Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Falling in Love, fighting for love, growing love.
I have earned this fair and square. I'm reminded that this blog is all about scraps that we share from our lives, past and present. Like sand on the ocean, our lives change daily. Sometimes the tides and the waves bring out more than we expect.
FALLING IN LOVE.
In the book of my youth, Love was an amazingly good looking man, athletic, smart, with money and means, dedicated to fighting evil and defend liberties. He would find me immediately attractive and smart, and would not mind my foreignness, my inability to express my thoughts in English. He would see my soul, my honest upbringing, my modest ambitions. What I wanted in a lover was defined on the silver screen, in the Charlston Heston character of Moses. Or, the young man that fell in love with Gigi in the movie of the same name. A French Man of class.
I married a boy who had just moved next door, worked at the same place as my room mate, spent hours playing Dylan's records. I noticed that he didn't try to get my attention; didn't try to impress me or my housemates. He was a loner, a thinker, a lover of literature. In few days, we found ourselves talking about this and that, running into each other for some thing or other, commenting about the neighborhood we had moved into, about the places we came from. We played ping pong on the patio; we shared coffee and donuts at the place down the street; we walked together to the Italian restaurant at the corner. For four weeks, we knew a lot about each other and we would be receiving that Honest Crap Award above. ( I do appreciate that,btw.)
Six months later we were married. I turned in my return ticket to Italy, and used that money for a small reception for the few friends and nuns I knew. My uncle from Fresno gave me away, and my aunt and her children were the wedding party. On my husband side, only three people, his father and stepmother, and his teen sister. At the high mass, it dawned on me that I was marrying a non-Catholic and I asked God to forgive me.
I knew everything that I needed to know about this man during those first six months before we married. After that, every situation we encountered tested our appreciation for each other. We were from two different worlds, literally and figuratively. He came from a broken home, travelled all his life from one region to another, moved two, three times a year, and never called a place home. I wanted roots and stability; he wanted adventure and movement. I was a devout Catholic; he was an independent spirit. I believed children needed rules and chores and achievable goals; he believed children needed freedom to explore, boundless access to resources, few rules and lots of passionate hobbies. I believed in budgeting for tomorrow's unpredictable problems; he believed in living today to the fullest.
Our entire life together has been about compromise, adjustment. I learned to be more adventurous and free; he has learned to settle down and put down roots. Our retirement was no different.
With a couple of exceptions.