Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Jonny Depp and a Recipe for Love

I recently came across this quote from Jonny Depp...
“If you love two people at the same time, choose the second because if you really loved the first you wouldn't have fallen for the second.”

Now, I want to make out with Jonny Depp as much as the next person, but I think he got this a bit wrong actually. I could get all indignant and plead that of course the feelings for the second are greater because, by virtue of the fact that they are second, one has had less time to experience the full gamut of not-so-niceties that come with knowing a partner over a long period of time. But, I think that I can explain my theory more effectively with recipes and math.

Recipe for (romantic) Love
1 cup warm fuzzy feelings
1 cup sharing your life
Generous dollop of hot chili peppers XXX

Now feel free to add cinnamon, strawberries, garlic, whatever floats your boat, but as far as I can tell these are the key ingredients, and it is not romantic love if one is missing. For example, I have warm fuzzy feelings and share my life with my children and even a few of my girlfriends, but these relationships lack hot chili peppers. Or perhaps, one has warm fuzzy feelings for another which leads to the addition of hot chili peppers, but when you think of sharing your life with that person, you warm to the idea of sticking needles in your eye. You get the idea.

To help you better understand this concept, I've created this graph of my own personal research on the subject:



So what valuable information may we glean from this graph, you ask? Well, perhaps one might notice that there were significant lapses in the life-sharing during the earlier years of our relationship when HandsomeManA and I lived apart. Or, one may find it notable that in years 7, 9, and 12, (the years our children were born) there was a corresponding decrease in the frequency of hot chili peppers and simultaneous increase in feelings of warm fuzziness. Or one may see a steady decrease in feelings of warm fuzziness in the early years of our relationship possibly relating to an increase in expressed flatulence (but that deserves its own graph). Now none of this is particularly telling or interesting, but what this very scientific graph does prove is that the mere presence of these three ingredients does not a 'love' make. And the reason is this... What this graph of humps and bumps is unable to show is any significant growth pattern, when, in reality, my love for HandsomeManA increased in magnitude everyday for 14 years.

Well, here's the kicker folks... Every good cook knows that a recipe needs a 'binder' (for those of you who are not culinary geniuses, a binder is the ingredient which holds the recipe together. Eggs to a cake, for example). Without a binder, the recipe just falls apart, and one could try any quantity of the other ingredients but the end result would not stick. In the case of the recipe for love, one might experience a combination of the warm fuzzies, hot chili peppers, and life-sharing time and time again but find that 'love never stuck'. Or in the loosely interpreted words of Jonny Depp, one might find himself choosing to love the forty-second person, assuming that because they once again found the right combination of ingredients, the forty-first recipe was flawed.

Having said that, I do have to applaud Jonny for this—he has included the key ingredient. In the original quote, notice the word “CHOOSE”. That's it, folks... The binder. Choice. I can categorically confirm that my choice to love and continue to love HandsomeManA everyday for fourteen years directly resulted in a love that grew and grew and continues to grow.

Now here's a more telling graph:





As you can see there is a causal relationship between my choosing to love HandsomeManA and the level of hearts in our relationship.

Now whether or not you buy into my Math (I don't know how you couldn't??) or Jonny's more succinct quote, the message is the same. Love is a choice, and, because I happened to come across this last week, I will conclude with what I see as a more comprehensive quote on the matter. This comes from my uncle Ron Rolheiser, “Love is a decision...We find that hard to believe because long before we have to decide for love, we first fall into love. Initially, it chooses us more than we choose it.” And I would add, that in turn, "we must choose it again and again and again.”

Happy Wednesday...



Adele