All i see, is a bad 90’s interior design, a failing attempt of a wild safari decoration, too much wood paneling and a chair print that can definitely not be described with the word ‘stylish’. A lukewarm cup of tea is waiting to be enjoyed but i hesitate to finish it. I look around the place with a confident smile. I somehow feel superior to the middle-aged middle-class around me:
– the woman, who sits there and stares blankly into nothingness
– the older lady, who gets pieces of her sandwich to fly around the table, supposedly due to a growing lack of coordination.
So much grey hair everywhere. Swollen ankles and clothing that should have been burnt or buried 20 years ago already. It’s all there. And i’m sitting here, observing and judging like i have no faults or failures in me.
The staring woman gets woken up from her vegetable-state by her husband, who is leaning in her direction and feeding her cheese cake that he had brought to the table five minutes earlier. I can’t tell, if she likes the taste or not, for there are no expressions – just munching. It looks quiet between them, for not many words are exchanged, but a lot of little, loving actions. Knowing exactly, what the other one likes, when they want a piece of cake in their mouth, when they want to take a sip of coffee, when they want to go. No need for words – maybe all is said already. Maybe they know each other so well that they can read the other persons mind. Maybe some accident happened, that made her go quiet, but he is still there next to her, reading his magazine. Maybe he could have chosen another one. Maybe he could have changed to a younger wife, but he is there…. not talking, but there. Feeding his lady with cake. It looks a bit like love.
Love must be one of the most courageous things to do while living on this planet. The most painful, if it really goes wrong. The most unselfish. Probably the most common source of inspiration for song writers (just a guess though, I might be wrong).
The word love often gets used when talking about the feeling resulted by the chemical reactions going on in the brain when we are attracted to someone or have had a sexually satisfactory experience with them. But I believe love is so much more than just a physical, romantic thing.
I used to think that love comes naturally… But actually, it might be one of the most unnatural things for us humans, because we are all naturally selfish. Attraction and the desire for reproduction might come naturally, it is deeply wired in us. Waiting to get to know the other person and not having sex before marriage – i would call that love. Loving someone, who likes you is easy. But how about loving the work colleague, who spreads lies about you at the work place? Helping the older lady across the street is a kind thing to do, but how about, when a drunk, smelly hobo is asking for help? How loving are we really? How great are we truly in showing love?
The two previous Saturdays I have spent at weddings. I have such high appreciation for people, who have decided to go for it, DECIDED to stay together for the rest of their lives and DECIDED to love. It’s a huge thing, a huge DECISION. Is me trying to underline the word ‘decision’ clear enough? That is what i believe love is. A decision. Do you want to love this woman, now in the good and easy when she is super beautiful and fit and in the more unpleasant, in 13,5 years, when she is 13,5 kg heavier and has started to have a moustache and has gone through breast cancer? Not “do you feel like it” but “do you decide to, even though it will most likely suck at some point”. Love.
And I have never even tried to catch the bouquet.
Despite being the most painful at times, difficult and unnatural thing, we all grave it. We all want to be loved. And we need to love. Not just our husband or wife but the neighbour, even random people around us. The world needs more of it. And we are nothing without it. We are useless ones without the others.
I might be sitting here now, judging the old people and looking down at them just because I have most of my life still ahead of me. They might have grey hair, but they have each other. I’m pretty sure they have loved. I might get more successful than they have ever been.
But what is success, if i never learn to love?