http://fc01.deviantart.net/fs15/f/2007/099/2/e/cynicism_by_ragweed.jpg

Oklahoma City

Okay, so firstly, this post has nothing whatsoever to do with Oklahoma.  Nor does it have anything to do with the US.  Nor even travelling, for that matter—instead, it’s about yet another stupid idea that I had.

My great idea—pauses to groan and face-palm—was to try online dating.  Oh, how I wish I were kidding.  I mean, I get that it’s mainstream now, but still.  Anyway, I wrote a post around 18 months ago called ‘Home‘, in which I said that I finally had room for someone else in my life.  The thing is, I turn 30 in 6 months and 12 days, and I have never been in love.  Not once!  Not once ever!!  I’m basically the set-up for a chic flick.  Yuck!  I haven’t even dated in nearly four years, which accumulated very quickly.  Between being heart-broken for a disproportionately long time, then in Russia, and then in Australia (but knowing I was leaving again), it just sort of turned out that way: I was busy living my life, and in the meantime nearly half a decade passed.  Haha.  ‘Half a decade’.

At this point I should probably also highlight my deep and abiding cynicism.  So I’m a cynic who wrote a fairy-tale.  The thing is, in preparation for that I read around 50 romance novels (nauseating), and I’d been around the Russian cult of romantic-ness (as opposed to romanticism) for quite some time.  It was all sort of easy after that: whenever I got stuck, I thought to myself ‘but what would a Russian want to happen?’  And believe me, I know all the cynicism-related clichés: “scratch a cynic, and you’ll find a disappointed romantic”.  A google images search for cynicism came up with some pretty hilarious results:

cynical

I did also enjoy the George Lucas (of all people) quote: “If the boy and girl walk off into the sunset hand-in-hand in the last scene, it adds 10 million to the box office.”  Eugh.  But my perception of it all as a fairy-tale, something that resides exclusively in the realm of fiction, is probably slightly less hilarious than the 48 hours I managed to last on online dating.  Yup: 48.

After my imposed single-hood of the last 4 years, I’ve put it on my to-do list that I have to try dating again this year.  I have no idea why, really: entertainment?  Variety?  The potential for excruciatingly awkward stories?  So, with my spirit of adventure firmly in hand (more on that in a minute), I bit the bullet and signed up to OkCupid, as the site I’d heard of the most.  (At this point I should probably mention that I am stopping and shaking my head at at least every other sentence.)  At least it’s a step above Tinder?  When I used the abbreviation ‘okc’ to a friend, he thought I was talking about Oklahoma City’s football team—hence the otherwise rather random title.

Sign-up itself was fairly painless.  Haha and they have so many questions to answer—it was strangely addictive, like all the personality quizzes that used to be on SparkQuizzes (?) during high school.  They were also quite interesting insofar as clarifying my own opinions on things.  However, once you’ve answered enough questions, it builds you a personality profile: and apparently my interests consist pretty much entirely of politics, math, sex, and adventures.   Haha for a while there my ‘top attribute’ was adventurousness (let’s face it, no surprises), then ‘arrogant’ started creeping up (ditto), and then suddenly, out of nowhere, ‘thrifty’ leaped to the top.  Thrifty.  What kind of negative-connotation bull shit is that?!  Hilarious.

Anyway, my stingey sex-addicted math-head self apparently wasn’t quite enough to scare people off, and responses started flooding in.  And I use the word ‘flooded’ because I felt like I was drowning: the tide of diverse desperation was all just too much.  Because while the cliché is that people will open with ‘tits or gtfo’, ‘hey wanna suk my dk bb’ (lol), or just insistent ‘hey’s, most people actually put a lot of thought into what they were writing me.  I simply do not have time in my day to reply to tens and hundreds of people, and the fact that they’d thought about what they were writing made it more like I was rejecting them, personally.  I did have a few more interesting opening messages, of course: I think my favourite was from a guy who was hoping to tie me up and take photos.  He was really respectful about it, but seriously—as if I’m going to let some complete stranger tie me up!  What happened to buying me a drink first?!

