I love the way my Mother always makes me feel like a champion. I love Austin. I love having a conversation with my friend that feels like I just finished a 10k race. I love beets (One time I thought I fell in love with one…it’s a long story. No drugs or alcohol were involved). I love our Dad/Daughter adventures. I love my Pee-Wee Herman doll even though his voice box is broken and he talks like he’s on huffers. I love sourdough bread with butter and strawberry jam. I love my Grandmother’s face. I love the way that juice boxes make me feel like a child again. I love L.A. for everything it’s not. I love watching people interact with each other. I love desolate urban landscapes. I love lamp.
Come on Baby in Our Dreams, We Can Live Our Misbehavior
However, the one thing I’ve never felt is 100% honest to goodness, heart-wrenching, soul-twisting, poem-inducing, pant-peeing love.
So in honor of having had more of an emotional connection to a beet than a man, I’m declaring this week, “What is Love?” week on my blog. And yes, you have to do the head dance a la Roxbury Guys every time the phrase is written.
On the other hand, don’t. It’s kind of cheesy.
God, I love that movie (<--See? Another example of something I really love that is not a man.)
Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve felt very strongly for various people before. Sure, I might have confused infatuation with a dude’s cowboy boots and nunchucks as love. Or I might have done epic things like get drunk by myself on Venice Beach Boardwalk, call my boyfriend to entice him into one last hurrah before we broke up, pass out amongst the sea of homeless, and never get found by said boyfriend who actually came down to look for me. Yeah, maybe I did confuse one guy’s obsession with being the reincarnation of James Joyce, always wearing a three piece wool suit in Southern California, and sticking his thumb in the dirt when he got mad as deep. I might have written my boyfriend’s name in tiny pen on my fingernails.
The fact of the matter is, with some objectivity and hindsight, I’ve never been in love.
As a child of divorce, I would tell you I don’t believe in it. In my mind, the only sort of love that exists is that of Elizabeth Taylors’. You have forty ex-husbands and you look fabulous until one day you don’t. Then you’re super lonely and eventually die child-less, asset-less, and husband-less. All your exes show up at your funeral, sitting next to their significantly younger wives, shaking their heads, saying, “If only she went to psychotherapy sooner.”
However, as I’ve gotten older, I realize there is no glamor in having multiple ex-husbands, careers that perpetually keep you at a distance from people, and glass houses in the hills. You look down at the world below you, never really associating, never really understanding what it’s really all about.
Hiding, in order to protect your heart, will only lead to being the Aunt with twenty-five cats named after soap opera characters, bed sores, and Neophobia.
Stayed tuned for tomorrow. The lovely M over at Blackberries to Apples and I will be guest posting on each other’s blogs.
love this. it's so true about the glass house on the hills and a metaphor too.. i'm very cynical about love, myself. not sure if i'll ever find that…
I'm great at infatuation. I've thought I was in love a number of times but it's always worn off after a few months, or even a year if I'm lucky. I think there's a lot of issues with even defining love. Is it a passion-filled roller coaster that you remember for the rest of your life? Or is it knowing you've heard every single story the person sleeping next to you has and still not getting bored with her? I've had the first one, not so much the second.
Funny, I was wondering kind of the same thing about love. When I figured it all out, I'll let you know.. 😉
Anyway I love your blog, I like the way you think and the way you write. Keep doing that!
I love this (pun clearly intended)
I too have felt what I thought at the time was love, but was it really? in hindsight?
The only love I know that is real is the love I have for my son, and that isn't even fathomable to articulate.
And he certainly wasn't created out of love, so in that lies the greater irony.
I am becoming a huge fan of your blog.
(incase you missed on mine, under the link "stalk me here")
love is wanting to spend more time with the other person than my bottle of wine. i'm not going to lie. the bottle usually wins.
Is it too late to take back the head movement when I read "What Is Love?" and then read I don't actually have to?
I think there are different kinds of love. There's the pant-peeing love, the friendly love, the familial love and the love for a beet among many, many more kinds. And I do believe you never love the same way twice.
I think the idea of love is so inflated by movies/everything that no one will ever be satisfied or feel that they have truly been in love.
Also, I have a PeeWee Herman doll too. I got it when I was about 3. He talks like a chipmunk now.
By the way, the doll occasionally says, "I love you."
Yikes, don't watch Intervention anymore, I kid. But what I would like to say is that love is not a black or white definition. Love is different on a case by case basis. One person's love is another person's trash so to speak. Just my opinion!
"However, as I've gotten older, I realize their is no glamor in having multiple ex-husbands, careers that perpetually keep you at a distance from people, and glass houses in the hills. You look down at the world below you, never really associating, never really understanding what it's really all about."
God damn that hit home.
When people say… "I love beets" I don't think they really mean love. Having been brokenhearted I feel as though I know what love is. I have never had that same feeling toward an inanimate object. Maybe we are just the complete opposite.
Love is seeing a man cross the room, walking away from you, and going weak in the knees at the sight of his butt. After I fell in love with my True Love's ass, I didn't see him again for months, but when I came face to face with him, there was an incredible energy force that led to a fuckathon and many months of getting to know one another. He left his wife and family for me, said he was willing to sacrifice his relationship with his children in order to have me. He said he had never been loved, that he wasn't sure he could love me the way I needed to be loved. But he was a good student. We were married for 35 years, and through fights and great personal loss for both of us, we were more in love on the day he died than the day we met. I don't want anyone to love me that way again. His death was so painful that I wish I could have died with him. (I won over the children, and now they are my family).
