He knew the moment he met her that he would marry her. She was younger than him and didn't even know he existed. But he loved her from the beginning. One day he brought her a dozen yellow roses, anxious to hand them to her. She looked at them for a second, said thank you, threw the roses on a nearby picnic table and ran off to play with her friends.
My mother's Uncle Jimmy often recalls this story of his love for his late wife. Although she ignored him at the start they eventually fell in love and lived a long and happy life together. I love this story, like many, of simple attraction and the essence of true love revealed.
As of late, I question this kind of love. I believe in it. I think romantic cliches are still attainable, but falling in love seems more like a science these days rather than a puzzle piece to human nature.
My roommate's parents took her and I out to dinner last night and most of the conversation was on the idea of meeting nice guys, where do you find them? How do you find someone that you are compatible with? Is it necessary to "train" a person in a relationship?
Our society has taken the idea of falling in love and have turned it into something more difficult than that calculus class I failed in high school. There are books on how to make anyone fall in love with you, television shows on how to be the girl that any guy dreams of dating, websites to help you meet the love of your life. There is compatibility, which makes it sound like a test. There is chemistry, which I am told cannot last forever. There is connections, which apparently is the good stuff. There are rules, regulations, do's, don'ts, top ten lists and guidelines. Falling in love seems less recognizable as a beautiful happening in life and more like an obstacle course that just keeps getting harder to complete.
Well I still believe in simple love. I am still holding out for fate. I will continue to watch Serendipity and smile, saying "one day something like this will come my way." Maybe we won't bump into each other in a coffee shop in Manhattan or squabble over a pair of gloves in Macy's but I think that my perfect sequence of events is waiting to unravel. Who knows, perhaps they already have.
Falling in love is not meant to be so complicated and cluttered by our emotions and our sciences. Take away the "in love" part and you are left with just "falling." And do we ever really intend to fall in the first place? Falling is something that we don't really ever see coming, so lets reattach the "in love" but keep it simple just the same. Don't think, just fall. Don't evaluate, read up on the latest data, make a pro and con list, scrutinize, judge, ask for third and fourth opinions. Just Fall.
I continue to hold onto good love stories, like that of my Uncle Jimmy. And whenever falling in love seems impossible or is chalked up to something that I feel I may fail at, I look back on them. I believe that falling in love is as simple as a dozen yellow roses. A smile from across the room. A brief encounter that changes the way you look at life forever. Maybe, just maybe, it is meant to stay as simple as that.