Several years ago, we got up in the morning to many full-sized, extravagantly decorated posters tacked on road signs throughout our neighborhood. They all attested “I LOVE JESSICA!!!!!” Jessica’s admirer must have had help and been up half the night as there were dozens scattered over at least a 3-mile radius. As I ran my morning errands and chatted with a neighbor or two when I got home, we all thought it was hilarious and a very public request for a prom date or a marriage proposal.
Later in the day I found another set of the posters that told the full story: “I love you and cannot live without you!” said one sign. Soon came another into view: “The world is a cruel and lonely place without you!” Within a short block were the next four, just like the old Burma Shave signs: “Jessica, please ….” then ….”I’m down on my knees ….” followed by “I’m begging you now to …” and I was expecting a marriage proposal when the last sign appeared, but it read “Come back to me!!!!!”
Ah-ha! They’d broken up! He was crushed and badly wanted her back. I reflected on Jessica and her rejected boyfriend for several days. Was this breakup a good or a bad thing? Were they young or old? Was this at any time a healthy, positive relationship? Why did Jessica break-up with him in the first place? Was this a relationship worth continuing? Of course, since I don’t know either Jessica or the maker of the signs, I never found out.
My own lovely daughter is getting married on August 14 in the Provo Temple. For both she and her husband to be, there has been, as there has been for most of us, a long road of many relationships and break-ups that finally led to finding each other. That’s the story of life … and love. Fortunes for songwriters and novelists have been made on this true fact: love and its ups and downs makes the world go ‘round.
These strong feelings of attachment go to things other than people, of course. We use the phrase “I love” to describe our passionate feelings about almost every inanimate thing possible, such as “I LOVE this skirt!” or “I LOVE the color purple!” “I love” is often used for favorite foods, as in “I love chocolate!”
Obviously a passion for inanimate objects is a one-sided relationship. The gorgeous skirt that evokes these warm, fuzzy feelings has no way of returning our affection. The color purple is simply that: the color purple. It is no different with chocolate or cookies. No matter how much you “love” them, there will be nolove returned. Maybe that’s why we “love” them – there are no strings attached, no obligations or expectations! How much easier it is to reach out for a cookie for an emotional lift – however false -- than to reach out and either resolve or learn to cope with the daily stresses and relationships that constitute our lives. With a cookie, you know what you’ve got and there’s a quick – though fleeting – “good feeling” that we mentally equate with being happy and content, no matter how false, short-term, irrational and immature that is.
When I was a Weight Watcher Leader. one of my favorite meetings was “The Break-Up” where I read a letter to a woman who had broken up with “Chip” -- a chocolate cookie.
It brought the house down as I read her letter to him:
You and I have had such happy times together. At least I thought so! But recently I have learned that you don’t care, and never did! The comfort I found in your company, the delight I found when you were near …. it hurts to know how wrong I was! But things can change -- and Chip … we’re through! Oh, we may meet and briefly say hello at social gatherings, but there will be no more long, quiet evenings and late nights with you at my side ….”
If you’ve been following Dr. Gardner, we learned last week that it’s more than too many calories that hinders weight loss: emotions and stress themselves play havoc with our bodies and cause inflammation that halts weight loss – no matter how healthfully we are eating and/or how many calories we are burning with exercise!
Simply said: life itself may be causing us to be overweight!
This information is comforting and enlightening, and quite honestly, a little depressing.