Some thoughts on love

Love is a wonderful thing.

No, I'm not getting my view on life from Michael Bolton.

I watched two good friends fall in infatuation this week, and it made me darn happy. So in addition to work and school, I got to play go-between.

"Does he like me? He's sooooo cute!!!" "She likes me? Really? Wow. She's keen." "What should I do?" "I'm confused." "She's pretty."

So needless to say, I've acquired a new job as amateur counselor/match-maker. I have a friend who prides himself on his set-up success rate. The one couple he set up got married. I'm not shooting for that, but happiness is cool.

Infatuation or falling in love is painful, wonderful and scary as hell. But for those brave enough to experience it, more power to you.

It's been neato to watch my two friends "LIKE" like each other. I've been with the same groovy man for two years, and I still get butterflies in my tummy and all googly when I think about him. But seeing two people find common interest is just plain romantic.

I've found out little things about my friends over the past two weeks. I never knew they were such hopelessly sappy romantics.

"Love is cheesy. Believe me, I have been the world's biggest cheese this week. Normally I am the anti-cheese. I hate cheese!!!!" This is the standard type of intelligent dribble coming out of my guy friend's mouth. He also is oblivious to the world around him, and answers to other people's names. He's smiley all the time, and everyone knows something is up. He even likes her more than hockey.

She's all goofy and does these weird little dances around my house, saying "He's such a nice boy!!"

Unfortunately they live over a thousand miles apart, so this romance is stalled until further notice. Depression, the downside of love, will be reigning soon.

But what stands out most from this whole experience of playing matchmaker is how happy two people can make each other. I know I'm lucky to have found someone.

Conversely, it's sad to watch couples break up, their guts spilled all over the floor, just waiting for someone to come and stomp on them. Like another mushy song, breaking up is hard to do.

Trusting someone enough to allow the possibility of getting hurt is a big thing. It's not something that comes easily or frequently.

That's why finding someone is so magical. And that's why it shouldn't matter who or what the other person is. Love is hard enough to come by, and people placing value judgments on who is allowed to love whom is wrong.

Some people have decided that men aren't allowed to be happy with other men, and women aren't allowed to fall in love with other women.

Some claim the Bible says gay relationships are wrong, but every minister I've talked to says that nowhere in the Bible does it say homosexuality is wrong or a sin.

Gay and lesbian couples aren't allowed to get married, and only select places of worship will perform ceremonies uniting same-sex partners.

Yet these committed relationships aren't recognized by the law. Two people can be together for 50 years, with family and friends, yet have no legal say in each others' lives. Select cities in California have "domestic partnership" policies, but the rules vary from place to place. Hawaii's same-sex marriage policy will undergo a vote this year.

Yet cities and states around the country have tried to remove sexual orientation from non-discrimination clauses, and have rightly met with opposition. Whether or not sexual orientation is biologically determined is irrelevant. Religion isn't biological, nor are some disabilities or one's veteran status, yet these qualifications are not challenged.

With all the violence in our communities, some people say the solution is stronger families, better networks between adults and kids and generally more love and happy thoughts. While this may not solve the entire problem, there is valuable advice here. As simple and corny as it sounds, people must be encouraged to love, not hate.

Teaching people and especially children, that certain others or groups are not worthy of appreciation and love only encourages them to hate, which helps no one. Qualifying emotions with restrictions on who can participate is ludicrous. Heterosexual, homosexual, bi-racial, bi-religious, whatever tag anyone places on a healthy, caring relationship doesn't matter.

What matters is the healthy, caring relationship. Just be glad that two people found each other, and hope you're that lucky.

Sarah Garrecht is the Wildcat editor in chief and a journalism senior.

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