One Valentine’s Day many years ago, my spouse, Gil, brought home a bouquet of roses. I am Dutch and he is Israeli, so neither of us had grown up celebrating Valentine’s Day. But it was our first year as graduate students in the United States, and one of his classmates, shocked that he was planning to spend the evening at the library, convinced him that he’d risk losing my love if he didn’t bring me a romantic gift.
He came home with a bouquet of overpriced supermarket roses that would be on sale the next day. I wasn’t as much bothered by the price — even though I’m Dutch — as I was offended by his unoriginality. I threatened him with divorce if he ever again brought me overpriced roses or chocolates in mid-February. Relieved to be able to go back to his books, he agreed and has never again tried to be romantic.
A lethal combination of Hollywood sentimentality, Victorian romanticism and bridal-magazine kitsch has placed an impossible burden on love. We’re supposed to subject our relationships to some recipe for unfading ardor and permanent swoon and are made to believe we are failing if we just live in reality.
I object to the tyranny of perfect romance. I’d rather have a flawed relationship of my own than the kind of fairy tale love in which the lovers are replaceable elements in an arrangement of candlelight dinners, red roses and walks on the beach. I prefer my love imperfect.
Gil has never been successful at romance. That’s what I liked most about him when we first met. I was a freshman at Hebrew University in Jerusalem when a mutual friend introduced him to me as someone who could help me with my paper on witchcraft, one of his many academic interests. He later told me he was in love with me from the moment he saw me in the university cafeteria. But instead of flirting, he talked to me about witches and the nature of magic. I liked him because I don’t trust smooth people.
That first day, we became so immersed in our conversation that we skipped class and talked through the next lecture period. We both knew this was the beginning of a love affair. But if I’d left it up to him, we might never have moved beyond academic discussion.
“I’m going to see a movie tonight,” he announced at the end of our conversation, apparently unaware that in conventional romance he was expected to ask me to join him.
“I’ll come too,” I said.
We shared an interest in learning, traveling and adventure. Two years after we met, he received a scholarship to study in China for one year. I went along. As we traveled throughout the country, we made a stop in Hong Kong and got married at City Hall in a 10-minute civil ceremony. Of course we were in love, but that wasn’t why we tied the knot. Gil was applying for graduate school in the United States and a marriage certificate would allow me to join him on his student visa. I figured that as long as we didn’t have kids we could easily divorce.
I’m uncomfortable with the idea that wedding vows should ensure undying love. Such commitment is based on the fragile assumption that our current selves can make promises for our future selves. I find it almost presumptuous to expect such certainty of the future. I can only take love day by day.
For more than half of our lives, though, we have stayed together. We went to graduate school in the United States, and traveled all over the world. Eventually, we even had children. Our daughter was born in Taiwan, where Gil was completing his Ph.D. research while I was teaching English and writing freelance. Our son was born two years later in the United States, where Gil got a job as a professor.
If in all the years we’ve been together, I haven’t seriously considered separating, it’s because even at times when things between us seemed wrong, I couldn’t bear the thought that in ending our relationship, I would lose Gil.
Of the two of us, I’m the more capricious. I’m a flirt, easily distracted by a meaningful glance or the touch of a good-looking man. Gil prefers to spend his mental energy on academic problems rather than frivolous romantic fantasies. I’ve often developed crushes, which Gil tends to take in stride because he mostly just finds them pointless. When I confessed to an infatuation with someone I didn’t seriously want to be with, his response sobered me up: “Then why are you wasting your time?” he asked.
He really doesn’t understand the appeal of romance. I’m a sentimental romantic at heart, but because of him I’ve learned to appreciate that there are many other pursuits — raising children, caring for the world, writing, travel, adventure — that are more rewarding than romance. As exciting and intoxicating romance is, it doesn’t need to dictate our lives.
But there are times — especially after I have watched certain romantic movies — when I panic and think my life is all wrong because our last candlelight dinner consisted of cold leftovers during an electrical blackout, and nowadays, when Gil and I are awake in bed, it’s most likely that we are reading. When I look at ourselves through a romantic lens, I see a pathetically passionless couple, held together by habit and inertia, and I start fantasizing about eloping with a more ardent lover.
Of course, after more than 25 years in a relationship, the fire of passion has dimmed to a glow of familiarity, and now that we have children our interactions are often limited to the coordination of schedules and squabbles about the fair distribution of responsibilities. We can fight in shorthand because we’re so well acquainted with each other’s grievances that we don’t need to go through the whole argument anymore.
