“…but sometimes love never fails.” Some wisdom from my Dad in what will probably turn out to be a series of takes on Corinthians, everybody’s favorite wedding bible verse.
Who are you? And is it still true?
“It gets harder to fall in love as you get older” a talented film maker who is way to young to say that said to me the other day. I pretended to disagree but I know he’s right. It does get harder.
You fall for love’s tricks three, maybe four times and then you start to fear it before you even feel it. Fear and joy are sworn enemies. Or it’s more complicated. Maybe being in love is the emotional equivalent of being in the 1% of America’s super rich… just not normal.
I remember asking my Dad if I would ever have a successful relationship. I was miserable. So miserable that my body just “sat” as salty liquid oozed out of my eyes steadily, day after day. My second long-term boyfriend and I had just ended things and I thought I’d never feel love again. He sighed sadly, as he did a lot back then, and said something along the lines of:
“Well, it’s unusual to be happily in love all your life. I only know three couples who are. And they’re all unusual…”
“Who?” I blubbered back. Who wouldn’t ask? And now I’m going to change names, job descriptions and more to hide identities.
“Well Mike and Janine are happy, I think,” he said. “But that’s because they hardly see each other. He’s always on the oil rig. He comes home for a week at a time and of course, they’re happy to see each other. It’s always fresh.” A pause as my Dad thought about it, then continued. “Then there’s Lilian and David,” he continued. “And that’s even rarer. He just loves her more than anything else in the whole world. Just more than anything. It doesn’t matter if she’s fat or if she’s thin, or angry or smiling. She’s the only thing that matters. He would do anything for her. Anything.” And then my Dad got stuck and I realised he said “Three couples” having no idea if he actually knew of three couples who were actually happy. He’s a writer too and we tend to organise things that way. But sometimes life cuts you short, I guess.
“What about you and Mom?” I helpfully suggested, regretting the words the instant they left my mouth.
He laughed. “Sometimes we are,” he conceded. They divorced two years later. The other two couples are still together. I had another three serious relationships and am currently convinced I’ll never love another man again.
Writing it on a wall won’t make it last. Ask the old guy on the phone. Whoever he is… he probably knows.