Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Of love and kidneys

With a pretty impressive track record of "Crash & Burn" in the relationship department, I thought I would have a better idea of what that elusive thing called Love is. My past naivety had me thinking that every heart break I suffered earned me imaginary stripes in the quest of understanding love.

The teens years were days of infatuation where the dreamy concept of "forever" smoked up a heady fog that tricked me into thinking puppy love was meant to last. Then, with the demise of the teenage dreams and many Kleenex tissue boxes later, the early 20s was a quest of finding "The One" where the first major break up with "Who You Thought Was The One" possibly gave you your first emotional trauma in life. You realized there are not just ONE but there are many possible ONES. Then, mid 20s was a period of trial-and-error where you find out what you like and what you don't. By early 30s, you've possibly matured into knowing what you want and have hopefully found it.

The Hollywood-movie type of intense crazy passionate love might make your heart skip a beat thinking you've found LOVE, but what builds up quickly and madly sometimes and quite often fades off just as quickly. Embarrassing was recalling the many times where I thought "This is IT!", just to have them ended in shambles. The many divorced friends around bear testimony to this and the movie "Closer" has an excellent quote that aptly describes the whole falling in and out of intense love relationships. In it, Jude Law's character says "If you believe in love at first time, you never stop looking." When the intensity is gone, you'll go find someone else to be intense with. This much I know and this much I can attest to.

Slow and steady seems to win the race corny as it sounds. Go for the turtle, not the rabbit. As an ex junkie for that heady rush of new love's excitement, I've come to a point where I appreciate the comfort of the slow and steady approach. Level-headed good. Melodrama bad. Simple logic. And just as I think I'm all zen and grown-up with my outlook on love , a casual dinner conversation with my friend last night made me realize, perhaps, I knew nothing after all.

When asked when she first realized her love for her boyfriend of over 10 years and now husband-to-be, my friend,T, the impending bride, said it was only after three years or so that she knew she truly loves him. Six month to a year was the answer I was expecting and my surprised look prompted her to elaborate:

"Come on, the first 2 years don't count because you're new together and it's honeymoon. I love him earlier then but it wasn't the type where I would give him one of my kidneys to save his life kind of love. When it hit the three-year mark, I love him enough to know I would want to spend the rest of my life with him. It wasn't crazy Hollywood type, it was very comfortable and deep."

And she meant the kidney part. What I thought was a figure of speech description was indeed what she meant. She would give him one of her kidneys to save him. Now THAT is love. The irony was that among our group of friends, T was often made fun of for being seemingly cold, boring and too pragmatic that we were forever giving her useless tips from magazines like sexy lingerie to spice up her love life. As she was slowly but surely building her love with her fiance, the rest of us were going through break ups after break ups.

I need to revisit what I think love is now, considering the fact that I wouldn't give a kidney to save the ex whom I considered to be most in love with even at the peak of the lovey dovey epic.

Would you give a kidney to your partner/spouse/lover/boyfriend/girlfriend when push comes to shove?

I think I need to call my parents tonight to ask them their views on this. After all, they have been married for 33 years, lived through what seems like the non-Hollywood movie kind of love but are still very much happy together till these days, "Turtle Couple" style.

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