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Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Column: A kiss in the rain

I sympathize with you, my precious (and probably soaked) readers. This weather is simply not the best to come to school in. But maybe I can alleviate your rainy-day blues with this column.

Despite how much I hate stepping in deep puddles or walking into class with soaked clothes and messed up hair, I love the rain.

I love the sound of raindrops on my window, I do enjoy a grey sky from time to time and – call me crazy, but – I love the smell. But I blame Breakfast at Tiffany’s for the number one reason why I love the rain.

Being my all-time favorite movie, I have become infatuated with every character, every line of dialogue and every outfit Audrey Hepburn dons in it. But it is the final scene that has me reaching for the box of tissues every single time.

Picture it: New York City. Pouring rain. Our heroine, Holly Golightly, sits in a cab, near tears, as she listens to the dreamy Paul Varjak profess his love for her. Holly, who is altogether terrified of being locked in love’s cage, doesn’t say a word. Before he leaves her in the cab, he tosses a ring in her lap saying, “Here. I’ve been carrying this thing around for months. I don’t want it anymore.”

Now here’s the part that gets me. Holly slips the ring on her finger and suddenly feels intense emotion. She leaves the cab and runs to reach him in the pouring rain. They meet at an alleyway. Once Holly looks into Paul’s eyes, she knows he’s the one. Right there, in the cold and pelting rain, they embrace and share a passionate kiss.

That right there is why I love the rain so much: the sheer romance of getting kissed in it. Sure, it might seem a little childish and grotesquely cliché, but ever since I first popped that movie into my DVD player, I’ve wanted nothing more than a kiss in the rain.

So my quest for a kiss in the rain started there. With every past kiss I’ve shared with every past boyfriend, I just hoped for the sky to suddenly decide to grey and shower us with sprinkles.

I had expectations – and needless to say, they got me nowhere. Precipitation would come and go, just like those jerk-boyfriends, and I was left with nothing but dry kisses and a broken heart. I was left to wonder whether I’d ever get to share that same passion, that same fervor of love, as did Holly and Paul.

Looking back on it, I realize I was foolish. I longed for a love that only exists in Hollywood, fairy tales and Jane Austen novels. Love, in the actual world, isn’t fabricated to perfection as it is in the movies. It isn’t a pair of star-crossed lovers who die in each other’s arms. It isn’t Mr. Darcy whisking away the poor and proud Elizabeth.

Yes, the fact that I’m only 20 and already thinking about love and forever does register, but that’s just how manipulated I’ve been. My favorite genre of film is the romantic comedy. Austen and Brontë dominate my bookshelf. I’ve officially appointed Taylor Swift as the narrator of my life. See, I’m a hopeless romantic – emphasis on the hopeless.

What I mean to say is: I let trivial bullshit like movies, books and songs mold my impression of love. That impression formed expectations and those expectations were never met.

I’m sure you’re thinking “Well, duh!” but it really was a problem. And I’m sure I’m not the only one.

Just like billboards and commercials try to sell us various products, the idea of what “love” should be is sold to us – and a lot of us buy into it. I did.

But what we fail to comprehend is the relativity of love. Love means different things to different people. The word carries an abundance of implications and we should not give in to what love is “supposed” to be. So start ignoring those eHarmony commercials and try finding out what love means for you.

As for me, I think I’ve found out what love is. From what I’ve experienced, love is a 5-foot-10 Asian guy who sings along with me in the car. Love is the way he pouts when he’s just a tad upset with me. Love is picking up his wet towel off the bathroom floor when he forgets to. Love is driving each other to campus when one of us misses the bus.

To me, love is Arthur – my own personal knight in shining armor. There was no preconceived notion, no trivial bullshit. This was something I found for myself, in my own way, by my own means. And that is worth more than any Nicholas Sparks novel or sappy movie.

Oh, and just in case you were wondering: I finally got my kiss in the rain.

MARIO LUGO recently got a haircut and is contemplating a new mug shot. If you want to see the new ‘do, e-mail him at mlugo@ucdavis.edu.

1 COMMENT

  1. Keep up the good work! I absolutely love your column and it’s one of the few reasons why I even open The Aggie. Ugh, i sound like I was paid to say this.

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