“If you look for it, I’ve got a sneaky feeling you’ll find that love is actually all around.” ~ Hugh Grant, Love Actually
So listen, I’m a 30 something single lady. Like every other person my age, I have a heart that has been bruised a time or two.
I carry with me some sad tales of heartbreak. With all that comes a dash of cynicism toward that thing called love. And, frankly, sometimes I feel a little down on love. Okay, a lot down on love.
If I listened correctly when I was younger, Prince Charming should have shown up in my life by now. In fact, by last Tuesday. But who is counting?
We’re all so familiar with those fairy tales. We tell our children about Cinderella and Snow White, the princes who saved them, and the happily-ever-after that followed. And as girls, and even young women, we silently hope for our very own fairy tale.
But who actually lives in a fairy tale? I sure as hell don’t.
So I wonder why we bother hoping for something so inauthentic. Why not, instead, dare to desire the real?
Lately, since I stopped looking for all that fuzzy fake nonsense, I have started to see that the love stories that are firmly grounded in reality are probably the most beautiful.
Here are a few I’ve noticed lately:
- The young man who tells riddles to his girlfriend, all the while planning a most romantic engagement. There will be songs and words of love written in snow. And on that amazing day, they will be surrounded by their tribe of friends. She hasn’t a clue.
- The couple, married 30 years, doing a modified Lindy-Hop routine in a shadowy hallway when they think no one is looking. Even better, stopping to sneak a kiss in the barely lit corner.
- The toddlers going from hurling sand at each other to holding hands while swinging on a neighborhood playground.
- The silly, magical, sweet, rhyming poem written to cheer up a friend having a bad day.
- The stranger who, without so much as a word, handed a tissue to another commuter who was silently crying on the train. And finished by tapping her shoulder lightly and smiling a brief, hesitant, but warm smile.
- The older couple sitting in a botanical garden on a bench. The man snoozing blissfully with his head propped on his gorgeous lady’s thigh while she reads a book.
When we look, we’ll see the love. And we’ll be reminded that this world buzzes along fueled only by the love we all share openly, tenderly, freely, and authentically every single day.
Hugh Grant was right. Love actually is all around us.
Author: Jessica Chardoulias
Editor: Travis May
Photo: Author’s Own