I’ve written a lot in the past about my all-time favorite episode of The Simpsons “Lisa’s Wedding” and the various feelings/emotions I associate the relationship between Homer and Lisa to be akin to the relationship I have with my own father and family as a whole. But I’ve never really touched on the lessons it taught in relationships and human nature that 8 year old Heather watching this saw in Hugh Parkfield - the attractive and educated British gent who winds up revealing his true douche colors when he proclaims Lisa is like “a flower that grew out of a pot of dirt.”
The scene where Lisa walks out of her wedding and tosses her tiara onto the ground while wiping a tear from her eye cut me deep. Maybe this was the moment where my fear of commitment was born because I was completely horrified by what had happened. They were both in love and that what had taken some time to build and create together was blown to smithereens in a matter of minutes. Worst of all, the fortune teller tells Lisa she’s more or less bound to repeat the relationship again when she gets older (“just try to look surprised”) which whether it was Hugh Parkfield or someone else means that there will be time spent loving and getting to know a person only to have it potentially explode in your face all over again. Rinse and repeat.
Love is such a gamble. Every day and in every way. You never know what will come out of it and you always wear your heart on your sleeve, to the point where it keeps getting banged up and bruised and screams at you, “Where’s the tipping point? Are we there yet? Holy fuck, we can’t keep doing this!” You’re always so vulnerable. It’s like being an onion and stripping the layers off for someone else to see and judge and maybe like for themselves and hopefully they like enough of what’s at your core to want to be with you for a time. It’s all very exhausting and sad and can make you bitter and lonely and happy all at once, but love is beautiful beyond all measure because it’s one of the greatest things that a human being can experience. There is no winning and there is no losing. And while the destination does help sometimes, where you think you’re heading may not be where you actually wind up. Just the journey and the ride you go on along the way and what it does to make you grow and evolve as a person.
The relationships you have with the people in your life now are entirely unique to where you are, but the greatest tragedy is that there is never a way of knowing or telling how long they will be in your life either. When people matter, I think we all know how to realize and recognize this and work to keep them as a constant in our worlds. And when they need to go, we let them and are fond of the memories of a time once spent together and what we learned during that time.
Most days I wonder what my true love looks like. I wonder if I’ve met him already. I wish I had a big snowglobe I could shake up and be able to see that person, even if but for five seconds. It would also be really helpful to get a name too, for Googling and Facebook friending purposes.