Love is not an event, worthy of being acknowledged and bedecked with flowers and hearts every Valentine’s Day. Love is a process. And true love, like the earth on its journey around the sun, goes round and round and round again…
I’ve written many columns on how much I love my husband, some so schmaltzy that I can’t even bear to link to them.
Now I’ve been commissioned to write another: on falling in love, repeatedly, with the same person.
‘I can’t do it again,’ I said to my husband, a minute ago (I’m writing this as we lie in bed together on a Sunday night). ‘It’s so embarrassing. Besides, you’re not even that great.’
‘Even so,’ agreed Andreas. ‘They are going to pay you and we need the money. The fridge seems to have died.’
‘Well, then help me with it.’ I replied.
‘Falling in love again…’ he sang softly.
‘Eagle-Eye cherry lyrics are totally not helping. Especially when you remember that the rest of the song is about how easy he finds it to fall OUT of love.
He thought for a minute.
Every year the love deepens
‘I don’t think it’s about falling in love again, but rather deeper in love. You know, every year, the love deepens.’
‘Why does that make me think quicksand?’ I replied.
‘Really? I was going for sandstone,’ he said. ‘You know. Solid.’
We both pondered this for a bit.
‘I do get that stomach drop feeling sometimes still,’ I said. ‘You know, when you walk into a room when I’m not expecting you. And then you smile at me like you’re a delighted present.’
‘I get that feeling,’ he agreed. ‘Like when you arrive home from a work trip and I know you are going to walk through the arrivals gate and then you do and it feels great.’
‘I love that you always wait for me in exactly the same spot, so I don’t have to search the crowd for you. Also that you always take my suitcase without losing eye contact.’
‘I do that?’ he asked.
‘Yes, you do,’ I answered. ‘It’s cool.’
‘But that’s more being reminded of being in love, as opposed to falling in love again, he said.
I had another think.
‘There are a lot of little stupid things you do that don’t exactly make me fall in love with you again, but do give me love jolts. Like when you screw up your mouth when you are concentrating. Or stare at my food when you’ve finished yours,’ I said.
‘I thought you hated those things,’ he said, surprised.
‘It’s such a fine line. Hey, did you just turn off your bedside light, plunging the room into darkness while I am still working on getting us a new fridge?’
‘Turn on your own bedside light,’ he said.
‘I’m trying to think warm Andreas feelings and this isn’t helping.’
‘It’s been 26 years,’ he yawned. ‘I would have hoped you could think of something without my help.’
I made a last ditch attempt. ‘I see your face when I look at our sons?’
‘Still?’ he asked.
‘No, not really, I admitted. ‘Now I just see them. But I can totally see the resemblance.’
‘That’s a relief.’ Andreas rolled over, piling all the soft pillows on my side, because I like LOTS of pillows when I sleep. ‘Good night, Sammy. I love you.’
And I love you. Still.
Article by Sam Wilson-Späth