The theme for 2009 should be: Dropping Like Flies. I have officially hit the age where a wave of my friends have found the person they will eternally nest with. After telling my mom about another girlfriend of mine settling down, the newspaper was thrown aside and Wolverine’s claws came out to play, “Allison, you need to find someone!!!” …Pause. Rewind. Play back… More like – “Allison, what’s wrong with you?!!” The band-aid was ripped off and for a split second I saw the lingering worries of my mother come to life. My expression alone was enough to speak a thousand words. Realizing she had unleashed the crazy, my mom reclined in her chair and comforted me with, “I’m just kidding. I just want you to be happy.”
The Great Love. I’m talking about the kind that takes your breath away, the kind that forces you to forget what life was like before it. Is it human nature to search for that one person who completes us or just society standards? Is it absolutely essential to our happiness? Luckily in this day and age the rush to settle down is not what it used to be. Career advancement and financial stability take priority over making babies. While societal pressure may have lessened, the natural wonder and hope of when and how The Great Love will strike remains embedded in all of us.
Love isn’t predictable or rational. We try our best to wrap our fingers around this uncontrollable, fully inexplicable experience. Most of us deny wanting it when we don’t have it. Most of us are secretly looking even when we say we’re not. In this quest how much are we supposed to open ourselves up to it so that we don’t pass it by yet protect ourselves from potential heartbreak? It is difficult to find that balance. I could sit here and reflect all day about something I have yet to experience…what I do know is that it can’t ever be forced.
Last summer a few of my very single girlfriends and I made a pact that we would take advantage of the balmy nights, stay out until all hours and date around. We placed our orders for a Summer Special – a Memorial Day to Labor Day fling. The anti-search for the perfect man. One of the girls, who I'll refer to as Princess Jasmine, justified that the Summer Special didn't have to be confined to just one. Translation: collect and select.
In a city where tough love rules, like most smart women Jasmine had a barricade around her heart. Strong and independent, she was content without a man. She was the self-proclaimed “I’m not getting married until I’m 30” single girl…all of which was about to go out the window.
Jasmine opened herself up to a whole new world the night she met Aladdin. Equally independent and successful, he had a sincere yet suspicious smile – a “player” by some standards. It was an instant connection that left stars in their eyes. Aladdin’s gaze was a tell-all tale. He wasn't ever going to let Jasmine out of his sight from that point on. Maybe it was the Patron but they slowed their pace, obliviously trailing ten feet behind the rest of the group. Who knows what they were talking about? A volcanic eruption in the middle of the street wouldn’t have taken their attention away from each other. Sparks flew, worlds collided and my friend was whisked away on a magic carpet ride. I turned to Jasmine and said, "I think you found more than a Summer Special." She found her Prince.
Last summer was one of many firsts. For me it was experiencing the ungodly humidity, the city transforming into the nation’s biggest public sauna. How anyone can function normally in this condition is beyond me. Some find it suffocating. Others find it the perfect climate for an everlasting love to blossom. The fact that Jasmine and Aladdin could hold hands through it all, blissfully meshing their palm sweat, clearly signaled they were the real deal.
It’s been a whirlwind romance for these two. Some may consider the progression of their relationship crazy but their fairly unusual pace doesn’t diminish Love’s authenticity. Their union filled a void both Jasmine and Aladdin otherwise would not have known. That’s the thing about The Great Love – it strikes everyone differently.
How do you know when you’ve found it? They say “you just know.” I can only hope to someday find that person whose hand I will embrace, even in the greatest heat.
~A dedication to my favorite engaged couple