Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Sixteen Loves

Gem and I were talking about the definition of "love" the other day. We agree that it is a choice, but I also now believe that it can be FELT, for sure. There are so many different kinds of love, but only one word for it.

Together we mourned the reality of English's insufficiency, and the linguistic ineptitude of those who use it. {Actually, I ranted like that and he agreed and offered statements like "I am gonna make my own language. With blackjack. And hookers." #Futurama}

But he really did inspire me to define all the many, most common uses of the word "love." I took it as both a challenge and a personal exploration exercise--and we know how those things turn out here on Peripeteia.

I give Sixteen Kinds of Love.

1. The God Love - That love we can't understand because we're not, like, God. The totally unconditional, infinitely the patient, inconceivably complete love of our unfathomable Creator.

2. The Family Love - I understand that some peoples' families suck, and that sometimes friends are just like family. However, I actually believe that there is a love for actual blood family {and, like, legally adopted kids} that cannot be duplicated or substituted. I'm sorry, but I am never, ever going to love someone in the frighteningly fierce, protective, unconditional, self-sacrificing way I think I love my sister. I love her the most of anyone in the world, and her going to Europe has only made that more clear to me. In my mind, this is the highest form of love on earth.

3. The Best Friend Love -  It's the adamant loyalty, the absolute comfort. When there is someone who you can be rude to, but still not live without. The person who has seen you at your worst, but can still make you believe your best. This love is both casual and astonishingly resilient. The total opposite of the word "fragile."

4. The Love of Ideals - It's theoretical. It's personal. It's lofty. It's fixed. It's a lifestyle. It's a choice. It's a calling. Your love of Truth, Freedom, Responsibility, Mercy, Justice, Peace, Joy--whatever it might be--is a very real and legitimate Love. It shapes your soul.

5. The Rational Love - The love that kicks in when you're angry or frustrated or disappointed in someone. You have FELT true love for them, and intellectually realize that you do, but at the moment you have to rely solely on that fact because you don't currently LIKE the person.

6. The Fun Love - You've been dating for months. You've already seen each other without makeup/in basketball shorts. You've heard a lot of dirty secrets. You've watched a lot of movies and TV shows. You "get"each other in an effortless, smile-inducing way. Fun Love surfaces when you catch an eye-shining moment that makes you beam at someone, and it's like a lamp is turned on in your chest. It makes you want to laugh or hug the person, because you're just simply so EXCITED about BEING WITH THEM at that particular moment. You realize that you still love this person's company, that you'd still rather read a dictionary with him/her than go rollerskating with someone else, that you still think they're funny. It's light and fun and the brightest form of love I know.

7. The Gentle Love - The kind of love that comes from the heart of your soul and is reflected in your eyes when you look at that person. The kind of love that makes you cover someone with a blanket when they're asleep, or brush a tear off someone's face. A Gentleness so intense and clear that it's almost rough.

8. The Mushy Love - The kind of love that makes people text sappy things and stare into each others eyes and touch each others cheeks and sometimes gush to their friends about how amazing so-and-so is.

9. The Animal Love - Without becoming too graphic, this is the kind of writhing, white-hot, blinding, blood-rushing, desperate, gasping, teeth-gritting, nail-clawing sort of love that results in the creation of babies.

10. The Real Misspoken Love - This applies to inanimate objects that you legitimately love, even though you realize that "love" should only be used for people. For example, I Really Misspokenly Love the book Tex, and my dad's old Taurus, and--holy shit--my baby blanket, RB. Like, I would probably kill live animals in defense of those things, especially the latterest. Like, no question about it.

11. The Crush Love - This applies to unattainable hott actors as well as cute "real" guys/girls you barely know but get butterflies about.

12. The Mental Love - When you fall in love with someone's mind. This usually doesn't last long, because it morphs into one of the other kinds of love. But it is possible--for a short while--to be totally caught up in someone's impressive intellect.

13. The Preppy Love - "Oh my god, I LAHHHHHV himmmmmmmah." Used when you know someone well enough to notice that they have qualities that are universally appealing, like a cute smile or a love of animals or a way with parents. This Love applies to 80% of loves formed in private schools, cheer squads, and expensive youth camps.

14. The Misspoken Love - This applies to inanimate objects, like ice cream and Converse shoes. You feel strongly about your feelings towards a particular thing, but if pushed, you would admit that "love" is probably an inappropriate verb to use here.

15. Obsession/Infatuation - Everyone knows this one. When you dedicate an unhealthy amount of energy and brain space to a particular person. This is the kind of Love a stalker feels, as well as girls who are overly aware of a guy's biceps, or a guy of a girl's breasts. It's like Crush Love, but creepier and based on even less.

16. Addiction - *wince* This belongs here, as Gem pointed out to me. Anyone who's ever been addicted knows the powerful hate/love relationship with their poison of choice. Of course you hate that it controls you--and you might even hate the thing itself--but you love it because you keep. going. back. and there's a part of you that won't let go.


