I was exposed to classical music, opera, ballet, and a lot of other arty things at a young age because of my grandparents. I vividly remember being in the back seat of the car with my grandfather and grandmother upfront driving though tree lined streets during the autumn, listening to my favorite piece of classical music: Scheherazade (it’s a long piece, but if you want to listen to it, here it is). It is playing now in the background as I type.
Do you know the story behind 1,001 Nights? It is the story of a sultan whose first wife was unfaithful. To never feel the sting of betrayal again, every night he marries a new woman, only to have her killed the next day, before she has the chance to be unfaithful. One day, however, he marries the splendiferously brilliant Scheherazade, a woman unlike any of those who came before her. She enraptures the sultan with her magical storytelling, weaving a tale that lasts for 1,001 nights. On that last night, the sultan comes to the conclusion that the pleasure of this woman’s company, who kept him enthralled over all of this time, was worth the risk of betrayal.
Admittedly, this story is a bit farfetched, but let me tell you my take on this story: a woman must be very special indeed to keep the attention of a man. Men are the most fickle creatures, with attention spans not much greater than that of a peanut. In the beginning you will fascinate him, that’s not a huge deal. In the beginning you are unlike any other to him. But as time passes and the novelty wears off, the woman who once seemed so unique no longer holds his interest. It makes me wonder what happened to Scheherazade after her story ended.
Should a woman always keep part of the story untold? Or in other words, should she always keep a bit of herself to herself? Personally, it seems a little sad to me, to never be loved in your entirety, to always have to hold something back to keep your love interest wanting more. Maybe, however, it is necessary. My ex husband knew me on a level that no other human being has come close to. Being that I’m a legend in my own mind, I would think that truly knowing me would make him appreciate me all the more. Rather than treasure me, however, Dr ManWhore was always on the look out for more (possibly better?). My story got old I guess. Looking back I can clearly see how that happened. If you have ever lived your life in the service of a man, you will know that over time, the pages of your life can easily loose some their richness. The unfortunate fact is that your book becomes easier to put down when you become too comfortable. I don’t want to make that mistake again. At the same time, I long to find the man who adores me to the extent that he will want to read me from cover to cover, over and over again. I want my pages to be underlined in places and bookmarked in others. When it’s all over, I want my spine to be worn and peeling at the edges. I want to be read until the pages come apart from their binding. What makes this happen? Why do some books get checked out all the time while others collect dust on the shelf?
The only thing I can think of is what Scheherazade figured out. She created a “never ending story.” To translate this into terms of men and women, it is about constantly evolving and never stagnating. It is about staying interested and interesting. So much so, that even when the cover fades, it is still worth leafing through the crumbling pages.
I would love to know your thoughts on this one. Share with the class dollies.