"Say my name
And every color illuminates
We are shining
And we will never be afraid again." - Florence and the Machine, Spectrum
On Valentine's Day I went to my favorite coffee house, Seven Stones Cafe, alone to write something meaningful in Houser's card. I ran into a few friends and sat with them for a while, and ended up having a long conversation with a dear friend who is, at the moment, unhappy with Houser. Most of the conversation was not about that, but that part of it stayed with me. Most of the unhappiness was due to a series of misunderstandings - yes, he did this thing, but why he did this thing mattered and is more understandable than why you think he did this thing ... what I ended up saying is, "There are a bunch of misunderstandings and the two of you should talk face to face."
"If we can so misunderstand, well then, why have we invented the
word love in the first place ?" -Edward Albee, The Zoo Story
I started thinking about all of the misunderstandings that happen in relationships, in our relationship in particular, and how what really matters is not the daily grind of disappointments and imperfections, but that I am in love with a truly good man who shows that he loves me and our life together with hundreds of good acts, repeating day by day.
I am in love with a man who does dishes every night, who works to make money in a world that rejected his education and experience (graphic design jobs in Philly dried up about 5 years ago and there has not been much of a resurgence), a man who wants to be more expressive about his emotions because I want and need that, a man who does not hesitate to watch our difficult toddler any time I want to go out with my friends and only asks when I am going to be back so he can plan his evening, not because he doesn't trust me. I am in love with a man who works on schoolwork with his stepson and shows him music videos with great drummers, who teaches our toddler to put his socks on and to speak to people nicely. I am in love with the most entertaining man in the room, the person who, when he is telling a story at a party, other people drift out of their conversations to listen. I am in love with a man who doesn't like being read aloud to, but who will let me read to him sometimes because he knows I need that type of communication very much. I am in love with a man whose father (they are extremely close) is suffering through cancer and who still manages to be productive and present in our home most of the time. I am in love with a man who has devoted his heart and his life to me and to our family without holding back. I am in love with a man who loves the most dysfunctional cat on the East Coast. I am in love with a man who has the most amazing laugh. I am in love with a man who writes well and fluently, who cares about grammar and punctuation. I am in love with a man who hates musicals and who will listen to Mandy sing if I ask him. I don't ask him very often. I am in love with a man who can live with a moody, annoying woman who has too many ideas and not enough time and who overthinks and talks too much and has a strong streak of perfectionism and is probably almost as bossy as our bossy toddler. Almost.
This is our love. This is our life together.
Happy Valentine's Day.