"Love is a lot like a backache, it doesn't show up on X-rays, but you know it's there."
~ George Burns
Someone asked so I was going to give you advice on love -- but I can't.
That's like me giving diet advice. Or advice on how to grow the biggest zucchini or play classical piano. All of which I've tried and sort of succeeded at. Except for the piano which I tried for like a minute, but I think the teacher moved without telling me. (Adults should take up a musical instrument only on a dare. And only if the payoff for said dare is over one hundred dollars. Only then.)
But I digress...
Telling people how to succeed at love is dicey. And by dicey I mean impossible. You can't tell people how to feel.
Sure, there are rules and guidelines, but as anyone who's been in a relationship knows, all of that is bullshit.
If someone tells you they have it all figured out--they're lying.
You fly by the seat of your pants.
Until you reach altitude.
Then you serve drinks and a movie until the turbulence begins, at which point you can straighten your seat back and tray table into their upright position, put on your parachute and bail (like my piano teacher did), or you can ride it out and wait for smoother skies.
It really does boil down to those two choices.
Bail, cut and run, break-up, whatever you want to call it--or wait and see what tomorrow brings. Which in its base form looks like an ostrich with its head in the ground, and in its purest form makes you look like you're a saint.
And by-the-way, having been someone who has bailed, been an ostrich...and a saint, I can't advocate for any of them. They all made perfect sense at the time, which leads me back to the first sentence. I don't know shit.
I can't tell you what does or doesn't work. Some of the best relationships I've had, including the marriage I've been in for the past fifteen years, look terrible on paper and make no sense at all. We're both Aries for chrissakes which makes us always right, and we belong to different political parties--we should have killed each other by now!
Even being married doesn't make someone an expert on love. How could I be an expert at something I've failed miserably at many times and have only gotten right once? And I can't explain how or why it works. If I were a brain surgeon who said that to you--would you let me operate?
And don't let anyone tell you it's all roses.
It's a lesson in compromise. It's dirty socks on the floor, heated differences of opinion, vertical toilet seats, and bad politics. And that's just a Friday night. But, listen, he could say the same or worse of me.
We put up with a lot of shit. We do. That constitutes turbulence in my book.
I guess I decided it was the kind I could weather, but honestly, I don't remember making the decision.
And I guess that's what it comes down to, a day by day, slow drip, decision to keep loving.
Some days are easy, others can be hard. And by hard I mean excruciating.
When my husband has the flu or a sunburn it is everything I can do NOT to put a pillow over his face while he's complaining.
Love's alchemical. It's science. That's my explanation and I'm sticking to it.
But if I had to make one rule, here it is:
Your person should make you laugh--at the very least--once a week.
They should try to bring you coffee--at the very least--on the weekends.
They should give you that "Omg, you're fucking adorable" feeling... at the very least once a month.
And it would be really nice if they showed you some affection on a regular basis. Not sex. Affection. There's a difference.
Well, will you look at that, four "rules". I've already told you, I'm full of shit.
Just love the best you know how and then try to do better tomorrow.
"Women like confident bald men."
~ Larry David & My Husband