In So Many Words

Info-Comics by Larry Paros

Solid Relationships

What's with your confused state? You've fallen head over heels in love. Well, la-de-dah! You're so befuddled, you even have it ass-backwards, head-over-heels being the way things normally are. Properly positioned, you'd be heels-over-head — literally doing somersaults of joy, as they did back in the 18th century.

It's no big deal. Besides, what's so joyful about falling? Falling denotes lack of control, a quick descent, disappointment, and failure — hardly the stuff of celebration.

We slip and "fall" on the ice. Our business "falls off." We even "fall from grace" — a common occurrence of the "fallen woman," though a search fails to reveal a male counterpart or his fate. As to the "fall guy," he's everyone's all-purpose scapegoat.

Psychologist Erich Fromm suggested we should speak instead of "standing firmly in love," leaving those romantically inclined with "both feet on the ground." That's all well and good, if there's any solid ground on which a relationship might be based.

Ground that is solid and common is hard to come by, romantics instead preferring to think about love in shaky terms. Most opt for the slippery slope and the prone position — cushioning their fall by a tumble in the hay.