Monday, July 16, 2012

Do i love everything about them?

I was at the park with my Mommy friend, nursing the baby under the shade of a tree and watching the big kids dig their arms up to their elbows in mud. It was as pastoral a scene as you get in NYC. Everyone was, for a brief moment, perfectly happy.

My Mommy friend said, "Don't you just love everything about them?"

"What do you mean?" I asked her.

"Like, the way their shoulders slope when they walk and their hair falls in their eyes and stuff like that."

"Ummm, no." I said, "I mean, I love their idiosyncrasies. I love many little things about them no one else would ever notice and I love parts of them they are not responsible for and parts they are and I love them more than I ever thought it possible to love anything - a human, an idea, life itself. I love them so much it honestly hurts. But I can say with complete assurance that I don't love everything about them."

My friend laughed. But she didn't agree or anything. Which made me feel guilty.

Then I thought about this in relation to marriage. I definitely don't love everything about David. Far from it. Like, I'd say the things-I-love-about-him versus things-I-can't-stand-about-him balance is 70/30. Maybe 60/40. If that. Like, when I hear songs and shit talking about 'I love you just the way you are, don't change a thing' -- I can't relate. If a genie came around and said, "I'm changing stuff about people you love. Got any requests?" I'd unfurl a list a mile long. Mostly little items but one or two big things. I'm glad that won't happen because I know full well that my "improvements" would screw David up and he wouldn't be who he is anymore but STILL, I'd want to. It doesn't mean I don't love the entire David package, because I do, as a whole. It doesn't detract from the intensity of my love and devotion to him. Same with the kids. Same with myself. For crying out loud, I'd probably change 95 percent of my own composition. Head to toe makeover, inside and out. You wouldn't even recognize me.

For me the song would go, "I love you just the way you are . . . with a few minor alterations. So sue me."