Philosophical Graffiti

I’m a fan of graffiti.  Not gang tags or kids destroying stuff for the sake of destruction, but I understand the need to carve your name in a wooden picnic table or write on a bathroom wall.  I’ve never done it, but I admire the artwork and creativity of others.

I don’t understand the need to destroy, when others deface artwork or “tag” things that were clearly not meant to be tagged.  I once saw petroglyphs in a rock where people had carved their names into the stone around them, and I wondered who would destroy something like that.

This post isn’t about acts of destruction though.  I recently ran into graffiti on a bathroom wall that made me smile and made me think.  When I read it, I thought, “This is kind of a low-tech Facebook.”

As seen on a bathroom wall stall...

As seen on a bathroom wall stall…

I really enjoyed this conversation.  In black, is:

“Don’t (sic) ever fall in love.  it’s a trap.”

“<– thats depressing.”

“<DONT (sic) EVER FOLLOW SOMEONE ELSE’S HEART.  THATS (sic) THE TRAP.”

Then it gets interesting.  (Extra points because she used mostly used proper punctuation, grammar, and spelling).  In brown, it says,

“Love is a choice, not a feeling.  Those butterflies are from infatuation.  Love at first sight is a Feb 14 hoax.  We should strive for love and grow more deeply in it daily with our partners.  Because when I see him for the last time I want to be more in love with him then (sic) I ever have been before.  But, Just my opinion. -CK”

It’s clear that the first girl had a bad experience, probably not long before she wrote that.  I picture her in the bathroom, getting a disappointing text message from her beloved.  Maybe her beloved broke up with her via text just then.  Maybe they had an argument over dinner.  Maybe her beloved didn’t send her a text when she expected one.  In any case, at that moment, she was moved to write those words.  She could have updated her Facebook status with that, and maybe she did that as well.  Or, maybe she didn’t want her friends and family to know that her beloved disappointed her yet again.

The girl in brown wrote that “Love is a choice, not a feeling.”  I agree with her sentiment, but not exactly what she says.  Anyone who’s ever been in love, especially after they’ve made it past the butterflies in your stomach feeling, knows that long term love is both a choice and a feeling.  Once upon a time, I dated a wonderful man, but I just didn’t have that feeling for him, and ended up breaking it off.  I could have chosen to stay, but without that love feeling, it can be hard to get through the ups and downs of a real relationship.  In contrast, with my husband, I’m long past the butterflies in my stomach stage, but I still have that warm and fuzzy feeling.  And that warm feeling helps me choose not to bash him over the head with a very heavy object when he irritates me.

In all seriousness, I don’t believe that you can choose who you fall in love with.  I believe in chemistry, and I believe that the chemistry between two individuals can be love.  I’m not just talking about romantic chemistry/ love, but also the platonic chemistry/ love that happens between friends.  Sometimes you just know that you’re going to be wonderful friends or lovers, and the relationship doesn’t take years to build.  Sometimes those relationships start immediately because of chemistry.  But at some point, there’s clearly the choice to put the hard work in or not put the hard work in.

Love isn’t the trap.  Thinking that love should be easy is the trap.  But, just my opinion.  🙂

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4 comments on “Philosophical Graffiti

  1. minette2012 says:

    I totally agree that thinking love is easy is the real trap here! Relationships take time, effort and accepting responsibility for our own actions and feelings. I loved your post and reflections on love. I took a similar photo in a bathroom at a university where I was speaking and what I appreciated was the conversation. Low-tech FB is right but it’s also a sign to me that people are looking to reach out and connect wherever possible.

    • doreeweller says:

      Thanks for stopping by. People are always looking for ways to connect, and I think that some people make the mistake of thinking that friendships and connection with others should be easy too. But those also take work.

  2. “Love isn’t the trap. Thinking that love should be easy is the trap. But, just my opinion. :)”

    Not just your opinion! I totally agree. I read once that the reason arranged marriages worked so well in some societies was because people didn’t get married at the “height” of their attraction to each other… rather, they went into the marriage expecting it to be work, to expect to have to continuously learn more about each other, to expect that they wouldn’t necessarily “feel” in love all the time… if we can take those attitudes into marriages we choose, I think we have the best of both worlds.

    • doreeweller says:

      Absolutely. In a happiness study, they showed that people in arranged marriages initially report less happiness than couples who’ve chosen their mates, but in the long term, they report more happiness. I always found that interesting, but it fits with what you said as well. Thanks for stopping by.

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