A Book on Luv by the wisest 18 year old I know … meet Sofia.

The Book on Luv

By Sofia Barnard

For my psychology class in my college we had an exam. The assignment was to pretend to be writing a book on love. We were given five chapters with a specific topic the teacher chose. We were to write a brief paragraph describing what advice would we have included in the chapter. I decided to have some fun.

Chapter 1. A Mate Aye?

At times it may seem impossible that you will find that one “true love.” You always hear about the love yet you feel all alone; you may as well run away and become a hermit on Mount Kilimanjaro.  Dear reader: your being a twerp. A self-centered and self pity-ing twerp. It may shock you, but ALL single adult on this planet is searching for that one “true love,”, some consciously others subconsciously. You shall just have to wait and be patient. (ha, bet that got on your nerves!) If you really are longing for a mate here are some things you may want to consider when getting to know him or her:

  • Notice if they are mature. Do they really want to settle down right now or do they agree because the idea is pleasant and they think you have a nice butt?
  • Notice if they have the same values as you. Do they see a plate of prosciutto and a glass of wine and gag? Would they prefer hot wings and beer? If you have the same reactions to situations, not just culinary ones, you may be able to live with them.
  • Most importantly do they seem to have potential for growth? Are they going to always be the same, say the same things? That may be reassuring but after a year of getting the same responses you shall get bored. It would be like having a stubborn, grouchy teen for an extra 30+ years, stuck in the same old rut!

And so these are my main guidelines, you may create more specific ones. My last advice is this: One day those boobs will sag and his hairline will recede.

Chapter 2. You’re Married?!

She’s not a happy bundle of joy, frying bacon for breakfast every morning?! … He doesn’t bring you a bouquet of flowers and 3 pounds of chocolate after work?! … She likes to blast the Spice Girls when she vacuums?! … He likes to blast death metal while he mows the lawn?! … They’re not perfect!?

Hello you just had a reality check! CONGRATULATIONS!

So marriage … well, there is a reason why some call it the ultimate sacrifice/challenge. Ideally you go into a marriage without any expectations … ideally the lions are friends with the caribou and butterflies and fairies bring you money when you lose a tooth. If it seems like your other half isn’t trying hard enough … stop and realize that they might actually be trying as hard as they can.

If one is working outside of the house all day remember they have to deal with idiots on the street as they commute, on the phone and at work. Whoever is working at home … they hate cleaning as much as you do. The person at home would also like to be released from the four walls they’re encased in and catch some air. Both of you are stressed because you want to accomplish things. The stress levels increase and BAM A FIGHT! If you two truly love each other you will fight. You want everything to be perfect. You raise the bar, push yourself and it’s too much, so overwhelming. If only the other person noticed how much effort you’re putting in. Remember the fight occurred because you love them and want it to work. My advice, buy a bag of chips, ice cream and watch a movie. Marriage is part of life and can be hard. CHILL OUT.

Chapter 3. I used to be engulfed in flames…

Have you two been sprayed by a fire hose? Has the flame dwindled down to the point that you couldn’t melt a marshmallow and make a s’more? … want s’more love?

For this topic my advice is quite cliché. Go and mix things up a bit. Maybe you need to spend more time together, maybe you need to spend less! Sometimes one loses themselves in a relationship, all the investments and efforts you make contribute to the relationship. Please remember that nothing in your life is permanent, but yourself. Go do something you like, alone, If your happy with yourself then talk to your significant other. Ask them whats wrong, maybe they need to go pamper themselves. Put all your best efforts to reignite the flame! Good luck! I hope that soon you shall sing “Burn! Baby Burn!” once again.

Chapter 4.  Offspring.

Would you like to be forever responsible for a being that will be rude, cute, sweet, reckless, sarcastic, snargety, dumb and cause your beautiful hair to become gray? (All gray hairs should be attributed to children.) It is a huge responsibility that is literally life consuming and makes you a selfless and humble soul. They may just be the key to heaven. Babies are cute, young kids are funny, preteens are sweetly awkward and teens are self rightous…your call. :)

Chapter 5. homosexual v. heterosexual love.

For the final Chapter, I was assigned to discuss homosexual v. heterosexual love.  I concluded that there is only one love. Love is hope.

Sofia is a college student, dancer, and a few weeks away from completing her yoga teacher certification … and if you need any worldly advice, she’s your girl. (Oh, and by the way, she got 100% on this exam).

Surfer, writer, editor, amazing friend, lover of life & a seriously beautiful person … introducing Janna.

“Oh, my God, you are going to LOVE Janna”, my friend Amber said as she was telling me about all of the new people she had met over the past year or so that I was living in India, “Actually, you guys are going to love each other … you both are the same, you know, REALLY happy.”  

Well, my friend was right … Janna and I loved each other from the start. It’s so fun to meet someone and then instantly, you can’t imagine not knowing them (this has been happening to me a lot lately, which I think is a good sign). Janna is so full of life, and yes, as a big fan of laughing and smiling, having someone around that likes to do both those things as much as I do is a beautiful thing.

Not only have I become a fan of Janna, the person, I have also become a fan of Janna, the writer. Super funny, smart and ridiculously honest. Here is one of my favorites … enjoy!

The Awkward Hug  

By Janna Irons via Strange Musings, Awesome Humans, and Nonsense Spewing 

I’m usually pretty good at dodging awkwardness. Or maybe I attract it. Here’s the problem: In places like Hawaii, I run into people from all over the world, who I know with varying degrees of intimacy, who all have a different preferred greeting. People from Hawaii= one-cheek kiss (sometimes accompanied by a post-kiss hug, sometimes not). People from France or Tahiti: two-cheek kiss. Close friends: hug. Work-related acquaintances: sometimes a hug, sometimes a handshake, depending entirely on the situation.

So I run into someone from Tahiti, who’s been living in Hawaii for a while. I go in for the one-cheek/hug, while she opts for the two-cheeker, we kind of have a few awkward half-movements, we almost kiss, then simultaneously try to anticipate what the other will do next, end in a nice “Uh, oh, uh…sorry”, and try to move on without drawing too much attention to that weird excuse for a hello.

Then there’s the I-know-you-from-work-but-we’ve-known-each-other-for-a-while guys. The ones where I go in for the handshake, while he goes for the hug, then feels weird, extends his hand for a shake, while I switch over to hug-mode and he pokes me in the stomach with his outstretched fingers, and we do the weird what’s-going-on dance. It’s all very awkward.

Oh, and then there’s the group introduction to the person who I know pretty well, who I’d normally hug upon greeting, who is being introduced to my co-workers (which is accompanied by firm handshakes), and then it gets to me and I go for the hug, because a handshake seems too formal, but he has an arm outstretched, so I switch over, leaning back an extending an arm, but then he decides a hug would okay, and we do the weird ass-out-hug thing, and then, since we’re in Hawaii, he goes for the one-cheek kiss and it’s strange and ends up misplaced, landing somewhere near my ear, as I turn my head away. It’s usually inelegant and uncomfortable, and everyone is watching and wishing they weren’t, and then we all collectively try to pretend it didn’t happen.