Next there was the ‘quick match’ feature, which while on a laptop isn’t unreasonable (it shows the guy’s self-introduction as well as photos), on my phone it brought out what I see as a pretty ugly side to myself.  On the phone app, ‘quick match’ was more Tinder-esque: swipe left to reject, or swipe right to ‘like’.  You couldn’t seem to access the person’s profile from that page, so instead you were judging entire human beings on their profile picture alone.  How awful is that.  In an effort to get through the hundreds that were stacking up, I found myself judging people on a purely superficial basis.  It honestly just disgusted me.  Incidentally, I only lasted around 12 hours with the phone app before uninstalling it because the constant notifications were so stressful: every time I’d see a message or a ‘like’ come through, I’d just think “oh, fuck off!”.

All in all, the whole thing made me feel like I was suffocating under the administrative workload, while bringing out these awful sides to myself.  It’s like people were being objectified and commodified—it was soooo depressing, and I was in a funk over it most of the day.  That’s right: less than 36 hours after signing up, it made me feel thoroughly down for around 12 hours (and continuing).  I really don’t think online dating is for me.  Haha onto the next project!

On another note, I’ve started doing a ‘Real Life Where’s Wally’, and will be posting the photos here (see menu) as well as on facebook, so that you can view the photos full-size.

Hmm, this post is a lot more depressing and a lot less hilarious than I anticipated.  May follow-up experiences be awkward rather than agonising?  Haha or perhaps I’ll just stick with being the Wicked Witch of the West, and doing whatever the hell I want 😉

’60s Date Night

A couple of times this year, my house-mate Crystal and I have been on what I’ve dubbed “flatmate date nights” (because I am the creepy one in all of my human relationships).  One of my favourites was toward the start of the year, when we went to see Anchorman 2 at the moonlit cinema—ie we sat in a park with a bunch of other people at night time, hung out on bean bags and ate junk food.  It was pretty excellent.  This time we went to Luna Park, a mini theme park on the shores of Sydney Harbour.

I’ve been to Luna Park before, but hadn’t realised how long it had been—last time I was there must have been around 2005, after it had just reopened for the nth time.  This was before I’d broken my back for the second time (and possibly before the first time, too), and I didn’t really think our visit through.  As it turns out, rides consist pretty much solely of motions which jar your back, either by wrenching you from side-to-side, or jostling you up and down.  There are warnings everywhere that people with neck or back problems shouldn’t go on the rides, and I can definitely see why!  No more rollercoasters or spinny things for Laura.  We went on the ferris wheel a couple of times though, and Crystal went on the ‘hair-raiser’ for me.  We also went on one of those pirate ship things (always my favourite) which go upside-down, and I giggled maniacally the whole time.

We meandered to check out ‘Coney Island’ and went down the giant slide, though I was again terrified—when I was a little kid, rides were just exciting and I felt safe.  Now my body’s already ridiculously broken, and I know how much harm I can come to if I’m jolted even a little in the wrong way.  Oh well, at least I can still snowboard!

My favourite part of the evening though was the photo display in the entrance to Coney Island.  Haha as I commented to Crystal, “we must be grown-ups, we’re looking at the photos rather than at the silly mirrors behind us!”  The gallery showed images of Luna Park over the past hundred years, and they were magical.  There were a lot in black and white from the 60s in particular.  There were servicemen (I automatically wrote ‘and women’ then realised… no, not so much) going on dates with girls in pretty frocks, turning out to see people walk tight-ropes, or to go on the rides, or to steal a quick kiss in the dark.  I’m quite sure people were just as douchey then, but all the same, it seemed terribly glamorous.  My life is entirely lacking in glamour in the traditional sense, and I seem to be quickly turning into the girl who wears hiking gear everywhere.  In fact I took my friend Sal to North Face yesterday, and two of the staff independently came up to me, looked at my shoes, and went “wow, they look well-used”.  I’ve only had these hiking shoes for around 8-9 months!

2014-11-14 18.32.23-5

Another thing entrancing about the photos was how excited everybody appeared.  I guess in the days of internet, we have instant access to whatever entertainment we want, whether that be books, movies, articles, comedy, naked people, or cat pics.  Stupid cat pics (except Chemistry Cat, I like him—science puns ftw!).  While as the night drew on, more people started to come into the park, it was still sparse—nothing at all like the hundreds and thousands flocking to it years ago.  Perhaps yay for entertainment, but boo for our lack of ability to get excited about the prospect of a night by the ferris wheel.  Though I must say, ‘make out with guy on ferris wheel’ has been added to the bucket list.  I might even let him touch my thigh (ooh, scandalous!).

