But I didn’t want “love” to be, in the words of The Love Boat‘s insidious theme song, “exciting and new.”

If those silly shipboard shenanigans were “love,” I wanted no part of it. I wanted to meet a nice guy, ideally in high school, and be with him forever. I’d die first so I wouldn’t have to deal with missing him. He’d die moments later so he’d never have the chance to meet someone else. My pre-teen goal was to die with an unbroken heart.

Naturally, that’s not what I got, especially because, hey, it was the late 20th century, man. Nobody got that. Nobody was supposed to.

Love the one you’re with….If you love someone, set them free….

And brokenhearted women were crazy, right? Look at Glenn Close’s character Alex in Fatal Attraction. Except, like Nurse Ratched, she’s one of the most misunderstood females on film. In her murderous rage, Alex is actually clawing backward toward a sanity of sorts. All those old-fashioned ideas about “breach of promise,” about sex as an act of oxytocin-fueled pair-bonding rather than a consequence-free diversion much like a rollercoaster ride could be tamped down no longer under all her tear-stained copies of Cosmo.

Meanwhile, back in real life, while the rusty Pacific Princess was sitting in the scrapyard, the former cruise director whose memoir inspired The Love Boat was being dubbed “the world’s oldest cougar” by the Daily Mail. The still red-haired 90-year-old boasted of “12 hour lovemaking sessions” with a “toyboy” almost half her age.

That same day, the Mail also reported the suicide of Gia Allemand. The 29-year-old reality-show contestant had been one of the eponymous “Bachelor‘s” runner-up lovers, beating out almost all the other “girlfriends” on the program for the fellow’s televised affections and the ultimate prize: a (highly rated) marriage proposal.

She always maintained that she entered the reality show in the genuine hope to find true love.

“I truly went on the show to find love!” she told Emme magazine.

Allemand’s last Instagram posting read, “Legend says, when you can’t sleep at night, it’s because you’re awake in someone else’s dream.”



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