I am a hopeless romantic.
But wait. That doesn’t make sense, because romantics are the ones who do hope, even when it makes more sense not to. They’re the ones who dare to pursue ideals, chasing the shimmering tail of a shooting star even as it fades from sight. Offer a romantic a glimpse of beauty and she cannot forget it.
Romantics envisage a world where moments have meaning, and souls, significance. They give gravity to a stolen glance, a simple gesture, the light in a room, or the timbre of a voice.
Of course, romantics are idiots. I am an idiot, but I’d like to be an articulate one. You see, romantics struggle to accept reality because they conflate how things are with how they ‘could’ or ‘should’ be. They mind-wander down a thousand roads not taken, set up camp in the land of dreams, and embark on rambling soliloquies. 😉 And they feel so intensely it exhausts not only them, but the people around them. Romantics are the sods who are moved to tears watching Toy Story, because ‘Woody doesn’t want to be left behind!’ and ‘Buzz believed he could fly, and he can’t!’. Since romantics care too much and hope too hard, they often take on the emotion of others’ as their own. They are the pathetic people who can’t bear nature documentaries, because they know they’ll end up yelling at the TV screen as a seagull closes in on a baby turtle, slipping on sand as it tries to reach the ocean.
NO! COME ON, TURTLE! HURRY! NO, NO – YOU HAVEN’T EVEN LIVED YET!
In a word, romantics are annoying. They need level-headed friends who can tell them, ‘I’m pretty sure the shooting star’s gone now, and maybe it doesn’t make sense to keep tromping around all night in the dark after it.’ Or stuff like, ‘You know, the movie’s not real – but here’s a reminder: the toys work stuff out.’ And, while watching documentaries, these same friends chime in with, ‘Don’t look right now. Oh cool, the turtle made it. Yeah, it really did. No, I’m not lying. Jeez, that was one time, and you weren’t s’posed to be looking…’.
Yeah, romantics sure are a handful. But this world needs all kinds of people, and I think maybe romantics and pragmatists help each other. Pragmatists need reminders that’s it’s okay to feel vividly and look for beauty and wonder, so they don’t become pessimists. And romantics need a little grounding so they’re not overwhelmed by emotion.
So maybe romantics aren’t hopeless after all.