The world is your oyster!: L-O-L-O-L-O-L-O-V-E        
 
                 
     
       

These are a few of my favorite things:

summertime
pina-colada flavored italian ice
ribbons
sisters
i.n.s.t.a.n.t...o.a.t.m.e.a.l.
dance parties
pearls
flamingos
America
missionaries
s.u.n.g.l.a.s.s.e.s.
playgrounds
dressing up
love :)
     
       

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My name is Heather.

I am 22 years old.

I am an East Coast girl
who also loves Utah.

I love my life. How could I not?

The world is my oyster :)
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Thursday, July 22, 2010

L-O-L-O-L-O-L-O-V-E

BESTkiss.jpg image by FindStuff2

I love love. I mean, I really love it. I love how it feels, looks, and how it smells. What was once a marked appreciation for a nice feeling suddenly skyrocketed, transforming me into a sappy, quick-to-tears, walking blob of estrogen. Maybe it is because I just recently saw my mom, and she has a tendency to get teary-eyed, too. Maybe I have developed a hormonal imbalance. Whatever. I don't know how this happened, but it did.

A few days ago, I was visiting my grandparents at their new senior community. We had just finished helping them move some things, and we were taking the cart back down to the basement. An elderly man in a wheelchair asked if he could use it before we put it away, and we ended up helping him move a filing cabinet from his room to the storage space downstairs. On the way, he told us that he had been married for 68 years.

"How did you propose to your wife?" my mom asked.

"Oh," he said, smiling, "Now that's a story."

My attention was suddenly riveted on this man and his story.

He told about how his wife had grown up on a farm. Her family had quite a bit of land, and he would help her with her chores on the farm while they were courting. He said, "One day, she was gathering eggs, from the hen house. And I was with her. And I said....I asked her: 'How would you like to have a ring?'"

Wait. Had I missed something? Was this the proposal? Surely there was more coming - fireworks, or a white stallion, or a ring hidden in the hen house somewhere! I continued listening.

"And she said, 'I would like that very much.' And I said, 'Now I want you to think about this, because this...it's going to be forever. So why don't you talk to your mother about it, and then let me know what your answer is.'"

This must be it, I thought. Now she's going to passionately declare that she doesn't need to talk to her mother about it, that she's already made up her mind. She's going to say yes and they're going to kiss and then she's going to crack an egg on his head and it'll start a good-natured chicken egg fight shared by the newly engaged couple. Something like that. I was certain that the story was just around the corner.

"And that was it?" my mom asked. "Just like that?"

"Yep!" said the man, beaming. "She talked to her mother and then we got married three months later. And now, it's been 68 years."

"What a great story!" my mom exclaimed. We talked for a little bit longer and then met up with our own grandparents. I continued to think about that story for the rest of the day.

Sometimes, when I think of love, I immediately think of big extravagant demonstrations. A man getting down on one knee under the New Years Eve fireworks in Times Square in front of news cameras, finally popping the question. Johnny Lingo offering eight cows for the privilege of marrying Mahana, the sad and undervalued island girl. Scavenger hunts leading back to where a couple first met, where they are serenaded by Michael Buble just before the man slips a ring on the girl's finger. I think of Westley overcoming every possible obstacle for Princess Buttercup, of rose petals trailing back to my room on Valentine's Day.

But there's another part of love that I forget about sometimes. And I don't think I'm alone in this oversight.

It's easy to forget about the hours Belle spent in the library, reading with the Beast. More often, we just remember that he gave her a huge, beautiful library. We don't see, on TV, the months or years that the couple in Times Square spent together, going out to lunch, talking, meeting each other's families. When we tell our own stories, we focus on monumental events that obviously move the story forward, and sometimes, the real story gets lost in the cracks.

Falling in love is such a slippery thing to talk about. Holding hands in the dollar theater; suddenly remembering in the middle of class that there is a boy that you like who likes you; watching a movie and listening to his heartbeat and wanting to stay and listen to it forever....these are all things that don't fit well in the story we tell to other people, but they are the things that mean the most to us.

I don't think love was meant to be loud and cacophonous, hitting us over the head or blaring through the hallways of our minds. I think it's best when it comes slowly and naturally. After all, we're just people, and all we have to express ourselves with is our words. And love is just fragile, and often misunderstood. We clumsily struggle to put whatever we are feeling into whatever words we have. We usually fail, and that's when we resort back to good old-fashioned "I love you," only this time, we throw in all the bells and whistles.

I didn't expect to hear such a simple story, about a tentative marriage proposal in a chicken coop, but that was the story I heard. And the man who told it thought that it was the best story in the world, because it was his love story with his wife. His eyes twinkled when he talked about her. He was enamored with her. I felt strangely emotional when I realized this.

That, in turn, made me feel ridiculous.

I hope my hormones balance themselves out quickly, because it's becoming debilitating. I go on facebook and am almost brought to tears as I browse through wedding pictures of people I hardly know. I see a couple holding hands and I get a catch in my throat. I think my condition is only exacerbated by my location; Provo is swarming with couples and would-be couples. I don't really know what I should, or can do about it.

While we were at the nursing home, my grandma showed us one of her old notebooks. She had written all kinds of things in it, from grocery lists, to poems, to journal entries. At one point, she had written a poem for each member of the family for FHE. I copied down the poem she had written for my grandpa. It says:

"Oh Darling, precious husband mine

How good thou art, how sweet and kind

What pleasure, joy, and comfort, too

Daily you bring to me from you.

Our life together has been so gay

You're in my prayers both night and day

That together we may ever be

Throughout all eternity!"

I love my grandparents :) And I love the love they have for each other.

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