Sunday, June 12, 2011

What Love Is

Today is Samantha and my six year anniversary.  As it does at every milestone in my life, I am surprised at how quickly the time has passed.  We met over nine years ago, when I was adorned with a glorious, golden, afro.  Oddly enough, she didn’t find me attractive.  I can’t even begin to understand why not.  Needless to say, while I still feel like the same person inside, I am very glad the person on the outside has changed.  My hair is its natural color and a much more reasonable length, and I know she likes it better.  I know for a fact that we wouldn’t have even started talking if I had not cut it.
Amazingly, Samantha has chosen to put up with me this long.  She has tolerated my see-sawing vegetarianism, jumping along with me as I bounce between eating meat and not.  How has she managed to survive?  The answer: I cook.  She once told me she never knew if I was going to show up for dinner having decided to be vegetarian again, so it made sense for me to cook.  She has been a good sport, only slightly rolling her eyes every time I flip flop.
See, a pink shirt and a pink tie.  She did that.
I wear it all the time now.
She has also helped me to expand my wardrobe, freeing me from my exclusive contract with “earth tones.”  My dedication to tans, browns, and dull greens was less because of my love for those colors, and more from my insecurity as to what I should put on my body.  She has livened up the closet with blues, reds, pinks, yellows, and purples - all of which I gladly wear.
Not my real hair.  It was a wig.
I also appreciate her willingness to go along with my hippy attitudes.  Since we have known each other, I have tended to walk my own path, preferring to avoid the congested lanes of the mainstream.  She has listened to me wax rhapsodic on my newest discoveries, keeping up a steady stream of affirmatives.  We keep a witty banter going, and she always keeps me on my toes.  Some of my favorite moments have been when she has the opportunity to throw my hippiness back in my face, teaching me a lesson I had been preaching for years.  She is my best teacher.
I love learning who she is.  Every day, as we discover more about our own selves, we get to share.  We get to watch each other expand from the person we met and fell in love with.  We get to help each other grow, fertilizing, watering, and occasionally weeding.
Love is overcoming adversity.
When I was 22, I thought I knew what love was.  Then Samantha and I met and fell in love.  Everyday since, I learn my youthful mind was wrong.  This is love.  Love is teaching each other, affirming and forgiving.  Love is discovery.  Love is falling asleep on the couch while watching a documentary, or calling out every bump on the road so she can put on her makeup while we drive.  Love is giving of yourself so the other person doesn’t have to.  Love is exciting, love is boring, love is a combination of the roaring fire and the shimmering coals.  Love is what Samantha and I have found over the last nine years we have been together and the last six years we have been married.
Happy Anniversary Honey.  I love you!

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