Real romantic love is pork bacon. In other words, the real deal. I, however, have found myself settling for turkey bacon (lust and infatuation masquerading as real romantic love).
On this man-made holiday for lovers, I’m pledging that I will no longer sully my taste-buds with these poor substitutes. Only pork bacon for me from now on. Wait, no…I’m still talking love here. Yes, yes I am. Okay.
Seriously, what I’m trying to say is that I may laugh and joke about emotions and feelings. It’s because I’m still wildly afraid of them, but I know what they are. And I know what real romantic love is, at least for me. It’s when I’m with someone and I’m encouraged to be / supported as I do, the things that will make me the best ME. Not a different me – you know when the person you’re with is constantly trying to “upgrade” you. As if you as you are isn’t quite right or enough. You see, that’s turkey bacon right there, trying to be something it isn’t.
I’ve had the real thing. He didn’t always understand or even agree with me, nor I him, but our differences seemed to compliment each other. Even when we got angry with each other, there was love and connection. We could laugh at each other’s mistakes, then talk seriously about the lessons learned and how to apply them in the future. I felt joy when I saw him happy, even when I wasn’t the reason. He would light up with pride when he saw me, and I’d get goofy when ever he was around. We’d reach for each other’s hands at the same time; break out and dance or sing to the same songs; he’d send me cards or occasionally flowers just because. He didn’t mind me in my jeans and sneakers, thought I was beautiful even as my hair started to fall out. He was strength in my life, giving me the chance to rest and vice-versa. He knew I could be strong for the both of us when need be and he didn’t try to tear that strength down or make me feel ashamed of my fierce independence. For the time we were together, I believed in happily ever after. It’s that same feeling you get when you bite into that first, perfectly cooked piece of pork bacon. Y’all know what I’m talking about.
Being serious again. The best thing about having real romantic love was, he chose to be with me. Despite the availability of women, the distance that separated us, for a while there, he consciously, every day, CHOSE me.
I’m sad that things didn’t work out. In the end, we couldn’t over come our particular fear (love does not conquer all). But because it was real romantic love, and not that weird tasting turkey version, my memories aren’t painful and I can savor them again and again; thankful for having had the real thing at all.
Some folks grow up with nothing but turkey bacon. I think that’s kind of sad.