6 December 2019, by Adeline Ang
Still waters run deep. As do age-old clichés and stereotypes, quoted and adhered to by many. Indeed, William Shakespeare might have caught on to something early on when his oft-quoted phrase, “Love is blind.” made its rounds all over the world.
“But love is blind, and lovers cannot see the pretty follies that themselves commit,” The Merchant of Venice, Act 2 Scene 6.
Blind to the faults of the other when in love. Or blinded by physical appearance, some may say, as one may be visually wired and often state the looks and physique of the opposite gender as conditions in the consideration of a potential mate.
Wait, mate? Not “other half” or “significant other” or “better half”? Or the more inclusive term “partner” which is increasingly used nowadays? Even the use of the word “mate” alludes to the traditional male and female roles.
Recently, someone used the phrase “plain vanilla” to describe a person of the opposite gender and the kind of life envisioned with that person if they were to date. Really? An ice-cream flavour? And an added emphasis at that; as if vanilla isn’t plain enough.
It was only much later in my adulthood that I grew more comfortable with being myself, in spite of my failures and setbacks. I finally found harmony in my life; at peace with my make-up, genetic or not, my station in life as a single and a valued professional. This lasted a few blissful years. Until I reconnected with an old classmate from eons ago.
“Love yourself first, be complete and you will find true love.” Not quite the adage around the world but in my world, it was advice doled out to those who are single. Now to say that it was “love at first sight” would be an absolute cliché, but I knew. Two words. Yet another cliché, but it was what it was. And the rest, as they say, is history.
[Of course, this paints an ideal picture of the journey of love without details on the process of navigating the transitions that took place. There would be time for that in the sequel to this.]
Plain Vanilla I am not. Rum and Raisin, perhaps I am. I thought I would never find true love because I was not Plain Vanilla. I thought I was too much of a handful for anyone. Shakespeare’s opinion about true love was one that I had empathised with deeply.
“The course of true love never did run smooth.” A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Whether one is Plain Vanilla or Rum and Raisin, blind or 6/6 in vision, male or female, there is beauty in each; a beauty that is waiting to be discovered. Cliché or not, there is a time and place for each one to blossom and grow.
Bid your own time. Be your own person. For time and tide waits for no man (or woman). So swim while you can. Enjoy each season of your life to the fullest. For the next season might just hit you without you knowing.