the days of wine and roses

ah, love.

when I was young I held all the classic fairy tale notions about love…the prince charming, he’s going to love me forever and treat me like a princess kind of stuff. Oh yes, I admit it. I spent a lot of time when I was young waiting for Mr. Charming to show himself.

And he did, a couple of times. But he never sticks around for long does he? I don’t mean the man himself, the real man you are in a relationship with. I’m talking about Prince Charming, fantasy man, the one we all make up in our heads, the one who always acts the way we think the man who loves us should act. You know, flowers, love letters, gifts, constant attention… the full blown princess treatment.

When I was young, and searching for this prince, I thought that finding him, and living happily-ever-after, would be finding real love. The dreamy-eyed I’ll never get over you and will always think you’re perfect kind of love.

But then, I changed my mind.

Because it’s easy to love someone when you’ve never tripped over their dirty socks, or smelled their morning breath, or seen them lose their temper over something really, really stupid. It’s easy to love someone when you aren’t with them on a day-to-day, daily grind kind of basis. It’s easy to love someone when you think they are perfect.

Now I know that real love, the kind that can last forever, wears a completely different set of clothing. Sometimes even sweat pants.

True love is the kind that can make it through dirty socks and dirty toilets and crabby days and family crises and new wrinkles and extra pounds and cellulite and football games and loud burps and bad hair days and grumpy mornings and forgotten anniversaries and stupid fights about who is going to buy the groceries.

Because if you can go through all that, and still, on February 14th say, “Will you be my valentine?” then that’s love. The kind that lasts. The real thing. If you can see all the parts of each other that are unappealing and difficult and flawed and sometimes unbearably human and still say “I think you are beautiful,” then you have found it.

True. Love.

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