While I was in the first year of my university course in Lancaster I wrote a soppy letter to my girlfriend back in Salford that contained a lot of quotes from a Whitesnake song which I think was titled “Is This Love?” that was playing on cassette on my massive HiFi system. This would have been 1987 and that same letter then carried on and got a bit rude about my intentions with this girlfriend when next we met. Her letter in reply a few days later, yes kids that’s how un-instant messaging worked back then, let me know that her Mum had read the letter over her shoulder and that perhaps I might want to tone it down a bit in future. Whoops!
That story wouldn’t really mean anything if that particular girlfriend hadn’t stuck around and had instead given me the boot on the back of her Mum’s reaction. In the years since we have shared so many good times and a few really tough times and I know the answer to the Whitesnake song title question is a definitive yes.
But “What is Love Anyway” in the words of Howard Jones to stick with the 1980’s song reference questions? The scientific and Sapiens reading part of me is pretty sure that it is just an evolved social behaviour bringing advantages in the rearing of human children but I am not really qualified to write much more on that. To me the L word beyond the initial flush of romance simply means never to find yourself questioning an alternative existence. As a couple we laugh, cry, travel, complain, work, rest, etc, etc every day, every week, every month and there is never an “I” factor involved. Don’t get me wrong, we do stuff separately and enjoy different things and I am not talking about a matching anoraks kind of partnership here but giving each other that space is always in the context of We.
A crap example to make my point. I’ve travelled all over the world for work and play and much of that time was alone. There was never a moment of such travel that I wasn’t wishing the experience was being shared as a We. In fact there is a long list of places still needing a return trip as a couple!
In the tough times when we both lost a parent, in hindsight quite early in our relationship, sometimes it was good to cry together and sometimes one of us could pretend to be coping to give the other space to fall apart. We shared the pain and came out so much stronger.
So many good times inevitably revolve around the two wonderful kids we share and the teamwork, arguing and graft needed from us both to create a space for them to find themselves and prosper. We did that.
So in summary “I love the little girl and I’ll love her ’til the day she dies” (you should be able to guess this is an ’80s song lyric but I will leave you to research where it comes from). Happy 25th Wedding Anniversary dear Jackki, I might be facing the adventures ahead of becoming a Granddad but that is just fine while I am married to Grandma
“‘Cause we’re lovers, and that is a fact, Yes we’re lovers, and that is that”