Loving

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And really, don’t we all???

But seriously…

I am currently involved with a brilliant man. He’s also a very complicated man.

This makes my relationship with him cook and sizzle on this magnificent emotional stove but sometimes, this relationship infuriates me to the point where I want to exit the kitchen…

Permanently.

Then, I think about what he does, who he is, who we are together, my contributions and his, then I realize that the way we react is part of that unspoken covenant we have with each other; the non-verbal contract we signed when we agreed to try this relationship on for size all those months ago.

We’re happy, but as weird as this sounds, it’s the little fleeting irritants that actually make our relationship what it is. I was asked not long ago to describe the relationship we have. It occurred to me that it’s witty and rife with smart ass come backs and sarcasm. If I have to exemplify us, I’d say what we have closely resembles the feigned adversarial repartee between Dr. Perry Cox and Jordan on “Scrubs”.

Somehow, we make passive/aggressive kind of hot.

This en guard attitude might make some couples uncomfortable, but it seems to fuel us. God knows why, but it gives this relationship the piquancy it needs and in our case, that it MUST have.

We work and to be honest, I don’t understand how or why. It is inexplicable.

All I know is that I am ridiculously happy with this man and with this relationship. I am content and happy and a willing participant. It is on almost every level, completely different from any relationship I’ve ever had. That’s good in that all the previous ones resulted in utter failure–this one gives me much hope–but it’s bad in the sense that nothing that I have ever employed in previous relationships, works in this one. I can get nothing past this man.

With him, I actually have to use my smarts, my cunning and believe it or not, my by God advanced education. I actually have had to apply things I learned in college to in order to level the playing field.

No man has ever made me think as he does.

So, when I think about this relationship and the sheer bliss in a cup it represents, I can’t help but hearken back on all the previous relationships I’ve had. Every last one of them left a body count in their wake…

And usually, the corpse was mine.

But I was lucky. I was resurrected and given the chance to find complete redemption.

But those aren’t the only reasons why I’m here today. Gratitude and hard lessons learned are the real reasons why. I’m grateful for the fact that not a single man I was with, ever took the time to get to know me. Not really, anyway. Had any one of them made the effort, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

But had they tried, they would’ve learned that I only read biographies and loathe romance novels BUT I am an incurable romantic. If any of them ever really knew me, they’d know I want Louie Armstrong’s “Wonderful World” played at my funeral.

Any man who really knew me would know of my kindred spirit with England and Ireland and how I want to connect with nature and a great, great, great, great, great, great grandfather by sitting on a cliff side overlooking a Scottish moor.

He’d know that don’t like candy and that I hate raisins and Lima beans and Indian food.

He would’ve known that I love University of Texas Longhorn football and that as the fanatic I am, I need to ingest more drugs than that which was found in Heath Ledger’s system JUST to watch a game without climbing the walls.

He’d know that I eat a cold orange before I go to bed and think drinking a glass of cold, fresh squeezed orange juice on Sunday morning is manna from Heaven.

A few shots of Vodka is optional.

He’d understand what it means when I sing–that I’m happy and that I love to watch “Jeopardy”….

And win.

He would’ve known that I believe in ghosts and that I’m fascinated by tornadoes; that I’m turned off by arrogance and intellectual bigotry and those who can’t or won’t fend for themselves.

He would’ve known that I love to laugh and for me, laughter releases stress and those oh so vital Laurieland-approved endorphines.

Had he taken the time, he would’ve known how I crave touch and how important it is for me to know that I’m loved.

And how important it is for me to express it.

He’d know that giving makes me incredibly happy.

And every one of the men in my life should have known that betrayal and infidelity kill my soul.

But apparently, that’s the one thing none of them could comprehend.

My “failure to launch” has been all about me, but my life isn’t. There are other components; living, breathing parts that comprise who I am. My family and friends. Therefore, if I’m learning to be a better me; to respect my authentic self and revere my elevated one, then the object lesson that entails must include the people I love.

What do I know about them?

