|The Golden Knight and His Lady by Daniel Eskridge|
Then, comfortingly, I remember that I mostly managed to escape this stupidity.
Except for my Orlando Bloom phase.
(I don't want to talk about it.)
Anyway, I gather that One Direction is one of the hot new things right now. As a woman far, far out of their target demographic, I don't get the draw. (But I have seen posters that say things like “Perfect boys only exist in One Direction.” Ooookay?) Also, being an old fogey, I'd never even heard one of their songs till this morning.
Every so often I do an official investigation of American culture that consists of listening to the local pop music station, and when I turned it on today, I heard this:
Well then. If these are typical One Direction lyrics, I think I just understood the appeal. In sum: You are beautiful even when you think you aren't. I am so crazy about you that any other girl fades in comparison. That's the peanut butter to any woman's jelly, let alone the insecure, emotional, zit-popping teenagers at a One Direction concert. He likes me! He doesn't want to take advantage of me or turn me into something else! He finds me valuable and beautiful just like this, and he wants to be with me!
If I heard assurances like this coming out of the mouth of a cute boy with a bright smile and great hair, hello, I would want to believe it too.
And . . . you know, there's nothing wrong with that. While it can be tempting to respond to boy band idolatry with cynicism (often dressed up as “realism”) I hardly find it helpful, and it's certainly not realistic: “Haha, you dumb teenagers, you should never believe a boy when he says that! Love never gives you warm fuzzies and you'll never feel as beautiful as the songs promise you will!” No, no, no. I refuse to say such discouraging things to a younger woman. Because guess what? I do believe my husband when he tells me that he loves me. It does produce a lot of warm fuzzies. I do feel incredibly beautiful around him. Sappy songs like this tap into a lovely reality. They may twist it, they may leave out all the hard parts . . . but love is very real and very sweet.
While I do not want my daughter to obsess over the members of some random music group-- boys who couldn't care less about her at the end of the day-- there is nothing wrong with longing to find a man who will be committed to her, praise her, and make her feel cherished. I'm certainly going to be praying that she finds that kind of man! Sure, he's going to leave his socks on the floor, forget to call her, and say stupid things when he's tired. He's going to make bad decisions, and eat the chicken she was saving for tomorrow night's dinner. But that is because he'll be human, not because every romantic ideal in the world rings hollow.
So. Yay love. Perfect boys don't exist (not even in One Direction), but love is a wondrous gift from God, and even in the middle of a messed-up sinful world, we find it gracing our lives.
Set me as a seal upon your heart,as a seal upon your arm,
for love is strong as death,
jealousy is fierce as the grave.
Its flashes are flashes of fire,
the very flame of the Lord.
-from the Song of Solomon
(Ironically, I'm not a Valentine's Day fan. I have nothing against those of you who enjoy it, but I resent the social pressure placed on men to buy roses and take their ladies out to a fancy dinner, for no other reason than that Hallmark decided to make a big whooping deal out of it. Grump grump grump.)