I recently elected to have minor abdominal surgery and in preparation for weeks of immobility I personally hung my bedroom TV that I never watch, high on the wall, and researched some entertaining TV programs to fill my rarely indulged downtime.
I first watched Gran Hotel: a romantically inspired, Spanish spoken series filmed at the Palacio de la Magdalena in Santander set in an early 20thcentury aristocratic hotel during the reign of King Alfonso X11. The story unveils mystery after mystery and unending intrigue that involves the deeply conniving owners and their lower class staff.
I was immediately hooked. Julio the frightfully handsome young waiter who falls in love with the gorgeous, elegant Alicia; inspired the revival of a project I began last year, to explore handsome men and what makes them attractive. (Handsome Men Blog)
The next series to catch my attention was Girlfriends’ guide to Divorce, followed by House of Cards and lastly Californication.
As a result of this intensely serial exposure to TV at its best I have begun to alter some of my more conservative ideas about love, marriage, commitment and loyalty plus pondered the human dilemma and become even more intrigued about what is attractive or not in a partner, lover, friend and playmate.
Humanness is flawed by what appears to be a universal fear of vulnerability. I guess the instinctive need to be loved and the incorrigible fight to survive makes us follow our urges despite the impact our actions may have on those who love and care for us.
The desire for truth, and the need to be right often overrides the empathy that we should share with each other based on understanding another person’s “humanness”. We tend to demand the truth, I think, because it supports our ability to trust our gut feelings but when we hear what we knew but hoped wasn’t the case, we react, accuse and run away.
Despite knowing how much it hurts to be lied to we still distort the facts when we perceive that we might lose love from that other person.
My children are 27 and 14. While I have raised them to be confident, opinionated people with a sense of great possibility I fear that while love and relationship are hopefully the same, the way in which we show love , commit and communicate is completely askew.
I fear that people have become commitment phobic. With instant connection websites like Tinder we can, in a second on a whim, dial up a human being like we order sushi.
Communication is executed through email, texting, tweeting and Emojiing.
Couples sit together in restaurants looking at their phones. Sadly I wonder whether romance is dead. I tried recently to have a serious conversation with my partner who never put his I-pad down and continued to pretend to listen while he read!
Meeting the right person and getting to know them is vetted by a photo and Facebook profile. There is nothing left to chance and God forbid should we try to have a face-to-face conversation! Love is a string of experimental instant gratifications with easy “outs” and trite excuses. Do we even understand any more what we want or more importantly what is satisfying, inspiring or fulfilling?
Are privacy and intimacy a thing of the recent past? Do I really care what you ate for dinner or that your dog sat on the sofa?
Have our cell phones replaced expression of our feelings?
In my day we compared ourselves to real life people in real life situations but today we are bombarded by the faux happiness that we dump on each other. Look where I am, see how wonderful my life seems, compare yourself to my fake selfie……I worry for my children trying to find deep fulfillment in this instant, illusionary world.
Fortunately last year my 14 year old decided, of his own volition, to give up X-box, texts, phones and photo snapping in exchange for living in the wilderness, chopping wood to stoke the unit boiler, face to face connection with friends, survival in the wild, team support and old fashioned pen to paper letter writing.
I can’t deny that I am so proud of him and continue to trust that all of us will soon remember that there is nothing more heart warming than the real connection that comes with sharing a meal, looking into the eyes of your conversation partner and listening, the slow undistracted getting to know you process and finding love in relationships that we are willing to fight for, work on and sustain; whatever it takes.