He doesn’t want me to “hover” when he’s sick or mentally or emotionally preoccupied. He adores steak and He reads the damndest books and has a million of them. For Him, it’s imperative that I be self-sufficient in every way–but what I know and what He won’t admit, is that He wants me to be self-sufficient, but never to the point that I don’t need His help, His advice, His wisdom or ultimately, His love.

In spite of his brilliance, he’s still a man. He also needs to be able to trust and know that He’s trusted.

He can and he is.

For Her, I know she loves Cokes, Chico’s clothing and comfy shoes and could spend the rest of her life watching reruns of “I Love Lucy” and “The Andy Griffith Show” (black and white episodes only).

I know She loves diamond jewelry and shopping and she believes a new house will make Her happy. She wants to be treated like a queen. My prayer for Her is that someday soon, She will be.

I know She loves beer and Bloody Marys and experienced too much pain in Her life. Someday, I hope She’ll drink her favorite libations strictly because She enjoys their taste and not as an indulgent means to incapacitate life. She can’t keep it from unfolding around Her, no matter how bad it gets.

She is getting older and will not be told what to do. She refuses advice. She continues to be limited in Her ability to love and can only do so on occasion. She can now only express it incrementally and with currency. This is all she knows; all she’s capable of doing. Part of my loving Her requires that I forgive Her for this.

Are any of the people in my life; these loves of my life, perfect? No, but their imperfections represent this wonderfully powerful amalgamation of strength and hope and support. Collectively, they serve as my touchstone.

They are parts of my whole and to keep these people in the pivotal roles I’ve cast, I have decided that on this Valentine’s Day 2008, the greatest gift I can give them is my attention and focus.

You see, time has been both friend and foe to us all. They’re not who they were 20-years ago…not even who they were a year ago and certainly not who’ll they be in five years.

But I take some comfort in knowing that my evolution as a human, also includes theirs. We’re all changing and the process is continual. So yes, I know them as the the people they are today, but it’s also my job as a friend, a girlfriend, a sister and a daughter to maintain a relationship with the people they will become.

They’re worth this effort and so am I.

Love is worth the effort.

You see, what I now know on this Valentine’s Day that I didn’t know before is that real love– authentic love– is given life and sustained when we make the conscious decision to feed and nurture it with passion. Knowing how to be loved is one thing; know how to love is another. Passion helps make the distinction. Our souls are nourished when our friends, family and partners realize we know how to love them. Well, from this point on, my soul will then get a much needed B-12 shot because I intend to start asking more questions and then, I’ll listen to what’s being said. I want to see who my friends and family really are. And I want to understand how they they feel from all angles; from their perspective. I want to see my world through their eyes.

Fore the first time in my life, I want to create incredibly tender moments that tell these wonderful people I love them by knowing exactly what “I love you” looks like to them.

27 comments

  1. I really didn’t want to start crying this early in the day. You did it to me again.

    Thank you for this beautifully written piece on Valentine’s Day.

    If someone really knew me they would know that before I die I want to see New York City. Stairway to Heaven will be played at my funeral, and how much I truly love my children. How he crushed my spirit at one time, and I am slowly trying to find it again and I will. That the little things in life mean alot to me. I love to have fun and laugh often. I can be trusted. If you are my friend, it is for life. Getting older scares me. I love to read mysteries and every now and then a good romance novel. My favorite food is shrimp.

    They would know when I say I love you that I mean it, it is not just words to me.

    Happy Valentine’s Day, Laurie.

  2. Maybe it’s because I’m sentimental today, but this one tugged at my heartstrings, Kendrick. There was an underlying sadness to this piece. You sound happy, but you don’t have to be Einstein to figure out that hasn’t always been the case. I suppose even funny lady’s like yourself get the blues.

    Good luck with this man, but he’s the lucky one. Life with you must be a trip.

    Happy Valentine’s Day

  3. Happy Valentine’s Day to you too Karol. I hope you have a good day filled with lots of love.

  4. I’m crying as I type. This is beautiful.
    The last paragraphs got me. It’s been about me way too much. Thanks for helping me realize this.

  5. Wow. This was good. I really love your writing. I intend to park my ass at my desk and spend the next few hours toiling over your posts instead of working. If I get canned, it’s your fault. I wonder if the EEOC will accept “Reading Laurie Kendrick” as a valid reason for termination?

