For a comedic effect, download "What is Love" by Haddaway from iTunes and play at maximum volume throughout the duration of this post. Or if you're looking for something a little bit more sentimental and romantic, why not try "Somewhere Out There" by Our Lady Peace. That tune can help erase images of Will Ferrell and Chris Kattan bobbing their heads in sync at the Roxbury.
I think that the topic for today's post is the pinnacle of the subject of dating. The thing that we're all searching for on a continued, frustrating process. The thing that even myself as I write this post about it, have a difficult time believing if it actually exists. I am talking about the four-letter verb that's not a curse word. Well, maybe sometimes it even is. I'm talking about the L-word also known as Love.
Cue lispy voiceover by the priest in The Princess Bride.
The Impressive Clergyman: "And wuv, twu wuv, will fowow you foweva..."
The L-word, the big scha-bang. That little dangly thing that you're supposed to drop when you think that you're going to spend the rest of your life with another person. Cut to the scene from The Sandlot.
Michael "Squints" Palledorous: "Forever. For-Ev-Er. For-Ev-Er!"
So I've heard that this is kind of a big deal. This L-word supposedly makes a major difference as to how couples treat each other, how they spend their lives together, heck, it's the Ron Burgundy of interpersonal relationships. In the 26 years that I have spent on this earth, I have never told a girl that I L-word her. Not once. I've come close, but then again, no cigar. And believe me, I want to know what it's like. I've asked almost everyone that I know what the L-word is, and responses make no sense. I remember a conversation that I had with VRM Mt. Pleasant Baker one afternoon while we labored on the streets of Virginia Beach.
Swamp Thing: "So dude, what is L-word?"
VRM Mt. Pleasant Baker: "L-word is... It's when... you have a feeling in your chest that's like fluttery rainbows and like your spirits are getting lifted up."
Swamp Thing: "Honestly, that is one of the dumbest things that I have ever heard in my entire life, but ok...?"
VRM Mt. Pleasant Baker: "No, no, no, scratch that. L-word is like when you want to be with someone all the time. Like you always want them around you. Like, when they leave, you miss them, and when they show up, you get so excited!"
Swamp Thing: "Well, I guess I could say I've had those feelings for a good Porterhouse steak, but I wouldn't say that I've been in L-word with a dinner from Outback."
We then proceeded to discuss the in's and out's of the L-word for the next 3 1/2 hours. He told me stories, and gave me analogies and tried to explain the concept of what L-word was, but every time he thought he had given me a good description of it, I still shook my head in disbelief about what this mysterious word was. After 210 consecutive minutes of bafflement and perplexity he threw in the towel.
VRM Mt. Pleasant Baker: "See the thing is, you just gotta experience it yourself and then you'll know."
It's been over six years since we had that talk, and I still haven't figured out what he was trying to explain to me. I've tried, I really have tried to figure this conundrum out. For a few moments I thought I felt it, but then again it wasn't the actual thing. And so here it is at the end of my second W.O.D. and I'm staring out the window at the Wasatch Front wondering where my life is headed, right back at square one trying to understand what this exciting, heart-stopping feeling is like.
As the night goes on, I see my Grandma walk into the hospital room and stand next to my ailing Grandpa lying in his bed. A place that he's been for the last three weeks since doctors decided to go in and give him a quintuple bypass. She walks up to his bed and softly embraces his hand. A hand thats rigged with I.V.'s and heart monitors. His eyes open up just a sliver and he looks up at his high school sweetheart. A girl he's been with for 53 years plus. A girl who he let wear his letterman jacket. A girl who he went to war for, and traveled the world with. She leans down and presses her lips against his forehead squeezing his hand just enough to let him know that she will be here for him through thick and thin, and boy have the two of them been through it all.
It's just me in the room quietly looking over at the two of them as they share a tender moment with each other. And then it hits me like a roundhouse kick to the emotions.
This is it. This is true L-word.
Location: McKay-Dee Hospital