“Yours, Mine and Ours” is high on my list of favorite movies—the 1968 version, not that nonsense from 2005.
Starring Henry Fonda and Lucille Ball, the movie loosely follows the real life love story between Frank Beardsley, a widowed father of 10, and Helen North, a widowed mother of eight, who meet, fall in love, marry, and attempt to tackle life with 18 children.
I remember watching it years ago, and while it’s incredibly funny (hello, Lucille Ball!), what struck me most, even when I was younger, was the honest, not-always-pretty portrayal of what life is like when you’re falling in love and combining two lives.
There’s one scene, toward the end of the movie, that includes one of my favorite quotes about love and relationships.
Frank, while trying to rush a very-pregnant-with-child-#19 Helen to the hospital, takes a few minutes to explain what love really is to his teenage stepdaughter.
And it’s the kind of no-nonsense, welcome-to-reality sentiment that I hope to one day build my relationship around:
“It’s giving life that counts. Until you’re ready for it, all the rest is just a big fraud. All the crazy haircuts in the world won’t keep it turning. Life isn’t a love in, it’s the dishes and the orthodontist and the shoe repairman and… ground round instead of roast beef. And I’ll tell you something else: it isn’t going to a bed with a man that proves you’re in love with him; it’s getting up in the morning and facing the drab, miserable, wonderful everyday world with him that counts.”
Sex is great. And romance is nice. But this is the kind of love I want.
Someone who I can do (and want to do) everyday life with. The boring, overwhelming, less-than-sexy stuff. The fussing-about-money, who’s-doing-the-dishes, I’m-tired-let’s-watch-a-movie stuff.
Someone I can create life with—whether that means having kids, starting a business, following a creative passion, or even just breathing life into each other with kind words, motivation, and emotional maturity.
Relationships are hard, and they take more work than most of us realize. But being able to just “be” with someone, to sit and be okay with both the silence and the chaos and everything in between, and still want to do it all the next day, and the day after that—that’s what I’m looking for.
That’s what love is, I think.
Check out Henry Fonda’s speech in action: