Sunday, October 6, 2013

Good Morning Justin...

Letter to my Son
Sunday, 6 October

I've lost a step with age

Good Morning Justin…

When you’re young falling in love truly is as easy as falling off a log.  With experience and age, though, romantic love may involve all the scrutiny a loan application gets from the bank.  Sex is no longer the compelling lighthouse beacon that once drew me forward through the fog years of my youth.  I was a firefly chasing dancing lights in the night.  Too often that magic moment under the stars was all about the rule of biology and reason be damned.  That’s not love, though, is it?  No.  I’m comparing the crisp tart of an apple with the sweet juice of an orange.  Let me start again. 

Love could be as illusionary as standing amidst a bevy of reflections in a room of funhouse mirrors.  What’s real?  Sure, there was always the question of whether someone really loved me.  The more important question for me, though, was whether I truly loved the one I was going through all that trouble to chase.  Let’s give myself the benefit of the doubt and believe it’s true when I say, “I love you.”  Great, I’m not a jerk – yet.  Now here’s where the relationship goes dicey.  I’m head over heels in love with this wonderful woman and we’ll assume she feels the same for me.  This is real heaven.  I’m better than the man I ever thought I could be.  I think thoughts and have feelings I never thought I could express.  I amaze myself at the kindness I feel and how considerate I am for the person I love.  And it’s all so effortless.  This whole marvelous attitude even spills over to my feelings for people I don’t even know.  I smile and say, “Good Morning!” to the checkout lady even though I have been in line for twenty minutes.  I’m in love and the world’s beautiful.  This is all so amazing.  So what’s the problem?

Romance is like a drug high.  You eventually have to come down.  It’s as certain as gravity on earth.  We wouldn’t benefit from the civilization we have if we were all spending each and every day as though it was our honeymoon.  Life returns to normal and so does the one you love.  Most people hope and expect their most significant relationship in life is forever.  But if it isn’t we endure a hard fall, followed by a shattering break.  Then we spend the next couple of years picking up the pieces.  Woe is me.

We’re talking a marathon if the whole thing works.  It’s not like romance at the movies.  Boy gets girl.  Boy loses girl.  Boy gets girl in a crescendo finish.  They embrace in a swooning kiss.  The End.  You come out of the movie, hand in hand with the one you love.  The two of you get in the car, nudge out of the parking space, and drive home.  The two of you buy groceries.  Together you repair the house.  You pay bills as a team and adjust the budget.  You disagree and argue from time to time.  You’re together for breakfast and dinner day after day, through all the seasons, through all the years, and the many trials and all the tests to the relationship from outside interests.  There are surprises that are sometimes heart-warming or are, at times, heart-rending.  It’s all in the life of a marriage or, at least, a relationship that feels like a marriage.

I don’t know about you but I can’t sustain my best behavior for more than a couple of hours, at most.  Give me a week and I’ll show you my best impersonation of dull and rude.   Of course, we can always hop in bed and stir the coals when the daily grind doesn’t feel fresh and spritely.  I’ll even think to brush my teeth first.  Yeah, it’s OK.  But I have to admit I ran out of fireworks quite a while back.  I’m a creature of habit.  Was it good for you?  Great, now let’s turn on the TV and get out the crackers and cheese.

Chuckles was depressed because he didn’t like the way his ears flopped over and there was nothing he could do about it.  He starred at his reflection again.  He could clearly see that both ears bent near the middle and then drooped over onto themselves.  It wasn’t normal. 

Why is it we have premium cable and yet there is never anything on.  Why is that, Honey?  Oh, your feet are cold.  Stop that!  Alright you’re going to get it.  And I mean in the worst sort of way.

By the way, how’s things with you?


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