Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Ayelet, Oprah and Me

I never watch Oprah anymore because I have lost control of my life. Furthermore, I have lost control of the remote control, better known as the "Clicker" in my house. But today, Babygirl only wanted to rock in the big green recliner after her nap because she has another (!) cold. In DaycareKid's absence, we did just that. And I watched daytime television while CuteBaby rolled on the floor and sucked his socks.

Today, lo and behold, a former blogger, and current novelist/columnist and wife to Pulitzer-prize winning novelist (Michael Chabon)was the guest. I'd even read the New York Times article the show focused on, the one where she talks about how she is "in love" with her husband, but not her four children. She mentions, in fact, that she loves her husband more than her children. This admission has caused quite a stir. I wasn't shocked when I read it because I am so used to people saying things that don't resonate with me at all.

Ayelet doesn't speak for me, even though I am a 40-year old mother of four children, too. That's because I'm not "in love" with my husband at all. I think all the talk of being "in love" is silly, as a matter of fact, and frankly, irrelevant.

I don't believe in being "in love." Love is a decision you make, not a feeling you feel. What is the point of declaring who you are "in love" with as opposed to who you merely "love"?

The whole quibble (of semantics, if you ask me) reminds me a lot of the puzzlement I felt when my dad explained to me that he still loved me, it was just that he no longer loved my mother. Those were hollow words. Is love so capricious? Love just flits away, like a shy bird? Or it melts away like an ice cream cone left in the car on a hot day? I always thought that if my parents could stop loving one another, they could certainly stop loving me. And that was before I understood that love is an action, not a description.

Oh, I'm familiar with the distinctions between the different types of love. C. S. Lewis talks about the four types of love in his book "The Four Loves." [The four Greek words for our word love are "storge" (affection), "philia" (friendship), "eros" (sexual or romantic love) and "agape" (selfless love).--from the link.] And I think Ayelet was probably trying to communicate that she loves her children differently--not more, not less--than her husband.

But then, no one asked me, even though I, too, am 40 and have four children and one husband.


Blogger Judy said...

HAVE you been a fly on the wall at my house?

My Daughter and I have been having this conversation a lot lately.

Too many people we know are calling it quits over not 'feeling in love'.

4:45 AM  
Blogger WordsRock said...

Mel, what are you trying to communicate when you say "Love is a decision you make, not a feeling you feel."?

If the word "commitment" was substituted for "love" in that sentence, I'd be in agreement with it.

But love? Not a feeling?
It sure is in my world.

4:57 AM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

Thanks for that perspective, Mel. I watched that show and think it does come down to semantics and what people are trying to emphasize when they make a point. I have also long agreed that love is a choice. It doesn't mean that you can't feel it too, but feelings are mutable. I don't always feel in love, but I am always in love.Fact is the engine that pulls feelings along -- sometimes at a distance.

5:40 AM  
Blogger Catharine said...

I also watched the show, and I had my own personal theories that I've been nursing for years confirmed for me. Women become moms and cease to be wives. I think the point that Ayelet was making was that instead of continuing to nurture that "husband/wife" bond, women poor all their attention into the child, with the idea that in a few years, when the baby isn't so demanding, we can get re-acqainted.

Unfortunately, during that time when you're busy making little TravisDaltonAshley feel like he/she is the center of the universe is when your marriage begins to unravel. Relationships are living, breathing things. It's a little like saying, I know the dog is hungry, but the baby takes all of my energy. I'll feed the dog in a couple of years, after little TravisDaltonAshley doesn't need me so much anymore.

Two years later? Oops... too late...


4:50 PM  
Blogger jane said...

Hi Mel...this is totally don't have the reciprocal link to Typeblogs ( in your blogroll. Will you please add it? Thanks.

9:13 PM  

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