“How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?”

sound of music dancing


I don’t care whether or not you like The Sound of Music, it is a classic movie-musical.  And I’m sure we all have that one person in our lives that we can’t quite wrap our heads around.  There’s just something about them… Last night I realized how much I am like Maria and how much he is like Captain Von Trapp.

When he hugs me, I can feel it.  The desire to pull me closer, to hold onto me.  The desire to connect on a deeper level.  That he’s searching for something, and he’s found it in me.  But he can’t.  Because of the Baroness, it is socially unacceptable.  I am metaphorically alluding to the love triangle created between Maria, Captain Von Trapp, and the Baroness, which is come to a crux at the scene when Maria and the Captain dance together at the dinner party.  For the sake of my story, let’s imagine that “the Baroness” is “Captain Von Trapp’s” girlfriend.

So, “forbidden” love, right?  Sounds like Romeo and Juliet.  Not quite.  Our dear friend Captain Von Trapp is currently the slave of conventiality, or possibly more accurately, the high school mentality.  He is fairly popular, and a football player; the Baroness is also popular and a cheerleader.  Sounds like the perfect high school fairytale, right?  Not if his heart isn’t in it.

I know some of you are thinking, “If he doesn’t really want to be with the Baroness because he’s in love with Maria, why doesn’t he just do something about it?” He’s scared.  He’s scared of the social impact it will have on him because Maria is not of the same social standing.  This is part of the reason why he admires Maria; she doesn’t care about social standing or the rules of conventional society.  He is pondering the age-old question; can social norms truly be broken?

I am here to tell you, whether you believe it or not, social norms can be broken.  And in some cases, they should be.  The notion that people can’t be together because they are not of the same group of whatever kind that might be is ridiculous.  It is about what is inside each of us that counts, not what group we come from.  Unfortunately, Society does everything in it’s power to tell us otherwise.  If you’re a “poor girl” pining for a “rich boy,” you’re pathetic, and if you’re a “rich boy” in love with a “poor girl,” you’re not right in the head.  You get the picture.  How many movies and books can we name off like that?

So, great, this is a perilous social norm that we have all been brainwashed to believe, but how do we get rid of it?  It’s an uphill climb, my friends.  I’m not going to lie to you and say it’s easy (wow, I’m starting to see a pattern here; the advice I seem to give on this blog never seems to be perfectly easy…); it takes courage.  You have to believe in yourself and finally have the courage to say, “No.  This is my life.  I make my own decisions.  You can’t control me.”  But that’s scary.  And hard.  But worth it.

No matter how much it seems that Society is the one who runs your life, you choose to follow social norms.  And just as you can choose to follow them, you can choose to break them with courage and will power.  I encourage you to learn from Captain Von Trapp and Maria.  They didn’t marry for social class.  They married for love.  Look at who Captain Von Trapp turned down!  It’s not about what “class” you’re in.  It’s about what inner beauty you possess and what kind of love you share.



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