"Nothing gold can stay." At least that's what Robert Frost (and C. Thomas Howell) would have us believe. These words rang in my head as I read that Travis Stork and Sarah Stone have decided to end their courtship.
Unfamiliar with this couple? Then you're probably unfamiliar with ABC's reality show, "The Bachelor." Dr. Stork (what's in a name, after all?) chose Sarah, an elementary school teacher, from a pool of twenty-five women who were all vying for his attentions. This season of the show was set in Paris, so there was romance in the air - as well as the Bouillabaisse.
Then, the cameras were turned off, and everybody went home. And they couldn't see each other or be together until after the finale of the show had aired. "You're in Paris and you're part of this incredible experience, this fantasy world, and then suddenly you come back to Nashville, and living in the same city I think we thought was going to be a great thing," Stork said. "But instead, you're forced to pretend you don't know someone, for essentially the last four months.
The reality is that we were in this fantasy world. And now that we're back in Nashville, over time when you're not allowed to see someone, you grow apart."
This set me to thinking: Is this any different from the way we date out here in the real world? That initial flurry of dating when everything the other person says or does matches up to some barely recognized ideal that you hadn't even realized was exactly what you had been looking for all your life. The hyper-reality of imagining the response to your casual inquiries and intimate suggestions that culminates with the moment that you discover that you were always meant to be together by some divine stroke of wisdom, luck or some combination of the two.
And then there comes the rest of your lives together. When the roses turn to carnations and then disappear altogether. When the lingerie gives way to long underwear. When taking a walk together requires a destination. When romance hasn't died so much as it has taken an extended sabbatical. We're not in Paris anymore - we're not even in Kansas.
Dr. Stork and Sarah were a lovely television moment, but now our attention span has moved on to more pressing matters. The rest of their lives will be spent wondering what might have been. I want to believe that they have secretly married and are waiting for the media to give them enough room to go out on a real date together. I suggest the Food Court.