...and this is why I adore Eartha Kitt.
In less than three minutes the auntie in my head drops some purrfect knowledge on what love and compromise means to her and what it should mean to a lot of others. This clip, which is probably posted on a ton of Tumblrs by now in .gif form, is culled from All By Myself, a 1982 documentary where Kitt reflects on her life and music. I've been looking high and low for the full doc, and like usual, we cannot have nice things because it's out of print. Still this abridged wisdom she shares will forever be imprinted in my mind because what she says is the haunting truth. We often times forget that ourselves matter in the process of love and relationships. We're so much in the process of loving someone else that we, ourselves, our ideals and our emotions, dissipate.
Kitt's rebuttals to the interviewer may seem a bit harsh, but every scoff, scowl, and laugh is valid. I'm learning that love is about being honest with yourself, that you have to truly like yourself in order to extend that honesty and like towards another. When Kitt says, “I fall in love with myself, and I want someone to share it with me. I want someone to share me with me" she's not tripping off of her ego, she wants to see herself, her all-true self reflected off of the person she's involved with, and have that honesty reciprocated.
Though I've never been in a serious relationship, from viewing my own parents and their 30+ year marriage I do see a lot of compromise, even sacrifice, in order to make things work between the two of them. I don't know the ins and outs of their marriage, because that's their business --- I'm just noting things on the surface--- but there are moments where I do catch the candor they share between each other, how comfortable they are with each other, and how they have a balance, where one doesn't outweigh the other even when things aren't so lovey-dovey.
With so much cynicism on romance and marriage these days it's hard to find someone who meets you at minds-level. Still even in my doubts and eyerolls, I hold onto the fact that as long I know myself, know what I want, and how I want to be treated that eventually I'll find a like-minded person who will understand that, and who I'll have no trouble understanding all their mechanisms as well. Knowing yourself and sharing that self with others is a deep and powerful thing and Eartha Kitt has that power on lock, and that's why we should open our minds to the real talk she's articulating here.