LOL Steph, giving me prompts about human emotions again. You so cute. I had no idea how to answer “six books that made me fall in love”, unless you mean in love with books and then I would need this to be 600 for Sunday. I’ve been in a serious, long-term relationship with the guy I married since I was 17, and there were no books I read that made me fall for him. In fact, reading whilst walking around school is probably the reason I didn’t notice him sooner.
So, this week is a bit of a mix of different things, books, passages and poems that sort of tell my own story of falling in love. Hopefully it won’t make you vomit or get all uncomfortable as you realise I am capable of human emotioning.
1. Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy. After many weeks of flirting by text (which was infinitely harder in the days before smart phones), now-Husband and I decided to meet after my exam to “talk”. The exam I was sitting that day was on Tess of the D’Urbervilles, which is one of my favourite books of ever. I can only assume my passing the exam was more to do with it being a favourite than my skill on the day, because my head was not in that exam.
2. Miles Away by Carol Ann Duffy. Like all tortured teenagers in love, I developed a fondness for angsty poetry. Especially during the two years that husband was at university and I was not. Expensive travel meant we only really saw each other in the holidays, and long distance relationships are shit. But I had this suitably emotional poem on my wall to help me though because it started “I want you and you are not here” and was all about pining for your lover. (Well, that poem and a cry-fest of a playlist).
3. I Like You by Sandol Stoddard Warburg. Husband and I had this one read out at our wedding by my baby sister (who was actually 17 and not at all a baby). I think it’s technically a kid’s book, but the words are beautiful. Obviously it has all of the gushing love words in it, but I think my favourite line is: “I like you because if I am mad at you, Then you are mad at me too. It’s awful when the other person isn’t. They are so nice and you could just about punch them in the nose.” And yes, we left that line in for the wedding.
4. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres. Or specifically, the part of it that everyone seems to have had read out at their wedding. It was just as popular 9 years ago when Husband and I married, but no less beautiful for it. If you haven’t heard it at a million weddings, it starts: “Love is a temporary madness, it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your root was so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is.” It was the perfect reading, and I can’t help but come over a little emotional when I hear it.
5. Loss by Wendy Cope. Being the complete nerd I was in those days, Husband and I had all our tables named after poems by Wendy Cope. This was our personal favourite, and the one that caused the most confusion to all our guests because it is basically about a separation and ends “His absence wasn’t a problem/But the corkscrew had gone as well.” Apparently this was not romantic enough. Shrug.
6. The Beauty of Love by some anonymous writer. This poem was the basis of the speech Husband’s Best Woman gave at the wedding. It’s so beautiful and you should definitely look it up if you aren’t familiar with it. It begins by talking about the beauty of “young love“ as a couple embark on marriage and asks if there is anything more beautiful, before going on to talk about old couples in love and ending “Yes, there is a more beautiful thing than young love. Old love.” I have a real soft spot for old people who are still so clearly in love with each other. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.