But then I read a couple of things yesterday that made such interesting and elegant counterpoints. Unfortunately, I didn't write either of them.
The first bit is a poem* that was quoted in a novel I finished last night: How Elizabeth Barrett Browning Saved My Life, by Mameve Medwed (a fun light read, if you like skewering academia and stories about antiques):
If thou must love me, let it be for nought
Except for love's sake only. Do not say
'I love her for her smile - her look - her way
Of speaking gently, - for a trick of thought
That falls in well with mine, and certes brought
A sense of pleasant ease on such a day' -
For these things in themselves, Beloved, may
Be changed, or change for thee, - and love, so wrought,
May be unwrought so. Neither love me for
Thine own dear pity's wiping my cheeks dry, -
A creature might forget to weep, who bore
Thy comfort long, and lose thy love thereby!
But love me for love's sake, that evermore
Thou may'st love, through love's eternity.
-- Elizabeth Barrett Browning, sonnet 14, From the Portuguese
The other piece of writing - nearly as poetic, but prose instead of a 19th century poem - was Redneck Mother's post, especially the part about her Great-Aunt and Uncle. Although I do also really love her mother's quote:
"Marriage is not the goal," she said, briskly. "It's the person that matters. I love your father. The institution of marriage itself is bullshit."
In its own way, that's just as romantic as the sappy romance-era poem. I love it. And I'm glad that the guy who used to have nerdy glasses, a beard, and play the guitar when we moved in together twenty-three years ago feels the same way.
*You did know that April is National Poetry Month, right?