Columnist Alexis Sachdev explores the non-meaning behind love found at a party with jungle juice.
Cassie, what do you think of this watch?” I asked my best friend as I held up my wrist to display a white watch with a crystal-studded face.
Cassie loved it, but her then-boyfriend, Alex, felt otherwise.
“Seriously, Lex? No dude is gonna date you if you wear that hideous thing,” he said snidely.
After several hours of heated screaming from me and more snide laughter from him, I stormed off angrily, without the watch. About a month later, Cassie and Alex split. She’s moved on to greener, better-dressed pastures.
Although this occurred nearly a year ago, it still plagues my mind; not because Alex’s opinion matters to me, but because the implications behind his comment stretch beyond a $20 Michael Kors knockoff watch.
It’s another Valentine’s Day I’ll be spending alone. Unless my knight in shining armor appears outside my window with cliché ‘80s love songs blasting from a stereo, my 14th will consist of “Cruel Intentions” and cursing my exes and happy people in love.
You’re all probably thinking, “Why is Lex ranting about her failed love life? And who published this garbage?”
OK, ouch, but hear me out.
I got to thinking about fashion and love. Aside from my adoration for chiffon dresses and Betsey Johnson heels, there’s this little thing some crazy kids call “love at first sight.”
When awkward first-time conversations haven’t been initiated yet, appearance and hormones are the defining variables in this chemical equation.
When I was 15 years old and someone asked me if I believed in love at first sight, then-Lex, naive and romantic, would have exclaimed “Yes!” in her wispy, breathy voice. But times are hard now.
It’s like this: If someone hands you a set of keys to a brand new Aston Martin, you scream “I LOVE this car!” That is, until you get in and learn there’s no engine. Sure, you love the car from its exterior, but you’ve compiled preconceived notions about what the Aston is just from the physical appearance.
But her engine isn’t purring and your heart isn’t revving.
To some people, love is nothing more than a chemical reaction of hormones and the release of dopamine. To others, it’s this mystical and inexplicable phenomenon, begotten by fate and destiny.
People are just as divided over the topic, but scientists and anthropologists generally contend it doesn’t exist in terms of science.
Instead, the generally-accepted theory is lust a prima vista; initial attraction and lust are based on ego and sexual desires. We’re usually attracted to the people who are attracted to us.
Recall your last social gathering: Remember the partygoer across the room who caught your eye? Suddenly time slowed down and Bruno Mars started blasting over the stereo. The time dilation isn’t linked to your last cup of jungle juice. No, girl, you got the jungle fever.
Politically incorrect? Yes. But it’s true. You lusted after the car, but love takes work, whereas lust is easy.
And the worst part: Appearance has everything to do with it. Science proves it takes men approximately 8.2 seconds to fall in lust or love with a woman. And, I’m sorry ladies, but he’s not picking apart your brain or discussing your efforts in the gentrification of North Philly … he’s checking you out. Plain and simple.
It pains me to say that Alex might have been right. This holiday, it’s important for us to remember to always look our best. You never know who’s watching. But, it’s equally important to stay true to yourself.
One day, I’ll return for that watch because I really wanted it; I’ll never change my personal convictions (about fashion, politics or anything else) for my significant other. He’ll just have to deal with the whole package.
Alexis Sachdev can be reached at email@example.com.
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