It seems that rarely have I been more current. With the appointment of a pro-Europe Frenchman, Macron, to the top job in France, although probably with more French blood than I have, there has been some perverse media interest in Madame Macron and their relationship. It’s the age gap, silly. Its the wrong way round, or that is what some would have you believe, if pursuing this nonsense is their cheap intention. It even appears that if this is your topic of interest Trump is okay in this department.
You see, Mrs. Monkey and I are also an “age-gap” relationship couple. Eyebrows may have been raised at the time, particularly when shopkeepers thought I was her father, but these days? Nah. We are, after-all, the “right way” round.
And whilst these puerile “news” features are cheap gossip fodder (I recently heard the Macron marriage as being the key discussion topic on the radio) for the “Hello” masses, here is the greater question – what is love? You see, amidst all this superficiality, we have the BIG ISSUE.
Now, I’m not professing to know the answer, otherwise I would have set up my own dating website by now and be mooring my yacht somewhere off the shore of a Greek island for the summer. But having fallen in love, you do wonder just what is it all about ?
It can’t purely be physical, surely. Could you commit for life to someone, even though they may be the sexiest most gorgeous thing you’ve ever seen, if they had the table manners of a chimp at a tea-party. Or spent the evening telling you about their day through a mouth full of food. (You can see how I was brought up.)
Once you’ve got beyond the desire thing true “love” , as a commitment to another, is the result of a chemical collision in the brain, apparently. Rather dry sounding, I admit. Don’t you wish it was more radical ? More metaphysical.
Classical literature will allude to “philia” – close friends, or “pragma” – mature affection over time, or “philautia” – self-love (we all know some of those) and, of course, “eros” – passion and desire. Age, or “geriatrica”, doesn’t feature.
It is all things and undefinable. A bit of this, a little of that, some of the other. The scent (rather than smell !), the touch, the charisma, the character, the way they hold their fork, and so on. An original and at the same time universal soup. A minestrone – and sometimes the spicier the minestrone the better. N’est ce pas?