By Lindsay Eckert
Tribune lifestyle editor
“When I see him walk down the hall my heart just goes pitter patter,” a kindergarten me narrated to my dad as I recited my love story for him to write in my diary since my heart’s desire had apparently developed quicker than my writing skills at the age of 5.
Although I didn’t end up with the “man” I thought I was meant to be with (at 5 years old) “because I’d only have to change a few letters in my last name to marry him and we stood next to each other in the [alphabetical-order] lunch line,” I did end up with an entertaining collection of insights into a young tot’s idea of love.
The idea of love is different from all ages and perspectives. Rather ironically, Mr. Cupid — despite having the best perspective of every type of love as he darts between the clouds — didn’t have the suave, swagger or sentimental romancing skills you’d expect from Valentine’s Day’s leading man. But, I guess he does fly around in a diaper, shooting arrows at people, so maybe it’s not so ironic he failed Romance 101?
Nonetheless, Cupid, a mythical god, did find a love of his own in the mortal world. However, the tale of Cupid’s relationship with Psyche would be described by Facebook as: “It’s complicated.”
Psyche may have been mortal, but her beauty was nearly mythical and as every girl learned from “Mean Girls” that can cause some issues. In addition to her sisters’ unrelenting jealousies, Psyche had the mother of her man, Aphrodite, to deal with.
The Greek goddess of love and beauty also had a part-time gig in manipulation and jealousy as she feared Psyche would out-rival her role as the beauty queen of the gods — Aphrodite was definitely not in the running for Miss Congeniality — so she cursed the mortal land with a plague. She announced the only way to reinstate the lands back to normalcy was to introduce Psyche to a nasty death with a ferocious monster.
However, Cupid saved his Psyche from a fatal catastrophe and married the mortal. But with marriage came a mother-in-law and the new title only fueled Aphrodite’s fire of jealousy and Pscyhe’s spinster sisters’ involvements didn’t help the two hearts and their romance.
Psyche’s sisters got a glimpse into the “MTV Cribs”-type living Psyche was enjoying and decided to use Cupid’s odd requirement against the pair.
Despite Cupid’s love for Psyche, his “modesty” played out as the relationship’s fatal flaw: Cupid didn’t let his lady see him. Ever.
So Psyche’s sisters convinced her Cupid kept his looks on the down-low because he was a hideous monster. Worried the love of her life was a monstrosity in appearance, she peered over him with a candle as he slept. His looks were breathtaking, but not in a bad way, and Psyche was so charmed her gaze lingered long enough for candle wax to drip on her lover’s cheek, waking him — and a not-so-charming attitude. (The honeymoon is over, kids.)
So, Cupid got all crazy and dumped Psyche and he flew away as the harmonies of “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” erupted into the heavens.
But Psyche sought resolution and advice from Cupid’s Mommy Dearest and Aphrodite offered to “help” the heartbroken counterpart to Cupid.
Aphrodite gave young Psyche four tests.
As everyone knows, sons pick wives like their mothers and vanity was a common thread between Ms. Aphrodite and Mrs. Cupid so Aphrodite designed a fourth test that would result in her daughter-in-law’s inevitable failure: To descend to the underworld and retrieve a beauty concoction for Ms. Aphrodite, without using it.
Long story short, the idea of becoming even more beautiful was too much temptation for Psyche to turn down so she lathered on the beauty cream and trickery set in as the cream knocked her into a death-like sleep.
But — lucky for her — Cupid had a better timing than Romeo and flew in to save his beloved (despite the fact Taylor Swift songs were still swirling in his head) and with the help of Olympus and a nectar- ambrosia concoction he transformed his leading lady into an immortal.
The couple never broke up again, never ever.
[friday] editor/ Struck by Cupid circa 2012