Friday, January 15, 2010
The "Love Makes You Crazy" Giveaway
Sometimes love drives us to distraction. It can make us do and say things we would not ordinarily think of doing and saying. We become obsessive, depressive, aggravated and infuriated. Historically and literarily, love has started wars (Paris and Helen of Troy), brought down governments (Lola Montez and Ludwig II of Bavaria) and churches (Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn and the Protestant Reformation), and has even lead to suicide (Romeo and Juliet). And let us not forget the effect that Thomas Seymour had on Queen Dowager Catherine Parr (Henry VIII’s 6th wife) and on the Princess Elizabeth at age thirteen. Young Bess and her trusted servants almost lost her heads over that obsession (read my novel, VIRGIN, for the full story).
Dante Alighieri’s little volume Vita Nuova (musings and poetry about his affair of the heart with the lovely Beatrice published in 1293) declared: “Love's power is insane!” I couldn’t agree with him more. Here’s my story of going crazy for love.
When I was in my twenties, living in the upper Westside of New York, I ran off to Jamaica with a handsome, charismatic neighbor – a man I had known for exactly three days. After several blissful days in that tropical paradise, drinking, dancing, sunning, swimming and falling in gooey-eyed love, the guy pushed me to arms length, looked me in face and said, “You could turn out to be another Donna.” This was apparently his ex-wife, who had up-and-left-him one day, and whom he now hated. For the next week this man refused to speak to me! It occurred to me that he might be crazy, but I was stuck in Jamaica with him (“Ja, Mon!”) and despite his lunacy (or maybe because it was catching, I still thought I was in love with him.
When he dumped me off at my apartment I had somehow convinced myself that our affair was still happening. In the next week, unable to eat or sleep or work, and COMPLETELY obsessed, I called his office a dozen times a day (today we’d call that stalking!). I stayed glued to my front window to catch glimpses of him walking his dog past my door. But he never stopped by, and he never ever called.
Slowly I came to my senses and went on with my life. Three years later, by a ridiculous coincidence, I met up with “Donna” and we became friends. She confirmed what I’d suspected. The man was certifiable. In fact, she told me that he’d recently been arrested as a sniper!
So this week’s forum asks you to share the craziest or most life-changing thing you’ve ever done for love. It doesn’t have to be a radical obsession like mine was. It might be a big move to be with someone you just couldn’t live without. Or hiring a skywriting plane to tell your sweetheart how you felt. Or getting married underwater. And give me your email address. You can play the Love Games from anywhere in the world.