What Love Feels Like

Another year and another round of holiday cards. Not as many as years past – maybe this previous post resonated – or maybe people somehow misplaced my address (definitely plausible after 7 years of living in the same house). The truth is, I actually kind of love those holiday cards. Because it's a reminder that my closest friends have found that elusive thing that continues to elude me. Love.

I always keep my holiday cards on the fridge. (So after I get over being disappointed in my food options, I can add a heap of emotional emptiness as well.)

What truly gets me about those cards when I stand there, bored, pounding some whiskey while I pre-party (by myself in the kitchen before bed), is imagining the amount of love needed to get down on one knee and ask someone to spend the rest of their life with you. What is that like!?!? That once-in-a-lifetime (for some) feeling that culminates one aspect of your life and begins the most important. When not gelling my hair, I spend a considerable amount of time thinking about this. Would it ever happen to me!?!?

For someone who is known for giving in to whims and primal urges with little coercion, this is something that I have never done or been able to fathom. In fact, it's probably even more shocking if you've ever partied with me and witnessed some of the bad decisions I make when intoxicated. Surely, there must have been a proposal in there somewhere! (Although, I don't count proposals made to sweet old Mexican ladies when ordering late night food at burrito joints. I probably do that every weekend, but those were not on bended knee. Or under a lucid mind.)

I'm not saying that I've never loved any of my ex-girlfriends – there's different levels of love – what I'm saying is that I've never felt the kind of transcendent love that epitomizes our society-influenced idea of what love should be. In a much easier way to grasp, the kind of love that would make you choose to float in freezing water... all the way to death(!), while your love interest gets to lay on a bed headboard, just out of the icy water's reach. (You couldn't have taken turns?!?! Or maybe try to share for a bit?!?! Leo taught you how to SPIT LIKE A MAN, for pete's sake!!!)

That's the love I want to feel. One where I freeze to death for someone.

At 35, few friends of mine have yet to cross that threshold of love, marriage, and children. Every year my ranks get just a little bit thinner and a whole heck of a lot lonelier. Even the old high school friends I made in 7-Eleven parking lots have grown up and started to take the plunge! Countless nights I've wondered if my standards were just too high or that I might suffer from some compulsive disorder where I'll never be satisfied. The reasons I've used for ending relationships are just too abundant and shallow – and rather embarrassing – to list.

That's not to say I haven't enjoyed my single lifestyle, but I still remember that God-awful moment when I knew how empty my life could be.

But... I'm glad I waited and fought through parental pressure and my moments of doubt. I envisioned meeting that someone. I envisioned what that might feel like. And it's a standard that I haven't compromised. I'm not saying I know what love feels like. I don't. But I have a glimpse of what it can be. And it's wonderful. Wonderful and scary. It's a vulnerability that can destroy your foundation. A carefully constructed foundation built on a whimsical lifestyle, and made to sustain – even in disappointment.

I don't always know exactly who I am – and building upon that is one of the great joys in life – but deep down I think I've always known exactly who I've wanted. Someone strong and brilliant. My version of Erica Barry.

I wish you all the best in 2014. But what I wish the most is that you find the highest level of love. And for those who have, never take it for granted. It's escaped me for many years. And I hope this is the year I can make plans to join my friends on fridges and fireplace mantels everywhere – giving a big, fat finger to all those lonely, single schmucks around the world. Thank you for your holiday cards.

Kevin L.

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