What is Love?

It wasn’t until this weekend that I was faced with the reality that I had some lingering preconceived notions about what constitutes love.  I shouldn’t be too surprised at that, as it’s hard to complete rid yourself of certain images that have been spoon fed to you since birth.

Falling in love with my paramour wasn’t at all how I expected it to happen.  I expect it.  In part because I had been doing things all along I said I would never do and where would that get me?  Doing those very things.  I wasn’t gay.  Except I am.  I believed in monogamy.  Except I don’t.  I was never going to fall in love, ever.  Except I have.  I won’t describe the exact situation, but we were playing and there was a moment, when the game was over, and we were both starring at each other.  Her face was so close to mine and her eyes were blazing and intense, and there was something else there.  Admittedly, I was probably already falling in love with her before that moment, as she had joked earlier that night that it might be a fun game to tell me she loved me just to watch me stroke out (she was teasing, as always).  I remember turning to look at her and saying, “Ah, but that will only be a game for so long.  Then one day you’ll say it, and I might say it back.”  Saying that out loud, I felt a sudden prickle of panic.  I tried to cover it up with a joke, “But you could make a new game.  Saying it all the time to drive me insane.  I hate when people say it all the time.”  (Ha!)

But back to that moment of recognition!  When she was looking at me with those eyes, all I could wonder was “What can I do so she’ll always look at me that way?”  A silly notion, really.  She doesn’t do it all the time, but when she does, it still takes my breath away.  It was an odd moment to realize what I had realized, and I spent a lot of time wondering if that meant something deeper about myself.  But the game we had been playing was over, and it was just the look and nothing else that had me realizing my feelings.

Of course, being myself, I spent a good week freaking out at my own emotions and telling myself that I was just being ridiculous.  Just because some girl batted her eyes at me I was going to go all weak in the knees about it and start thinking I was in love.  Ha!  Another week passed and the “I’m not in love” turned into a panicky week of “Ohgodohgodohgod what do I do?”.  One day I was gushing on about something silly I was doing, I think it might have been the wooden dragon, she said to me “I love my 5 year old girlfriend” and I didn’t know what to say.  I’ve always got something to say.  I couldn’t tell if it was one of those off the cuff sort of things you say (Erin had said that to me once too).  Finally, I just said “I’m not freaking out.”  And I wasn’t, but I was too scared to put myself out there and say it for real just in case she was kidding.

A few days later, she said it.  I wanted to say it back right away because I’d been holding it in.  It was impossible to hold in.  I should never be trusted with national secrets.  I finally did say it and it felt good.  It’s hard to explain exactly what that feeling is, to tell anyone you love them, especially when you’ve never loved before.  The closest thing I can describe it to (and this doesn’t do it justice) is when you think you’ve lost something important, when you find it…that flood of emotion.  Relief.  Joy.  Happiness.  But more than that.  There was trust and there was fear.

After this weekend, it got me to thinking about what exactly it was that love is.  I was holding onto some childish notions about it, but that’s just not the reality.  It isn’t like the movies, it isn’t like the love songs and it isn’t necessarily like in books.

Love is writing a poem after I spent all day watching Slam Poetry on YouTube.

Love is spending a fair bit of time looking for some kind of Slam Poetry reading to go to together.

Love is not only asking me about the things I’m geeking out about, but being genuinely interested and asking questions.

Love is putting a can of juice or a granola bar in my hand before I can ask or before I even realize, or sending it out to me after I’ve stubbornly said “no” to it.

Love is making fun of you in front of friends about the little things that happen.

Love is being able to jokingly say “fuck you” when you’re being teased and neither of you gets upset.

Love is watching a terrible movie and laughing all the way through it.

Love is a meaningful look, holding hands, a caress or a random hug just because.

Love is “I think I have mini sombrero’s” when I say “I want to buy a cactus and put a hat on him like McPedro.”

Love is spending 10 minutes talking about why Stephanie should sleep with Ranger not Morelli.

Love is sitting and doing A&S together for a few hours.

Love is listening to your partner talk about why they love someone else.

Love is not only listening to that, but feeling joy that they have that love.

Love is laughing about fake lesbians.

Love is listening to all those terrible jokes she knows and laughing because she’s such a dork.

Love is making Hordak arm attachments.

Love is giving weird food a chance.

Love is colouring.

Love is naps.

Love is hearing a whole lot of bullshit from other people and knowing what is true.

Love is not chaining up your heart and feeding the key to man eating sharks when you’re scared.

Love is being honest and up front about thoughts, emotions and feelings.

Love is answering a barrage of questions on all sorts of topics.

Love is being a pack mule.

Love is coffee in bed…or any of the other 90 times/day it’s required.

Love is kissing the bottom of a dirty foot better because someone has a boo-boo.

Love is silly little presents.

Love is being able to tell her things that make me feel like a complete idiot to admit to anyone but myself.

Love is so many things I cannot name and so many things I didn’t think were love at all.  I feel silly for thinking love had to be a certain way.  Part of it is that I’m madly in love (as Bunz has told me) and it’s brand new.  It isn’t something I can really Google, measure, quantify and compare like with all the other things I research.  It doesn’t work that way.  And even if it did, I’m not sure I’d want to completely dissect it the way I need to dissect all the other things I want to understand.  This is going to be one of those ‘learn by doing’ things.


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. cortejo
    Jun 08, 2010 @ 07:08:54

    dammit. I teared up. Stupid allergies.


  2. reyl
    Jun 11, 2010 @ 09:12:18


    I love your list, it is awesome, like YOU.


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