Wednesday, February 14, 2018

So this is love...

So this is love, hmm
So this is love
So this is what makes life divine
I'm all aglow, hmm
And now I know
The key to all heaven is mine
My heart has wings, hmm
And I can fly
I'll touch every star in the sky
So this is the miracle
That I've been dreaming of

That's really pretty, isn't it? It's from Cinderella. I'm not a Disney person, but I do love that song.

I was a weird kid (as probably evidenced by the fact that I'm also a weird adult). I never dreamed of a Prince Charming type fellow. I dreamed that I would marry a loud Italian man and we would live in a city in an apartment with a stoop. I would sit on the stoop and talk smack with all the other wives while drinking coffee.

I'm 100% serious about this, this was my goal in life between the ages of about 4-10 years old.

It's so funny to me because honestly I didn't know ANYONE who lived in an apartment (or a building as they sometimes called it on PBS) and it sounded super glamorous. Everyone I knew lived in a plain old house, or a trailer...none of this fancy "APARTMENT" stuff. Sharing walls? SIGN ME UP. I don't even know where I picked up the Italian guy stereotypes that I clearly had...we didn't know anyone who wasn't basically exactly like us: lower middle class, white, and lived in the country. I don't even know what it was within me that made me want something different...or even how I got in my little brain that something different EXISTED.

It's where I've always been, I guess. Somewhere different. Something more.

As I got older, my feelings changed. That happens to most of us. I was talking with my son last night about careers and what he'll do when he graduates and he just seems completely flummoxed by this. In his mind getting the degree is the challenge. What comes after is just perplexing.

"How do people know?" he asks me. I don't have a good answer. I told him I knew four different people who said from the time they were in High school that they wanted to be a veterinarian and they all ended up being a veterinarian, so maybe the key was saying you wanted to do that.

He wasn't amused, by the way. He rarely is anymore.

Some people just know. Most of us don't.

I think love is the same. You meet someone and it's all fireworks and stars and magic. This is love. The biggest, best love you can ever imagine. Everything is going to be perfect forever.

Except until it isn't.

Humans are very...human. Most of us are naturally selfish and maybe a bit of a dick. It's hard to live with someone else. It's hard to share space, money, decisions. It's hard not to just say, "Screw this, I'm quitting this horrible job!" because you are the one that carries the health insurance and everyone would be boned if you got your way this time.

It's hard to love someone when their breath stinks or when they snore and keep you up all night. When they get a speeding ticket or lose their temper. When they forget your birthday. Again.

It's easier to be selfish, really. It's much easier to hang onto the fantasy of the loud, Italian guy and sitting on the stoop smacktalking.

Love is not easy.

Love is sometimes illness, disability, or death. Love is talking things over when you just feel like crying. Love is accepting that this person won't always look the same, or act the same. Love is knowing that changes are part of growing together and that being stagnant is not good for anyone.

Love is for better or worse. Even when the worse goes on and on and on.  Love is being a friend, a supporter, and a partner even when you just want to go to bed and forget every awful thing in your life.

Love is a family, no matter what that looks like to you. You are allowed to decide.

Love is acceptance, kindness, and friendship even when you don't feel like it.

Love is patient.
Love is kind.

Love isn't roses and candy and flowery cards. Love is holding someone when they cry. Love is laughing at the same stupid crap over and over.  Love is private jokes and shared history. Love is forgiveness, even when you don't feel like it.

Love, real love, is worth it.

And I had a townhouse once and sharing walls was for the birds. I'm just saying.

Happy Valentine's Day.

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