Monday, March 14, 2011
Cotton Candy Love
Tonight me and the rest of America propped up our feet.
We took three hours to consciously forget about all our mundane chores, bills to pay, papers to grade, and the unbearable tragedies going on in the rest of the world.
We collectively turned on the TV with bated breath to see who, oh who would receive the final rose from Bachelor Brad Womack.
I'm not ashamed to admit it. I like mindless trash TV - enjoy it even. It's cotton candy. I wouldn't eat that crap every day, couldn't choke it down every week. Too much hurts my teeth. But once a year at the fair, a big swirly puff of bright pink sugar clouds is just what you're looking for.
That's what the Bachelor is for me. I don't watch every episode, and usually miss the first half of the show. But you bet your bottom dollar I tuned in tonight for tonight's final rose ceremony.
And I was so incredibly disappointed. It was like seeing the little man behind the curtain in The Wizard of Oz.
Like having to get a filling after eating too much cotton candy.
For all of you that weren't tuned in, I'll catch you up to speed. Gosh, what a beautiful proposal it was. Think Barbie and Ken in South Africa. It's sunset. She's looking totally bridal with freakishly white teeth, platinum blonde hair and a face that is almost too symmetrical to look real. His big buff bod in that perfectly cut suit, twinkly blue eyes, and fabulous facial hair are all working together to make my heart beat a little faster with anticipation. This is it - the big moment.
"I want you to be my forever," he said.
The music swells. They kiss.
You think to yourself, wow. That's how it happens. That is true love.
And then less than 10 minutes later you get the "After the Final Rose" portion of the show where Emily looks like she's been sucking on a lemon (still with freakishly white teeth - I bet she never eats cotton candy) and Brad is terrified of looking a fool again and so he tells her he loves her 100 times within 25 minutes. And probably continuously during the commercial breaks, just in case someone is listening then, too.
Although they say they are still "in love" and engaged, you might as well hang it up. Emily wasn't feeling it - so much so that she called off their wedding and doesn't think she will move to Austin anytime soon.
It's just a stupid show, but these people are real. And my heart fell a little bit, because if this is what America looks to as true love, then we are setting ourselves up for a higher divorce rate than we already have.
If Barbie and Ken can't make it, if this good looking, successful, seemingly IN LOVE power couple falls apart after a couple of months in the real world, then what do the rest of us have to hope for?
Well, I'll tell you folks. In the crumbling vestiges of Brad and Emily's relationship, there is a gigantic hole where something beyond feelings comes into play. LOVE is second place to a little thing called GOD'S LOVE, which is permanent and everlasting. It steps in when you're feeling snarky or stubborn. It forgives when you have every reason to hold on to hurt and anger. It is patient, it is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
If you hope to sustain that kind of love on your own, you might as well try keeping coffee warm in the freezer. Sure, it's hot when it goes in. But leave it in there a few minutes and you better head to Starbucks or invest in a good microwave.
Now I know:
Cotton candy doesn't keep you full long.