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Nora's Corner

The following is the second column that my sister, Nora, wrote for her college newspaper. I think this girl may have a bright future as a writer, or at least as a blogger.

When you’re in a couple, you envy your single friends. And when you’re single, you envy those friends who have relationships. I speak from experience, because I spent the past five years of my life in and out of a relationship where we always wanted something else, and have spent the five months since the break up longing for what we had. We spent the formative years of our youth breaking and re-breaking each other’s hearts. The good times were so wonderful that they made the heartbreak seem worth it, but underneath it all I think that the both of us were just scared to admit that the only relationship we had ever known was not working.

When this relationship dissolved in May, I thought for sure that I would never get over the agony. I filled my life with new friends, my time with social activities, and tried to keep the pain from occupying my thoughts. It’s childish and it’s unhealthy, but it’s also very true that you can’t feel bad about something that you don’t think about. While it’s human nature to commiserate, there is something intensely personal about a breakup. Something about a broken heart makes you feel as if nobody in the history of the world could possibly understand the kind of anguish that you are feeling.

That isn’t to say that I didn’t talk about it. My cell-phone bill and my email outbox will tell anyone that I was plenty verbal about the situation. But no matter what I said, I couldn’t reach any sense of closure within myself. I couldn’t imagine myself feeling happy and peaceful again, being myself without a relationship to comfort or define me. Was all love like the kind I had experienced? Would I ever have another chance, or would I be doomed to wander the planet alone like the Incredible Hulk?

My cousin Justine married her high school sweetheart this Labor Day Weekend after a 9-year courtship. Weddings are a magical time. A time where you can drink heavily, dance stupidly, and sob openly among friends, family, and total strangers. But whether you’re there for the open bar or to celebrate the sacrament of marriage, weddings make you think about love.

While my life is always an emotional rollercoaster, even I was surprised by my reaction to their first dance as man and wife, to “Wild Horses” by The Rolling Stones. Justine and Matt, on the first day of their new life together, shared the spotlight on the empty dance floor. My throat burned and my eyes filled with tears as other couples joined the dance, among them my sister and her fiancé and my own parents. I, Nora, was about to cry at a wedding.

I remember when my sister Meghan broke up with her first serious boyfriend. She was heartbroken, a concept so foreign to me that I could say nothing comforting to her as I rode in the front seat of her Oldmobile Achieva as she wiped the tears from her face and chain-smoked. Six years and a string of loser boyfriends later, Meghan has met the love of her life. He’s lactose-intolerant, computer-literate, and utterly perfect for her. Nerd love is a powerful thing, and Meghan found it in Jeremy.

My parents had their 30th Wedding Anniversary in July 2004. Steve and Margaret are the definition of “opposites attract”. My dad irons his underwear, my mom will wear one earring if she loses its mate. My dad likes to go to bed early and my mom loves a good party. My dad is serious and wound up like a top, my mom is silly and goofy. But even though their love is crazy, I’ve never doubted that it is genuine. Maybe it was just the wine or the flattering lighting, but when they danced, cheek-to-cheek, they looked at each other like they were newlyweds.

There I stood, surrounded by a room full of people who were in love, who had lost love, or who were still out there looking. There were a hundred love stories in that ballroom, each a testament to the resilience of the human heart. Sure, the heart cracks and breaks, but it also bounces, and in time the wounds that torture us now end up as nothing more than old scars. In true rock-goddess fashion, Justine danced with her father to Guns N Roses “Patience.” I stood there, alone, but not lonely. Looking around the room, I realized that the advice that my mother gave to me is as wise as the lyrics by Axl Rose. Time heals all wounds. All is not lost. I’m 21, for crying out loud! All I need is just a little patience.

Posted September 15, 2004 4:00 PM | On This Day: 2005 2003 2002



Get that girl a blog! Very well-written and aptly timed for yours truely. Too bad patience is not one of my virtues....

geez. I'll marry her.

Well done!

dangit, now i'm all stupid and emotional thinking about this. i s'pose the grass really is always greener though.

She's the most talented writer at Xavier, bar-none. If only she had the patience to actually write in one of the blogs she has created through the years... Oh well, the crappy XU newspaper will have to suffice.

this article made me look at sister in a whole new light no linger is she a spazmatic incapable teenage girl who cares more abour her looks than her ability to form a proper sentence. she has made me proud. so has my sister maggy whos name i just spelt incorectly. who has managed the difficult task of finding her true love. i am proud of her and proud of her hippie computor crazy boyfriend. p.s. i am going to vote for george w bush just to piss you off meg

i spelt so many words wrong in that comment i made myself sick

Wonderful writing - and when your mom has all the wisdom of Axl Rose, how can you not be a fine and insightful writer! ;-)