Thursday, March 27, 2008

Love, actually

Real love is not just about sunsets and ancient bridges, it’s about taking what you can and seeing the best. It's about accepting the person and reality for what it is. Real life, like real love, is being in the moment, not escaping from it. If your loved one farts in the shower every morning, you joke about it, and if he snores, you accept it, maybe by moving to another bed (or sending him to sleep there). You learn not to expect or need big romantic gestures, they’re good for telling your friends about them but not as good as having your lover take time off work to meet the plumber or pick up food on the way home or make love to you the way that you need it (which is not, and will never be, the way that it’s written in a Danielle Steele novel or seen in a movie, not even an indie movie). Real love will gladly incorporate Paris and Venice, but it’s not about them. When you long for it, you don’t long for those peaks and highlights (which are always surrounded by mundane and hectic “we’re gonna be late!” moments anyway) but for a simple presence, and you know you can’t live without that presence, so that’s why you get married. No, correction: that’s why you apply pressure on him to marry you (and also because you want the security and seriousness that comes when people hear you’re getting married, even your bosses, even in this day and age, and you want the relief for your parents, even though nothing’s final, even though marriage is just a piece of paper these days), and when he relents, you may worry that it wasn’t romantic enough, that he just might not want it enough, because he didn’t set up a romantic scene and didn’t kneel and there was no ring, it was just something that happened in bed one day after many times that it was brought up, mostly by you. You worry about that and crave holiday brochure type romance, and while you’re worrying you miss out on the fact that your lover is always there, is always available, even when he himself is preoccupied with work and looking for a job that will take care of the baby you are trying to conceive. And even though when you ask him in a teacher-voice, “so, are you ready to be a husband and a father?” he nearly spits out his dinner, that is what both of you are doing, preparing to be a family, even though you do it in the amicable, jokey way you always do things. That's the way you make love, and that’s also the way you try to have a baby, not with the solemn passion of doomed relationships but with a wink and a grin, and when either of you comes, you start laughing, and you imitate each other’s spasms sometimes for the heck of it, and you don’t mind that one of you is HIV positive, and you don’t fear the reaper. As bloody much.

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