“It was so strange. It happened when I wasn’t looking for it.”

    The other night I had dinner with my friend, Jill*. She’s every level of amazing.  We were halfway through our soup and salad when she told me about Jack*.  Apparently, Jack is the guy she met in a very strange way who she’s been seeing for the last couple of weeks. I’ve never seen Jill in like (the relationship is new so she’s not “in love”) before and it was the sweetest thing. She was five types of giddy, blushed seven shades of red, and was so excited to tell me all about Jack. It warmed that little black hole I call a heart.

    But the moment was a little bittersweet.

    I guess this is the time of your life when your single friends start dropping like flies. I’ve been in two weddings* this past year and I have a third that’ll be creeping up in June. In the last three months, four of my friends have embarked on new relationships. Don’t think I’m going to spend this entire post complaining about how I abhor people in relationships; I don’t begrudge my friends their happiness. They’re all dating wonderful guys who treat them with respect. The problem is with me. Sometimes I feel left out.

    Sometimes I miss the days when it was just my girls and me gallivanting around town with a devil-may-care attitude. Now the majority of them are in committed relationships. Due to this, I’ll think to myself every couple of months, ‘Wow, it would be really great to fall in love. Maybe this is my year!’ I haven’t yet had my year, but I figure it’ll come along some day. I’m not really stressing about it. At the risk of sounding melodramatic and thoroughly trite, love is too big, too honest, too brutal, and too heavy for me to fall into it now. Now, some of you may say that since I’ve never been in love, I really have no idea what it’s like. This is true but I don’t need to clamp my tongue in a vice to know it would hurt. Maybe it’s really all puppies, singing clouds, and rainbows, but from what I hear from my friends, it’s not.

    For all the wonderful, sweet, right out of a Nicholas Spark’s novel (it really pains me to mention those books), “you complete me” moments that my friends have, they get a moment of jealousy, a moment of doubt, a moment of pain, a “this man is about to lose his life” moment. Once the “honeymoon” phase of the relationship is over, you have to make the decision to love the one you’re with (I can’t help quoting song lyrics. It’s a sickness). At its core, love is 50% compromise and 50% yielding to your partner’s wishes.

   Love is difficult.

   Contrary to what that cancer ridden chick in Love Story said, love is about ALWAYS having to say you’re sorry.

   My conversation with Jill couldn’t have come at a better time because I was fancying myself smitten about a week ago. There’s a guy, let’s call him Ezra (who doesn’t love that name?),  who always manages to catch me off guard. We don’t see each other very often, but when we do I’m always angered annoyed thrilled peeved bewildered by the way he makes me feel. When he’s not here I’m perfectly content on my own. Then he comes and goes and I have a dull ache in my rib cage for days that is only appeased with copious amounts of sugar cereal. Rumor has it he’ll be making a pass through town again and part of me wants to stay in my room and hide out with a pint of Phish Food ice cream and a ’50s musical until he’s gone again. I probably won’t and I’ll probably end up thinking, ‘Maybe this is my year!’ again, but it probably isn’t and I’m just fine with that.

    Even though I’m a sarcastic, cranky, curmudgeonly, pretentious fool, I’m a realist romantic. Let me explain since those two words together probably don’t sit well with you.

    I don’t want “riding on a white stallion” love.

    I don’t want “Rapunzel! Let down your hair!” love.

    I don’t want “if the shoe fits” love.

    Ladies and Gentlemen, I do not want a fairy tale.

    I want for better or for worse. I want in sickness or in health. I want for richer or for poorer. I want “You are the most interesting person I’ve ever met.” I want “You’re my best friend and I love every minute we spend together.” I want “Even though I’m mad at you, I still love you. I want to work this out.”

   Even though I’m a kid of the ’90s and I grew up on a steady diet of Disney princesses, I don’t want their love stories (well, I kind of want Belle’s. She got a freakin’ library out of the deal). I want a type of love that you don’t see too often in this age of self-gratification. I want love that is patient, kind, doesn’t envy or boast, isn’t self-seeking, isn’t easily angered, keeps no record of wrong, and above all else, doesn’t fail.

    Can you see why I’m in no rush to fall in love? No, no, for now, I’ll keep my feet firmly planted on the ground.

    *Once again names have been changed to keep my friends from realizing that I use their business for my own personal gain.

    *This post was a  little serious so let me lighten the mood for you. The other day I was packing away my bridesmaid dresses (5 total) in my closet. There’s enough crinoline in my collection to keep Project Runway supplied for two seasons, so I had to push the doors a bit to get them to close. I was about mid-way through my fourth push when I thought, ‘Holy crap, I’m 27 Dresses. Lord, help me. Although, if I could get a stylish NYC apartment and a James Marsden look-a-like out of the deal I think I would be ok with that. Bring it on, Lord!’ Yes, dear reader, I am that shallow.

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