Ever heard Tweet’s “Always Will”? It popped up on my iPod yesterday and I couldn’t help but play it ’bout fifty-leven times. The sparse, acoustic guitar-heavy instrumentation combined with the smooth, almost celestial background vocals and Tweet’s heartfelt delivery are guaranteed to get me every time.
Not familiar with it? Here’s the basic gist:
Tweet loves someone, and she believes that this someone loves her. In fact, she loves this someone so much that she declares that no matter the obstacles in their way, even if the distance between them is literally cosmic in scope, she bets that she “always will.” And she ratchets the wager up a notch by proclaiming that this someone “always will” love her just as much. It’s quite touching. Really.
It’s too bad that it’s probably not true. I mean, when you really think about it, to how many people have you personally said, “I’ll always love you,” or something similar? C’mon, be honest. I’ll wait. Now how many of those promises rang true like, by the time you finished first semester in b-school?
Exactly. Even if you meant it with all your heart and soul and being at that time, chances are that by now you’d cringe if you could do a Marty McFly and stand next to yourself when you lovingly whispered that sweet nothing in the ear of your boyfriend of four month’s time on a Holiday Inn couch after Senior Prom in 199X. Crap, you’d probably even grimace when you think about the last time you said it. When was that? Last Valentine’s Day? New Year’s Eve after that last shot of Henny (or Vodka Redbull for all my white folks)? Your wedding day?
It’s OK though. You can’t help it. Human beings have an unrestrainable need to feel as though they have control over their own futures. That’s why millions of us faithfully read horoscopes, wear lucky underwear before a big game, and (gasp!) say our prayers. They’re all just as futile as trying to end interracial dating in Minneapolis or Seattle, but that doesn’t stop us from doing it. There’s just so much in the world that’s out of our control, whatever little bit we can do to feel that we’ve taken some power back from the Lords of Chaos does our pitiful little souls good.
So we try to will ourselves into infinite romantic love. I mean, what human condition is a better target for our self-protective efforts than the steamy, shivers-up-the-spine, daydreamy emotion that drives everything we do in our waking moments? Yeah, I said it. When we’ve got it, we can dance under water and not get wet, and when we lose it, a lot of us just drown in tears. Who wants to deal with the latter? I don’t. Hell-to-the-damn no! I saw “The Secret”! Let’s just speak our love into perpetual existence! If only it were that simple.
Wish on a star, wish on a full moon—crap, wish me love a wishing well—but love can no more be controlled than thunderstorms, or heat waves, or tectonic plate movements, or [insert force of nature here for dramatic effect]. Even R&B, for all of its syrupy, hyper-optimistic expositions on the subject, grudgingly recognizes this as the truth. Think “I Keep Forgettin,'” “I Miss You” (Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, not Aaron Hall) and the best example: “Love Don’t Love Nobody”. In the end, when it’s over, it’s over…and more often than not, it doesn’t take death to part you from your lover. A nice smile or a nice fatty can work just as well, let alone the thousands of miles Tweet was singing about.
Did I convince you? No? I doubted that I would. See, you believe that “real” love is eternal, despite the fact that 50% of U.S. marriages end in divorce and 75% of those who don’t are mostly unhappy. You believe that sheer will power will keep you in love indefinitely. You believe that you needn’t worry that your love could simply vanish – FOR NO REASON AT ALL. And why not? It feels good, don’t it? Keep it up.
I bet you always will.