I remember watching outdoor movies growing up, say a World War Two or western film production at the local Borderland Drive In Theatre with the entire family crowded in the car.
I’m the youngest of four boys in my one piece pajamas, the one with the zipper down the back and built in slippers.
Dad would head off to hunt for snacks at the yellow lighted concession stand down by the swing sets.
And usually get talking, socializing. Taking a very long time to return to the car with what he had hunted, gathered, foraged for us at the snack shack.
Never making it through much of the first flick. I would be asleep long before the last reel of the double feature movie on the big screen finished and the drive in flood lights came on. And we were all reminded to replace, hang our audio speakers on the post next to the car before we drove off in single file. With Ralph expertly making lighthouse like revolving hand gestures with his four cell flashlight. To herd the traffic out to the main road to head home for the night.
I remember the expression Dad would use when the action, drama on the big silver screen was a little unrealistic. Especially during the war scenes where he did have experiences as a tail gunner in a B 24 bomber during the early forties. If something hit him as over the top, unrealistic, not the way it really happened. And he would grown “that is so Hollywood”.
Passed of as real, as big as life and twice as frightening by some director, film producer that had not ever seen action. And swallowed hook, line and sinker by the popcorn munching, soda slurping crowd watching the film in rows and rows from the comfort of their own cars.
This morning I started my day reading one of my favorite writers C.S. Lewis.
From Mere Christianity and his topic about falling in love. Lewis writes “Being in love is a good thing, but it is not the best thing. There are many things below it, but there are also things above it. You can not make it the basis of a whole life. It is a noble feeling, but it is still a feeling.”
“Now no feeling can be relied on to last in its full intensity, or even to last at all. Knowledge can last, principles can last, but feelings come and go. And in fact, whatever people say, the state called “being in love” usually does not last.”
Lewis reminds “But as I’ve said before, the most dangerous thing you can do is to take any one impulse of your own nature and set it up as the thing you ought to follow at all costs.” This country, world desperately seeks to be in love. All the time.
The expectations of two people in a relationship, the world in general can become unrealistic because of that hunger, that thirst.
To maintain story book love and romance can become a grueling emotional marathon. Causing bone weary fatigue of round the clock effort that can not be maintained. Because love has to evolve, deepen, move on to what else do you like about the other person. Besides the initial warm, fuzzy, glowing feeling of love. It boils down to move over, give me the clipboard run down of what do you like about the other person in the partnership?
They say there is no such thing as just one perfect soul mate. There are lots of possibilities for the role. That if you can find someone that possesses 70 to 75% the make up of what you expect, looking for in qualities, you can make a lasting, rich relationship happen. But if you rely on the initial sweep you off your feet, head over heels roller coaster rush of over the top love to continue non stop, you are setting yourself up for disappointment.
Get hooked on more than a feeling of love.
See the other person as more than how they make you feel up front. Realize what they possess deep inside that is good, real, not Hollywood but practical for day to day living. That will last, serve as a foundation to build on and survive the storms of life and the relationship. Know yourself and that this other person may not be right for everyone, but they are for you.
Otherwise you will keep looking, expecting that first in love explosive feeling.That comes after long droughts of longing for it, being in an emotional desert needing rain. And can see a mirage, believe all your pain, suffering in life will evaporate, be not more. Like it never happened. With the elixir of true love.
Thinking that clutching, clinging for dear life to that feeling of being deep in love will fix all that has been wrong in your life up until that moment. That is so Hollywood unrealistic and your partner is going to get exhausted trying to meet your expectations. Making you happy is a full time job. Your own inside life long exercise to find inner peace, the basis of everything else you build on that foundation.
Find someone you like, and that both of you feel you got the better half of the exchange, the partnership. Where the greater good of the combination results than you could hope to achieve on your own. The harmony, peace, contentment and joy that results in that union will create the lasting love that is not just the flash in the pan fireworks kind that is artificial, not real.