On a recent morning I hit on a great truth about love. Romantic relationships call into play the two most powerful and overwhelming forces known to human kind. Hope and hormones.
I realized this during a phone conversation with my friend Rob. It went something like this.
Rob: The most amazing thing has happened. Incredible. Stupendous. You won’t believe it.
Me: So, those new strawberry-esque doughnuts at Tim Hortons. The best thing ever? Or a wicked plot by Weight Watchers?
Rob: What about my news?
Me: You’ve met a woman. She’s perfect. You’re madly in love. You never knew you could feel this way.
Rob: Well … yeah. Except for the part about … well … yeah.
Me: Honey, I worry about your heart.
Rob: You’re the one eating doughnuts.
Me: Falling in love makes you irrational.
Rob: Irrational? Not ever. Totally not. Me irrational? What? Huh?
Me: What about that woman with “Elvis Lives” tattooed on her forehead?
Rob: She was very … optimistic.
Me: And the one who thought pigeons speak to her?
Rob: She’ll never feel alone. But this one is different. We’ve had three whole dates and I haven’t once felt like suggesting she’d benefit from lengthy psychotherapy.
Me: What about how you behave? The short list of things you’ve done for love includes: Bought a ferret, grown your hair, cut your hair, studied “clowning,” sworn you love Barry Manilow, sworn you hate Barry Manilow, sworn you love camping — which, if you remember, led to you actually having to go camping, grown your hair again, and worn spandex.
Rob: I liked the spandex. Once I got that chafing under control. Anyway, what about listening to my heart?
Me: I’m afraid you can’t hear it over your hormones. Sweetie, why do you want to try this again?
Rob: Because maybe this will be the woman that’ll make inane love songs seem like deep, meaningful insight. Maybe she’ll be the person who will know me; the good, the bad, the bordering on repellent and still love me like springtime. And maybe I’ll do the same for her. What’s it worth risking for that?
Me: Truthfully? … Everything you’ve got. Just look after yourself, OK?
Rob: What’s the worst that can happen?
Me: Remember Raw Food Girl?
Rob: I have to run. We’ve signed up to take Norwegian country dancing.
Me: Good for you, sweetie. I’m right behind you.
The things we do for love.