Once upon a time (about 13 years ago), in a land far, far away (not really, still in the southern United States) there lived a young woman who decided to make a change in her life. She was attending a university and finally managed to get a scholarship to go to a university in a kingdom far away in order to better learn the language she was studying (German).
She embarked on her journey, took a flight from New Orleans to New York to London and finally landed in Munich, Germany. She was so excited about her new adventure that she could not sleep on the long flight and instead discovered the most amazing and wonderful book, ‘Pride and Prejudice.’
On her first day in this new place, she met Superman, though she was completely unaware of it at the time. He was in his Clark Kent costume and acted so nonchalant and uninterested in her that she took him for rude. It would be another month before she got to know him better and until then, she amused herself with other suitors in the area.
There was Base Captain who was nice enough, but it was clear why he was still single and she quickly moved on to Youngster. After Youngster took her to a dance and then left with Spanish Girl, she had to let him go. It was no fun being treated so poorly and that was not what she was after.
This is when Superman (AKA Clark Kent) stepped back into her life. She found him quite charming and watched him from an acquaintance’s vantage point. She noticed how his circle of friends all seemed to want to emulate him, how people looked to him for acceptance and approval, how they respected him. She watched as he was completely unaware of his influence on people and his modesty at his own accomplishments.
She also noticed, of course, that he was beautiful. His eyes were a clear blue and one drooped slightly, giving him a sweet puppy dog look. He smiled and laughed often which only intensified the effect of his eyes. His form was that of a swimmer, with a broad chest and narrow hips. He worked out regularly and was therefore very nice to look at.
And he was a musician. He played not only songs he heard on the radio, but also his own compositions. Her knees went weak as she watched his elegant hands strum the notes on the guitar. That was it. She was hooked. Gathering up her courage, she let Superman know how she felt. To her extreme delight, he felt the same.
Their courtship had its ups and downs. There were silly fights and miscommunications, but most often there was a feeling of true understanding that rang between them. They fell in love….
On a train ride to nowhere, they read a book together aloud. He showed her the wonderful play of words the author was using; his excitement in the text created excitement for her.
They literally climbed mountains together, hiking through the beautiful countryside. They fed ducks at the pond near their dorm; they ate ice cream outside on a stoop. Once, he gave her a flower that appeared to have flowers on both ends of the stem and completely confused her until he showed her how he had created it.
He cooked for her and taught her how to eat again since she had lost the normal ability to discern what foods she needed and when.
He made up silly songs that he sang to her and made her laugh so hard her sides ached.
They spent hours listening to music together and eventually decided that Joni Mitchell’s ‘Case of You’ was one of the most beautiful love songs ever.
He treated her like a princess, something she had never known. He was, to quote a popular song at the time, the ‘bearer of unconditional things.’
They fell in love. But alas, it was not to be. She finished her year abroad and had to go back home. Thinking it would ease the transition, she told him they would not remain a couple and she left the country in tears, thinking they would never see each other again.
But such was their bond, that distance did not blow out the flame of their love. It increased and magnified it. Daily, they wrote to each other. They spoke on the phone so often that she almost ran out of money. Such an arrangement could not go on. He came to visit her (and his family) at Christmas.
It was then that they decided to not be apart any longer. He moved across the ocean to be with her and her heart could barely contain her joy. Even after they were living together, they continued to write each other from work- long e-mails detailing what had happened in the morning. It brightened their days.
Their friendship continued to grow and eventually they got married. Did they live happily ever after? In life there are all manners of challenges, and she and Superman had their share of them. Moving, having children, buying a home, finishing school and getting a job all had their toll on the relationship. But to this day, they remain together, working things out as friends and partners.
And he still treats her like a princess.
Joni Mitchell’s ‘A Case of You’