Oh and PS, I’ve done all of the New Zealand posts, but as I back-dated them they didn’t appear in front of the ‘Lowenbrau’ post.  If you go to www.explaura.net/category/new-zealand/, you’ll see them all there sweetly waiting for you.

Home-comings

I made the notes for this post on a page which has a count-down of my days left in Aus, which is not exactly a good sign I suppose! And to be fair, the first draft was written in a coach station with a suspicious keyboard.  However, that was pretty super depressing, so I’m redoing it while listening to the below on repeat and bouncing on a fit ball.  That should just about fix it!

There are two things which I’m trying to be positive about this year. One is my enforced being-single-ness (no more airport/train platform/bus station goodbyes!), and the other is having to be stationary. So I’ve been trying to think of things that are good about each.  Either way, I’m definitely never going to do again what I’ve done to myself this year, in terms of my budget, my commute and stress level: I’m angry 24/7 and it freaking sucks.

The very first good thing about being stationary is food.  I can eat whatever the heck I want.  I can buy spices, I can have a stocked pantry, and in fact I only need to go to one supermarket to get what I need—not five or six separate stores, as per Russia.

Next comes a dependable income, being able to budget properly, and no visa restrictions and ‘get-out-of-the-country-or-else!!’ date.  Not to mention not sharing a room, and having a clean kitchen and bathroom!  (Haha yes, there’s a kitchen theme.)  And knowing where I’m going to sleep at night!  And not having these ridiculous freaking expenses which pop out of seemingly nowhere (haha but maybe I felt that because of living on 10 euro a day in Greece etc).

Then there’s belonging to the majority linguistic group. It’s like a weight off your shoulders—no pre-planning your vocab, no ‘wtf’ expressions when your sentence gets a little over-ambitious and your grammatical cases go to hell, the convenience of knowing what’s inside the package you’re buying, the ability to perfectly express yourself (at least within the limits of the education system), and my personal favourite, being able to make people laugh more easily.

There are good things about being in Australia, too. (Duh).  The weather’s pretty great (other than the middle of summer, which is inhumanly hot).  The beach is only a couple of hours away, and the bush/hiking is pretty accessible.  I spent last weekend in Canberra, and a 20 minute walk from Jess’ place I was on a hiking trail going around a potentially racist-ly named mountain.  Haha if the colours of green weren’t all wrong, if Australia weren’t so young, and like I didn’t feel like some essential part of me was missing when I’m here, I’d probably be okay with staying.  But we can’t have me going around being all piece-less, now can we?  That would make for a very strange, lop-sided Laura.

Then there’s travel.  There are bad things about travel (which, oddly enough, are pretty much the exact opposite of the good things about stationariness).  But then there’s an incredible beauty and poignancy to it, too.  There’s the mini disasters and the sense of accomplishment when you manage to successfully speak to someone in their own language.  I’m sure I’ve spoken about this before—at first when I got to Russia, ordering a coffee coherently was a massive ‘yesss!’ moment.  By the time I left, it was discussing politics, or completing ridiculous transferry-opening-weird-ass bank transactions.

There’s the people, and the endless possibilities, the not knowing what will happen next: today could be the day you meet the love of your life, your new best friend, someone who’s going to give you a puppy (though that last seems not precisely pragmatic).  There’s the could-have-beens that you know and have to let go of, and there’s a different sort of tragic beauty to that, too.  There’s meeting new people who you’re going to keep bumping into all over the world for the rest of your life.  There’s seeing things which are straight out of imagination: endless deserts, mountains with an almost crushing majesty, and oceans of a thousand different characters.  So I suppose on the one hand, stationary life is devoid of that almost vicious poignancy and multitudinous impossible possibilities, but travel life can get pretty hollow at times.  It’s like wholemeal cereal vs an itinerant breeze.  And I am, after all, a sailor!  Haha I want to be outside and free, but the cost—intimacy, love, affection—is becoming  too high.  I’ll just have to find someone like-minded I suppose!

And on that note 🙂

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2012/03/04/fashion/04MODERNLOVE_SPAN/04MODERNLOVE_SPAN-articleLarge.jpg

Modern Romance

Last time I was in Athens, I went out for dinner with a lovely French guy.  He was staying in my hostel room, and as I told him in my traditionally tactful and indirect way, the ‘least creepy French guy I’ve ever met’.  He laughed when he heard this and shrugged.  “I’ve been living in Sweden,” he explained.  This naturally led to a discussion about how incredibly difficult it is to get boy-girl relations right when you move between different places.

