Tuesday, December 6, 2011

You raise me up

I remember as a dreamy teenager on a summer afternoon after watching BBC's Pride & Prejudice, sitting with Piyu and Momo discussing what our respective Mr. Right would be like. You know, the prince on the white horse, the knight-in-shining-armour, the Mr. Darcy, the One, or whatever the latest romantic comedy told you to look for when looking for love.

All three of us had a list of things. Qualities, we hoped, the boy (it's a little silly to say man when you're fourteen and making lists) we fell for would possess.

I remember mine was something like this. "Can recite the dialogue to entire scenes from Friends episodes". "Likes Tennyson-y poetry". "Is good at math". "Doesn't think crying is for wusses but isn't too sensitive either". "Gets sarcasm". "Smells like fresh-cut grass". "Has a pet dog". "Plays a musical instrument or can convincingly whistle song tunes".

As you can see, it was a very exhaustive list. And it wasn't completely unrealistic. Or so I thought till my mum pointed out I wasn't likely to find a sitcom loving, poetry reciting mathematician and part-time gardener with a dog, in real life.

And growing up, what my mum said really started to sink in. I thought, okay, I could compromise on a couple of contentious items. Like, maybe we could get the dog later or maybe our kids could get my awesome math genes instead.

But Tennyson. Sigh. Tennyson can be so persuasive that he refuses to allow you to let go of your romantic ideals.

One of my favourite poems by him is a particularly recklessly romantic one I read from Piyu's mum's old, much-read, frequently-thumbed copy of The Oxford Book of English Verse.

It goes like this -

"O, were I loved as I desire to be!
What is there in the great sphere of the earth,
Or range of evil between death and birth,
That I should fear, - if I were loved by thee!
All the inner, all the outer world of pain,
Clear love would pierce and cleave, if thou wert mine."

Reading that again tonight, I remember once again what it was like to be in love with the idea of being in love. And I smile knowingly with the wisdom that only ten years of dissecting romantic films can bring. Yeah, maybe we could get the dog later.


Sakshi said...

I am a die hard romantic :)
And that is all I am gonna say.

Arumugam said...

I fear for some dear friends of mine who have the 'I'll drop a can of peas at the supermarket,he'll pick it up and we'll live happily ever after' mindset:-) and I hope they outgrow these fantasies before reality beckons...

Am sure you've heard of the husband store joke.Here it is, in case u haven't


mgeek said...

Well the funny thing is when you do find someone and fall in love, the man will somehow, in your sweet-smelling romantic delusion, fit into that list of yours, which has somehow changed by a silent miracle. Every tried holding water in your palms? It takes the shape you want it to be...

Tangled up in blue... said...

Sakshi, on some days, I am too! :D

Arumugam, that is just plain hilarious! I had heard a simplified version of it on a radio chat show but wow! I think the best jokes are the ones that are most perceptive and that one really is! :D Sometimes, I am really jealous of the male psyche. Things must be so simple for them, I think. They never sit around giggling, making lists. As a recent article proclaimed, the male miracle of compartmentalisation! :)

Tangled up in blue... said...

mgeek, I know! It's like they're perfection incarnate. That happened to me in school once. I had a massive crush on the school headboy, I think I used to worship the very ground he walked on. He added me on facebook a couple years ago, and I was looking at a photograph of him thinking wow! This guy is just like any other regular guy. What's so special about him? So, I realised it was my mental image of him that I was infatuated with, I'd barely even spoken to him back then. I really hope I can say I know better than that now. But who knows? Then there's friends of mine who after they break up with someone think their ex was like, well, Satan's spawn or something.

We tend to lose perspective about these things. Sometimes I wonder if we behave this waywardly is because we're allergic to our own hormones! :D

mgeek said...

Hey TUIB, check your mailbox!

S. Susan Deborah said...

This post reminded me of my list or something like a list. The list was long forgotten after I shed the skin of teenage and now thinking of that list, I wonder whether all those traits that I wanted in my man have sunk deep into the sub-conscious, making its presence felt now and then. Well, . . . who cares, now that I'm married!!

