Monday, July 23, 2007
“There was an acrobat whose specialty was falling off tables. When he was not performing, he wore thick lensed glasses. The muscles on his neck stood out like ropes, though his skin was soft as silk. Deciding I had to stop being prudish, I spent a night with him. When he called me his “sweet cookie” while eating sausage with his knife, I decided I could learn about life elsewhere. I consoled myself with the thought that none of my friends could claim the dubious distinction of having slept with a man who fell off tables for a living.” --I Shock Myself: The Autobiography of Beatrice Wood
how do we decide to define our encounters as romantic or disastrous? exciting or disgusting? miracles or mistakes? depending on your dictionary, romance itself is defined differently--like all things, it depends on how you look at it.
when you look up the word romance, you encounter words like imaginary, chimerical, impractical, improbable, unrealistic, idealistic, fictitious, fanciful, and yet, you will also find words like imaginative, adventurous, heroic, ideal, picturesque, poetic, visionary, wonderful, extraordinary, marvelous, mysterious, unrestrained.
according to the online etymology dictionary, romance was first defined as "story of a hero's adventure".
and somehow the word has slowly lost its epic quality and instead is something that we now toss in the proverbial drawer along with soggy chewing gum and loose screws. no wonder we are so quick to roll our eyes at love songs. and yet, we sing our hearts out in the shower.
one definition dictionary.com gives for romantic is "a soulful or amorous idealist". idealist can be defined as "one whose conduct is influenced by ideals that often conflict with practical considerations." it can also be defined as "a person who cherishes or pursues high or noble principles, purposes, goals, etc." like all things, it depends on how you look at it. you choose.