Monday, July 25, 2011

Love, American Style

One lazy morning, as I flipped aimlessly through the channels with hopes of finding some mindless entertainment, I stumbled across a well-known television pastor whose words gripped me. I don't recall the direct quote, but he described the prevailing expression of love as 'a thin veneer of acceptance that is easily scratched away when human frailties and flaws emerge in the object of our affection.'

That's love. American style.

I won't pretend that our limited human experience can fathom and sustain the pure God-like love the pastor went on to preach about. In fact, it is a promise of the human condition that we'll be flawed in ways that make us quite difficult to tolerate. Even when we think we have it all together, we're still a pain in somebody's ass who just may love us in spite of...

When I assess my own history with that thang called "love," I can see where appearances, circumstances, personal resumes, and other surface "veneers" played a role in choosing mates. I know for a fact I was doing the best I knew how at the time. I had no clue that I often made choices like a frazzled mom shopping while hungry after a long day. The groceries all look good until you get home, open the bag, and see the excess of junk food that seemed all-too-perfect on the shelf.

And all of this leads me to...

My girl Negril is the only person who knows and understands the trials, tribulations, and uncertainties I've faced while navigating my relationship with HisSide. He is the object of my true love. His flaws are many, to the point where I understand the need to be away from him. But not once in the throes of his deepest personal battles did I love him any less. Even when I became a convenient target... Even when forced to put some space between us... Even when he wanted to blame me for problems he's had for longer than I've known him... I loved him and did what I could to help him. When asked, he'll tell you the same.

We remain friends that can't stand to be away from each other. The feeling is mutual, but then again, love isn't a "feeling" anyway. It's the energy that keeps you attached to another while doing what you can to make their life better. Because their pain is your pain. When they hurt, you hurt. And for no material reason at all, you can't imagine life outside of their presence because their soul is woven into your outlook.

We're like two children on a playground. He knocked over my blocks. I kicked his sandcastle. We cried. Then we made up and kept playing.

It's been about two years since I broke-up with HisSide. But he's still at home and we still love each other like crazy. I requested that he leave because the reality of some human frailties means making hard decisions. I still don't know where this will take us. But I know I love him and I am loved in return.

I wouldn't have it any other way because I want more than Love, American Style.