But when, during my moments of marital doubt, I look at other men as potential lovers, I realize there aren’t many with whom, after 25 years, I’d still get along as well as with Gil. Maybe it’s just because we’ve grown intertwined, like two trees that need each other for support.
If I have to choose between fairy tale romance and Gil, I choose Gil.
I know him well enough now that I can say with some certainty that this is not a fleeting infatuation. I love him, not only because I know him better than any other person in the world, but also because I’ve learned from him to distrust romanticism, and above all, because it would never occur to him to ever again give me a Valentine.
Judith Hertog is an essayist, journalist, teacher and storyteller.B:
2017年30至107期特码表【噗】【呲】！ 【突】【然】【利】【刃】【入】【肉】【声】【传】【出】，【聚】【在】【一】【起】【形】【成】【简】【单】【战】【阵】【的】【禁】【卫】【军】【团】【长】【们】，【立】【刻】【向】【声】【音】【传】【来】【处】【投】【去】【视】【线】，【发】【现】【他】【们】【中】【的】【其】【中】【一】【员】【胸】【前】【溅】【起】【一】【串】【血】【花】【闷】【哼】【着】【后】【退】。 【而】【这】【名】【受】【伤】【的】【禁】【卫】【军】【团】【长】【身】【旁】【的】【同】【伴】，【立】【刻】【挥】【剑】【攻】【击】【试】【图】【逼】【退】【冰】【华】。 【不】【过】【事】【情】【的】【发】【展】【出】【乎】【了】【所】【有】【禁】【卫】【军】【团】【长】【的】【预】【料】，【冰】【华】【浑】【身】【向】【外】【放】【射】【着】【极】【其】【细】
【所】【有】【人】【都】【返】【回】【了】【第】【十】【安】【全】【区】【的】【流】【浪】【者】【团】【队】【驻】【地】，【这】【里】【没】【有】【什】【么】【变】【化】，【还】【和】【以】【前】【一】【样】。 【所】【有】【人】【都】【到】【了】【门】【前】，【门】【竟】【然】【自】【动】【打】【开】【了】，【门】【后】【的】【是】【那】【两】【个】【人】。 “【欢】【迎】【回】【来】，【各】【位】。”【端】【木】【蔚】【雪】【和】【斯】【嘉】【蒂】【齐】【声】【说】【道】。 “【欢】【迎】【回】【来】。”【连】【诛】【也】【说】【道】。 …… “【主】【人】【好】【狠】【心】【啊】，【竟】【然】【看】【着】【我】【没】【有】【载】【体】【而】【死】【亡】。”【梦】【耶】【和】
【十】【天】【时】【间】【就】【这】【么】【过】【去】【了】，【按】【照】【黑】【龙】【的】【猜】【测】，【妖】【神】【域】【的】【主】【力】【大】【军】【已】【经】【来】【临】，【即】【将】【发】【动】【正】【面】【交】【锋】。 【呜】【呜】…… 【这】【一】【天】，【号】【角】【声】【吹】【动】，【大】【战】【就】【这】【么】【突】【兀】【地】【降】【临】【了】。 【而】【且】【是】【全】【面】【开】【战】。 【整】【条】【南】【荒】【域】【边】【境】【防】【守】【线】，【处】【处】【可】【见】【一】【尊】【尊】【强】【者】【的】【身】【影】。 【极】【武】【境】【的】【高】【手】【气】【息】【爆】【发】，【如】【同】【山】【岳】。【皇】【者】【之】【威】【弥】【漫】，【如】【同】【天】【威】。
