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Miracles and the god of erotic love | Jan's Journal

February 9, 2010

Yesterday, my son informed me that he needed to interview me for religion class about a miracle in my life. My mind went blank for a second as I swirled the word "miracle" around in my imagination. I envisioned a modern day twist of biblical proportion — feeding thousands of people with only one Winco pizza and a bottle of Shasta root beer. How about parting the endless wave of cars on 312th Street in Federal Way at about 8:25 a.m., so that my daughter can pass through and not be late to school again?

I looked up the word in the dictionary to better understand how it could be attached to my ordinary life. A miracle is one of three things:

1. An act of God — an event that appears to be contrary to the laws of nature.

2. An amazing event or action that is extraordinary or unexpected.

3. A marvelous example — something that is admired as a marvelous creation or example of a particular type of science or skill, like modern engineering.

If that’s the true meaning, then where do I begin?

In general, I believe it’s a miracle that anyone finds another person to love and is loved in return. The odds are so against us. Who can ignore the significance of finding romantic love with Valentine’s Day coming up? Busy retailers are displaying tacky hearts and cheap chocolates while scrambling to combine it with President’s Day signage. The stress is palpable to find a valentine-anywhere-even though I’m already married.

The Valentine pizza marketing blitz always triggers reminiscing about my unsurpassed date from hell. It happened over 25 years ago, but one glance at heart-shaped pepperoni pizza causes the memory to loiter in my brain like the smell of burnt toast. I’d worked up the nerve to ask my crush to go with me to a college Valentine’s Day dance. It was a miracle he’d kind of said a flimsy “yes.” Being young and naive, the clues that he wasn’t that into me were ignored. Long story short, we barely talked, didn’t dance at all, and he disappeared for the night. Eventually, I caught a ride home with a friend, crying the whole way. To be fair, he did try to talk to me later, but I never gave him the chance. At least I knew I deserved more than that.

At age 25, I mistakenly judged myself to be a spinster — you know, always the bridesmaid and never the bride. But a girlfriend harassed me into going on a blind date. By that stage of the dating game, I’d all but stopped believing in love. It would take a miracle to get me out there again. As the cliche goes, I knew when I met my husband (on a blind date) for the first time that he was someone special — and so much better suited for me than anyone I had ever dated before. It was an amazing, unexpected event.

We all can attest to miracles in our lives if we count our blessings. Soon, crafty leprechauns will replace those creepy cupids — thank goodness. “Cupid” is a disturbing symbol: The god of erotic love and the son of Venus in Roman mythology. He is usually represented as an angelic boy with wings and an arrow. The various statues that I have seen are anything but charming. What would a semi-naked baby/boy/man know about love, anyway?

I was taught to dress for success. Cupid needs a major makeover desperately, with possible psychiatric care. As far as I’m concerned, Cupid remains on par with evil clowns. I’m so looking forward to the miracle of all things blooming, and anything that’s not red with hearts.

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