Forget love. When the schedule says it will be there at 5pm, it arrives when we’ve already decided that an hour was too long to wait, so we hail a taxi with a odorous, gentle, beastly, but unusually polite man shrouded in cigar smoke. Unknown to us, we will end up marrying and loving this man perhaps until the day we die and think: “What if I had waited ten more minutes?”
Maybe you do. Maybe you get on the train, full of expectations. Will today be the day that Robert finally stops taking all the credit around the office? Will the invigorating start of a new phase in your life build up to something beyond fantasy? Ecstasy, even?
Maybe the people at the office start to take notice. Maybe you feel just a little bit better about yourself. Maybe it lasts. Maybe it doesn’t.
In American society, we don’t scrutinize love or care to break it down. Settling down and making a family is a taken-for-granted fact of life, a norm. Love is put on an altar in our media, movies, music, and culture, above exploration, critical thinking, and self-development. Some conspiracy theorists would suggest that love is popularized by our corporate culture because it incentivizes more consumption of goods. You’re not just buying for one anymore, kiddo. You’re buying for four.
Write about whether you think love has lived up to your expectations. Or a time when it defied them, in positive or negative ways. In what manner is love a “trap?” If it’s not, what is it to you?
Melanie Falconer is a freelance writer and editor living in Los Angeles, California. Her writing mainly concerns philosophy, personal experiences, cultural commentary, and her love of the visual and performing arts. If you’d like to reach out to her, you can do so here.