Monday, February 15, 2010

Is It Love – or Is It Lust, American Style?

Yesterday, America observed its annual tribute to love and romance: Valentine’s Day. As someone has said, it’s not an actual holiday because, “It’s not like we get the day off or anything!” But we either go out and enjoy nice dinners with our loved ones, or cook nice dinners and stay in, along with buying tokens of love like flowers, candy and jewelry.

Ah, love. Ain’t it grand?

On TV, however, we can experience what I have come to consider the anti-Valentine’s Day: ABC’s “The Bachelor.” This is the “reality show” where one guy gets to be fawned over by a couple of dozen attractive, shapely young ladies, each of whom is certain he is “the one” and, before the first show ends, Mr. Bachelor has surmised he’s “really falling” for at least half of them. Is it their minds – or ample cleavage – that convinced him?

There’s also “The Bachelorette” in which one gal gets fawned over by a couple of dozen attractive, shapely (er, muscular) young men. (Basically the same show, with less estrogen.) Either way, they sort of remind me of my first years in college, when I “fell in love” with a different coed every other week.

Warning: Don’t watch either show on a full stomach. If they were broadcast on Animal Planet, they’d be called “Dogs in Heat.”

What bothers me most about “The Bachelor” and its feminine counterpart – besides their being contrived and deftly edited to appear “real” – is they make a travesty of love, nothing but hormones gone wild, rather than the beautiful product of two people devoting themselves to one another “for better or for worse.”

1 Corinthians 13 equates love with patience, kindness, unselfishness, truthfulness, trust, hope and perseverance. It’s not the self-centered, lustful pursuit that “The Bachelor” would have us believe.

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