There are three things that I most associate with “romantic love.” The first is the Franco Zeffirelli filmed version of Romeo and Juliet. This is because my older sister dropped my younger sister and me off at a theater playing the film when I was perhaps ten. She did this so she could go out with her friends, and as I recall, my younger sister and I saw the film a dozen times — but it was probably just twice.
While at that movie, I had a notebook that had some kind of jasmine perfume spilled on it. Yes, even at ten I always carried a notebook around with me. You got a problem with that? Anyway, as a result, jasmine makes me think of the same kind of immature “I love you so much because I know nothing about you!” infatuation that we in America mistake for love.
The third thing has nothing to do with that long night of Shakespearean tragedy. When I was a teenager, I had my first dance during the playing of Dan Hill’s “Sometimes When We Touch” off his third album Longer Fuse. The music was written by the excellent Barry Mann. The sentimental lyrics are Hill’s fault. But I should be clear. While I have a weird kind of admiration for Romeo and Juliet, the smell of jasmine, and the song “Sometimes When We Touch” — I generally think they are dreadful. Or at least socially dangerous. I suppose I’m being a bit hard on jasmine — but it’s a very potent smell, the slightest hint of which makes me go all weepy. And I think Zeffirelli did a great job of bring Romeo and Juliet to the screen, but it’s an annoying play. As for the song: “I wanna hold you til I die; til we both break down and cry”?
But here’s the song: