Reading Oliver Burkeman’s latestcolumn, I have become aware of the term “deepities,” originally coined by philosopher Daniel Dennett. If you’ve read a book by Paulo Coelho or been subjected to ‘Eat, Love, Pray,’ you have already encountered deepities. They are those sayings possessing the thin veneer of profundity, but then crumbling once logically examined. One of Burkeman’s examples is: “beauty is only skin deep.” I have another one in mind, this saying from ‘Love Story’: “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.”
Forgive me, but my bullshit meter goes ballistic at such an inanity. Love means having to say you’re sorry, often that you are very, very sorry. John Lennon quipped that love means having to say you’re sorry every five minutes. The veneer of profundity in this phrase comes in because many of the more romantic ideas of love treat it as an unconditional state. Since there are no conditions placed on it, there are no expectations to be thwarted, and thus no need to apologize. As a secondary reading, it could mean that you love someone so much that you look past a misstep, making an apology needless. The first idea, of love as an unconditional state, exists in romance novels with Fabio on the cover, not it real life. In real life, love comes with certain expectations and conditions, a constant contract continually renegotiated by the concerned parties. I would go so far to say that many divorces occur because people fail to recognize the changing expectations of their partner, and thus the changing relationship of their marriage. The secondary idea, of looking past faults, has nothing to do with actually saying your sorry.
Ryan O’Neal made great fun of this line with Barbara Streisand here.
Do you have any deepities driving you nuts?