Joy always,

Jester said...

men have lists too...maybe only uptil the '3rd floor' but they do have lists!

Jester said...

and about Mr. Right fitting the list perfectly whenever he does arrive(or is it the list fitting Mr.Right)
the best part is that soon another list of things makes an appearance,a list of things he doesn't fit into...and when u come across someone who fits into the new list arise the moral dilemnas of faith!!

Poppy said...

TUIB! What you say, 'sometimes I think, we're allergic to our own hormones', you know I saw a documentary once on Discovery, the Science of Sex Appeal, and it says that we're most likely to get attracted to people who have genes most unlike ours, so that our children would have a large variety of genes in THEM giving them a greater survival advantage.

So yeaa, I think there's conclusive proof about your statement!

Arumugam said...

I remember reading a Book 'Mr Good enough' by Lori Gottlieb which is a pretty hilarious take on list making for the perfect mate aimed at the 'Carrie Bradshaw' generation.

The Author realizes at 39, she is still single and waiting for 'The One'.So in order to avoid 'settling' for someone because of the ticking of her biological clock,she decides to have a baby on her own via IVF and then resume her search:-)Quite an eye opening and hilarious read...

I happened to pick up this book,when I realized the length of my list was rivaling that of some women I knew:-)

Contrary to popular perception,I and most men I know,would go up at least a few more floors:-)


Tangled up in blue... said...

mgeek, time to check your mailbox! :)

Susan, LOL! I love the way you put things in your comment. Yeah, maybe you internalise your teen dream, maybe you even live it after a fashion and then you end up realising that the difference really doesn't matter. Profound your comment was, dear Susan! Loved it! :D

Tangled up in blue... said...

Jester, I agree. The problem with making grocery lists for human beings is you won't get exactly what you thought you wanted and there's no way you can return items once you've brought them home. I mean, like cheese will be just as yummy every day. But people - well, they can be adorable one day, annoying the next! :D And in all seriousness, I get what you mean. Human beings are too complex to fit 'lists'. I get that. I'm just laughing at our tendency to continue to make lists all the same. :D

Tangled up in blue... said...

Arumugam, you have NO idea how comforting that comments of yours is. It's good to know I'm not the only one. Now don't you say, "Misery loves company!" :D That book looks really interesting. I'm gonna check it out. :D How do you find so much cool stuff on the interwebs? And another question I've been meaning to ask you for a long time, why don't you have a blog yet? You really really ought to! :D

Astha said...

I am just a sucker when it comes to romantic movies and books and all the mushiness! :D
Don't you just love love?

I started following your blog because I was shocked that your title was the SAME as my latest blog post's! I was like "whoaaa!" And then I read a couple of your posts and liked them as well! :D

Tangled up in blue... said...

Astha, yeah, Notting Hill is one movie that never fails to remind me I love the idea of falling in love. That whole "I'm just a girl standing in front of a boy asking him to love her." shtick that I totally buy into every single time man! They make em like Julia any more! :)

And that's quite a coincidence! I am a huge Bob Dylan fan, hence the blogger name. On my way to your blog now. :)

Anonymous said...

I loved the last line :)
Some of us guys have lists like this too...we keep them to ourselves though; at least I do.
I used to write (and flip over) English poems too, till I discovered Urdu (through countless old Hindi songs). Ever since then, it's been difficult to write and/or appreciate English poetry.
And yes, I have watched Before Sunrise and Before Sunset...they're two of my favourite romances, simply because there is no showy romance through most of the film. And some of the dialogues make me want to say, 'THAT'S what I'm walking about!'

Tangled up in blue... said...

Mrigank, thanks! :) And Urdu poetry is rather lovely. I wrote a post about it here myself actually! And yeah, there's no showiness in them. Just this very tenderness that shades the performances. And you want that day and that night to happen to you more than any other improbable romantic cliche the movies otherwise invent. :)