In love and relationships, people fall into two separate but equally important groups–the people who are in love and the people who have fallen out of it. These are their stories.
We’ve all seen it. In any of the exhaustive incarnations of Law & Order, the show begins: a couple is walking down the street playfully arguing about a movie or two co-workers are trading jokes on the job when suddenly (cue the tense violins) a hand is spotted poking out from under a pile of garbage and someone is dead before the opening credits even roll.
It occurs to me that this show can teach us a lot about relationships. Everything seems to be going fairly well when, suddenly, someone is invoking the fifth amendment.
Consider the evidence–in relationships like in Law & Order episodes: some are over before they start, others drag on for too many seasons and some just end in a way that seems completely unfair and utterly unsatisfying–the guilty party isn’t punished, a serial offender is set free, Adam Schiff just shakes his head and offers Jack McCoy a scotch. Like Lady Justice herself, love too is often blind and whether either is properly served often depends on which side of the courtroom you’re sitting on.
Comprehensive review of case studies shows us that relationships can die any number of deaths–some go as the result of natural causes, others kill themselves and then there are more extreme cases where, well, cue Lenny Briscoe, “it’s murder what some people can do to a romance.”
When the M.E.’s office finally does zip up the body bag, you may find yourself in the role of defendant.
“I didn’t do it.”
“Permission to treat the witness as hostile!”
But more often than not, most people just hope to cop a plea before the thing ever gets to trial.
“It’s not you, it’s me. This will be better for both of us.”
What never changes, in love or in Law & Order, is the formula–and that’s probably what keeps people coming back for both. New episodes, reruns: they start, they end and the stuff in the middle, well, that just depends on the players.