Friday, February 10, 2006

This Thing Called Love

I'd like to think that by this time in my life, I know a thing or two about love. I've been in love a few times and been knocked on my keister by it more times than I readily admit. But for all my experience, somethings just take me by surprise.

Indulge me while I share some backstory. I married (too) young and was trapped for a few years in a miserable marriage. I almost threw a party when I discovered my husband had cheated on me and I finally had a bullet-proof excuse for ending it. Of course, I let myself be talked into reconciliation, because we had a child. Urgh. Eventually, that too failed and after the divorce was finalized, I thought "Been there, done that."

I spent several years as a single mother, dating casually, but never thinking of marriage. I liked being single and not accountable to anyone. I liked not having to compromise. As my daughter grew older, the stress of parenting eased somewhat and I had my family as a support network. I had no need of a husband. None.

And then I met my husband, who as I mentioned before, is a bottle blond and thus is christened Mr. Clairol.

He was tending bar at a mutual friends graduation party and I had an instant case of lust-itis. Not that he's an underwear model or anything. In fact, when I told my friend of my growing crush, she laughed and said, "No...seriously, who are you hot for?"

But I was hot for him. Being a fairly old-fashioned woman, a one-night stand or casual sex of any kind was out of the question. So I lusted in quiet and dated other men and thought about him. Every time our paths crossed, there was something.

Here's the kicker. He was oblivious. He knew I was alive, but that was about it. Until he bummed a ride home in my rickety old car. Did I mention he's a mechanic?

After that night, my friends and his engaged a three week campaign to encourage him to ask me out. Which he did, eventually. He was hours late to our first date, but something made me give him a second chance. I'm so glad I did. Three weeks after that date, he looked at me and said, "Just so you know, I'm off the market. I've found what I've been looking for." And oddly enough, I had found what I wasn't looking for.

And lust became love. I married him a few months after that and have never regretted a single moment of our life together. He made me believe in the whole schmoopy, meant to be, soul mate crap, which believe me, causes me some embarrasment. But when you meet a man who cheers when you pass gas, smiles at you across a room and tells you every day that you are beautiful, it puts you in a schmoopy mood.

Mr. Clairol, I love you. Thank you for our life together. I look forward to every second of it. (Except for the labor pains. Those, not so much. But I'll do it. For us.)

You may stop gagging now.

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