There’s a scene in Little Women, the movie, of course I’ve never read the book. But this scene comes into my mind often when I think of love. Christian Bales character, the name escapes me now, was proposing marriage to Jo, Winona Riders character. They’d known each other for years and were, what seemed to be, in love. She however, told him that she couldn’t go off and be anybody’s wife. But still, she loved him. He said it didn’t matter. If she really loved him, the way true lovers do, she’d have been a wife for him.
And all this told a thirteen year old me was that people would step out of character for love. Wasn’t it said of Love that it could move mountains? So why could it not move Kyle to show me the sort of passion I long for? As in, standing in the rain calling out my name if I drive off after an argument. Or standing outside my classroom window like a 1980’s teen movie heart-throb with a boom box playing some extra cheesy love song? I thought it was simple: I wasn’t the one who coud get him to move mountains. That, it seemed, was a destiny for another woman entirely.
And so yes, I admit, I went to lengths to get him to make some sort of grand gesture that was not in his character.
(Hey, I’m an only child here, sue me for being spoiled)
WHAT I DIDN’T CONSIDER, not in the least, was that he didn’t get so dramatic because to him, this is it. In his mind, we’re no suffering pair that needs to move mountains to be together. We move mountains because we are together. His idea of love isn’t by any means similar to mine. It isn’t Romeo and Juliet, it isn’t tragic. It is, in fact, a family comedy; simple, sturdy, rooted. We are no Paris and Helen, he doesn’t take me to be his love ensuing a war. Mine is not a face to launch a thousand ships. Instead, we are Claire and Cliff Huxtable, lip synching in our living room, slow dancing in our bedroom and regardless of the day’s trials and tribulations, we are together, happy, and whole at the end of the day.
I kinda like that idea of love too.
Besides. I’m fairly certain Helen couldn’t hold a candle to Mrs. Huxtable.