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Singled Out: The Lesbian Who Longed for Romanticism

Singled Out: The Lesbian Who Longed for Romanticism

Entertainment publicist Mona Elyafi continues to regale us with her tales and woes of being a single lesbian lady in Los Angeles. This week, inspired by her 'super sexy therapist,' their syncing cycles and a host of French Literature including Baudelaire, Mona bemoans the loss of romanticism.

I think I might be spending too much time with my super sexy therapist. I am basing my suspicion on the fact that now we somehow managed to be on the same menstrual cycle. I know...too much information! But this is quite a predicament to be in when you have a super crush on someone. You know what that means for us women, right? It means that at the exact same time of the exact same month, we aspire to kill each other!

Not only do we instantly morph into ambulant public dangers but we also turn into extra super vixens with maximum bitch powers.  What worries me the most about this discombobulating situation is that I am the one whose cycle got totally fucked up and adjusted to hers. And please spare me the educational Grey's Anatomy speech about her being the alpha girl. I know for sure I am not a follower; I 'm just extraordinarily flexible and simply have an uncanny diplomatic disposition to compromise.  

Surely, none of this would have happened if she didn't keep on fabricating problems in my life to ensure I would visit her office two, three, sometimes four times a week. I know I am not as defective as she makes me believe I am. But who can blame her? Clearly she just wants to see me.

I actually think she's quite a romantic chap - you know she goes the extra mile. How thoughtful is it of her to continuously create some psychological disabilities in my head and diagnose me as "mentally unbalanced" just to soothe her separation anxieties? C'mon! That requires a lot of imagination, not to mention effort, energy, attention and passion. That's right, I said PASSION....which brings me to my topic du jour: the art of romance, and more specifically lack thereof.

The art of romance is a lost art! Indeed, in this 21st Century of ours, romance is dead and so are all the hopeless romantics. Sadly, we killed Phaedra, Madame Bovary, Romeo & Juliet, Dante and the rest of the romantic fools. Maybe I am (slightly) over-exaggerating but seriously when was the last time anyone lost themselves in the details - as in zoomed in on the small things that make a big world of difference in one's special someone's little world?

And mea culpa! I'm not gonna lie. My skeptical very blasé French ass has participated in and actively contributed to the demise of romance. But in my defense, the only reason I find it cheesy is because more often than not the quality of the delivery of said romantic act is cheap. It is devoid of any thoughtfulness and lacks genuineness. It's a total scam and I'm not buying it! Speaking of buying, the art of romance requires the same skills as the art of purchasing a gift for your significant other: it's not the quantity, the size or the price that matters, it's the message carried in the gift. What I mean is that it's not what you say that counts but how you say it.

A few days ago, an old friend of mine from my adolescent years in Paris, reminded me - via Facebook of course -- of one of the most romantic stories I ever got to not only hear but also witness in my life.

Back in high school I had the biggest crush on this extraordinarily stunning French teacher named Isabelle. She epitomized the feminine ideal - classy, sophisticated, elegant, eloquent, hauntingly captivating, intellectually intimidating and attractively charismatic. Needless to say, I was in such awe of her that, unlike most kids of my then young age, I was always looking forward to every one of my French literature classes. I devoured all the books she assigned us to read and paid extra closer attention to her personal favorites: The Flowers of Evil by Charles Baudelaire and Phaedra by Racine -which to this day, I am convinced, was the catalyst of my masochistic side.

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What can I say? Passion is a gift! And don't get me wrong, I was not at all kissing her ass but was rather, and quite simply, absolutely addicted to her!

One day, as we were studying the 19th Century Romantic era of classical French Literature, she temporarily side-tracked and, in an effort to illustrate the ultimate definition of "romance" (re-situated in our modern times), proceeded to share a personal story she claimed happened to her.

Apparently, every night upon leaving school, she would religiously find a note on the windshield of her car penned by an anonymous gentleman who had obviously succumbed to her beauty and irreversibly fallen under the spell of her uncanny charm. More than a note it was some sort of enigmatic message that contained references to a poem called The Vowels written by the anarchic visionary, precocious boy poet of French symbolism, Arthur Rimbaud. This ritual went on for a while until the day said man informed her in his missive that he would reveal himself while she would be tending class.

I'll digress for a minute here to tell you that our school was a beautiful colossal 7-story building with each classroom sporting huge glass-windows overlooking Paris' "Hauts de Seine." What that meant was that other typical Parisian apartment complexes not only surrounded us but were at visible - almost touchable - proximity.

So, as promised, mystery man, who apparently resided in the building across the street from our school and - yes you guessed it - in one of the apartments directly facing our classroom, at last made himself known. Yet he did it in a very unique approach and unexpected way. 


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He proceeded to cut and paste gigantic vowels on his window blinds still referencing of course Rimbaud's Sonnet. According to Isabelle's story, the man had since kept his blinds shut during the day in hopes that she would always think about him.


Evidently, as she was recounting the tale, part of me was dubious about the verity of the story. It sounded slightly anachronistic for anyone to in our modern times to master the ability to elevate himself/herself to that level of romanticism. Yet, when I turned my head to look out through the classroom's windows and take a peak at the alleged fenestra in question, I was, to my greatest surprise, able to intercept the barely perceptible vestige traces of those famous vowels.

To this day, I still consider this story to be the summum of romance.

Suffice to say, I am not at all surprised that a man, even through the windows of an anodyne high school classroom, had been so unconditionally seduced by the beauty and aura of a woman of her caliber, because I, too, was. But to go through the process of romancing her with what defined to a T not only her passion but her very essence, namely letters and words - that to me was genius!

Unjustly crucified as cheesy and/or nerdy, the art of romance is a dissipating, scarce quality on its way of extinction. And now I ask myself: what is so wrong about being a hopeless romantic?  All things considered, who's really hopeless - the ones who dare to make a fool of themselves or the ones who alienate themselves behind the safe, boring, walls of conformity?

I personally believe that the art of romance is all about the science of passion - the ability and willing disposition to not only experience, absorb and feel your emotions but as well let them move you beyond the unimaginable. Perhaps it wouldn't hurt us after all to, like Rimbaud and that mystical nameless man, invented colors for each vowel in our lives.  

As the saying goes "without passion, we'd be truly dead."


Read more of Mona's Singled Out. 

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