In which I go on.
Have you seen The Young Victoria? I saw it last week and fell in love with it. The era and the history of the Royal Monarchy is beautifully depicted but, for me, the love story between Victoria and her prince was equally so. *Deep sigh.*
Okay, I love war epics, I love movies that are so horrifying I think I’m going to throw up, I love foreign films, I love movies that upset me and anger me, I love movies that I can watch once a week for the rest of my life (Dirty Dancing) and be happy, and … I love stories of love.
I don’t want to give too much away because it’s still in theatres, but, The Young Victoria is a beautiful and touching love story. What’s really nice is if you read about their actual life together, its portrayal is nailed in the film. Apparently Victoria kept a diary through much of her life and her early writings after meeting and spending time with Albert demonstrated a brimming affection for him. For example:
“[Albert] is extremely handsome; his hair is about the same colour as mine; his eyes are large and blue, and he has a beautiful nose and a very sweet mouth with fine teeth; but the charm of his countenance is his expression, which is most delightful.”
It was her maternal uncle, Prince Leopold I of Belgium, who introduced them; and her other maternal uncle, Ernest (also Albert’s father (yes, Albert was Victoria’s first cousin)) who approved the match.
To her uncle, Prince Leopold, Victoria once wrote in thanks:
“… for the prospect of great happiness you have contributed to give me, in the person of dear Albert … He possesses every quality that could be desired to render me perfectly happy.”
I’m not sure if I’m just screaming lonely, single girl here, which is fine, but this doesn’t have anything to do with loneliness. I will never deny myself the fact that this is what a relationship looks like to me. I don’t know many passionate, soulful women who would think otherwise. Men too for the sake of argument. It has been documented that Victoria and Albert unified for love which was uncommon for royals at that time. Albert had a deep love and respect for his Queen and brought to bear that title in more than just the obvious. He technically was her liege, but her husband as well.
This is that constitutional desire we all have to be understood, accepted, and respected by the Alberts who come into our lives. I walked out of the theatre looking for Albert but he was nowhere to be found.
Which is okay because I’m not sure I ever will find him.
Therein lies the conundrum for someone like me. I can cry over this movie and wonder if one day I too will have a relationship where I am cherished, devoted to, loved, accepted, stimulated, challenged, protected, etc… find it in a thesaurus. I laugh at myself though when I realise that the reason this is so difficult for me is because I know I can be very perplexing to some men who are used to a certain kind of woman.
A man (we’ll call him Albert) could be staring me right in the face. He could tell me all the wonderful things that brought tears to my eyes in the movie. But, so help me God, I can be such a particular, picky moppet that I just may end up single until I leave this earth.
Make sense of that?
I barely can.
See, having an Albert is well and good – but for me to be satiated and contained by this Albert I’d need him to be a challenging, broken, sensitive, kind, distant, open, advisor, learner, loving, comforting, clairvoyant, intellectual, hilarious, video-game loving, bookworm who is patient, smart, soulful, clever, devoted, deep, demanding, spontaneous yet regimented, logical yet illogical… did I mention patient? On top of all this I would require an absurd chemical attraction toward him that offers a fine mix of the following adjectives: cheap, lusty, lascivious, surly, gentle, sweet, considerate, slow and steady. I like to be where I can melt.
On the bright side I am clearly not expecting perfection.
Can you imagine?
Then there’s the whole other issue of the person I am and if the type of person I’m attracted to can actually tolerate someone like me.
If I were in a relationship with me I would not know what to do with myself sometimes. Although I suppose that’s the way in all relationships. Some just have the potential to go completely sideways in a very dramatic way – it’s just whether or not you can pick the same battles. Like Vicky and Albert did.
I resign myself to the fact that this is highly unlikely that I find my perfect match and have considered the advice of some people who tell me I need to trim the list a little bit or become either a lesbian or a nun, but I’m a terrible human being when I’m settling for something or someone. Settling is like giving me 50 years without parole. That would bring me to roughly 83 years old and by that time everything on my body will be at least four inches lower than where they started and then what?
Make no mistake, I re-evaluate my options regularly, look at the pros and cons and have come to understand what missing characteristics I can acquiesce to and which ones are compulsory. It’s like that job interview – there are always requirements, but most of the time a relevant amount of experience is considered an asset but you never want to settle for an employee who’s not the right fit.
It doesn’t sound that awful – just look at the relationship you’re in right now. Are you happy? Can you see yourself gladly purchasing Depends for this person years from now? When life’s up are you going to look back at its entirety and not feel like the biggest mistake you made was to spend a life in a relationship where you were essentially alone anyway? Mistakes should be about things like selling shares at the wrong time, wearing stirrups in the 80s, buying a Geo Metro, or being fired for photocopying your breasts. All recoverable. A lifetime of unhappiness is not and we’re all grown-ups here; we only get a shot at life once.
Back to Victoria and Albert…
When Albert died of typhoid at the age of 42, Victoria entered a state of withdrawal, then perpetual mourning, and wore black every day for the rest of her life. I don’t find this necessarily healthy and I’ll leave that up to the psychologists but if you look at this from a more bittersweet perspective, that’s love. The pain comes from when the person’s gone and not from the ass when you’re together.
For now, I’ll purchase the movie and treat myself to its charm as I see fit. It’ll sit right between Dirty Dancing and The Notebook on my shelf.
I will leave you with one of mine and Gee’s favourite moments from the movie as well as the Sunday Jammin’ song on a Wednesday.
The Shins – New Slang