Monday, June 23, 2014

Here, Have Some Sap

Begun May 5

As I start this post, Gem and I have only been dating for about a month and a half. However, despite the fact that it is way too early to be feeling much of anything, I have been feeling things.

A lot of things. A lot of strong things.

I am entirely shocked and confused and embarrassed by all the unexpected things going on inside my chest region. But as uncomfortable as expression is, I cannot seem to contain myself.

So in lieu of spewing sappiness upon my friends and family, I am going to channel the sap into this neat little corner of the internet. In the interest of staying sane, I am giving my inhibitions the time off and just going for it.

Happy I-Know-It's-Only-Been-Three-Months to me and Gem XD
The first time I ever saw Gem was the first day of school, senior year. He had a gap between his front teeth and a mohawk. Our teacher stared at him and said, "Did you get a weird haircut?"

"No," he said, in a voice full of good-natured, sarcastic mischief. "I got a COOL haircut."
I remember the first time I REALLY saw him. I'd been looking at him all year, but one day, he did something that made me look out from my smug little bubble of security and SEE HIM.

He crossed me. In a particular theology discussion, I stated that something was clearly the domain of the mind, as it should be. He disagreed with me--arguing for the heart--and calmly but firmly kept his opposing opinion even in the face of my startled, vehement disagreement.

I remember looking up at him slowly, feeling my eyes get bigger and clearer. A film fell away from my consciousness. I never saw him the same way again.
But if I had to pick the day that most drastically changed the way I looked at Gem, it would be the day he randomly showed up to class dressed as a pirate. For no reason.

On that day, he went from being my clever theology buddy to the boy with the sexiest arms and hands I had ever seen in my life.

I think my jaw actually dropped. I did not see it coming. And since that day, I've never been able to NOT think about how sexy his arms and hands are every. time. I see him.

When he came in the door, phones and cameras came out XD Unfortunately, I was only able to secure two pictures of the incident, which I now share for your viewing pleasure.


Unfortunately, you can't see his hands in these pictures. Pity.

Before Gem, I knew arms could be sexy, but I had no idea that hands could be sexy. His are tan and long and they flow with this masculine grace that I find completely distracting. {In a moment of drowsy oblivion, I actually TOLD him that he had extremely sexy arms. He has teased me regularly since.}

He plays the piano, and his favorite song to play happens to be my favorite classical song ever:  Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata. He played it for me once, and all I could think was, "I am the luckiest girl in the world."
One of the first things I told Gem when we started dating is "I'm not really romantic. Feelings make me uncomfortable and I mostly show affection through sarcasm." He accepted that with no problem.

My subconscious then proceeded to make me a liar.

Guys, this boy. I don't know how to describe it. He makes me laugh every day, and it's never a snicker or disparaging chuckle. It's the kind of laughter that first fills me up with joy from the inside until it comes spilling out in a real laugh. And HIS laugh. Don't even get me started. It comes on quick as a sneeze and is so genuine and beautiful that I just want to stop everything and watch him laugh.
He joined my family + Cassidy and Sarah's friend at the beach for a couple of days last week. The ocean was pretty damn frigid, but I surprised myself by braving it with Gem and Cass, albeit amid exclamations of discomfort and wild, wracking shivers.

Gem looked over his shoulder and said, "Have I ever told you that you're adorable in cold water?"
Later, we walked on the beach. "I've been thinking about what you said the other day," he told me. "About feeling trapped at home during the summer, when you don't have college to go back to?"

I nodded.

"Well," he continued. "I've been thinking about that, and I have an idea that I think you'll like." He took a breath. "If you start feeling like you can't escape, call me and tell me. I will pick you up the next morning, and we will run away for a day. We will go to Walmart and buy clothes that we wouldn't normally buy; we will go somewhere we've never been before; and we will give ourselves different names. We'll be characters for a day, in whatever story we want."

I was completely speechless. I think that might be one of the best things I've ever heard in my life.
I also talked about how scary the concept of Heaven is. I told him that I don't want to be ANYWHERE for eternity, even somewhere good.

"That used to scare me too," he said. "But then I realized that we won't be there for an infinite amount of time. There will BE no time. We'll be outside of time. Time won't 'continue' because it'll never begin."

Somehow, that sounds less scary. It won't feel trapping or endless. It'll be even less overwhelming than "one day at a time." We won't wrestle with ANY concept of time. I could handle that.
And his family. The more I get to know them, the more I like them. Lindsi has crazy dyed hair; David has posed in a bunny suit while holding a sign that says "I AM real;" Megan's profession on Facebook is "Boss of the {LastName} Household;" Zach has his ears pierced; Abigail's favorite band is Relient K; they all have matching tattoos of two swallows carrying a coconut.

Who WOULDN'T love this family?! Holy cow!
Not only do *I* love Gem's family, but so does HE. His family is probably the most important thing in the world to him. I can't even express how much I respect that about him.

