Growing up I learned a lot about love. I was loved, my mother and father loved each other, I loved my friends and family. Love is not as complicated as everyone seems to think. Love is natural.
The hard thing about love alone, is that it isn't a stable force. It's ever changing. Love is wild, like wind. You can love someone and still leave them. You can love someone and lie to them. You can love someone and not like them. You can love someone and beat them. Love alone is dangerous.
I learned that too. And early on I opted out of it altogether. Why bother? I'd rather swim in calm seas than almost drown in a rip tide.
When I met Bill he was just like me. Done. We talked about it as we waited tables next to one another. We didn't like each other much. But we made a good team, we worked hard, and we made each other laugh a lot through service.
It happened slowly. Outside in the cold smoking cigarettes against a crumbling brick wall. Inside as we sat in server meetings and took our job seriously as the others screwed around.
It may sound un-romantic to you, but Bill and I began to love each others work ethic before we ever became attracted to each other physically.
It began with respect. It moved on to humor. It led to a friendship. It grew into love. But not the windy kind.
And now? I can't imagine a life without him. Of course there's the love. But the stability, the friendship, the concern, the dualism that we've created. The friendship that burns hot between us. The real truth of the feeling the pours out of his fingers as they touch the collar of my shirt or the bobby pin in my hair without even knowing it.
A finer, stronger love there never was. Not for me anyway.
And he cleans the house too.
Happy Valentines Day all! I hope whoever you woke up with today was your best friend. And that still stands if you happened to wake up alone.