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Puppy love

March 24th, 2011

I have been described by many as both a hopeless romantic and a “goopy” individual (in the best possible way, I assume). So who is a better person to address the mysteries of love than me, right? I am sure this topic will come up in future columns as well, since it certainly can’t be thoroughly solved in one small discourse. But for now, I would like to focus my attention on a specific form of affection – puppy love.

According to our “wise” elders who have experienced the “real world,” puppy love is something that happens between naïve teenagers who don’t know what they really feel. Nonsense, I say!

“Make sure you know the difference between in love and in lust,” cautions Mom. “You don’t have enough life experience to understand that kind of stuff,” grumbles Dad. Perhaps this is true.

So what, then, is the real love that these wise old people want us to find? Obviously, we should look to the example they have set for us. They say things like, “You two fight like an old married couple” and “Love is one long sweet dream, and marriage is the alarm clock.” Well, if this is the love that our elders want us to find, then I doth protest.

I will take puppy love over this any day. It is pure and untarnished by the “real world.” The actors are not jaded, and a gaze from one person to their other is genuine. The smiles are real, and the feeling is unlike anything in the world.

Puppy love is innocent, too. Of course people make mistakes, but that’s just part of being human. The capacity for forgiveness between two little puppies in love is something special. Being able to look into someone’s eyes and feel at home is something to be cherished.

Last year, a friend told me about finding your “penguin” – the one person in the world who is perfect for you. To an old person, this is a ridiculous concept. We don’t have a penguin, we just learn to settle. We make compromises that we can live with if we “love” the other person enough. Why should I have to put qualifiers like enough on my affection? Again, I say, nonsense!

Of course this is a fairy tale construct of a fantasy world. But what’s wrong with wanting to live in a fairy tale? What girl doesn’t want to find a Prince Charming? And what boy doesn’t want to find a Princess Fiona (even if you do discover she is secretly an ogre by night)?

My point is simple: puppy love is sacred. It should not be discouraged or admonished. Quite the contrary – it should be embraced. The old, married couples who jeer condescendingly at the Romeos and Juliets of our time are probably just jealous that they have forgotten how to be innocent and true to each other. So if you are a young lover, love much, love pure, and “carpe amor.”