A few weeks ago, I was listening as a colleague talked about men. When she was done, I repeated my tried, tested and true theory.
"You know what," I said, taking a deep breath. "The bottom line is, if a guy's into you, he'll do whatever it takes to see you. He'll call you even if he's busy with work. He'll make time for dinner. No guy's too busy when he really likes someone. "
|John and Yoko, 1980|
My colleague chuckled.
"How can you still be such a hopeless romantic after all this time? You're waiting for that prince charming to sweep you off your feet. You have to prepare yourself for the fact that life isn't like the movies. It may not happen like that."
I thought about this. She was right. Not about the fact that it may never happen (my fairy godmother told me it will.) She was right about the fact that among a sea of jaded, sometimes bitter, scorned women, I'm still a romantic.
I still believe in love. True, overwhelming, can't-live-without-each-other love. Movie love.
|V-J Day in Times Square, 1945|
I might be the only single girl in the world who likes Valentine's Day. Sparkly things make me happy. There's nothing better than a sunny day, lying on a dock, with a good book. Listening to Enya.
Sometimes, sunsets are so beautiful, they make me tear up. I cry at every wedding I go to, right at the moment when the father gives his daughter away (HEARTBREAKING!) I love hearing stories about how people met, fell in love, did everything possible to be together.
Floral patterns, the first snowfall of the year, old couples slow dancing. Pure, romantic, gold.
A few nights ago, my romantic notions started to make more sense to me. After picking up some takeout, I arrived at my pseudo-granny's for an annual tradition - the Oscars.
Cec and Nana used to watch the star-clad awards religiously. Not only watch. They'd get dressed up, eat hors d'oeuvres, drink champagne. Cec said Nana was the only one who really cared about the Oscars like she did.
After my Nana died, my sister and I continued the tradition, although hors d'oeuvres and champagne have been replaced with Zinfandel and Chinese food. After settling down with the red carpet special, Cec, who's now 87 years old, told me how happy she was that I'm still into the Oscars.
"Not many of my friends care anymore," she said.
"Mine either," I answered, smiling.
Just then, I got a text message from my sister.
"Is it wrong if the Oscars give me shivers?" she wrote. "I wish I was there! Loving all of the sparkly dresses!"
That's when I realized.
|Eiffel Tower, Paris|
From drinking ginger-ale and banging pots and pans on New Year's Eve with Nana, to sobbing with my sis in the movie theater watching Titanic, and groaning in mock-horror whenever our parents would kiss passionately in front of our friends, we've always been champions for love.
Romance has been ingrained in my soul since I was a little girl.
|Water lilies, Monet|
Maybe, in some way, my colleague's right. Maybe my expectations are too high, Maybe there isn't someone who's going to come along and sweep me off my feet.
But it's so much nicer believing there is.
Believing that if I keep my heart open, it will happen, exactly the way I've dreamed it. Complete with fireworks, balcony proclamations, and songbirds who do my laundry and make my bed every morning.
I'm not a hopeless, but a hopeful romantic.
I can't be any other way.
After all, my family history holds some of the greatest love stories of all time.
|My parents, 1979|