Friday, June 23, 2006

 

Existential Friday: Love Memos on Seashells

I guess the inn we stayed at on Vancouver Island was the sort of place that attracts first and second honeymooners. The cozy, one-room cottages are tucked away with beautiful views. Outside, the cool rainy weather makes you want to curl up indoors, and there's not so much to do in the environs to distract you from the charms of your companion.

The fireplace mantel was stacked with driftwood and seashells serving as a sort of "guestbook." Each shell or piece of driftwood had a message from someone who had stayed in the cottage, and not surprisingly, there was a preponderance of moony love messages from former guests.

DSCN8159 DSCN8158

Here's one. I'm sure Jamie and Meghan won't mind my sharing it with you, just as they shared it with B and me:
To the love of my life; Jamie Scott!
Thank you for being the most beautiful person I have ever known! Thank you for your constant unconditional love. Thank you for our son Kozmo!!! Thank you for our dogs: Moochie & Kobe! Thank you for giving me the best life!!! I promise I will cherish you forever! Thank you for giving me life. I love you Spanky Tang!
[heart] Meghan

That's so sweet! !!! While I personally would not leave a written record in a B & B guestbook of any pet names B and I might use -- our "Spanky Tangs," if you will -- you have to admire the sentiments. I hope Meghan feels that way ten years from now. (For that matter, I hope Jamie feels that way now.)

The message written on a clamshell that B dropped on the floor and smashed into pieces was also very nice. It said: “Tara and Jay were here on our honeymoon and We have many memories as our love became one.”

DSCN8164
Sorry, Tara and Jay. Nothing lasts forever -- not clamshells, not even love.

Why did all these people write these corny love messages and leave them behind for me and B to snicker at, and share with you on my blog so you could snicker at them? Jamie and Meghan, Tara and Jay had such intense feelings, but their effort to put that grandly into words fell flat. And why are we snickering? Maybe because we know that the love we feel, while special to us, is something so ordinary -- pretty much everyone has felt it for someone -- that the attempt to make it seem special to others comes off as grandiose. Even the grand gesture, like Romeo and Juliet's joint suicide, can't make love special.

This makes me think of Richard Brautigan's poem by that name, where he expresses that same idea:

Romeo and Juliet
If you will die for me,
I will die for you
and our graves will be like two lovers washing
their clothes together
in a laundromat
If you will bring the soap
I will bring the bleach.

Or did he mean something different? Write your love message on driftwood, sure. But don't just "rediscover" it in the romantic cottage with the spectacular views and the hot-tub. Love is mundane, everyday, ordinary. Feel it in your laundry room. Write it on the lint screen.

Comments:
They probably charged you extra on the room too, for the pleasure of reading those sweet nothings. :)

WV: mmvdzzl (mm-vuh-dizzle)

"Mmm spankytang, let's vdzzl by the fireplace."
 
Great post.
 
Matthew: I miss your blog.
 
I'm now going to write a fantasy short story, where the sympathetic magic of B dropping the shell also causes Tara and Jay to split up.

At least the sentiments are better than they typical yearbook entry (of which they remind me):

"Great to have you in Mrs. Moody's english class! See you at the pool this summer! -Tiffany"

--
patgqb - searching yourself for the right quip.
 
Kozmo??
 
I'm totally going to start composing sonnets on the lint screen. Thanks for adding some romance to the day.

jycyqp (juicy-quip): one of those sexual-tension-filled one-liners that get flung back and forth at parties to which you're never cool enough to be invited
 
I think the decorator scrawled all those things, made all those messages up, and there really is no Spanky Tang, no Kozmo, no Moochie. Or those are the names of various casual sex partners of said decorator, who was having a giggle over pretending to be a young airheaded woman.
 
How about the proliferation of Hallmark Cards under the category of, "For Someone Special," that then spell out on their covers that they are, "To Someone Special?" I can't read any of them without an ironic tone, and also enlisting the voice of Dana Carvey's "Church Lady."

On the other hand, I feel quite blessed to be living in an age with so many special someones!!!
 
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