I have love in my life and I will tell you it isn't the movie love I grew up on. It's more of the "knowing you've heard every single story the person sleeping next to you has and still not getting bored with him" love. (Great definition Christopher)
For me, love is a great partnership. He's my best friend and we have fantastic chemistry. But love is also a lot of compromise and work. It sometimes sucks and makes you cry – but in the end you still want to sleep next to that person because you can't imagine being without them.
This song defines love in my dorky opinion: George Harrison-If Not For You. You can check out the lyrics here: http://www.lyricsfreak.com/g/george+harrison/if+not+for+you_20059021.html
I am without romantic love. I am afraid of putting myself out there enough to have that. I just sit there and wonder why it doesn't come to me. And I know that's stupid, but whatever.
I love my family. I love my friends. I love my favorite pair of jeans and rainy days. I love making people happy, and laughing till my stomach hurts. I love black and white movies and vanilla milkshakes.
I don't need romantic love when I choose to appreciate the little things 🙂
I like what Martina said…
My own experience is that love is about being there, not judging, working hard to keep it fresh, accepting change, knowing that there will be ups and downs and going with them rather than reacting to them. We're on year 20… its awesome. He takes my breath away .. and yet some days let me tell you …I feel quite the opposite. It's funny, that "take your breath away" feeling.. it comes every once in a while .. I love it.
how is your writing so amazing? it has such incredible connectability (for lack of a real word)… I know exactly how you feel about mistaking love and not knowing "true" love.
if you ever have time, feel free to look at my blog: http://alliekate.blogspot.com
Aw! This is extremely powerful, and thought provoking. I wish I knew how to put into words what I feel about love, or rather what I think it is. But I don't. I do know that I believe in it…
i've only been in love once, and i just knew when i felt it. it was like any amount of time being with that person was never enough.
love comes in so many shapes and experiences and seasons. just because things don't work out doesn't mean you did not have love. while i am now divorced, i know i had a great love with my now ex husband that i won't ever forget. but things happen, addiction happens, and you have to take care of yourself because in the end, your heart is what matters most. i lost my husband to the dark hole of addiction and had to find my own self and restart a new life. there is still hope, there doesn't have to be just one love of a lifetime. let's take care of ourselves and be open to the experience.
Amazing piece, and very thought provoking. What is love? I've loved many things in my life, a man included. And each of them has felt very different and had a distinct purpose in my life. I hope you find the love you're looking for.
I don't know if movie love exists but I think we can have snippets in our lives. Love isn't specific words or trips to Paris or fireworks (these burn bright for seconds then fade to nothing). Love is sitting side by side on the couch in complete silence and feeling completely at ease. Its a coffee made just the way you like it every time. It's not being able to sleep until you can feel the heat of their body next to you. It's when he reaches for your hand in his sleep and your heart still skips a beat. It's accepting that the sum of the whole is much more important than the individual parts. I've been blessed with 16 years of this so far.
Aaaah…Love. It's not what it seems. Not to me anyway. It's calm and quiet. Disruptive and annoying. It's not about being attached at the hip, but committing to be there for each other. Loving someone when they are ugly.
We think it's in the infatuation, but that's just lust. It's after. When you're comfortable and bored with each other. Then comes love.
And heartbreak. Well, there is nothing like a good heartbreak to give us compassion and a different perspective of the world.
I think both sides are good.
I just think you haven't found the right person to fall in love with yet. My mother used to tell me that when love happens, everything will just come together, and you'll want to open your heart, and you know, I called bullshit because I call bullshit on most everything she says.
But that's exactly what happened.
you have been tagged!! check my blog.
I come from a divorced childhood too.
Who knows if there is true love, even if that didn't happen but what I just do is stumble from day to day and hopefully one day there will be something that will make me stop.
Maybe one day we'll find someone that we would die for but much rather live for.
I love lamp. Sweet Anchorman reference 😉
I was so moved by everyone's response to this post. All of you wrote beautiful messages about what love means to you. It touched my heart. Glad I know you.
P.S. And Angie, you were the only one to mention the Anchorman reference! Yay!
A foreign colleague once expressed sympathy for my significant other (S.O.), as we were enjoying a fabulous meal in his country. “Poor S.O.,” he said, “Home alone while you’re traveling and enjoying meals out.”
I fixed him with my steeliest stare and said, “You want to know about love? I’ll tell you what love is. Love is schlepping two 6-packs of foreign beer through 2 airports and staring down your fellow passengers as you board the plane, ‘carrying your own’. That’s love!”
He was quiet after.
And my S.O.? He always loved the foreign beers.
Love is when your gut wrenches and you vomit for days ove the thought of losing the person. This also equals a great diet, ha.
I'm terrified of ending up like Elizabeth Taylor; pretty sure it could be diagnosed as a syndrome.
Excited to read your guest blog tomorrow!
I recently wrote a blog about the first major love of my life, and how we screwed it up.
I didn't write about how it began, which was 6 months of us working together in a bookstore with me stuttering when I tried to talk to him and dropping things, or falling down when people said his name until our manager put us on schedule together and basically set us up to finally talk. It turned out that he'd liked me too but was also shy.
Anyway, it was a crazy love and it was all-consuming and it ended badly.
I'm hoping to one day find something a little tamer. 🙂
Thanks for writing. I enjoy reading your work.
This was great. And being a child of divorce I thought the same way you did – there aint no such thing as true love. Then I found it. And Im still cynical (not going to preach like a girl who is just SO in love!) But trust me – its out there.
Yeah, I DEFINITELY had a Pee-Wee Herman doll. I say we go to the Alamo and ask where the basement is.
I fall in love nearly every single day. It doesn't take much.
But I've only been in true love once I think. Or possibly one and a half times. You just know when it hits you. Especially when you pee your pants. It'll happen for you one day also.