Currently feeling the need to commit thoughts to type in the vague hope they will leave my head. At least for the time being so I can get some sleep. In an attempt to channel my discontent into anger may I present… A discourse on Romantic Love. Love is over stated, over rated and over emphasized. Everywhere you look these days you are confronted with this four letter word. It is vocalized incessantly and often impassionately. In today’s world does love still have any meaning? Recent events have caused me to ponder this issue to the point of insanity. My given name is Amanda. It is a Latin gerund meaning “worthy to be loved” or “loveable”. My name is therefore ironic as it seems I am the antithesis of either description. Perhaps this is why people come up with alternative nicknames for me? Only one friend calls me Mandy, he knows I hate it. When I asked him why he calls me that he said it was because he loves me. What kind of love is it that must be demonstrated through calling someone a name you know they despise? Is that supposed to be flattering? Is it meant to have meaning when you tell almost all females you know that you love them, as he does? Perhaps it is time for such people to learn that nothing from some is worth more than gold from others. In our society “Love” has become the most clichÃ©d word. I wonder if it means anything anymore. Perhaps I am an idealist but to me love is an integral part of the soul. To offer it to someone is to offer a piece of you. Such a gift should be treasured, valued, and rarely given only to a worthy few. What meaning then does it have when it comes from those who profess to be in love with many different people at once? Why do they expect their love to be treasured by others when they value it so little themselves? Has it not been said that things of value are such because of their rarity? Those who share their bodies freely are looked down upon. Society judges them to be selling themselves cheaply, to have no self worth. Is it so different to offer your heart than to offer your body? Yet in this world we are told that life is nothing without love. What then for those who do not find it? Does it mean we are unworthy, lacking, insufficient? Statistically speaking there should be several someone’s for everyone right? So if you can’t find a single solitary person to share your love with does that not indicate that there’s is something seriously wrong with you? At the age of 13 girls who have not had a boyfriend are teased. Such girls console themselves with the thought that they are young, plenty of time for boys later. As the years pass such mantras are increasingly repeated, however, eventually, doubts creep in. One cannot help but look around and seek a pattern to human interactions. In high school the pretty bouncy girls got all the attention. Older people advised this was a phase, that men would want intelligent partners when they grew up. Then in your late teens this seemed to happen, for everyone else. Seemingly dull and unattractive girls had dates and boyfriends left, right and centre. For most the adage, there is someone for everyone, seemed finally to be true. But then there are those who are left out and running out of excuses. When your parents tell you they want you to find someone that they hate to see you lonely, how do you tell them it’s because no one likes you? People have no qualms about suggesting what your inadequacies are. Such people are variously told they are too fussy, stuck-up, smart, pretty, happy, sad, busy, confident, not confident or any range of other equally disparate things. There is never any question though, if no one likes you it is all your fault. At the ripe old age of 23, dinner discussion amongst women invariably ends up on the topic of men and relationships. Tonight I had the supreme joy of being party to one such discussion. In high school girls talked about wanting boyfriends and long term relationships. Now it seems the conversation has moved onto marriage and children. I was asked tonight how my ideal marriage proposal would go. I had no answer. It seems I’m still stuck at the 13 year old stage, I am still wondering how my first kiss will go. What would I want the man to say when he proposes? I’m still waiting for a man to ask me on a date! What would my perfect engagement ring look like? I’ve yet to receive a phone call ‘ring, ring’. With each passing year I feel more and more inadequate. When I was in high school it was admirable to say you were a virgin because you were waiting for someone special, whether or not that was before or after marriage. It’s far less cool in your twenties to say you’re a virgin because no one will have sex with you. Its awe inspiring to hold out, to resist temptation, not so much to have had absolutely zero opportunity. Makes everyone wonder why, what’s wrong with you? When at parties when people go around telling stories about their first kiss, date etc you get the most embarrassing pity look from everyone when you admit to not having had that first time. There’s nothing to make you feel worse than pity from those who have achieved something that almost everyone has before they can drive. When they ask about your first love they all feel the need to console you when you say you’ve never been in love, if they even believe you (it gets better if they get upset and accuse you of lying). A friend tonight declared she sincerely hopes she’s engaged by 25. I sat there thinking ‘I would be happy to have held hands with a guy by 25, it’d be a significant step forward!’. Same friend also declared she would join a convent if not married by 32, but she’d miss not being able to have sex and be loved by a man. Hell, I could be a nun; I have nothing to miss! The worst thing is wanting it. Wanting to love and be loved, just like everyone else. Instead all you feel is emptiness, not knowing what should be there instead, but knowing that it’s something, something you lack. Why does the universe allot love to the most unworthy? Why are those who would treasure a heart as sacred, the most precious gift of all, always relegated to the level of friend, despite statistical odds? Amanda will be holding her own pity party (featuring the world’s smallest violin) all week. None of you are invited. If anyone responds to this post with pity…I can’t even think of a threat…but it’ll be bad…really really bad. Like…extinction of the dinosaurs bad. 4:12am...bed time.