February 13, 2019

Careful What You Wish For

In the wash of another Valentine’s Day, we are celebrating love in it’s most commercial and unattainable sense with The Paramour Edit. A paramour is a somewhat old fashioned way to describe a lover, particularly one that is perhaps secret, unavailable or out of reach.

Paramours are the celebrated objects of affections in novels where the perfection of another person is almost too much to bear. Think of the flowery odes and longing between the Bennett sisters and the gentlemen they chased in Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. This text is a classic statement of love for anyone seeking the long term torture of the things they can not have.

Wanting anything works like that. The more you hold out a thing as a thing of desire – the more you want it. The harder it is to attain, the steeper the wanting.

It is the ‘not-having’ of a paramour that keeps them perfect. Because no one actually is…perfect. A paramour is only ever an instance of leaving wet towels on the floor and tramping sand into the car upholstery to be just as imperfect as anyone else. Jane Austen’s Mr Darcy quickly descends from perfection climbing out of a water fountain in a wet white shirt to a reckless so-and-so once the laundering of that shirt becomes a real-world responsibility.

Anyone with any kind of experience in online shopping will understand that this extends far beyond the realms of romantic love.

That silk dress that looked ‘perfect’ finally arrived and showed itself to be made of highly flammable synthetic nylon and cut to fit a 10 ft tall giant with otherwise bizarre proportions. The weeks of longing for the parcel to arrive and building up anticipation comes crashing down in flames. Actually flames if you were to hold that veritable trash-bag-passing-as-a-garment near to a flame.

Yet, the point isn’t to prove that life is a lie and all things are disappointing – the point is to understand the cost of wanting and to compare that to the investment of earning. It all comes down to the value we assign to ‘having’ a thing.

To covet anything gives that thing power over your happiness.

Careful what you wish for.