The Truth About Falling In Love
Elbow pasta, spinach, sun dried tomatoes, spicy salami, olive oil and just a dash of garlic. It's the same pasta recipe I've been making for almost two years. We eat it at least once a week. It costs anywhere between $18.75 and $20.84 at our local grocery store (depending on our current stock of ingredients) and yields exactly two leftover lunches—one for me, one for Matthew.
It isn't fancy, but it's dependable.
Growing up, I was queen of the rom-coms. I'd spend hours in front of the television watching leading ladies like Kate Winslet and Julie Roberts get swept off of their feet by unexpected but charmingly suitors. These romances were filled with obstacles, dramatic arguments and passionate love scenes. In short, the parties involved were either ecstatic or miserably unhappy.
It was a roller coaster I couldn't wait to ride. I wanted true love, which despite the heart ache and emotional instability, would "all be worth it" for that magical end scene riding off into the sunset our problems far behind us.
I've had loves like that. Or at least relationships I perhaps mis-identified as love. They were massive roller coasters defined as much by the extreme highs as the bottomless lows. But the deep love I have now, the dependable peaceful love I'm so fortunate to have found is, well, pretty boring...at least in literary terms.
Most of our evenings are spent recapping our days, sitting down to dinner at 6 and reading side by side into the evening. We take walks on weekends, switching the route occasionally. And every once in a while we try a new restaurant, often before 6PM to avoid big crowds. I wear the same black dress, he wears the same button down with blue jeans.
Dependable. Just like elbow pasta.
And, sure, occasionally we ride the roller coaster. We have heated arguments, take adventurous vacations and treat ourselves to luxurious meals. But then, per usual, we hop off of the ride and fall gracefully back into our routine.
I used to believe that true love could only be validated by the range of emotions I felt on a daily basis—the bumps, the curves, the loops. Now I'm finding that, while entertaining, those loves aren't sustainable. They rob us of sleep, stability and, among other things, the security to contribute to the world beyond that love story. They make for memorable life experiences but they don't nurture our souls. They are as fleeting as they are enticing.
My love these days is comfort. It's pumpkin pie in Fall, Mom's white bean chili on a cold day, it's elbow pasta on Monday for the 10th week in a row. It's nothing I'd imagined it'd be and so much better all at the same time. It's me folding laundry, him reading the first draft of my book. It's setting alarms for the morning wake up call and overnight oats in the fridge.