Love Between the Lines

by Mallary Tenore Tarpley

Lots of people give me books as presents. They know I love to read and that I someday want a library in my dream house. I laugh when people give me books about love. Once, my grandma bought me Dr. Phil’s book, “Love Smart: Find the One You Want, Fix the One You’ve Got.” She thought good ol’ Phil could give me good old fashioned advice on relationships.

I believe books teach us a lot about life, love, passion, but I’ve never been one to get much out of instructional love books. I’d rather read about Scarlett O’Hara getting whisked off her feet by the handsome Rhett Butler, or about Cecilia Tallis falling for the innocent Robbie Turner in Ian McEwan’s Atonement. I’d rather read books that show, not tell.

Every once in a while, I like to read quote books. Just this week, I opened my mailbox to find a package from my family. Enclosed was the book “Love: Quotes and Passages from the Heart,” with the inscription, “May you find your true love.” Oh my.

I’ve heard a lot of quotes about love lately, like this one from “Sex and the City”:

“Maybe our mistakes are what make our fate. Without them, what would shape our lives? Perhaps if we never veered off course, we wouldn’t fall in love, or have babies, or be who we are. After all, seasons change. So do cities. People come into your life and people go. But it’s comforting to know the ones you love are always in your heart.”

One of my favorites is from “Love Actually”: (A bit cliche, but I can’t help but like this movie.)

“Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion’s starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don’t see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often it’s not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it’s always there – fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge – they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I’ve got a sneaking suspision love actually is all around.”

Love is all around. I don’t need a Dr. Phill book to tell me that.