Not Everybody Has a Love Story

A red heart with the words " not everybody has a love story ".

âš½ It has been said that everybody does not have a love story. That is a pretty harsh, yet profound statement, because everyone should have at least one love story. Some, including me, have two love stories and some have many. Of course, there are many types of love, but the one I am referring to is the romantic type. I encountered my first experience with love when I was 16 years old. She was a classmate of mine, and her name is Joyce Weaver. Our romance lasted for three months and she was all I thought about for days on end. Turns out, what I thought was love, was called, “puppy loveâ€. Later on, the term evolved into “a crushâ€. So, those two situations do not qualify as being in love since they are of a temporary, short term, nature. Being married twice has left me with many fond memories. My first wife and I split after 32 years of marriage and the time immediately after that was not happy for me. I knew that I did not want to spend the rest of my life alone, that I needed someone to share it with. Fortunately, a year after the split, I met my current wife and immediately my life got better. I was 52 at the time and felt as if a new chapter in my “Book of Life†had started. I wanted to make it meaningful, thoughtful, and exciting. The twenty prior years were filled with stress, little fun, and no way out. Now, all that was behind me and I was going to make life interesting. My current wife and I have been together for 28 years and during that time I do not have one single regret. We never go to bed mad at each other with kisses and “I love You’†exchanged on a daily basis. It never gets old. I have never been happier since her love became a way of life. “I love you” are the last three words we say to each other before going to sleep. I plan on it being the last words to her on my last day on this wonderful planet. Everyone should have a love story! Oscar Wilde said, “When you really want love you will find it waiting for youâ€. I believe a need for love, without the action required to find it, is just a wish.

âš½ Almost everything we know comes to us either through our eyes or ears. I think that is probably true for 75% of our knowledge, but the other 25% comes from, in my humble opinion, intuition, in which the heart plays a major role. Intuition could reasonably be influenced by knowledge, but I suspect what we do in response to what our heart tells us is not. For example, I believe love has no basis in knowledge. We suspect we fall in love with someone because of their beauty or personality, but it is much deeper than those two qualities. Although my wife has both of those qualities, the reason I love her has more to do with other aspects of her being. After my failed first marriage, I gave a lot of thought about what I was looking for in a mate. I was unable to determine what I was looking for, but I was able to decide what I did not want in the person with whom I wanted a romantic relationship. After about 4 months of living a solitary life, I started dating and I looked for those traits.  It was instrumental in helping me decide which relationships to pursue. I would like to say that I consciously made the decision to fall in love with my wife, but that would be untrue. My heart made that decision without consulting me, and my brain had absolutely nothing to do with it. As it turns out, my heart made the right decision and my brain felt abandoned. I tend to believe we place too much confidence in our ability to decide things based on our knowledge and a lot of times we try to be too practical. If we try to rationalize everything and ignore our heart, we will surely, over time, harden it so that it becomes unable to help us pursue happiness. When that happens, we tend to lose that vital part of our being call empathy and we all know that comes from the heart, not the brain. There are many times in my life when my heart told me what to do. It’s the heart talking anytime you say, “It just feels like the right thing to doâ€.  I am confident that any act of charity comes from the heart and that any act of cruelty is calculated and, therefore, generated by the brain.

Randolph Bourne said, “The logic of the heart is usually better than the logic of the head, and the consistency of sympathy is superior, as a rule for life, to the consistency of the intellect.† See, it didn’t take me long to find someone that agreed 😊.

âš½ It has been 2 months since I’ve had a haircut due to COVID-19, and I was beginning to look a shaggy dog.  I picked up the phone and called my barber, Renee’, and asked her when her shop would reopen.  She replied that it was still closed, but she would come to our home and make me handsome again.  She said it would be ok if I invited friends over that needed her services.  We set the time of her arrival (2 hours) and, after hanging up, I started calling some of my male friends. Only one accepted my invitation (Don) and he arrived within an hour.  I setup a place in our garage for her to do her work and Don and I sat and chatted while the rain tried to erase all footprints in our area from the face of the earth.  In a short while Renee’ and her friend (Karen) pulled into our driveway, jumped out into the rain and dashed for the garage.  I had set up two lawn chairs and a stool, so everyone had a seat that needed one.  I sat on the stool as she calmly placed her tools in a neat row on my workbench and commenced her work.  I gazed in amazement as gray hair fell in all directions. Was my hair really that long and that gray?  After finishing, she trimmed my eyebrows and cut the hair in my ears.  As you age it seems like hair grows in places you wouldn’t expect it to.  I paid her, including a healthy tip, got out of the chair and Don sat down in my place and she began her work anew. 

A barber is sorta like a bartender, and their customers chat with them as they perform their magic.  Turns out her husband died a mere 4 days earlier at the age of 51 and as she spoke of him, there was so much sadness in her voice.  She quickly turned our conversation away from that and we attempted to help her push aside her grief.  In about an hour she was finished, Don & I were satisfied with the results, and as she repacked her tools, I commented that she sure brought a lot of them with her.  She replied, “Since you couldn’t come to the barbershop, I brought the barbershop to you.† She smiled, tapped me on the shoulder, and she and Karen, her security for house calls, bravely hurled themselves into the downpour of rain and dashed for the car.  Don & I were glad that our wives would no longer complain about our hair being too long and equally glad that we could help someone during this terrible time of job loss due to COVID.  I concluded that getting a haircut every month has become a habit and not a rule, and as Dr. Frank Crane said, “Habits are safer than rules; you don’t have to watch them.  And you don’t have to keep them either, they keep you.† That is probably truer than I want to believe.