Thursday, June 12, 2008

Make Love Stay

It's June, the brides are swarming like bees. Picking out gowns, registering at every store imaginable, making lists of love songs for the DJ to spin.

So many songs account the first blush of love, just as many detail the pain of love lost. Same with movies, books, etc. Then there is the rest of us. Common knowledge holds that the honeymoon doesn't last forever. It's up, it's down, it's fireworks, it's an icebox, it's exciting, it's boring, but it is. While most would have us believe that we are either wildly, passionately in the throes of heated romance or dead, there have been thoughtful, touching tributes to trying to make it through. Dan Fogelberg wrote, "Now that we know the fire can burn bright or merely smolder, how do we keep it from dying away?" Jeff Tweedy of Wilco sings that "You're gonna need to be patient with me."

But perhaps the most brutally honest depiction of making love stay was in the 1946 movie called "The Best Years Of Our Lives." Middle-aged Milly is speaking to her husband who has recently come home from WWII, after her 20-something daughter told them that they didn't know what it was like for her, because their lives had been perfect, they'd never had any trouble. First she says to her daughter, "We never had any trouble...." and then she turns to Al, her husband of 25+ years, "How many times have I told you I hated you, and believed it in my heart. How many times have you said you were sick and tired of me, that we were all washed up? How many times have we had to fall in love all over again?" And the look in their eyes reveal every word as truth.

Having once been a starry-eyed bride-to-be myself, I know that looking forward and seeing something less than idyllic just isn't on the agenda. But later, "when the lonely nights are over" and you're wondering "how do we make love stay?" you'll need to be ready to fall in love all over again.

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