【话】【说】【李】【濯】【尘】【突】【然】【回】【到】【了】【纳】【兰】【阴】【司】【身】【边】，【看】【着】【纳】【兰】【阴】【司】【说】【道】：“【已】【经】【处】【理】【的】【差】【不】【多】【了】，【他】【们】【体】【内】【的】【蛊】【毒】【也】【在】【扩】【散】，【就】【等】【您】【号】【令】【了】。” “【好】！【你】【看】【着】【这】【个】【死】【女】【人】，【让】【她】【亲】【眼】【看】【着】【这】【些】【人】【是】【如】【何】【痛】【苦】【的】【死】【去】。” “【是】！” 【只】【见】【纳】【兰】【阴】【司】【手】【指】【转】【动】，【嘴】【里】【念】【着】【一】【些】【陌】【凌】【涵】【根】【本】【听】【不】【懂】【的】【咒】【语】，【而】【拼】【命】【厮】【杀】【的】【人】，【不】【管】
【凰】【雪】【看】【了】【眼】【卿】【落】，【微】【笑】【着】【翻】【了】【个】【白】【眼】，【心】【中】【不】【免】【觉】【得】【卿】【落】【被】【保】【护】【地】【太】【过】【了】。 【卿】【落】【垂】【着】【眸】【子】，【压】【抑】【住】【了】【心】【中】【的】【汹】【涌】【澎】【湃】，【深】【深】【看】【了】【眼】【凰】【雪】，【转】【身】【走】【了】。 “【她】【到】【底】【过】【来】【做】【什】【么】【的】？”【凰】【雪】【侧】【过】【脸】【去】。 【勾】【丹】【轻】【柔】【笑】【了】【下】：“【许】【是】【她】【无】【聊】，【来】【找】【你】【聊】【聊】【的】。” 【卿】【落】【回】【去】【找】【了】【萧】【倪】【珊】，【天】【雪】【山】【师】【徒】【几】【人】【正】【端】【坐】【在】【一】2017年30至107期特码表11【月】10【日】16:30， 【中】【国】【男】【足】【迎】【来】U19【亚】【青】【赛】【预】【选】【赛】【小】【组】【最】【后】【一】【个】【对】【手】【韩】【国】【队】。【赛】【前】，【双】【方】【同】【积】6【分】，【由】【于】【净】【胜】【球】【的】【劣】【势】，【中】【国】【队】【暂】【居】【第】【二】。
【当】【听】【到】【有】【人】【喊】【到】【自】【己】【的】【名】【字】。 **【起】【先】【微】【微】【一】【愣】，【紧】【接】【着】【便】【顺】【着】【声】【音】【的】【方】【向】【望】【去】。 【只】【见】【十】【来】【个】【身】【着】【银】【甲】【的】【骑】【士】【齐】【刷】【刷】【地】【站】【了】【起】【来】，【毕】【恭】【毕】【敬】【地】【望】【着】【他】。 “【你】【们】……【你】【们】【为】【什】【么】【会】【在】【这】【里】……”**【一】【脸】【茫】【然】【地】【问】【道】，“【如】【果】【我】【没】【记】【错】【的】【话】……【你】【们】【应】【该】【在】【白】【鹿】【森】【林】【跟】【赫】【林】【格】【公】【爵】【的】【军】【队】【作】【战】【才】【对】。” 【几】
【裴】【旻】【冷】【冽】【的】【双】【眸】，【看】【着】【生】【命】【气】【息】【不】【断】【流】【失】【的】【阿】【萨】【族】【长】。 【随】【后】，【手】【中】【的】【斩】【仙】【剑】【再】【次】【出】【手】。 【铮】！ 【一】【剑】【斩】【出】，【无】【尽】【的】【剑】【芒】【涌】【向】【了】【阿】【萨】【族】【长】。 【恐】【怖】【的】【剑】【势】【震】【撼】【天】【地】，【所】【有】【人】【在】【此】【时】【目】【瞪】【口】【呆】，【张】【大】【嘴】【巴】。 【这】【一】【剑】，【如】【同】【灭】【世】【一】【剑】【般】，【威】【能】【超】【乎】【了】【想】【象】【中】【的】【恐】【怖】。 【轰】【隆】【隆】！！！ 【一】【声】【震】【耳】【欲】【聋】【的】【爆】【炸】
【这】【些】【铁】【盾】【兵】【皆】【是】【星】【元】【之】【境】【的】【高】【手】。【而】【且】【还】【全】【都】【刻】【意】【强】【化】【了】【肉】【身】【上】【的】【锻】【炼】。 【炼】【体】【之】【人】【只】【是】【说】【天】【生】【拥】【有】【比】【旁】【人】【更】【强】【大】【的】【肉】【身】【修】【炼】【天】【赋】。【但】【同】【样】【的】，【拥】【有】【其】【他】【天】【赋】【的】【先】【天】【高】【手】【同】【样】【可】【以】【进】【行】【炼】【体】。【只】【是】【那】【过】【程】【于】【他】【们】【而】【言】【却】【是】【较】【炼】【体】【之】【人】【更】【要】【痛】【苦】【上】【许】【多】【倍】【的】。 【这】【些】【人】【能】【够】【一】【直】【坚】【持】【炼】【体】，【可】【谓】【是】【心】【志】【坚】【定】。 【他】【们】