So, how was your Valentine’s Day?
Like the past x number of years, I had no special someone to spend it with. I won’t deny that I was a little melancholic (I am turning 26 this year, y’know), but after watching the Silly Love Songs episode in Glee, I felt better. I could somehow face the day that was supposed to be the bane of my existence.
But that Glee episode is not what I’m going to talk about today.
A few months ago, I came across a book entitled strange nervous laughter by Bridget McNulty. I have always been more of a mystery book lover, but the title and the summary at the front flap made me curious. So for less than a hundred pesos, I purchased the book. And I am glad I did.
strange nervous laughter wasn’t one of the usual romance novels that I’ve tried to read and have read before. While most romance novels tend to be overly mushy (c’mon, let’s face it), McNulty’s book showed the more “real” side of love. Maybe it was because she had presented everyday characters with everyday situations. It made it easier for me to relate to the characters, laugh with them, and sometimes cry with them.
Yes, the book was still mushy and a little corny at times, but McNulty managed pull it off without making it unrealistic. In fact, in one part of the book, there was an almost unrealistic situation and McNulty voices out all our doubts and answers it in a very simple way.
❝Oh please! I hear you say.
That stuff doesn’t actually happen.
There’s no sudden transformation,
no validation of a thousand cheesy Hallmark cards,
no selfless passion, just a slow, cautious walk up an unfamiliar,
bumpy path that may or may not be peppered with landmines,
and once you reach the end of the path, there’s a nice comfy armchair.
If you’re lucky.
I challenge you to fall in love.❞
Yes. She’s right. You might be the most cynical person in the world, but when you fall in love, you will sound like all those Hallmark cards you once despised. You probably won’t recognize it, you probably will deny it. But it’s there. You will see all the birds and the bees, and hear them sing and buzz. The world will be one worth living because that person is alive. Because that person is with you.
But how often do we really feel this? How often do we fly?
Not often enough, I think. And in my opinion, that is exactly why a lot of people have become cynical. Or, in a more modern term, career-focused. We hide behind these seemingly perfect defenses and we think no one will ever know that that part of us even exists. We say we don’t believe in love at first sight—that it’s just lust!—but deep inside, we crave it. We want it to be real. We want to have a Hallmark card relationship. Not exactly perfect, but something that can make us smile for no apparent reason.
I challenge you to fall in love, McNulty said.
I challenge you to let yourself fall.