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New Rules of Love (9 posts)
It's not often that my husband rides the Super Sweet Viral Video train, but the other morning he beckoned me to the computer, his eyes welling up, to watch this: The World's First Live Lip Dub Proposal. Watch the reactions of the (spoiler!) bride-to-be, and remember what you forgot you'd forgotten about the ecstasy of new love, the excitement of new marriage, and the awesomeness of the lip dub meme.
The blogger behind Purposefully Untitled knows what I'm talking about. As she wrote, "The nicest thing that anyone ever did for me...was to fill my refrigerator full of Diet Coke. Yes, it was that simple." She explains that she'd been working around the clock, and had run out of her beloved Diet Coke. Then one day she came home and found a fridge full of those silvery treasures, cans of Coke, and she reports that she was so touched, she cried.
Now, this lady obviously enjoys her soda, but that's not what made her cry. As she puts it, "That person knew me. That person knew how to love me."
So reads a love letter written by Nicholas Sparks. Oh wait, no, I mean...Richard Nixon.
Six of Nixon's love letters to his wife, Pat (whom he playfully called his "Irish Gypsy") will be revealed Friday at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, and the missives reveal that "Tricky Dick" was also, well, a totally gushy, mushy, romantic. As supervisory museum curator, Olivia Anastasiadis, told the AP, "These letters are fabulous. It's a totally different person from the Watergate tapes that people know. President Nixon started out as an idealistic young man ready to conquer the world and with Pat Ryan he knew he could do it. There's a lot of hope, there's a lot of tenderness and it's very poetic." You have to read these letters to believe them. It's a little bit like seeing photos of your parents as a young couple—there's that same jolting sense that, oh man, everyone was young once, and everyone's love story is, to them, the ultimate love story.
Learn more from the original AP story. (Via NPR.)
Writing Love Letters to The World
The 6 Best Love Letter Quotes
I came across this sweet story after talking to a single friend who was lamenting how hard it was to find a good man. Maybe she's silly to be looking for love in predictable places like bars and online dating services. Maybe the key is not to be looking for love at all. Aspiring opera singer Sonya Baker certainly wasn't looking for anything but the way in to Manhattan when she met the love of her life.
According to this New York Post story, Baker was frequently making the drive into New York City for singing auditions when she "noticed a friendly toll collector at Exit 19 in Kingston with striking hazel eyes who was 'desperately cute.'" The tollbooth operator noticed her, too, and for several months they shared instants of friendly small talk. Read the whole article for the heart-melting story of how they managed to see each other more often, and the evolution of their flirtation into a full-scale romance. And know that now they are married, and living what sounds to be a bucolic existence in Kentucky. As Baker told the Post, “It shows you that as long as you are open, you can find people in all sorts of places."
Now if that doesn't warm your heart, I don't know what will.
The Typo of Love
Why Finding Mr. Right Is So Rough
We've all had email mishaps. Who hasn't forwarded a screed on annoying coworkers to those same annoying coworkers? (Uh, right?) And to the other Amy Shearn out there, your tiny new relative is really cute, but her daddy seems to have to wrong email address for you. But I've never heard a story of misdirected email as heartwarming as this one, brought to you by the always-wonderful Story Corps:
Story Corps Tips on Telling Stories With Pictures
The Real-Life Love Story Behind "Love Story"
What Grown-Up Love is All About
Klinenberg writes, "The mere thought of living alone once sparked anxiety, dread and visions of loneliness. But those images are dated. Now the most privileged people on earth use their resources to separate from one another, to buy privacy and personal space." After studying the numbers, Klinenberg suggests that living alone has become desirable for adults of all ages. After all, "living alone comports with modern values. It promotes freedom, personal control and self-realization — all prized aspects of contemporary life."
And that's not all. People who live alone actually spend more time being social, seeing their friends, and attending cultural events than married people. Even families who live together tend to spend their time in separate rooms, ensconced in separate media experiences. In other words, lonely and alone often have nothing to do with one another.
Read the entire piece for Klinenberg's interesting revelations on what the increasing numbers of middle-aged and older people living alone means for all of us.
Staying married but living apart.
What not to say to a single woman.
I thought of Munro's story when reading John Simon's moving L.A. times piece entitled "My Turn: Loved Formed in Alzheimer's Crucible." The essay is a sweet tribute to the woman Simons fell in love with late in life, only to lose her to the fog of Alzheimer's. He recalls the fun they shared— "We had the time of our lives dancing with each other." Then Simons realizes that his lady love Dorothy is beginning to show signs of Alzheimer's, that maybe even some the zaniness he was intrigued by could have been early symptoms. He told me via email that he wrote this essay "to show that not all Alzheimer's experiences are horror stories. Dorothy never turned into a monster in spite of her constant wandering and other behavior problems. She always was loving and kind, and she always seemed to recognize me. Caregiving was a big job, but I never felt overwhelmed by it. The happiest period of my life when I had this real live woman to care for."
And now that she is in an assisted living facility, Simons writes that he is the one who is suffering. "She seems content in her dream world of dementia, while every day I am reminded of how much I have lost now that she has left my side." Isn't that always one of love's challenges, when due to some circumstance we start to live in different worlds from our lovers?
Read the whole piece here, and don't miss Simon's wonderful bio line!
Life Lessons from Senior Citizens
The 3 Things No One Tells You About Aging
Which is exactly why Kayli Stollak, 24, turned to her Granny Gail, 75, when she decided to jump into the online dating scene in New York City—especially since Granny (who lives over 1500 miles away in South Florida) is playing the digital dating game herself. As Stollak says, "She's a 24-hour cocktail party full of jokes, gossip, and advice." To record their triumphs (and low points), which they discuss almost daily over the phone, Stollak started a blog "Granny Is My Wingman."
Next: Find out more about this unexpected tag team and get their best advice for finding love online.
The next time you go on a date, don't worry about whether your hair is perfectly combed or your palms are a little sweaty, or if you can possibly eat a taco at the restaurant without getting meat stuck in your teeth and guacamole all over your lap. What you say is what matters to the person across the table, at least when it comes to your "thes".
Last week, Scientific American published an article on social psychologist and author of the upcoming book, The Secret Life of Pronouns, James Pennebaker. Pennebaker recorded the four-minute-long conversations of 80 speed daters, attempting to predict if each couple would—or wouldn't—want to go on a second date. On the tapes, he wasn't looking for awkward pauses or even lonely sighs, but instead for each person's use of seemingly innocuous words like "an," "as" and "her."