After finally getting sort-of used to things in Russia, Greece was a massive shock to the system.  And that’s ignoring the fact that Greek guys were so hot by comparison that I was having heart palpitations.  So the French guy C and I sat down and talked about the hilarious experiences I’d had, from the guy swimming after me out to sea, to the guy who did not take rejection well, to the guy who busted out some naked selfies to show me.  I said how difficult it was to know how to reject people politely, or at least to not encourage them.  In the UK, avoiding eye contact with a guy will cause him to leave you alone; in Russia you have to be outright rude; in numerous places people will see your hair and eye colour and try to buy you (and you’ll hope for a handy guy nearby to explain that you’re not for sale); and in other places you’ll be completely left alone unless you first show interest in the man.  I don’t want to hurt people, but at the same time I don’t want to be hassled, and it’s really hard to walk the line when you seemingly have to figure it all out instantly upon arriving in a country.

The French guy found the same.  For him, in France, it was of course usual to hit on women; but then in Sweden, it wasn’t really acceptable to act like that.  He went as far as to say that some of his female friends there found it really hard to find anyone, like they felt sexless in a way, because everybody was a little too reasonable and nothing ever got done.  So to speak.

This is something I really notice about Western culture, at least at its extremes.  Everything is so PC and reasonable that sometimes I don’t know how I’m supposed to act.  Men can’t hit on us if it can be seen as objectification, but likewise if a guy offers to buy you dinner, isn’t that you reducing him to the price of a meal and therefore objectification as well?  And when there’s no objectification in that traditional sort of way, roles are very poorly defined.  I completely don’t get it.  Russia I understood, even if I disagreed with it.  To recap, women look 1000% stunning at all times in order to attract men; men are chivalrous and flower-buying sources of income; it’s normal to get married very very young.  Generalisations galore, but pretty significantly true.  Roles are intensely clearly defined, and so it’s pretty easy to see where you stand.  At the same time though, (and obviously not having been a Russian person in a Russian-style relationship), it all seemed so incredibly devoid of friendship.  Then again, how can you be friends if you’re not equals?  I don’t know, it’s all very weird.

I guess I wrote quite a few times about how women go to gyms etc in full make-up in Russia to find a boyfriend, and how mothers and grandmothers mind the house so that the younger women can spend their time getting ready and primping themselves to meet a man.  I’m quite sure I spoke about seeing 8-year-olds in heels and make-up because that’s what women are for, and how the appearance of men isn’t important (mono-brows mullets bad teeth vom vom vom).  It’s all so incredibly different—but so easy to understand.  Everybody has their role to play.

In the West, on the other hand, we seem so precious about individuality and equality—which obviously, I think are super-important—that we don’t always know what roles we’re supposed to be fulfilling (not even the first time I’ve mentioned anomie in this blog).  And our working lives are skewed so far above our personal or romantic lives that it’s all speed dating, online dating, hooking up with strangers in bars.  Even speed dating I’ve noticed is different in Russia and Australia—when I hosted the event in St Petersburg, everybody took part with this extreme romanticism and open desire to find someone to love, whereas here we’re all efficiency and cynicism and this sort of harsh pragmatism.  Then you’ve got things like Tinder, which one of my friends tried sooo hard to get me onto.  That is, of course, until she ended up on a date with a guy who stabbed somebody.  But I guess overall it’s like we’re applying this fast-food mentality to people: a quick surface judgement, and a snap decision as to whether ‘they’ll do’.  Eugh and then there’s hooking up with randoms.  I’m sure I can’t be the only one who feels insanely pressured to hook up with someone the moment I meet them, as if the only ‘normal’ thing to do is to have sex with someone and see what it turns into.  This just hurts my brain.  Where is the room for trust?  Beautiful men lead to bad decisions—and of course, they’re pretty much all beautiful.  At the end of the day it’s people I like, not faces, and I’ve had some pretty serious disagreements with friends who’ve tried to coerce me into making out with drunk guys I don’t know—least attractive thing going.  And yet this is how so many people end up together.