    Good stuff just the same.

  6. This part was my favourite:

    “I want to create incredibly tender moments that say “I love you” by knowing exactly what “I love you” looks like to them”.

    This is my new screed.

  7. You sound like one of the newly initiated, Ms. Kendrick. Welcome to mature love. I arrived a few years ago. It’s a wild ride, the kind that makes you want to go again and again.

  8. I came to your blog specifically Laurie Kendrick because I needed to laugh today. I hate Valentine’s Day with a purple fucking passion. Hallmark and Russel Stover are terrorists. If you don’t have a signifcant other every time mid Feb. comes around you’re made to feel less of a human being.

    You make me laugh everyday and on the one day I really needed you to make me laugh, you left this drivel bullshit. I didn’t want to read this crap. But I did and I was prepared to be so angry at you. And the more I read, the more I realized something.

    I’ll get back to about what that is, but I need to tell you that on the one day I thought I needed to laugh was actually the one day I needed to cry. I always come to you for good reason Laurie. I just don’t always know what the reasons are.

    Thanks for this incredible piece. It was beautiful.

  9. now that’s proper writing 🙂 aren’t intelligent women supposed to intimidate men? i like playing dumb so i dig brainy chicks. well, there’s not a lot of ‘pretending’ dumb i guess.Have a good one!

  10. A friend sent me this link this morning. I then sent it to my girlfriend with a note attached that said, “I love you and I’m going to start trying harder”.

    Just thought you should know.

  11. BRAVA! BIG STANDING O LAURIE!!!!!

    CLAPCLAPCLAPCLAPCLAPCLAPCLAPCLAPCLAPCLAPCLAP!!!

    I absolutely loved this post. Girlfriend, you wrote your wonderful ass off today!

    You just put the cherry on an already sweet day, thanks.

  12. Hey Lovely Karol – Happy Valentines to you too! XXXOOO

    We don’t celebrate this stupid commercial holiday either. I will not be told by anybody, much less Jarreds Jewelry, when I’m supposed to feel romantic and loving.

  13. Proof positive that all comedy, and all insight, comes from suffering.

    When you’re an artist about it, you can transform bitter into bittersweet. And that always has more depth than Hershey’s kisses.

  14. Happy Valentine’s Day, LK, PM and the rest of your blog famliy. This story, brought me to tears of joy for you and s hope to me… I know that the right man is out there, just waiting for the day we meet. I sure wish God would hurry up and introduce us! But, LK you are a very lucky lady and God Bless you! So, when is your wedding date? So, I can come dance at your wedding!

  15. i’m only going to say this once so as not to cast a shadow over other believers by my irreverance…here it is…

    i never knew how much God loved me until i had my own kids. it’s when i discovered what love is.

  16. Just jump. What’s the worst that could happen? OK it’s a little messy, we might need a crew to mop up if your static line doesn’t work.

    Oh crap, it appears I’m first in the door. I’ll let ya know what the jump is like.

  17. The more I read your posts, the more I realise how crap mine are. In fact, since I started visiting your blog I haven’t written a thing.
    I’m not worthy.

  18. I’d say what we have closely resembles the feigned adversarial repartee between Dr. Perry Cox and Jordan on “Scrubs”.

    I haven’t read the rest of your post or comments, but I needed to stop right there to say…I LONG for that kind of relationship.

    I love chicks who hold their own and have the ability to put me in my place. Sadly, most of those women are already taken…

  19. This is to all of Laurie’s fans, including PM-

    Karol and I have known for a very long time how talented, bright and giving she is. She deserves the best in life. Things haven’t been so wonderful for her in the past and her time to shine is coming. Her talent will be discovered by the right people Karol and I are praying that this relationship—the one she wants is THE one for her. But if she gives love, she needs to expect love to be returned-who doesn’t? If he can’t, then he isn’t the one.

    And that’s OK. Life is about living and experiencing new experiences.

    We’re so happy for her and yes, we know how much her writing and comedy means to yall—we’ve lived with her for 48 years and had a front row seat!!!!

    We love you, Laurie.

    (sorry this is a couple of days late).

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