Volume 97, Issue 1
Thursday, May 22, 2003

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Virgil sez: Stay off the grass

Bell Tolls
Jordan Bell
Managing Editor

Is the grass always greener on the other side?

That is the age-old question.

Can a human being – a flawed entity in itself – ever be truly satisfied with a significant other when buxom blondes, double D's and six foot trees spot the globe?

It's a question I have asked myself numerous times. The "relationship" always seems to follow a strict process, at least in the cases I have participated in or witnessed.

A couple's eyes meet across a room. The chase ensues whereby the two emotionally-abducted subjects attempt to woo each other by any means necessary. Eventually, the chase ends when one of the subjects pulls the other over and they fall head over heels in relationship bliss.

Unfortunately, what comes next creates the question above. The human desire to want what you can't have becomes the emotional abduction – boredom replaces excitement, distance replaces obsession and disgust replaces love.

You find yourself despising everything that initially attracted you to the person or you find yourself devoid of interest when those attractions have worn off over time. You find out the world has plenty to offer and you're hungry to explore it.

The evidence clearly points towards the grass being greener on the other side. Frequent attention in the media is paid to the divorce rate as an indicator of the lack of success of the monogamous relationship. Fifty per cent is the figure quoted as the divorce rate in North America, and although this figure isn't entirely correct, it does point to the prevalence of change.

Maybe we do have it all wrong and existing on Earth with only one person isn't the noble way to live. Maybe we were meant to taste test a wide consortium of human beings (somewhere, a polygamist is falling off his chair in excitement). Quite possibly, the more the merrier is the key to a satisfactory existence.

However, the whole idea of being completely enamored of one person for your entire life is definitely intriguing and it does keep you spared from knawing off your arm the night after sleeping with a hairy-backed circus freak whom you thought was Natalie Portman in your drunken stupour. I don't know if it's the "right" way, but it clearly doesn't seem wrong.

The revered Roman poet Virgil wrote an awful long time ago that "Love conquers all: let us also yield to love."

I truly hope he's right.

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