Last week I wrote a post on the dangers of comparing my real life to someone else’s internet life (or as Anne Lamott says, “Don’t compare your insides to someone else’s outsides”). Since the post was meant to be an exploration of what happens when we let our insecurities run free, I was really interested in the conversation that followed, and how you guys did or didn’t relate to the situation (maybe I’m the only one who sees gloom and doom whenever her hormones fluctuate?). The comments surprised me in a lot of ways, mostly as they pertained to our perception of what’s real and what’s presentation on the internet (the good is a harder sell, it would appear). But one of my favorite comments came from Tea, who said:
Maybe some of the problem here is that, while media (and you know fairy tales and childhood and the dominant cultural narrative) is shouting BE ROMANTIC at all of us all of the time, there isn’t quite enough sharing about the million individual (and totally worthwhile) ways that romantic can look and feel besides roses filled with chocolates that explode into fireworks and Tiffany’s jewelry and engagements. Then, when we SHOULD be celebrating Manya for figuring this stuff out for herself-we have a collective “Oh shit! That’s what contemporary cool smart lady romance looks like??? I’m not doing that!”
Maybe we need to flood the internets with our own reminders of how to be in love, of the crazy and simple and beautiful and quiet ways that being in love can (but doesn’t have to) look like.
And of course, because y’all are wicked smart, someone chimed in right after and suggested that we should make that our next open thread. So that’s exactly what we’re going to do.
A funny thing has happened since I wrote my post. While Michael and I always strive to appreciate the little things we do for each other, I started working a little harder to recognize what love looks like in my relationship. And it turns out it looks a lot like having a partner who will step up and sacrifice a Saturday to help me at my job (Michael is a crack shot wedding photographer). It looks like a partner who is growing out his hair to donate to something I believe in (and who looks super hunky with long hair). And it looks like someone who is willing to put aside the fact that sometimes I act totally irrationally, who brought me coffee in bed for the first time this weekend, because my body hurts after I shoot weddings and because it was his way of saying, “your feelings matter, even if they are sometimes misplaced.”
So that’s a small snippet of how my household shows love. What about you?
Photo by APW sponsors Leah and Mark & Co.