Thursday, 25 October 2012
Properly or Improperly in Love
By Judith Cooper Eton who blogs at SilverFoxyBlog
For every day of my life, beginning as a 17-year-old falling in love for the first time, I have been in love. The first object of my affection, a college student home for Christmas vacation.
I can still remember how it felt when he went back to college in North Carolina, three months seemed like three years. He returned for spring break and then again for the summer, just in time to take me to my senior prom.
After an idyllic summer, I was off to college and he, back to North Carolina. As could be predicted we broke up, made up and in between dated others.
I met a great guy at school, fell in love, got pinned. Happy ending? Not quite. First love returns, back and forth, just could not make up my mind. Love, not sure!
Enter Mr. Right, a blind date, instant love. Whirlwind summer romance before leaving for his last year at Wharton Business School, he pops the question, a beautiful May wedding! True love!
Not so fast, seven years and two wonderful children later. Divorce, heart-broken.
By now you must realize meeting men and falling in love is not hard for me. So it came as no surprise to anyone that candidate four was waiting in the wings.
This one, however, was not so easy. I was back and forth, never quite able to get over him but since he did not want to marry, I tried to fall for a suitable mate.
On some level I guess I was hoping my ex-husband would grow up, but since that has not happened to this day, I guess I made a good decision.
One more almost-the-right-one and then I met and fell in love with my present husband of 35 years. We married and added one more child and lived happily ever after. All three children, now fully grown and launched.
Happily ever after is clearly a relative term. For any of you in long-term marriages, you know how many times you question your decision. However, I never doubted that I loved him. I had once seen a great quote, which eloquently sums up my marriage: "You are the tenant of my heart, often late with the rent, but impossible to evict."
Enter Piers Morgan. No, no, no, never met him, don't know him, don't want to know him. It is his stupid question, "How many times have you been properly in love" that has made me question my whole life.
Have I ever been properly in love? Can I have been properly in love five or six times? What is properly in love? Have I missed something? This question has made me question my whole life.
If I am no longer in love with my husband, it would be the first time in 50 years that I am not in love with anyone. Would that mean I would have to be in love with me? That is an almost unbearable thought.
Can I possibly learn to get through a day or a week or a year without the anchor of another persons love or will I just float away? I now have come to doubt my feelings throughout the years all because of a silly question posed by an almost as silly talk show host.
Do we ever know where these flashes of self-knowledge will come from and what can we do with them when they arrive?
[INVITATION: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. They can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, etc. Please read instructions for submitting.]