Facebook keeps telling me how many days it’s been since my last post. It’s an embarrassing number. I stopped looking. Ok, I didn’t stop looking. I looked and then yelled at my computer to stop shaming me and to just let me live. Because I’ve been up to something important.
A lot has happened in the past week, the most significant of which was my sister’s wedding. I was busy completing Pinterest projects, holding her hand, and dancing the night away, so I didn’t get to write much. I did write one thing though—for the happy couple. They seemed to like it and my mom threatened to post it herself if I didn’t put it up here. Based on my knowledge of celebrity gossip, I know it’s crucial to always answer the threats of your number one fan, so here it is.
This is the speech I gave at the reception. It has a few corny jokes, which go over great in big crowds (a lesson I learned from 90s stand-up comics). I’m such a nerd I can’t even write about love without getting all literary and sci-fi-y. That’s obviously not a word yet, but I feel like any word (even a newly created one) that requires two en dashes is worth typing out. Also, I really thought I might have a heart attack before I picked up the microphone, but I survived. Barely.
People have been thinking about love for thousands of years. We’ve made sonnets and screenplays and sculptures all its name. I’d bet there are cave paintings depicting loved ones embracing. Or arguing over what to eat for dinner. Probably both. But I’m going to talk about one particular love story. And it’s not yours. Well, not exactly.
In ancient Greece, privileged men used to sit around and talk about important subjects—history, science, politics, and, of course, love. So, Plato was doing this with his pals and he asked them what they thought of love. The conversation eventually came around to Aristophanes.
He said mankind has never understood the real power of love. He got a little preachy about it all, as the Greeks tended to do with their myths, but here’s the important part:
At the start, people were round, with four arms and four legs. They had one head with two faces. I know, this is getting a little sci-fi, but bear with me. They were basically two people in one. It may seem like an odd shape for a person, but they were super powerful. They literally had eyes in the back of their heads. And they could carry so much. Most impressively, they could roll like crazy. Like, if they were at a family reunion or a field day, they would be killin’ it.
But this story is in the vein of most Greek myths. The people got a little arrogant and the gods got a little threatened. They were worried these two-for-one people might be able to overtake them. To protect themselves, the gods decided to split people in half.
After being split, people began to look for the rest of themselves. Literally, their other half. They would search and search and then, finally, embrace. Once the two halves found one another, Aristophanes said, “the pair [were] lost in an amazement of love and friendship and intimacy, and one would not be out of the other’s sight, even for a moment.”
Because they were whole again. They were complete. And, he said, that’s love. Finding yourself whole.
I’m so glad you’ve found one another. That you can embrace and be whole. I hope you’ll be so powerful together that you make the gods of the ancient Greeks nervous.
And then everyone hugged and drank bourbon and danced to an eight-piece band—all in celebration of a four-armed, four-legged, two-faced creature. Or love. Either one.