Love is a many-splendored thing. Love is like a rock. Love is all you need. Love is a bunch of things to Alannah Myles if I remember correctly.
Songwriters seem to spend a lot of time trying to define love and then writing songs about it so that we’re all on the same page and whatnot. And I, just like anyone else, always figured that The Stones or The Beatles or Alannah Myles, especially Alannah Myles, knew more about such things than I, because I’ve never quite been able to get it right.
But a strange thing happened to me this year; I seem to have gotten it right.
And I think that now allows me to pontificate on just what love is. So my album will be out in the fall.
Actually, I can’t carry a tune in a bucket and I seem to rebel against the constricting rules of pitch and melody, so maybe I won’t launch my musical career just yet.
I will, however, tell you what I know about love.
Love is boring.
Being the child of two people who never should have been married in the first place, yet stayed together for decades for some inexplicable reason, I naturally developed a very screwed up idea of love.
Not having role models who were in or represented love, I built myself a fantasy of what love must be like. And what a fantasy it was.
I believed that love was the thing of pop music and John Hughes movies, and that I would be swept off my feet one day by the person of my dreams, and everything would be very dramatic and tumultuous and romantic and I would suddenly be complete instead of the constantly anxious freak I was.
Because of this notion of mine, I fell in love with what might be considered alarming frequency.
I fell hard and fast and with abandon whenever the opportunity presented itself, literally abandoning my life and my goals and my self to exist in this perfect world of endless love. (Oh yeah, that was another influence: Endless Love or any other love film from the ’70s, especially if it involved figure skating.)
Love was all I needed and a many-splendored thing and like a rock and all the dramatic, chaotic, painful things I thought it would be. And it would last a couple of months if I was lucky. And I was never happy.
Falling in love this time was one of the least dramatic things I’ve ever done. I didn’t know she was the one the second I saw her. I fell slowly and with caution and refused to let go of my independence. There are no fireworks that go off or tiny birds that sing inside my head whenever someone mentions her name. I don’t feel as though I’m going to die every second I am away from her. It’s all terribly wrong according to what I thought love was supposed to be.
I don’t want to give the wrong impression here. Make no mistake-I’m crazy about her.
Sometimes I look at her and think the cheesiest thoughts in the world. Like that there must be a God because how else could the most perfect person in the world for me have found me? Like every relationship I’ve had up until now was preparing me for this. Like good thing we’re both fat because it’ll keep us from being too wrinkly when we’re old.
Okay, that last one maybe doesn’t seem all that romantic but I hope you got the whole “I want to grow old with this person” idea behind it.
But most of the time, I just enjoy the hell out of sharing my life with her. I’m happy when we do things together and I’m happy when we pursue our individual interests too. There is none of the “you complete me” bullshit this time.
Perhaps it’s simply timing. Maybe she just happened to come along at a time when I was finally complete enough on my own to actually have a healthy relationship. Who can say? And frankly, who cares?
I’m not really interested in figuring out what love is anymore. I’m more interested in living it. I’m interested in being here and now and happy and I’m interested in giving up my ideas about dramatic, heart-crushing, soul-wrenching love. They never did me any good.
No one is ever going to hit it big with a top 40 song about our love. But if they tried, such a song might go a little something like this: Do you want to drive or should I / I was thinking about making a pie / Let’s stay home and watch a DVD / Okay / I love you / La la la /
It doesn’t get any more boring. Or any better.