A SMAFU Kinda Love
As many of my fans, friends, and random strangers that follow my Facebook page already know, I am writing a sequel to the much loved novel SMAFU. Changing firms, getting my clients serviced at the new shop, and buying a house has left me little time for actual writing (although I’ve somehow managed to crack our fifty-thousand words so far) but the increased commute has given me plenty of time to think and contemplate the aspects of life, love, and SMAFU.
Here are the questions that play over in my mind, like over-played top forty hits on the radio, “What is the meaning of love; the nature of a soulmate; and how do they change over time?” I’ve never tried, but I think it would be easy to write a romance novel based on young-adult passion and lack of real-life experience. Everyone remembers that burst of hormonal attraction that makes you believe the man, or woman, you are beginning a relationship with could be the soulmate you’ve been searching for. The conversations seem deeper, the jokes seem funnier, and the sex is like hitting the lottery over and over and over again.
The words would flow like the Nile and my library of published works would grow exponentially, but that isn’t the genre I chose to explore. It’s not the world my characters exist within, and I am fine with that. Still, in the real world of adults, marriages, existing relationships, and even divorces there is a component of love that deserves it’s writeful place (not a typo, I just liked the pun). So, what is love?
Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock character declared it a dangerous disadvantage in one episode and a powerful motivator in another but I believe he misses the point or doesn’t really understand the nature except in a chemical reaction and physical reaction context. The intangibles and the unseen aspects don’t cross his radar and therefore do not exist.
Is love the act of caring for another, physically, and sacrificing our own self-interest for the benefit of ur partner? I don’t believe that is the answer either. My FBoM series deals with dark issues such as rape, gaslighting, abuse, and even marital rape. I’ve had the privilege of hearing stories, from some of my readers, regarding their own situations and to a one (those that are, or were, in relationships) they have all said they stayed because they loved the individual. They stayed until they couldn’t take it anymore. I’ve come to the conclusion that “loving” someone that abuses you is not really possible. They may have loved what the other person once was, but that person isn’t the one they were in the relationship with when the abuse began. The abused hold out hope, lies to themselves that the abuser is still the same guy underneath, and hangs on until the abusive cycle is all they know and it becomes a practical addiction. If the abused manages to get counseling, therapy, and time to get away from the abuse, it’s treatable and the relationship normally ends. I don’t believe real love is “treatable”. So apparently real love has nothing to do with “hanging in there” or “standing by your man” regardless of the way you’ve been treated.
Is love the feeling of connection and belonging with another living being? Perhaps, I think this is an important aspect of love, but you can get that with a best friend, a dog, or even a cat (the cat will never reciprocate, it’s not in their nature). I’m fond of this explanation from a global perspective, yet the same emotional feeling can be achieved by being a member of a sports team, a club, a religion, a family, a gang, or even a cult. It is definitely an aspect of love, but it doesn’t really complete the picture of exclusivity that happens between two people. You may feel the same connection with members of your book-club with shared interests and loves, but the room full of readers can’t all be your soulmate that you were meant to spend eternity with (although with enough wine, it would probably be fun).
Joe Walsh has a questionable musical hit entitled, I.L.B.T.. It stands for I Love Big Tits, and although it is a fun song and meant to be over-the-top, it has an odd amount of truth as to where many relationships begin and end. Physical attraction brings people together long before they get to know each other. Sometimes the relationship never moves passed be physical in nature. Mid-life crisis is a term that happens in both genders. As we age, we frequently lose the bodies of our youth, add a few pounds, and that wavy hair, that she used to enjoy running her fingers through, thinned and got lost somewhere in our thirties. The lust component of love is, without a doubt, a factor but the true love a soulmate? No… it’s definitely more than that.
One of my favorite books/movies of all time is the Princess Bride. There is a quote in the movie that goes as follows, “That day, she was amazed to discover that when he was saying, “As you wish”, what he meant was, “I Love you.” And even more amazing was the day she realized she truly loved him back.”
I think that might be the answer, at least a big part of the truth I try to build into my novels where I can. There is an intangible component of love that can’t be seen, touched, or tasted that make a couple stronger together, better as individuals, and unbeatable in spirit. It’s the knowledge that there is nothing one wouldn’t do for the other and an acknowledgment spoken, or by deed, that they will never walk alone. A shared energy that multiply and moves between the couple giving both parties more energy and stronger spirits than either would have had by themselves. It breaks the laws of physics and reality, a connection that allows communication without words, and comfort without physical contact. Love is a power all its own. It’s O Henry’s “Gift of the Magi”, each sacrificing all that ever held meaning for the sake of the other and making a new memory that lasts for all time. It’s Romeo and Juliet destined to be together either in life, or in death, but never without the other.
Real love, mature love, the love of soulmates is the magic of the universe. It’s a connection that shouldn’t exist, yet it does. It’s a fire that doesn’t die or fade through the years and has nothing to do with the physical. It’s never violent, abusive, manipulative or cruel. It’s each party wanting more for the other than they want for themselves.
The couples that have it, sometimes lose their way and drift, but in the end they always end up on the same path, going the same direction, side by side, hand in hand, because there is no place they would rather be. Their souls have been linked; their hearts have been entwined, and without their other half they ae only half of what they know they can be. Like gravity, or magnets, they will always be pulled back together… it’s the only way they can be whole.
I hope you are looking forward to the eventual release of SMAFU 2 (there will be a better title in the future), as much as I am. If you haven’t read SMAFU, might I suggest you click the link below and get your copy before the sequel come out. Don’t take my word for it though, read the reviews. ?