Trying to date as a traveller is something I find very difficult.  One or the other of you is always leaving, and there’s always a predefined end-date—just a smidge destructive.  Then throw in the cultural differences and this loss of roles and it’s like you end up pitching to the lowest common denominator: don’t ask for anything, don’t expect anything, just take what you can get.  One of my friends is entirely blasé about guys buying her flowers, or travelling to see her, or calling her because they miss her: and these are things that I just don’t ever experience.  I remember that once a guy I was seeing hung out with me even though I had a cold, and that’s far and away the nicest thing any guy I’ve been involved with has done for me.  The bar’s pretty low.  I mean you could probably fall over it drunk.  Or sober.  There would definitely be falling and bars.

On the other hand, there’s the perfect romanticism of my travelling life, and it was ten years this last Saturday.  There’s the snippets of people I meet along the way; the perfection and poignancy of things that never happened; and the occasional person you’ll meet who you may never end up seeing again, but who you have for hours or a day at a time, and who makes all the wanders worth it.  My life hasn’t allowed me to fall in love, but it’s allowed me instead a perfect tapestry of might-have-beens.  And of course, maybe someday I’ll find this a world away.

___________________________________

I’ve been on a 2500km road-trip in SE Australia this last week and will post about that in the next few days.  ‘At last!  She’ll stop drivelling about her love life!’.  There may even be kangaroos.

Не привыкайте никогда and squishy hearts.

“I used to be like you,” said my friend Louise, with the involuntary condescension common to happily married couples everywhere.  “Then I fell in love, and my heart got squishy.”

“Louise,” I replied, turning to her, “I only just barely stopped myself from pushing you down the stairs.  Don’t even!”

Louise laughed and thanked me for not pushing her down the stairs (she works next to me, so is used to the rage).  I think I was partially suffering from end-of-the-week exhaustion, but my goodness was it a trial of a week even without people preaching the virtues of romance.  Eugh, it’s like everybody suddenly realised that it was Valentine’s Day and they were single, and I have been inundated.  Phone; email; facebook; people on the street.  Thank goodness that’s over—and other than somehow agreeing to go out a couple of times in the next few weeks (and why? why?!!), I escaped unscathed.  I’m leaving the country again in 10 months; I’m not going to waste anyone’s time.

Romance is something I have been thinking about a lot for the last few months (eg here), partly because it’s something that as a traveller, I don’t get to play with much; and partly because of my book.  My novel is an absurdist fairytale, which gets more and more satirical as I redraft it—but fairytales are supposed to have happy endings, and everybody’s supposed to fall in love.  However, that’s so very different to real life, and I like to write the truth as much as I can, even if it’s in a very silly way.  What’s more, everything the rest of the world seems to find romantic seems like destructive bullshit to me.  I mean, 50 Shades of Grey?  Abuse!  (As opposed to a trusting bdsm relationship.  Also, for the best book review ever, see here—I actually couldn’t bring myself to read Twilight fan fic mommy porn, so read Katrina’s review instead).  On the topic of Twilight, how is a really, really old guy stalking, harassing and obsessing over  a teenager romantic?  And how is all the angst?  Eugh, and speaking of angst, why does every chic flick ever either (a) promote battle of the sexes bullshit (this isn’t a freaking war, people!) or (b) have miscommunication as the entire premise of the movie?  Oh, you didn’t say what you meant, and then you cried about it, and then you said it after all but it was too late, and then you went and tried to get over it while silently moping, and then finally your life was vindicated when the other party ‘fessed up and now everything’s all hunky freaking dory?  How is that something to aspire to?!?!  And then there’s the freaking books.  I read about fifty romance books last year trying to get a feel for writing in that style, and it was all so annoying.  God, it’s like every single one had some difficult love triangle (I don’t understand how you could be in love with two people at the same time), or some man in need of reforming (how about you just don’t date douchebags—hypocrisy accepted), or just lots of sex scenes which the protagonist inevitably views as romantic, even when they’re blatantly not (how about you come to terms with your sexuality, and don’t need to justify or confuse it with love?).

Google has let me down, but I once read something by John Cleese which pointed out that there’s very little difference between the prescriptions of romanticism and the symptoms of clinical depression.  It was funnier when he said it, but.  So do I think romance is dead/fiddy-faddy/whatever?  No, not at all.  In writing the book, I couldn’t figure out whether I was desperately cynical, or desperately romantic—and I really feel like they should be opposites.  I think I’m going to make a table.  Yup, it’s table time.

