Valentines Day Special: The Kind Of Love We Should All Be Looking For

Shakespeare fans have said, “I love you like Romeo loved Juliet.”

Selena Gomez said, “I love you like a love song, baby.”

50 Cent said, “I love you like a fat kid loves cake.”

There are many different ways that love has been expressed in pop culture. I’d like to suggest a new one.

I love you like I am your second in a duel.”

Huh? Let me explain…

Today, we hash out our disputes via text message, twitter or when the internet is down, in person. Back in the day, when men were really men, disputes were settled with a gun fight.

Duels were a common way to solve a problem. A guy was looking at your woman…challenge him to a duel. Someone was looking funny at your horse…challenge him to a duel. A horse was looking at your woman…challenge it to a duel.

Men had reputations to uphold and what better way to solve problems than by shooting erratic guns at one another from a short distance, while women and children watched?

We’ve all heard about some famous duels: Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr, Andrew Jackson and Charles Dickinson, The Three Musketeers vs. Almond Joy. But what is often left out of those stories is the involvement of some very important people.

These people were called seconds.

Seconds were friends of the duelers and their role was to try resolve the dispute by avoiding bloodshed, all while preserving everyone’s honor. Basically they were the cooler heads trying to talk their buddies out of killing one another.

In 1842, Abraham Lincoln, an Illinois state legislator at the time, was talked out of a duel with state auditor James Shields, by his second. In 1864, a second helped Mark Twain avoid a duel with a rival newspaper editor, by over exaggerating Twain’s skills with pistol.

If a peaceful resolution could not be found, the seconds ensured that the duel would take place on a level playing field with equal weapons. They would make sure the parties all agreed on the same terms and they would make those terms as least deadly as possible. Kinda like event planners whose job was to do everything they could to keep everyone alive.

The seconds took all the work off the plate of the two angry parties. They would decide how long the duel would last, what conditions would end the duel and which doctor would be on hand. They would make all the arrangements so that the duelers could just practice their skill of not dying.

Sometimes, the seconds would even take the place of their friend if the primary dueler was not able to finish the fight.

So basically seconds were like the best friends anyone could have. They would try to talk you out of being killed, set the stage so you were not likely to get hurt, and then if you did get hurt, they would take your place and risk their life so your honor remained in tact.

If that isn’t love, I don’t know what is.


Valentines Day Special: Featuring Lady Gaga

Given that I go on dates about as often as there’s a lunar eclipse, I am probably not qualified to dish out relationship advice — I’ll stick to other important topics, like telling you what kind of life lessons we can learn from gum. However, I recently noticed something during the Super Bowl that I felt compelled to comment on. Don’t worry, this post won’t feature 5 things we can learn about love from the Falcons collapse (although, don’t you doubt for a second that I couldn’t come up with at least 5).

In addition to her flying around the stadium accompanied by an army of drones, Lady Gaga’s halftime performance was lauded for it’s music. Imagine that, a performer actually singing her songs during an in-game concert. The fireworks we great, but her ability to not only sing but also keep her breath with so much movement and action taking place really stood out.

I know very few of Ms. Gaga’s songs. Sure, I hear them at the gym while I am at a workout class with a bunch of middle aged women (middle aged women love Lady Gaga and hate planks), but I don’t think I could tell you the words from many of them. One song in particular caught my ear, so I decided to look up the lyrics.

The song is called Million Reasons and it begins like this:

You’re giving me a million reasons to let you go.
You’re giving me a million reasons to quit the show.”

We don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to realize that this song is about someone or something that is not treading Lady G right. It could be a boyfriend, a manager, or her Netflix account, who knows. But we know that things are not right.

The song continues to repeat that there are a million reasons for this relationship to end.

I bow down to pray.
I try to make the worse seem better.
Lord, show me the way.
To cut through all his worn out leather.
I’ve got a hundred million reasons to walk away.
But baby, I just need one good one to stay.”

Wait, what?

Now we are up to a hundred million reasons to leave. Things are bad. But it will only take one reason to stay? Don’t get me wrong, I love the rhyming. And it sure does sound good with a piano playing dramatically in the background, but that seems like pretty terrible advice.

Let’s start with all the reasons to walk away. A hundred million, really? That is probably a slight exaggeration. I doubt anyone has 100 million reasons for anything. We can all agree that Morgan Freeman’s voice is better than Gilbert Gottfried’s but I doubt we have 100 million reasons why.

So let’s just reduce that number a little. Let’s say 100 reasons to walk away is more realistic. I would consider that to be a red flag. On the light side it is nudge, perhaps. On the strong side it is more than enough evidence to put this relationship on death row.

I don’t know about you, but I’d need more than one reason to stay. I’d need at least 7.

I am sure there is more depth to this song that I am just not getting. And who knows, maybe this song is about more than what it appears — kinda like how I don’t think The Beatles ever really lived in a Yellow Submarine. But that being said, I would like to offer some advice on this Valentines Day…

If you have 100 million reasons to do anything – eat ice cream, throw away your collection of pogs, or walk away from a relationship — you should probably do it.