What Love is Like for Me

My sister is such a good writer. She’s always been able to capture emotions and put them into words so eloquently. She wrote this about love and marriage, and it could not be more true for the way I felt in marrying Chuck:

“The moment I began to dream of the possibility of marrying you I was struck by the gentleness with which this hope swirled and enveloped me with courage and joy. I do not fear the commitment and obstacles as I always have, but feel devoted to facing the wonder and challenges that a life partnership entails. I still marvel at this realization. It is not fireworks, a thunderclap, or a lightning bolt. It’s peace. It’s a serene quiet that comes with the knowing that your heart has met its compliment and softly whispers, ‘Yes. Devote yourself to him forever.’ “

On Sunday night in Savannah, Chuck and I met a darling older couple who shared a cab with us from dinner at Elizabeth’s. We ran into them again later when we got cocktails at 700 Drayton – finding them quietly enjoying each other’s company by the hotel pool.

They were celebrating her 60-something birthday. He was from Montreal, she was from Mobile, Alabama. They had been married 37 years – he proposed at Mardi Gras after dating for only 6 weeks. She was slightly tipsy…cute, blonde, and chatty, dipping her feet in the pool, telling us about how she “got him good” at his surprise birthday party a few weeks earlier… and he was suavely leaning back in his lounge chair, smiling and sipping a martini very similar to the one Chuck held in his hand. I realize there’s always more than what meets the eye, but they were exactly what I want to be in 37 years…

I have a habit of asking happy older couples we meet what their secret is to a lasting and loving marriage. I always get the same cliched answers, about never going to bed mad, keeping things sexy, not rushing kids, and (from and for the guys) just let the woman win every argument…lol.

But I think what I’ve learned just from watching them, is that the most important thing is to have FUN together. This couple was in their 60’s, had been married for decades, and were still laughing together, adventuring together, surprising each other. They admitted to trials and tribulations, arguments and tension, but there in the Savannah twilight by the pool, they were nothing short of happy.

Maybe that’s the key to every relationship though, romantic or otherwise. Respect each other, yes…but mostly, just laugh together.

Valentine’s Day Rant

1. Why does Valentine’s Day have so many haters? It just makes you look insecure if you’re being a Scrooge about celebrating love, however you define it – romantic or otherwise.

2. Yes, of course we should demonstrate love every day of the year. But, we should be thankful and count our blessings every day of the year too, and no one seems to have a problem with a nice little holiday we call Thanksgiving.

3. Amusing irony: do people know that St. Valentine actually had nothing to do with romantic love, but was a martyr for the Christian church? Connections to love had to be manufactured over the course of history. Read up on the history of Valentine’s Day here.

4. Any excuse to eat excessive amounts of aesthetically pleasing chocolate sounds good to me, even if I have to buy it myself.

5. “There are these three things that endure: Faith, Hope and Love, but the greatest of these is Love.” ~ 1 Corinthians 13:13. I think that deserves a holiday!

Anyway, I’m not one of those people who stands up for Valentine’s Day because of I’ve always been that lucky to girl to have a date. In fact, My first 23 V-Days were spent single. My first Valentine’s Day with Chuck was alone too – he was deployed – but you didn’t see me moping around or making people feel bad for celebrating the love in their lives. I went out with a girl friend that I love, instead. We had a great time reveling in the joy of each other’s friendship.

This Valentine’s Day, we should all take a minute to realize how lucky we are if we can claim anyone in the world who loves us, and love them hard in return. There are a lot of people in the world who don’t receive love at all, any day of the year, and that is the true tragedy – not your relationship status.

As for me, tonight I am having my first real Valentine’s date with my hubby at a lovely riverside restaurant in Wilmington, and I’ll have some chocolate-covered strawberries ready for an extra treat at home. If nothing else, Vday is a nice excuse to get a little decadent, and I for one am looking forward to it, so please don’t rain on my parade 🙂