And no, sorry to disappoint, the answer is not 42.
The biggest question we all carry around with us is what is love? Quickly followed by will anyone ever love us? Then wondering if we'll ever recognize it when it happens to us.
I had the rare opportunity to see several different types of love expressed today at a pool party of friends celebrating their 15 years of marriage. It was good and bad. I had to deal with the insecurity of a certain type of female that I simply cannot bear and not say something, so I chose to go check my laundry so that my friends' party would not be marred by my penchant for honesty. I checked my laundry quite a bit during that party. I'm happy to say it's all done now. And I'm also happy to say that my friends party was going strong and happy when I left it. I hope it continues that way.
There is not just one size fits all love. There is parental love, the first we experience, and perhaps the strongest bond we know until we have children of our own. There is friendship love, which we all experience from childhood on up. We like to think it takes the place of familial love when we're in our rebellious years, but it never really does. Ever. No matter how badly we wish it could.
Then there is romantic love. Of all the kinds of love we experience as human beings, this is the one that really messes us up. Mainly because we believe that romantic crap about there being one person and that all of our happiness is supposed to depend wholly upon them. What a daunting proposition that has to be. But many men and women buy in to that and expect that one person to be everything to and for them. I believe it is the duty of every person on this planet to identify these people in the wild, and tag them so that the rest of us don't have anything to do with them. You think climbing English Ivy is hard to kill? Try getting rid of one of these unflashables.
I've witnessed relationships where one person absolutely cannot function without the other to prop them up. It sickens me. I feel nothing but pity for the person having to do the propping and nothing but disgust for the propee. I have no idea of what kind of hell that type of relationship can be, and I hope I never do. But I often look at the clinging vine and wonder why they can't seem to do anything themselves... and then I remember, it's easier to put the blame for everything on that person when it all goes pear shaped, they've had enough and leave that person to fend for themselves.
I've seen just that sort of thing happen often enough that it's helped me determine which friends are the enabling type and which ones learn quickly enough.
Love will never ask you to sacrifice yourself on its altar. Love will never expect more from you than it does itself. Love will never ask you to do something for it that it won't also do for you. Love is not self-important and propped up on its own ego. Any love that demands that of you is not love. Any person who demands that of you should be shot in the head they're not using.
Love is true equality. Trust is a huge part of that. If your partner is not trusting of you they either don't care or they are insecure beyond redemption. Either way, it's not a relationship of smooth sailing I would see for anyone involved. Love cares enough to argue if it thinks its been wronged or doesn't understand. Calling your partner every 5 minutes they are away with you, and then making up crap to bring them back to you isn't love, it's enslavement. The worst kind. Emotional blackmail should be punishable by jail time. In a chain gang. That will teach them some self-sufficiency.
I love my husband, and would be devastated if anything ever happened to him. However, I know I could and would go on and I would enjoy the rest of my life without him. I would cherish my memories of him, but they would not keep me from living or loving. I trust my husband. I worry if he's not home when he usually is. I will call, just to make sure he's not in a ditch somewhere or to see if it's going to ruin my dinner plans. That's just an exchange of information, all I really want to know is that he's not dead in a ditch somewhere. Once I know he's healthy, happy and just late getting home and didn't get a chance to call me, it's all good.
Let me give you an example. We used to meet each other for lunch at home everyday. One day I arrived home to eat lunch with him and he wasn't home, so I went ahead and warmed up some left-overs and began eating. My cell phone rang. It was the spousal unit. He explained that they were celebrating something at work and that he was lunching at a tittie bar. Oh, OK. None of his buddies from work believed I was so sanguine. They demanded to speak to me. To a man, they all stated that they could not tell their partner that they had lunched in a tittie bar. They wouldn't understand. I must not care.
No. I did not care that my husband was eating lunch at a place where the women serving him had no shirts on. Several women are now gasping and clutching their pearls like they're a life line. Turn the act off, Clementine. I trust my husband. Why? Because I respect him enough to know he's not so insecure that he has to have sex with a lot of women to make himself feel like a man. He'll tell stupid Marine war stories when he needs to do that.
Any woman who would give a flying f$ck on a rolling donut about that tells you much more about herself than I think she would want anyone realizing. It shows that the only way she thinks about men is in a sexual way, and that she only feels good about herself when some man is pursuing her. Man laugh about that and sign up for, then reality hits them and they realize, after a couple of kids, that they will never be shut of the bitch short of her death.
So the question is what is love? Love is something you know deep inside yourself and only YOU can decide whether it's right or wrong for YOU. Love also demands trust and respect. You'd better be ready to give both and you will receive it back, and so much more. Because it truly is the most wonderful and beautiful thing you can ever fall in to.