In “Essays in Love”, Alain de Botton writes about the progression of his relationship with Chloe, from the meet cute at the airport to the phone tag in scheduling the first date, to the first kiss, the first argument, the dilemma when (who first gets) to say “I love you”, meeting the parents, the friends, the first trip together. As with most heady romances, it eventually becomes tempered by the mundane nature of everyday seeing, talking, being with each other. Doubt sets in, then a domino-effect which just left me thinking “well, that escalated quickly”.
It is only with a quick Google search that I find out that this is de Botton’s work of fiction. One that he wrote at 23 years old! (He’s 46 years old now).
De Botton is very quotable. He is, after all, a philosopher. Every chapter was a joy to read, even when the love affair devolved. I especially liked the chapter where both lovers, who though definitely feeling it, could not get themselves to say the 3 little words. The male character, de Botton I assumed, came up with a safe word, “marshmallow” that to them “seemed to capture the essence of my amorous state with an accuracy that the word love, weary with overuse, simply could not aspire to.”
Many times before, while listening to my friends’ love stories and having none of my own, my friends would say, “you are lucky, you have not felt love yet, because it is difficult, it is hard work, it is painful.” And to that, I would always reply, “I do not care. I just want to feel how it is to love and be loved.” (Romantically, I meant. I have a lot of love in my life. Heh.)
Flash forward to today… I still feel the same way.