Compatible Weirdness By Christina Cole
I’m a lucky woman. I’m married to the love of my life. He’s my lover, he’s my best friend, he’s a part of who I am. During the day we often pick up our cell phones to text one another, only to find that our texts have crossed in the ether because we’ve texted at the exact same moment. We finish each other’s sentences; we share each other’s thoughts. We are what New Age believers call “Soul Mates”.
Yes, there are differences between us. I take a “do-it-now” approach to solving problems in life, where he’s a procrastinator. I tend to sulk and get the blues when life gets me down. He just gets mad when things go wrong.
Of course, we both have our little “quirks” -- all of which are too silly to mention here -- and we laugh at what we call our “compatible weirdness”. That expression comes from a quote I found one evening while browsing online:
We are all a little weird
And life’s a little weird
And when we find someone
Whose weirdness is compatible with ours
We join up with them in mutual weirdness
And call it LOVE.
Before I move on, let me quickly say this. Although most online sources attribute these words to Theodor Geisel, who wrote as Dr. Seuss, the “compatible weirdness” quotation actually comes from Robert Fulgham, author of Everything I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten and True Love. The quote is included in True Love.
Thinking of my own relationship led me to ponder fictional love affairs...both those from romance novels I’ve read and those in romance novels I’ve written. I find that I’m drawn to love stories (and compelled to write stories) in which the hero and heroine are true soul mates. They are, it seems, destined to be together. Of course, they may not recognize that at first. They may even fight the attraction. But, as Polly Washburn laments in Summertime...
“I don’t think it was chance that brought you back to Brookfield now. I think maybe it was fate." She sagged against the edge of the table. "I can fight you, Linnie, but I can’t fight fate. Nobody can fight what's meant to be."
So how do characters discover that they’re “meant to be” together? What signs occur along the way? Needless to say, as I’m writing, I draw upon my own thoughts and feelings about love. I think of my own relationship and the feelings that come from all my husband and I share.
· My characters usually feel a sense of security and strength from one another. The heroine may often turn to the hero for comfort; when she’s hurting, she feels that he’s the one who can make things right again. The hero, in turn, needs the encouragement and hope the heroine offers. Whether they recognize it at a conscious level or not, they each realize they are stronger together than apart.
· My characters think about each other often. At odd moments throughout the day, memories slip into their minds. At night, they see each other in their dreams. Their thoughts may not always be pleasant, especially during times of conflict, but those thoughts are always there, always drawing them together again.
· My characters notice things about one another. They become accustomed to those little “quirks” each has. Gestures, expressions, and attitudes all become familiar, so much so that one can often predict what the other’s response will be to a situation.
· They are “in tune” with each other. At times it seems as though one character must be reading the other’s mind. They can “read” each other emotionally, as well. When he’s got something on his mind, she knows it. When she’s upset, he’ll recognize it, even if she’s trying to hide what she’s feeling.
· They laugh together. This, I think, is one of the most telling “signs” of true love. I once heard it said that if you want to know whether or not two people are really in love, listen to how much they laugh. Hearing that, I knew for sure I’d found the man I was meant to be with. We’ve always laughed together. A lot. We laugh over the silly things we do, we laugh about all the stuffed puppies I have scattered across the bed, we laugh about the dishes I haven’t done, the leaves he hasn’t raked, the mistakes we make. Life is better when lived with laughter, and love is the greatest joy in life. Live, laugh, love. The words naturally go together, just like the heroes and heroines in a good love story.
Yes, the heroes and heroines in my romance novels have problems to resolve, issues to work out between them, and at times, the path of true love might get a bit bumpy. What they learn, however, is that reaching out to one another, drawing strength from each other, and above all, risking their heart and falling in love helps them overcome their fears, face up to their doubts, and rise above the obstacles life has thrown in their way. Love heals old hurts. Love brings courage. Love lights the way to the future.
Life is never perfect. Not for me, not for any one of us, and certainly not for the men and women whose stories we read in romance novels. Life isn’t meant to be perfect, and that’s why love is so important. With love, we can face life with all its problems, all its hardships, and yes, all its weirdness.
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Bio: Christina Cole believes in the power of love. She writes romance novels with characters you'll care about and remember long after the end of the story. To learn more about Christina and her books, please visit her website: Christina Cole Romance.