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(meaning of) Smitten

December 23, 2010

Some words are meaningless. “Fashizzle mah nizzle”. Does that really actually mean anything — besides the fact that pop culture is in a rapid state of decline?

Some words are utterly confusing. “Driveway”. “Parkway”. Who is the idiot that decided he wanted to screw with the whole of the English-speaking world and place the EXACT wrong word in front of the word “way”? Until we drive on driveways and park on parkways, I’ll still be bitter. (Disclaimer: I’ll always be bitter — that’s just a lame attempt at an excuse).

Some words make perfect sense. “Sunrise”. “Sunset”. I get that. Beautiful.

And some words shock you with their own profundity.

What do I mean?

Well, I was talking to a friend the other day, and we were talking about our mutual crushes. Yeah, yeah, okay, I have girl talk. Let it go. I do girly things on occasion. I gush. I get butterflies. It happens.

And as we were talking, she said, “You know, I’m just smitten! I’m smitten.”

The mother of all girl talks.

And I thought, “What a splendid, spot on word to use! It’s not love. It’s not infatuation. It’s not the plain, ugly, commonplace ‘like’ everyone uses when they’re too afraid to use a word of significance. Smitten. It’s strong, it gets the point across, and it suggests a deep feeling of true attraction that isn’t love, but is strong and reveals enough passion to really embody the message you’re trying to send.”

So, I nicked the word from her. I said I was smitten. And I was. And I thought I knew what it meant. I used it overwhelmingly and happily. I wasn’t afraid to say it. I used it frugally. I threw it around like I a groupie throwing bras at a Mötley Crüe concert. “I’m just smitten!” I’d say. I found the perfect word to describe how I felt. No longer did I have to waste my time inserting “really”s or “very much”s in front of words like “attracted” or “like”. I found the perfect word. And I didn’t know how perfect it was until I actually looked it up on dictionary.com.

Before I did my internet research, I only knew of Smitten’s good side. Basically, I’d only seen Smitten with its make up and hair done — wearing spanks. But after I typed it in to the search box and hit enter, it was like I had accidentally stumbled upon Smitten in the library during finals week. I saw Smitten when it had surrendered all of its of hygienic standards, chin deep in coffee with sweat stains and no signs of yielding.

The good side of Smitten. Basically -- this is Smitten, but half-assed.

I saw Smitten in a state that would make lepers cringe — and never had the word been so beautiful to me.

WHY, you ask? Because I saw the TRUTH, my friends! I was enlightened — not just as to the TRUE meaning of this cryptic word, but as to what it truly is to be Smitten!!

Suddenly, I came to an understanding with myself about my feelings and the realities of life and love in a way I had never known was possible. I was one. I had reached nirvana — I had opened a heart-shaped box of understanding (see what I did there?? eh??) and I was taken aback. And I was humbled. And, strangely enough, I was happier.

On dictionary.com, the first entry for the word Smitten has three definition, and these are them, verbatim (don’t believe me? check it out here): 1. struck, as with a hard blow, 2. grievously or disastrously stricken or afflicted, 3. very much in love.

Could any definition of any word be anymore perfect? It is, in fact, immaculate in it’s honesty, it’s truth and it’s wholeness. This definition could give Jesus a lecture on perfection.

Is there no other truer way to describe the sensation of affection? Is smitten not the perfect word? Do feelings of attraction not come with the obligatory sensations of pain, suffering and trauma that could leave one “grievously or disastrously stricken or afflicted,” as dictionary.com so immaculately put it?

When one discovers his/her feelings for another, is it not almost indistinguishable from sustaining a heavy, resounding blow to an important body part? I know that, in my experience, I’m just as surprised as the next guy — if not more so — when I discover I have feelings for another person. Half the time, I feel like my head is the team’s favorite baseball at batting practice — and the boys are just getting warmed up.

That's love-sick, for ya.

But I’d just briefly like to focus more on the “grievously or disastrously stricken or afflicted” portion of the definition. The words and their placement are almost Shakespearian in their perfection.

Can anyone deny that, when you have feelings for someone, the stronger the feelings of attraction are, the more pain you suffer throughout the relationship? Don’t lie! You know it’s true! Even if the relationship is going swimmingly, those moments of perfect happiness you share in the presence of the object of your affection are diligently balanced out by the feelings of overwhelming anxiety, longing and impatience you feel when you’re not around that special someone!

Don’t tell me you don’t know what I’m talking about. And don’t act like you’re utterly bewildered by what I’m saying. Even if you don’t feel it as overwhelmingly as I’ve just put it — and may God bless you and keep you if you don’t — you’ve at least felt it in some way. I won’t take no for an answer.

The thing that is so beautiful about this word, though, as I said earlier, are the beautiful gems of truth I picked up along the path of discovery I traveled with this word.

Hey man, I think it's worth it.

Truth: Love, feelings of attraction, crushes, infatuations, you NAME it — those feelings are so beautiful, so perfect, so insurmountably blissful, that we continue to seek them out, continue to desire them with a ravenous passion in spite of the feelings of pain we know come hand in hand with them. I don’t know if this says more about people, or how powerful love is. Yes. There will be pain. Odds are, in the end, all you’ll be left with is chest pain, hurtful memories and heart problems. But I firmly believe that those are small, myopic, insignificant prices to pay for having experienced the miracle of affection.

So what was the point of this blog? Was it to point out the beauty, mystery and complications of feelings? Was it to suggest to my readers (hi, Mom and Dad!) that I’m not always the cynical, crotchety miser I make myself out to be ? Was it a pathetic effort to get myself blogging again after a month and a half of inaction (thanks, Caitlin, for the gentle reminder!)?

You decide.

Merry (almost) Christmas. And lots of love.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Mori Hotpants permalink
    December 23, 2010 6:21 am

    This was great. Truly great. But you’ll always be a cynical, crotchety miser to me. 🙂

  2. December 23, 2010 9:54 am

    Love this post. (Actually, I was smitten by it.) IT might just be your best yet.

    I’ll tell your dad to check it out.

    Merry Christmas!

  3. Gus hastalis permalink
    December 23, 2010 10:41 am

    Laughed out loud at coffe stains reference and spilled my morning coffee. Fix it’s. Cox

  4. Mel permalink
    November 28, 2011 12:19 pm

    Loooveed this blog! So true about the more in love u are the more it hurts.. And yes smitten is the perfect word! Someone said that they were smitten by me yesterday, so like u I googled it, and have found what an awesome word it is, and I am going to use it all the time now too! I am smitten by your blog! 🙂

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