul mates? People say that you have to just relax and love will come to you, but if that’s true, then why do singles bars make such a killing?
Does the pickup line, “Hey baby, I really don’t want any sort of commitment; I just want to be laid. Can we go somewhere?” actually exist? No, because women are romantic creatures, even those who are nymphomaniacs. Even a man would be somewhat affronted if a woman just announced that at the end of a very satisfying night of sex, she really didn’t want to see him ever again, but thanks for the lay. Talk about being used.
So is love like God? Is it in the details? You can’t read love like a book or open a manual and fix it if something goes wrong. How do people survive it without frontal lobotomies or acute cases of schizophrenia? The answer is simple. One hard day at a time. Who doesn’t admire those couples who have been together forever?
You have to have a lot of guts to stick out 50 years of marriage with someone you can barely tolerate. And anyway, they say that everything fades into friendship. The number of 90-year-olds having wild sex can be directly compared with the number of men who know how to take off a dress with a side zipper. They are few and far between.
Did you know that the romance field is one of literature’s biggest genres? Is this because people have the insane urge to read sappy, badly written books, with no plot? No, it means that everyone wants the Walt Disney ending. No one wanted the Wicked Witch of the East to kill Dorothy and eat Toto, and no one wanted Prince Phillip to abandon Sleeping Beauty to the fire-breathing dragon. Inside all of us, or most of us, there is the urge to right wrongs and triumph over evil. Blah, blah, blah.
Do statistics lie? Are there happily married people everywhere going to lawyers and falsifying divorces just to trick the statisticians? Is it a tax write-off; do people get more money for being divorced than for being married?
None of the above. The statistics are right and probably even more in favor of divorce than 50 percent. Let us not forget all those couples who stay together because of laziness, for the children, and just because it’s easier and more financially secure to have someone to hang on to when times get hard.
Either way, deciding if you are in love has to be the hardest decision a person will ever make. Sex is great, but without some emotion, it will just be pleasurable exercise. And while great for your abs, I think that people need a little more.
So is love worth the risk? Hell yes. The sun probably will shine brighter, and the damn birds will chirp more. Music will resonate when you kiss and the bells will clang. Who cares what anybody else says, let alone a media that would portray love as anything less than the heart-stopping, drum-beating great feeling that it is. While oblivious to these emotions of grandeur and heartache, the feeling that there could be a soul mate just waiting for me is indescribable. It’s like I’m guaranteed I will someday reach the Land of Oz.

Dana Ruggiero’s column appears alternate Tuesdays. She welcomes comments at [email protected] Send letters to the editor to [email protected]