Friday, December 22, 2006

Love is...

Do you remember those cutesy-pie ‘Love is…’ cartoons from the 70s with the little naked couple? I had a book full of them as a kid.

I’ve been thinking a bit about love since we’re coming up to Christmas day when love is supposed to be wrapped up in the perfect package under the Christmas tree. And I was reflecting on the fact that I’ve never had a boyfriend who really wowed me with a particular Christmas gift, and that the times in my life I’ve felt most loved have had nothing to do with commercial holidays and enforced gift giving or romance.

It’s not that presents aren’t important, because it's a thrill to receive a well thought-out gift that delights me. I have a very particular aesthetic and when someone gets it, it makes me feel like they really know me. (I think receiving gifts is definitely one of my love languages.)

But it’s the simple moments, the everyday gestures small and large, that linger in your memory long beyond the birthday and Christmas presents. That’s what’s really important.

Love is…
  • Creating a guitar-shaped Christmas shortbread for your band-playing boyfriend (Katrina!)
  • Taking your new husband’s surname, even when that surname is Butt. (A girl who went to my high school married a Butt and did just this.)
  • Delighting in the fact that you’re cuddled in bed with a man you adore and you couldn’t be more content - even though you’ve just woken up in the middle of the night to discover him mysteriously making the same loud snuffling noise as the pig you were just dreaming about.
  • Moving back home after breaking up with your live-in boyfriend of four years and being welcomed at the door with a big hug and a ‘rough day, huh?’ from Dad, and an ‘I can’t imagine how you must be feeling’ note from Mum.
  • Your boyfriend surprising you by bringing a kitten home when he’s never wanted to have one, because he knows that you do.
  • Arriving home to a bitter NZ winter after four months in glorious Southern California to discover your mother has filled your fridge with your favourite treats, left you fluffy ugg boot slippers (pink and embroidered with flowers) to ward off cold feet, put flowers all through the house and written you a note to welcome you home and promise you that the winter won’t be so bad.
  • Driving to your girlfriend’s flat in the early hours of the morning to check her car’s there and that she got home safely (even though you abandoned her in a bit of a huff earlier in the night).
  • Being able to rely on your father to plant trees and fix broken things and drill holes and assemble cabinets and hammer nails and move heavy furniture as and when required.
  • Having a close network of great girlfriends who've grown up with you and shared in every important part of your life: awkward teenage phases and first kisses, early bumbling relationships and inappropriate boyfriends, milestones like moving in with someone, and weddings, and first homes, and babies, and career changes, and country changes, and horrific break-ups, and failures and successes, swings and roundabouts. And knowing there’s still so much more to go through together.
I'd love to hear what's on your list.


At 27 December 2006 at 2:06 PM, Anonymous Dating Dummy said...

That's definitely love when you take on the name of Butt. Let's hope they don't have a kid named Seymour. :)

btw, a late Merry Christmas! Better yet, I'm still in time to wish you a Happy New Year! Hope Finlay is in the picture when it comes time to kiss someone at midnight.


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