Awe. Valentine’s Day. Romance. Decadent candies and sweet notes scribbled onto Hallmark cards. I like it. I don’t mind profiting from it. (I have a collection of empty candy boxes from years passed.) But let’s get real, authentic love can’t be packaged and sold.
Real love is when your lonely life gets all tangled up with somebody else’s, when I blurs into we and two souls attempt to make a love story out of good days, bad days and all the in between.
I knew I loved my husband when I cleaned the moldy goo out of his toothbrush cup. When I met him at the door wearing my ugly pajamas. When I bought him an XBOX360 for Christmas, knowing full well he’d ignore me for days on end to play it.
Real love is two people laughing at the same joke when no one else gets why it’s funny.
It’s staying put. Even when the other person is sick (the gross sweaty kind of sick) or crying (the lip quivering, make-up running kind of crying.) When they’re angry (for no reason at all.) Or when they fall off the pedestal you built for them.
Love is a dozen forgotten kisses goodbye and hello. The eye rolling, the snoring and the thoughtful kisses that make up for it. Those moments when you’re apart and you know something is missing.
Those moments together. Devouring a box of fried chicken on the couch. Comfortable silences. And the turning of the calendar.
There are those rare conversations, when the other person says all the right things. The feeling you know the person in and out. And the days when you wish they’d just shut up.
It’s yeah you’re great but you can also be annoying, and why didn’t you do any laundry today? It’s trying to figure out what to eat for dinner. Spending too much money and feeling guilty. Wishing you’d done this or that. Knowing there’s so much to say but feeling too tired to actually say it.
It’s saying it and falling deeper.
It’s recognizing that you are not perfect. Love is not perfect. And the person you gave you heart to is going to crack it every now and then.
But there’s something about my husband’s smile. There’s something about the way the way he stands by me no matter what, and how he just stands there across the room, looking that way he did the day when we first met.
We have passion.
We have laughter.
We don’t really need Valentine’s Day.
Still, I save the cards and devour the chocolates. I celebrate because once upon a time someone picked a date on the calendar and declared it a day for love. Cupid decided to make a buck off selling a fairy tale.
Only I know real love stories don’t end at the beginning. Real love stories keep going on.