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Opening Arguments

Crazy love

This is a great story for underscoring how easily emotions can derail the most focused and rational among us:

A Nasa astronaut has been charged with attempted kidnapping after driving 900 miles to confront a woman she believed was a rival for the affections of a space shuttle pilot, according to police documents.

Navy Captain Lisa Nowak, 43, who flew last July on a shuttle mission to the international space station, drove 12 hours from her home in Texas to Orlando International Airport so she could intercept Air Force Captain Colleen Shipman, who had just flown in, it is said.

A NASA astronaut who has flown on the shuttle, for God's sake. This has to be someone who had dedicated her whole life to a single goal. How can someone so disciplined go crazy over a romantic involvement?

Because that's our nature. I remember when "Fatal Attraction" came out, there was a lot of criticism about the "unrealistic" portrayal of the Glenn Close character. How could someone so obsessed and irrational, so crazy over someone, even function in everyday society? But until she met the object that her attraction became attached to, she would appear as normal as anyone.

Most of us do not try to kidnap our rivals, of course, or break into kitchens to boil bunnies. We are more likely to engage in the "poor, poor pitiful me" type of low-level stalking in which we try to make the objects of our attraction realize how wrong they are to pass up the chance of a lifetime. And many don't even act on such impulses, living, to change a quote around a little, lives of quiet obsession. But crazy love is always lurking, just around the corner.

Posted in: Current Affairs