Does love spawn stupidity? Hmmm …

A comment I heard yesterday intrigued me, about a realist’s cynical perception of love — that love can evoke stupidity: it can make one think, feel and act stupid. I went home amused by the idea and indulged in my own flashbacks. It is fun to ruminate in hindsight because the humor of it all surfaces in such a taunting way that accentuates the absurdities. I wondered – did I do stupid things when I fell in love? I believe I did … though I’m inclined to calling them silly moments. A few examples I share here and perhaps, they will sound familiar to you, even kindle memories … funny or embarrassing – or stupid?

Butterflies in my stomach. I could hardly eat my meal on dates because for one – I was too embarrassed to show I was hungry and capable of ravenously gobbling up my food unsophisticatedly. And two, the butterflies were still fluttering in my stomach; they wouldn’t stop. Food and butterflies don’t mix. I love food and I enjoy eating – so there always was regret afterwards.

Everything he said was either witty, funny or intelligent. My speech started with stutters – I was determined to impress. Yet, I didn’t want to discourage him by showing I was very smart and intelligent, too. Could scare him away. So, I listened more and always looked enraptured, like a coy maiden … until I couldn’t resist my natural passion for discussion and debate. That worried me somewhat. The worrying was unnecessary and stupid.

I swooned over his songs. He was decidedly a wonderful tenor, the best I had ever heard. I praised his singing, even the few times he went off key because the notes were either too high or too low. Just the same, his voice sounded like magic and I boasted about it to family and friends. I urged him to show off his voice and sing to them at every occasion. Now, that wasn’t too stupid, was it?

He handed me his mildly scented handkerchief to wipe my hand after I brushed it against the ripples of an indoor pond in the gazebo outside the seminar room, where public relations professionals met that day. I was mortified to show that I accepted his handkerchief; the seminar participants were watching. I wasn’t his girlfriend then. I dreamt about the scent of that white handkerchief long after and thought, I should have just slipped it in my pocket. That was before our first date.

So many outfits lay strewn on the floor after trying each for a date. I wanted to be sure what I wore would show me as pretty. Why did I busy myself in choosing between five to eight outfits? Beauty didn’t come in outward appearance or apparel anyway, that I knew. Besides, he had told me he thought I was pretty, and that he liked me not just for my looks. Sounds corny? But true. So why did I bother? When I favored a certain style, I stuck to it. And it was always very simple. Silly that I spent agonizing minutes figuring out what best to wear when my clothes all looked alike.

He asked me to give a group photograph to a common friend.  Instead, I kept it.  I cut out the image of his face and pasted it inside my locket. Feeling bad about not handing the whole picture to the intended receiver, I considered reducing the photograph by trimming off the others posing on the sides and just show the friend. The new version looked strange and funny. So, I didn’t give it. That cut-out piece of the beloved face fell off my locket and got lost. My omission morphed to guilt only absolved by admission. He frowned, and then he laughed. I felt stupid.

An argument ensued one afternoon. The whole night, I just hung around the phone waiting for his call. Silly, I started the row – shouldn’t I have initiated the call? I jumped when the phone rang the next morning, half expecting to hear his voice. He apologized. Shouldn’t I have been the first to retract? I accepted the apology anyway. But that didn’t give me peace – so I said I was sorry, too. Sounds familiar?

Guess what, I married this man. Through all the challenges and despite all the silliness and stupidities, I realized it was true love. Did I think, feel and act stupid when I fell in love? I guess so – but wasn’t all that part of the process? We learn and grow – even in love. We learn to be humble. And that’s not stupid.

Linda P. Jacob