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The Blog

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I reached over at 4:45 this morning, turned my alarm off and Pandora on. My mornings are sacred to me and typically start with worship music but this morning it was Marley. Is This Love? was the first song that came on as I snuggled back into that comforting place between sleep and wake.

My eyes still closed, I smiled and pictured our first dance. This is my wedding song. For as long as I can remember I’ve said Is This Love? will be the first song I dance to with my husband. Not Etta. Not Luther. Just Bob.

I love it because there is such a simple purity to the lyrics…

I wanna love you and treat you right. I wanna love you. Every day and every night.

Let’s face it, Is This Love? is a damn good question. Even when we know in our heart of hearts, we never really know. Or do we? Is the person before us the romantic, passionate, everlasting love we dream about? Is this love?

And if we do know that it’s love, how? When does that moment of clarity appear? Does that clichéd instant everyone talks about when you just know really exist?

This reflective moment in the morning got me thinking. This is the question I’m asking deep down during every twist and turn of The Love Jump.

It’s not an anxious, naive, panting like a puppy dog “OMG is this love? Is this it? Is he the one? Could this be that moment that I’ve been dreaming about? ” No, it’s not that.

It’s a clear, aware, confident and thoughtful thing. “Is this love? Krystal, really? Is this the love you are waiting for?”

This important question came up several times during a recent visit with an old friend. We met two years ago while he was in town for a night out in Reno. Overtime we became quite close, talking (and video chatting) until the sun peaked in our windows. It was a summer love filled with flower deliveries and late nights. I hadn’t seen him in months although we kept in touch here and there.

This was somewhat of an impromptu visit with no expectation. I just wanted to see Patch. That’s what I call him because of the unique patch of salt sprinkled over pepper on the right corner of the front of his head. You’ll probably learn after a few reads of The Love Jump that I have more than a bit of a thing for salt and pepper. So it’s no surprise that this piece of him is what initially pulled me in and for two years has kept me there.

When I arrived at his house, Patch wasn’t ready. I did not like that. Especially after a two-hour drive and a pit stop to get ready in a random Northern California Kohls bathroom. Classy, I know. But I wanted to make sure I was glowing with golden lip-gloss and bronzer when he opened the door.

I was ready and he was not. That was probably the most telling sign of the nature of our relationship. I was ready to go somewhere. He, clearly, was comfortable right where he was.

However unprepared he was, when he opened the door and gave me the affirming smile and slight “yeah” that let me know I was dressed to his liking- as if I was a Thanksgiving turkey—I liked it. I felt proud. I wanted him to know that I was ready for him that it was important to me that he saw the me he wanted to see.  I realized that I wanted to be pleasing to him. And with one glance, I asked myself, is this love?

I stepped in the house then began to watch Patch do what he was so good at, look at himself in the mirror.

I watched him use clippers to line up his fade, to touch up his beard. I just stood there. For 20 minutes watching. No words exchanged other than a smart remark about him not being used to having an audience.

I attempted to leave the room but he called me back (as he always does). He wanted me to watch and his ego enticed me. I thought to myself, this is the sexiest, most romantic thing I’ve experienced with Patch.

Is this love?

There was a moment when he was in the shower and he called me in to ask a favor.

“Can you please put the clothes in the washer in the dryer?”

“Excuse me?” I asked.

“Can you please put the clothes in the washer in the dryer?”

I thought to myself, now this must be love.

Can I put the clothes in the washer in the dryer?! Can I put the clothes in the washer in the dryer?!

Of course I can!

And I can do it with all the pleasure, passion and prance in my step that a girl in waiting can conjure up. Dryer sheets? Check. Cycle setting? Check. Timer? Check.

This was going to be the most love-filled laundry exchange of life. I kneeled in the tiny laundry room and wondered, is this love?

This visit was not exceptionally romantic. In fact, it was quite uneventful: just a few friends hanging out at the house, having a few drinks and hitting up Hooters for chicken wings.

I said it wasn’t romantic.

But when he reached over during the group’s casual conversation to steal a sip of my sprite, his right hand placed gently, sweetly on my right thigh just to let me know he was there, I thought to myself, is this love? This must be.

Then he pulled the public display card and planted one, two, three kisses on me. Just like that for no reason at all. I didn’t see it coming. It was the sweetest, most comfortable moment. I wanted it to be love.

Until The Love Jump, I had never been more aware of these is this love? experiences. How the men I met made me feel, my reactions to them, the words that got a rise out of me, the glances that took my breath away, even the awkward moments that made me feel like a small, insecure, silly little girl.

I’ve realized it’s a healthy place to be, this reflective, vulnerable space of letting love in.

Surely love is serving someone else. It’s sitting securely in the silences of someone else’s scent. It’s taking a sip from another’s cup.

It’s putting the laundry in the dryer.







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Comments ( 1 )
  • Jessi LeMay says:

    You know what I love about this, is you are allowing yourself to be IN this. Proud of you. THIS isn’t easy, but you are doing it, showing up just to see what happens. Pretty great post.

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