What culture tells me is romantic

  • abuse
  • angst
  • obsession
  • miscommunication
  • stalking
  • love triangles
  • ‘fixing’ somebody

What I think is romantic

  • trust
  • intimacy
  • compassion
  • respect
  • loyalty
  • acceptance
  • partnership

Stoopid culture.

The other thing that really bothers me is summed up pretty nicely in this quote from the only gossip page worth reading (so hilariously harsh, it’s irresistible):

[W]hile they’re hot, the majority of non-famous chicks think they’ll be hot forever, so they date and bang bar owners, DJs, club promoters, tattoo artists, and musicians. Then when they hit 28, they’ll marry the first dude who calls them back the morning. That’s usually Harold in accounting with the 2004 Chrysler Seabreeze because he’s gone more than a year without his power being disconnected.

It can’t be just me who sees this every day, right?  People (usually ones who don’t know me very well) tell me that I should just ‘choose someone’, and as long as they’re nice to me, who cares?  Well, me.  Because as one of my favourite blog entries ever so eloquently put it, sometimes people are an ellipsis and not a period.  The rest of my life is like a book, why can’t this be, too?  And if I can’t have the Big Love, if I can’t be with someone who’s as hungry for worlds and places as I am, who I can truly love and trust, then why would I choose an unsettling mediocrity over the life I have now?  It’s incomprehensible.

And now, because it seems timely and appropriate and super Russian, here’s my (quick and dirty) translation of Edward Asadov’s poem “Never Give Up on Love” (Эдуард Асадов, “Не привыкайте никогда к любви”).  Corrections are of course welcome.  Also note that I translated “не привыкайте” variously as ‘never give up’ and ‘never get used to’.  As usual I went for idiomatic rather than literal translation, like with Я Вас Любил (Пушкина, конечно!) a while back.  And yes, there’s one sentence which I just had no idea how to translate.  You’ll see it.

Не привыкайте никогда к любви!
Не соглашайтесь, как бы ни устали,
Чтоб замолчали ваши соловьи
И чтоб цветы прекрасные увяли.

И, главное, не верьте никогда,
Что будто всё проходит и уходит.
Да, звёзды меркнут, но одна звезда
По имени Любовь всегда-всегда
Обязана гореть на небосводе!

Не привыкайте никогда к любви,
Разменивая счастье на привычки,
Словно костёр на крохотные спички,
Не мелочись, а яростно живи!

Не привыкайте никогда к губам,
Что будто бы вам издавна знакомы,
Как не привыкнешь к солнцу и ветрам
Иль ливню средь грохочущего грома!

Да, в мелких чувствах можно вновь и вновь
Встречать, терять и снова возвращаться,
Но если вдруг вам выпала любовь,
Привыкнуть к ней – как обесцветить кровь
Иль до копейки разом проиграться!

Не привыкайте к счастью никогда!
Напротив, светлым озарясь гореньем,
Смотрите на любовь свою всегда
С живым и постоянным удивленьем.

Алмаз не подчиняется годам
И никогда не обратится в малость.
Дивитесь же всегда тому, что вам
Заслужено иль нет – судить не нам,
Но счастье в мире всё-таки досталось!

И, чтоб любви не таяла звезда,
Исполнитесь возвышенным искусством:
Не позволяйте выдыхаться чувствам,
Не привыкайте к счастью никогда.

Never give up on love!
Do not resolve, no matter how tired,
To silence the nightingales of your heart
And allow those beautiful flowers to wither.

And, most importantly, never believe
That things all come and go.
Yes, stars fade, but one star
called Love always always
continues to blaze bright in the heavens!

Never give up on love,
Exchanging happiness for habit,
Like a flaming bonfire for tiny matches,
Don’t trifle with such things, and passionately live.

Never get used to those lips,
As though you’re too long familiar,
Like you never get used to the sun nor the winds
nor downpour amidst the booming thunder!

Yes, petty feelings can exist again and again—
Be met, lost and regained once more—
But if you find yourself amidst love,
Immerse yourself like your very blood has changed
Or to the last drop the time you’ll fritter and lose!

Never get used to happiness!
Unlike the dawning light of combustion,
View your love always
With lively and constant surprise.

Love, like a diamond, disobeys the years
And never becomes small.
Marvel always at that, whether you consider it
Deserved or not. Judge ourselves not,
For happiness exists in the world regardless.

And so, love is not a fading star,
But an art inevitable and sublime:
Don’t let your emotions lose their breath,
Never, ever give up on your happily-ever-after.