Pop Theory 14: Immortality and the Risk of Love

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Pop Theory 14: Immortality and the Risk of Love

 The confluence of seemingly unrelated events this past Saturday have urged me to think about how mortality — or, the impossibility of immortality — affects our ethics and specifically how we love and our willingness to love. How one perceives her mortality directly influences her willingness to love, to take the risk of love.

This past Saturday I attended a lesbian wedding — oddly enough, my first non-hetero wedding, and my first wedding in general since 1998 — in NYC, and, no, it wasn’t that of Cynthia Nixon and Christine Marinoni. The wedding was made exponentially more significant because one of the brides has four mothers; she is the child of one of two lesbian partners who split around the time she was a tween and who have been happily re-coupled ever since. At the wedding, held at a church downtown, her two mothers walked her down the aisle, and both mothers delivered passionate toasts about how gay rights have progressed since the ‘70s, when they were trying to get legal recognition and raise a child in a society where there was literally no other family like their own. Not until the first decade of the 21st century were LGBT families not an anomaly.

While reveling, ever so slightly, in humanity’s ability to not just tolerate but accept difference in regard to gay rights, I could also not help but to think about marriage, its meaning, if I desire it, et cetera. I mean, who doesn’t go to a wedding and automatically project her ego into the situation? Will I ever find love? Does love really last? Will I get married? Wait, do I even want to get married? OMG I’m old. The mind wanders while we all emphatically agree that everything about the current wedding celebration is “great!” and “adorable!” and “perfect!” Don’t you agree?

I am an unapologetic romantic. And being a romantic is hard, especially in a day in age where the only idealism that seems to be alive is that harbored by ironic hipsters who blissfully believe they can attain all they desire, because, well, what can’t be procured with daddy’s money?

Being a romantic is an ethic that is not valued in a consumerist/capitalist society that proudly devalues intangibles (lest I