The second link, but oddly enough not the first, is brought to you by the Space Pope!
Wanting to be somewhere is not the same as wanting to go there. In matters of social travel, I embody a principle of Newtonian mechanics. A body at rest tends to stay at rest, and all that. (Unrelatedly, I’m also wicked entropic: a closed system characterized by disorder and chaos, with an undeniable tendency toward heat death.)
You know what will really improve my social life? Teleportation. Getting there isn’t half the battle; it’s the whole battle.
I just learned a new word from a piece of spam: sintering, to heat a powdery material (like ceramics or metal) below its melting point until the particles adhere into a whole.
Why did I open the spam? Because my Gmail’s gone wonky and won’t let me “mark as spam” from my inbox, only from the email itself.
Why did I continue reading it?
A) They didn’t actually indicate any way for me to throw large fistsful of money at them, and I wondered where the hook was buried;
B) sintering, dude. Strange words catch my eye.
I’ve been studying the giant listing of vows at [wedding forum redacted], and as I do, I’m struck by how many people’s vows make untenable promises about “always”: I will always keep this passion alive, I will always adore you, you’ll always be my beloved and most awesomest best friend.
And I’m thinking, “…really? So, you can consciously control your impulses, turning on and off your flow of oxytocin and serotonin like a tap? Coooooool*. But most people don’t work like that.”
The realist** in me suddenly sees why marriage services are so often three-pronged: a celebration of the present with its smoochy-faced love; a reminder that marriage is Serious Business; a sobering pledge of fortitude in the face of challenges. The couple vows to behave a certain way, because, duh, you can’t control your passions, but you can control your behavior.
Because emotions are slippery, fickle things, I can’t sensibly promise how I will feel in the future. The Fella is my bestest beloved most awesomest best friend, and I’m entering this marriage believing that will always be so. I will nurture and bolster my passion, my fondness, my adoration of him, and do my best to give him reason to do the same. I enter this marriage believing that our love, sympathy, and hard work will keep these feelings vital and growing, always shifting and changing with us.
I can hope and believe and, most importantly, I can strive to make it so; I can’t promise that my crazy hindbrain will follow in step every day.
But I can pledge to treat him as someone I love and adore, as someone for whom I am passionate, as my bestest beloved most awesomest best friend. What, then, does that mean? For me, it means a promise of respect, trust, honesty, kindness, sympathy, and a mutual assumption of good intent now and in the future — even if I’m hurt, even in anger, even if my lizard-brain hisses at me.
Surely this is the crucial part of the vows, in any case. Ardent love and bountiful affection don’t test our vows of commitment. Marriage (or any bond of love or friendship) is predicated not on the continuance of fleeting passions, but on the determination to honor our promises, even (especially) when loving kindness flags or falters.
*I would like to cut you up and study you. Please?
**Yes, The Fella is aware that he’s marrying an affectless robot.
In which I discuss my ticklishness and willfully disregard my interest in primatology.
Elsa: Just because I howl like a monkey and kick, that doesn’t mean you have to stop.
The Fella: That is how monkeys say “no.”
Elsa: That’s how monkeys say everything .
blind tasting: HFCS Coca-Cola and kosher-for-Passover Coca-Cola
During Passover, many markets stock a quantity of Coca-Cola suitable for Passover consumption. This means no corn, which means no HFCS; this batch of Coke is made with sugar! Sugar sugar sugar!
The Fella crooked an eyebrow at my excitement as I extolled the virtues of sugar sugar sugar cola. After some prompting, he admitted his skepticism that I could discern any difference, so I proposed a taste test.