Last week, The Boy and I returned to our old haunt, Eddie Rockets (fifties-style diner), where we used to spend most of our time before we lived together .
They were the gooey romantic days of our youth.
We’d spend hours talking and hand-holding over two pots of tea and a bowl of fries.
We’d gaze into each others eyes the whole time, of course and would be so desperate to be as close as possible to each other that one of us would have to move onto the same side of the table as the other so we could hug and kiss and gaze some more.
We had to make the most of those few hours a couple of times a week.
Dating for four years and living together for a year and a half changes things a little.
Ah yeah, we’re still in love and happy and blah blah blah, but at some stage, the hormones stop holding your brain cells prisoner and you realise you’re actually still two people and not one ‘couple’.
You realise you still have Life to attend to.
You also start to become aware of the other person’s faults and annoying habits and the gooey staring gets interrupted by bickering.
I guess you could say, you become a normal person again.
Only you’re a normal person in love.
So in Eddies that night, we sat there eating away in a comfortable silence.
As I people-watched, I spotted a couple walk in.
They sat facing each other, never tearing their eyes away from the other half”s face.
“Newbies,” I thought to myself.
They held hands while they read their individual menus and then sat fawning all over each other.
“The Boy, come sit beside me,” I said, when our teas and his brownie arrived.
We squished together on the seat.
“Look at those two over there,” I said. “So young and in love. Probably together for about three months. It’s sickening. Is that what we were like?”
He laughed. “Probably.”
The Other Couple’s food arrived.
“Oh God…they’re sharing a plate of chicken tenders,” I said. I turned to The Boy, grasped his hand and gazed into his eyes: “I would never make you share your food with me!”
“I know you wouldn’t,” he said gratefully.
I watched them some more as I drank my tea.
“That is what we used to be like,” I said. “We’d spend hours in here all over each other, with nothing but chocolate malts and fries to keep us occupied. And now we’re ‘comfortable silence’ people. We know too much about each other, we’ve no stories left to tell,” I wailed
“Well that’s cos we’re old boring people now and you won’t let me tell you stories about my job,” he reasoned.
“All your stories about work are the same though! And I don’t bore you with stories about my job,” I said smiling sweetly.
They held hands again as soon as they finished their chicken.
“Urgh, they’re so trying to be the better couple,” I said. “Here, let me grope you…that’ll show them!”
The Boy just laughed.
The waitress brought The Other Couple more food.
“You know, I think that guy might be gay,” I said after a few minutes.
“And the girl hasn’t smiled once during the time she’s been here,” said The Boy.
That made me feel a little better, but I still felt a pang for the crazy hormonal “can’t take my eyes/hands/mind off you” days.
What if we fall out of love because we don’t have lust racing through our veins!!?
When we got up to the till to pay, The Boy told me to put my money away.
“You had a terrible day today,” he said. “I wanted to give you a little treat to make you feel better. This way you don’t have to cook and you don’t have to worry because you didn’t budget for this.”
That probably wouldn’t have occurred to the younger blinded-by-love version of The Boy.
I linked him as we walked back to our apartment.
A couple of years ago, I would’ve had to say goodbye to him at a freezing street corner at this point.
Now we were returning to our home
You can’t measure love in how physically wrapped around the other person you need to be to feel happy.
Yes it’s nice in the beginning, but you can’t go on that way forever: that’s just madness.
The real test is how well you do after that part fades away.
And so what if our brains can now function properly when we’re together!
We’re surviving through the good, the bad and the very bad times and we’re still together and still working for our future.
And at the end of the day, isn’t that a million times better than blinding and fickle lust?