I thought about posting this picture for Valentine's Day but forgot, part of that whole non-sentimental thing mentioned recently. I
When I was a kid taking pictures with a cheap little rectangular Kodak film camera that had a square lightbulb on top, I thought the grainy photos of the rattlesnake my grandfather cut in half with a shovel in the yard and my first trip to Disneyland where my recently divorced dad lost my younger sister for a half hour (what was I off doing, taking pictures?) meant I was a bad photographer; now I know it's the camera. (At some point I should probably figure out what I'm doing with a camera and graduate to the manual settings that require actual knowledge of light and exposure.)
But what I wanted to say was that driving home from work last night, listening to Radiohead's OK Computer, I briefly got teary at the line in "Fitter Happier": "fond but not in love." I never knew as a kid that relationships would be so hard. Adults don't tell you that, either.
Isn't 'fond' better than 'in love?' (I confounded a boyfriend once for whom English was a second language by telling him I loved him but wasn't in love with him.) Fondness tends to last if you truly like the person, flaws and all, rather than relying on hyped-up mating chemicals that wear off. Over the weekend I watched Kristin Scott Thomas in Leaving (Partir), and, boy, can love chemicals make a person crazy. But I was also jealous; 'fond' can feel . . . tame. And yet even within 'fond' I can act foolish, dissatisfied—never enough. Is there a line to learn to walk somewhere between pink hearts and rattlesnakes? He says I'm scary, while underneath, I'm so fond.
Edited to add: Politically relevant, here Rebecca Solnit discusses Occupy's honeymoon phase in "Mad, Passionate Love—and Violence: Occupy Heads into the Spring."