Falling in love again. That’s what the sultry Marlene Dietrich sang, way back in the nineteen-thirties. 70-plus years on, she might as well still be singing the same words. I mean she’s right, isn’t she? We fall in and out of love again and again and again. Or is it just me? – in which case, oops! But no, I don’t think it is just me. I think there’s only a very select few of us on this planet who are lucky enough to fall in love with the right person, just ONCE, and never feel the need to fall in love with anyone else, ever again.
But hey … hang on a minute! Are those “select few” I just mentioned really the lucky ones? You know the ones I mean? Those couples who stick together through thick and thin, till death them do part – literally. Meet and fall in love in their younger days, get married, set up home together, have kids together, grow middle-aged together, retire together, die – well, maybe not together.
I’m sure we all know at least one or two couples like that don’t we? Auntie Gladys and Uncle William? Great Grandma Violet and Great Grandad Joe, according to family legend? I can certainly think of a handful of cases. And fully confess to feeling green with envy every time I see yet another selection of happy-clappy photos splashed on Facebook. You know the type? Snapshots of yet another day trip out together, yet another weekend away together, yet another holiday in the sun, or perhaps at Christmastime, with log fires blazing away in the hearth of some cosy hotel in the middle of nowhere, as the happy couple in question – hair now greying at the temples and roots, or perhaps falling out altogether (that’s the male half) – stretch out their slippered feet in front of those glowing, crackling winter logs? What was the question?
But anyway, here’s the thing. Don’t you think that such fiendishly successful couples should actually be called unlucky rather than lucky? Think about it. I’m addressing you, fellow-blogger – in particular those of you out there who, like me, have not had much luck in sticking with the same partner for donkey’s years, let alone your whole life.
So if you’ve also had more than one partner, then presumably you’ve also been in love more than once, and will therefore know that romantic love is the most AWESOME experience a human being can be blessed with! Forgive the capitals and exclamation mark. But seriously, isn’t it like a blessing from God, or from the gods, depending on how many you believe in? All that heart-fluttering; that rush of blood to your skin pores, loss of appetite, inability to think about anything except the beloved; all that fantasising – both sexual and romantic – of being together every single minute of the day when you’re not together … aren’t you in a kind of trance, a drug-induced state, when you’re feeling like that? Aren’t you on the top of the world in every sense of the word? Who wouldn’t want to experience that sensation ad infinitum?
But then – fast-forward several years or decades – the flame has at last extinguished itself and you feel at your wits’ end as you stare at your snoring partner and fantasise about reclaiming your freedom, or perhaps it’s someone else you’re now fantasising about – and on particularly rainy days like today, you sometimes find yourself thinking, what’s the point of it all?
Now, two husbands and a few lovers later, I can actually see the point of it all. No, I’m being serious. Falling in love – no matter how blind, foolish, or in some cases downright wrong – is a crazy, wonderful thing. And if you fall in love again and again, then you’re lucky enough to experience it more than once, unlike all those faithful, life-long partners who’re still stretching their bunioned feet out in front of that boring old log fire in the middle of the stupid soggy countryside.
Now, when I look back on those early days of passion and fascination and despair and joy and all the exhausting rest, I actually feel jealous of my younger self. What an amazing dose of falling in loves I was lucky enough to experience! Even if I am now alone.
So who’s the lucky one?