Monday, June 6, 2011

What? Did you think a love potion would be simple?

Q. My buddy's girlfriend is moving away for art school. She doesn't see the urgency to get married. Any ideas for love potion ingredients to change her mind?

A. Dear Fledgling Love Wizard,
Love potions are hard to concoct. And love is even harder to conjure. But I'll give you what I've got. 

Love Potion A. 
8 lbs of Godiva dark chocolate
5 fist-fulls of cat hair (must be gathered by hand grooming. No brushes or wads found around the house)
1 tie-dyed head scarf (must be dyed by the love sick, no store bought or borrowed from a friend will do)
3.5 lbs of spinach leaves (organic, uncooked)
2 handmade friendship bracelets (go easy on the beading, go wild on the color)
7 ounces of love lorn tear drops
13 handwritten service coupons, promising things like dish washing, back rubs and a home cooked meal
1 full day of uninterrupted Spring or Summer sun
1 shower with hot and cold running water
1 cell phone with texting capabilities 
1 large cookie sheet

Secure the friendship bracelets to your wrists. The one with your name on the right wrist and the name of the loved one on the left wrist. Take an early morning shower for 28 minutes. For the first 8 minutes the water should be as hot as you can stand. Hold your arms in an "X" under the water stream. Try telling yourself this represents the initial burning of ones heart for another. Then imagine the hot water is bonding the two bits of fabric together. Then with your foot or knee or elbow (which ever is safest) turn all the hot water off and stand in the cold of the shower for the next 20 minutes, keep the bracelets in contact and the arms crossed. If contact is broken the love bond is broken, cannot be mended and was not meant to be. If you can endure the cold then your love potion may have a real chance. As your body shivers and fights the desire to jump out of the shower consider how there will be times of trial ahead and you need to build your strength to endure those trials of love and commitment. When the full 28 minutes are up, uncross your arms, turn off the water and drip dry. If you want to cross your arms again, you can. It doesn't matter but if it makes you feel better, go ahead. Dress yourself. Keep the friendship bracelets on.

On a large cookie sheet break up the chocolate with a hammer or a brick or a white speckled gray stone. Lay the cookie sheet and chocolate out doors under a spring or summer sun, no later than 9:39 am. As the chocolate melts begin to mix in the spinach leaves by hand. Continue this process until the mixture is fluid and evenly mixed. While mixing leaves and chocolate send text messages to the loved one every twelve minutes. Twelve is the perfect interval. Ten minutes is too often and 15 minutes is just long enough for someone to fall out of love in one relationship and rebound into love in another relationship. The texts at this stage should cover all the inside jokes you have between each other, bring to mind all the little mile stones of your relationship and start with "Do you remember when we...", and be constant reminders of how much you need that persons love and how any bit of happiness in your life depends on THEM... Every twelve minutes. 

Just before the sun drops low in the sky, about four and a half fists above the horizon, start to sculpt the chocolate into seven little volcano shaped mounds. Stick your finger into the top of each mound, creating a finger length hole. Into each hole drip one ounce of love lorn tears. As soon as the tears have been equally distributed between the chocolate spinach volcano's send your final text inviting the desired one to join you for a salty, sweet, AND healthy, love snack at sunset. 

While you await their arrival get dressed in your "Best" gear- a suit, freshest urban wear, tightest jeans and v-neck t-shirt, you decide. But the tie-dyed head scarf must be incorporated into the outfit, either as a pocket square, ankle or thigh band, belt or actual head scarf. As a finishing touch, rub the cat hair all over your clothes. Really work it into the fibers of each garment. And don't forget the shoelaces. Lots of shoelace fur. 

Once your intended loved one arrives, you may greet them with a smile and an embrace but you mustn't speak. With eye contact and hand motions only, lead them to the seven chocolate volcanoes. Without a word you must encourage them to follow your lead, of their own free will, and join you in consuming the chocolate mounds and their content. You will lead by example and drink the tears from the first, then eat the chocolate spinach cone. It is now their turn. When they are have finished you will do the same, again, until you have both consumed 3 ounces of tears and 3 volcanoes. All six volcanoes must be devoured before sunset. There may be an awkward moment between this step and the next since you have to wait for the sun to set before moving on. 

Now that six of the volcanoes have been shared between the two of you, and the last sliver of the sun has slid behind the horizon, it is time to kneel in front of the one you wish to be yours (on both knees, this isn't a proposal) and present them with the service coupon booklet. The first page of the book should have simple instructions printed on it that reads something like: "Please read these coupons aloud as I kneel at your feet, tear off a coupon and present it to me. Please continue to do this until all 13 pages have been presented." When each coupon is handed to you, rip it into pieces and eat it. You must eat all 13 coupons. It's recommended to make to coupon book rather small. After all the coupons have been read aloud to you, and you have ingested them, you may now speak. 

While kneeling, ask that the final and seventh volcano be brought to you. Ask them to drink the tears from the final chocolate chalice. The final volcano must be broken into bits and fed to you in its entirety by the one you wish to win over. 

If all of these steps can be completed, and in time, and with the other person going along with it to the end, then you have likely found your soulmate and some one committed to you and your relationship. If this is the case, congratulations! The two of you have a wonderful and weird future ahead of you. Now you can give them the friendship bracelet with you name on it and go watch a movie or something. You probably won't want to make out since you'll be kind of sick from all the chocolate and tears and spinach. 

Love potion B
Give her some space. Let her go and see what happens. When I was a little kid I had this shirt with a drawing of a horse and a painting of a sunset. The shirt also had a poem or a saying printed on it that read, "If you love something let it go." And then some stuff about how if it comes back to you the love was true or real or mutually fulfilling. (I don't remember the specifics, and don't really want to look it up because this is already a pretty long response and I think the basic gist comes across.) So to your friend I would say, let her go. If it endures, then it was a true love and may be worth joining the two lives in marriage. But he must also consider the possibility that she may love him very much but might not want to spend the rest of her life with him. She may be looking forward to having some time and space between them while so she can figure out what she wants and who she is. I may be wrong here, but if she's just starting school she's probably still pretty young. She might not be ready to get married just yet. Even if the love is there the timing may not be. 

Because I feel so strongly about it I'd like to dedicate a paragraph to: How to pressure someone to marry you. Step 1. If the person you're dating is trying to pressure you into marriage don't do it. Step 2. If your boyfriend or girlfriend is trying to convince you to marry them by placing their future happiness in your hands, get out. Step 3. If a love interest invites you over for chocolate spinach volcano's at sunset and you feel even the slightest bit weird about it, turn on your heel and run. But if you don't feel weird about it you may have just met your soul mate. 

Marriage at its best if both fulfilling and challenging. If one of the partners doesn't really want to be there from the start, it will likely be nothing but trouble. I feel marriage should be the natural, comfortable and desirable next step for both involved. It should be free of manipulation, pressure and emotional or physical intimidation.

To your friend: You are standing at the edge of a new path in life that will come to a fork very quickly. I urge you to ease up on your worry and sense of urgency. If you are worried that she will find someone better suited for her, that may be all the answer you need. If you love her more than yourself, let her go and find that person. And in time, she may find, much to your delight, that what she had all along was what she wanted, and come back to you. If that's the case I would hope both of you had grown in ways that will end up strengthening your relationship for the years to come. 

And lastly and simply, You can't marry everyone you love and everyone who loves you doesn't want to marry you. Sometimes it's just enough to love. 

Hope that helps,