He loves his little nephews probably more than anything, in a way that is both strong and adorable.
Gem brings me this totally unfamiliar, guiltless happiness. He makes me FEEL in a sweeter way than I thought myself capable. From the very beginning of knowing him, he has demanded that I pay attention to my heart. He's made me notice so many things, like laughter and benches and anachronisms and sunsets--and the sexiness of hands.

He makes me so happy. He's comfortable and funny and respectful and genuine and adorable and he just makes me feel like I'm glowing. I've been having trouble sleeping because my life is like that quote, about not wanting to sleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.

I know this initial crush phase will end, but for the time being, it's really nice.
I have always known that there was something for me and Gem. I don't know how, but I wrote it in my journal three years ago and confided it to my friendbrother {though, Aaron, you probably don't remember XD}. That being said, I don't know why I conducted myself that way I did for those three years. I dated someone else and gave that person all the things I should have saved. I even remember thinking during that relationship, "What am I going to tell Gem?" It is a very eerie experience looking back, and I still do not understand it at all.

I cannot believe that I deserve this boy. I am selfish and dark and damaged. He's totally out of my league. Every time I stop and think about it, I just can't believe he's dating ME. I'm his first girlfriend. He waited for me for THREE YEARS. He deserves so much better. It's mind-blowing, really.

Or perhaps he can make me better. For the first time in my life, I think I've found someone who could actually make me want to change.


P.S. I'm getting my wisdom teeth out as you read this XD Sooooo...prayers?

Friday, June 20, 2014

Front Loader

Have you ever watched your washing machine wash your clothes? We've had a front-loading washer since I was fifteen and here I am at twenty, watching it happen for the first time.

I didn't mean to watch it. I spilled detergent on the floor while pouring it into its little slot, so I was bending down to clean it up when the water started pouring into the machine and caught my eye. It only came from the left side, and started to soak the Batman boxers I use as pajama bottoms. The boxers darkened and sagged, falling in on itself, shrinking. I watched a sock do the same thing. The washer spun slowly, dumping the clothes to the right in a labored motion. My sheets got a turn to darken and shrink.

Pretty soon some frail white soap froth came into the picture, and the clothes were so damp and squeezed together that the once-ambitious load filled only a third of the machine.

I watched several of my brown hairs stick sloppily to the clear door. More joined, in a tangled, rotating display. The clothes smashed the hairs against the window and twirled them around. It was gross, really, but interesting to know how the knots of hair that I would later pick out formed.

I don't know why I didn't get up off the cold, hard tile laundry room floor and do something else. Eat lunch, read a book, work on the new editing project I'd just received. I guess I knew that those things would happen anyway, but that I would likely never again take the time to watch my clothes get clean.


Monday, June 16, 2014

Such is Life Sometimes

I have twelve post drafts right now. Most of them are very good ideas, both humorous and genuinely thoughtful. However, I don't feel like writing anything intentionally humorous or thoughtful. I don't feel like writing anything at all, but it's been an appalling amount of time since my last post.

I should've written a seriously heartwarming Father's Day piece, because I have the best dad in the world. I should have at least posted a damn picture of us on Facebook and been like "Omg i hav the best daddy everrrrrrr love you daddddd," but I didn't do that either.

Truth is, I've been mostly frustrated with everyone for a while. Like actually everyone. Everyone annoys me in ways that vary in legitimacy.

Right now I am lying on the living room couch in an overheated tangle of red blanket and pillows. My hair is freshly cut and salon-straightened, which always makes me feel glamorous. The glamor is counteracted by the Nike shorts paired with a nice shirt, though.

The overhead fan is on. But it's still too warm.

I'm not complaining. I'm only trying to think of things to say.

I've gone through this post and deleted every instance of "really" and "just." That added up to five deletions. I think refraining from using those words will make my writing stronger.

I have a job with Classical Conversations as a production intern now, in addition to working at my dance studio. I'm basically living the dream, even though I'm totally still broke. Both jobs pay more than minimum wage, involve activities I enjoy, and offer flexibility. I have no legitimate complaints there.

I feel kinda sick. I've eaten a lot of cookies and ice cream in the past few days. (We hit three graduation parties on Saturday alone.) I currently feel really gross. I've reached the stage where I choose to communicate in sign language and don't want to move my body. I think I'm allergic to being full.

This Thursday, Sarah leaves for Italy and Greece on her 19-day trip. James is logging as many hours at our house as possible before she leaves. Poor guy. He's going to need therapy by the time she gets home.

As will I. But we don't go there. Everyone knows I'll miss her a ton. We don't have to dwell on it.

I fell asleep on Gem's shoulder last week while watching Sherlock (ten hours of babysitting four kids will wear you out). He said I was adorable, but I was actually just embarrassed, so yeah. For the record, I am not actually adorable. He keeps getting that word confused with accurate adjectives likes "difficult" or "exhausted" or "awkward."

I don't know. I will post something eventually. For now, just try not to expect much. It irks me.


P.S. Look at THIS post. Number 12 is about Gem, and now I can finally say what I was afraid to back then :) I have a huge crush on him and it feels scary serious.