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LOVE TAKES WORK

In response to Tara Servatius' article "So You're In Love, Huh?" (CL June 19,2002) I too once found myself wondering about our notions of love. For me this was brought on by 60 years of regrets, failed relationships and bitterness. Having grown up in a different era, when things were supposedly simpler, one might be inclined to think I could not share the same thoughtful insights as Ms. Servatius. However, it sounds as though she's in the same boat I once found myself in. With only my parents' marriage of convenience as a guide, I've experienced a whole lifetime of regrets. It wasn't until years after my divorce and many failed relationships later that I realized what had been missing. Five years ago a woman came into my life and completely turned my world upside down. She befriended me and stood patiently by as I desperately tried to avoid another disaster. My fears almost kept me from opening my heart and seeing this remarkable woman.Concepts of love and marriage vary from country to country and age to age. In the Hallmark age we live in, distortions and fantasies often take the place of reality. Everyone seeks to find the fairy tale romance. What no one tells you is that it doesn't just happen with little or no explanation. That bells do not go off when your true love walks into a room. That in order to achieve the fairy tale, one must invest time and effort. It takes work -- not luck, circumstance, fate or convenience. It's found in those small, seemingly insignificant everyday moments. Love's elusiveness exists only because those capable of such emotion are themselves a rarity. My hope is that others don't give up and take a similar painful journey in their quest. The loneliness, bitterness and resentment are not worth it.

-- Alan Bradford, Charlotte

IT'S ALL A LIE

On the TV news today, every single news network has been saying the same thing: a judge has declared that "the Pledge of Allegiance is unconstitutional."To me the big news story is this: every single TV news broadcaster in the USA is lying. And blatantly. This has consequences, and they are grave.

What the judge said is that people, kids in this case, can't be forced by a government body (a school) to chant a forced loyalty oath that contains a statement indicating that the government is ruled by God.

The judge's decision said nothing about free Americans, in the US Congress, for example, voluntarily saying whatever they please before session. Or any other free Americans saying what they want to. The issue is that of compelling children to recite such an oath. Nothing more.

The point is that every single broadcast news outlet is lying. And that no one anywhere in mass market communications will say so. This is disturbing for an obvious reason: the broadcast media are now completely and totally unreliable. There will be now zero truth obtainable from that source. The government has recently stated it will lie for strategic reasons, and now the big-business controlled media have followed suit. Don't worry. Be happy.

-- Russ Newsom, Charlotte

WHO CARES ABOUT PRICE?

I am greatly disappointed by some of the comments made by Tricia Childress in her critique of Volare ("A Memorable Summer Stop," June 12). After having lived in Italy for several years, I can say with confidence that Volare is an excellent establishment. Mr. Podda is able to reproduce the essence of fine Italian cuisine: offering dishes that exult the quality of the ingredients without confusing the palate with clashing and overpowering textures. Mrs. Childress can drink sweet tea if she is concerned about the relationship between quantity versus price. -- JP Chalarca, Charlotte

THE BIG STRUGGLE

While Sam Boykin's article on obesity ("Heavy Burden," June 26) was informative, I felt it was a bit patronizing and failed to capture the struggle overweight people go through.

The vast majority of fat people in this country know what it takes to lose weight. We do eat out more, and portion sizes are much bigger. But what makes it harder for overweight people (myself included) is the fact that eating out is one of the few socially acceptable practices available for us, and if you get anything more than the smallest house salad with water sprinkled on top, you're subject to stares. A regular gym? Forget it.

Dating as a single white overweight female is practically non-existent. While other ethnic groups are more willing to embrace "people of size," most white males would rather date a Nazi Wiccan kleptomaniac with multiple personalities than to be seen in public with a relatively normal overweight female.

Dr. Cleek's statement, "Multiple studies have shown that by treating obesity you reduce doctor visits, medication costs and hospitalization. . ." brought up an interesting point. Who's getting rich off the medical problems of the overweight, and what's their motivation to help?

-- Name withheld by request

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