Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine's Day

Taking a break from the mourning, the estate settling and the usual busy-ness of life, my husband and I had a date for Valentine's day. We began the date by seeing Hollywood's newest offering, suitably entitled VALENTINES DAY. It was an anemic and uncommitted and cliched version of love. The ubiquitous hybrid cars, bitter, gorgeous thirty somethings, the cheating husbands, the cute kid and the goofy flower guy. Throw in a gay football player and a phone sex girl and voila' you have a modern romance movie. For my hubby and I, not so much.

My favorite squishy love movie, in case you were curious, is LOVE ACTUALLY, followed by the original AFFAIR TO REMEMBER, with an honorable mention/tie FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL/that one with Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant where she's the actress and he's the book shop owner-brain burp on that one).

In the classic movie HIS, MINE AND OURS, Henry Fonda delivers a monologue to his step-daughter about love. He his escorting his wife, a fabulous Lucille Ball, down the stairs, as she huffs dramatically in labor. He explains this is what love is all about. I'll paraphrase. It's about babies, messes, noise and work. It's accidents and fights and dishes and dirt. It isn't the romanticized version out of the novels or t.v. or anemic movies.

In the not-so-good movie we saw today, there was another classic line. When a character (the obligatory latino in this fully diverse cast-it was like watching a multicultural checklist onscreen, "Check. There's the shy asian with wisdom. Stereotyped and accounted for. Check. Here's the witty and poor latino who makes jokes about coming to theeees country. Check...." Sorry, I digressed.

The line was how do you know when it's true love? How do you know it's going to work out? The answer. He knew because he married his best friend. I know because I married mine.

Squishiness warning: what you are about to read has all the solidity of marshmallow fluff.

The first time I met my husband he was sitting on Lisa Leeper's bed. He had on a Pirates baseball cap, a leather jacket and jeans. He was the cutest guy I had seen in a long, long time. He was a football player in high school and was in great shape. In sweat pants he was astounding. Not only did he look good, but he was smart. Really smart.

I, on the other hand, was an insecure, brainiac, theatre geek. I was too big, too loud and too smart. While I longed/lusted/liked him from a distance, I never considered such a great/amazing/cute guy would ever be interested in me.

We wandered in the same circles. We shared the same friends. We became friends.

I was rejected by two other guys as he became the center of attention for what came to be known as the Ron Robertson fan club (a group of girls in the dorm who fawned over the guy every second). One night, he and I made a pact to pretend to flirt so that the other girls would give him a break. It worked. Later, we ended up spending the night on a couch in a friends dorm room. Nothing like being two inches from each other overnight as an introduction.

What is astounding to me, as I look back, is his same-ness. He is the same guy I fell in love with over 20 years ago. He still takes my breath away. While I have become and broken and become again, he is still who he is and will always be.

Who will he always be? My Valentine. Mine.

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