Archive for August, 2014

We went to Finland for ten days for work. Admittedly, we were the only queer couple among the forty or so people there, but here’s the thing, it was a complete non-issue. We don’t come across a lot of homophobia among our colleagues here in the states, but we do get a constant stream of condescending comments ‘I think it’s great you’re gay’ and ‘I have a gay nephew, maybe you know him?’ and that kind of stuff. In Finland we were a couple, just like the several other couples there who work together. Amazingly unbelievably wonderful.

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Discourse on love is overworked, it’s cliche, there is almost certainly nothing left to say on the subject that has not already been said. Love is written about eloquently, awkwardly, succinctly, verbosely. It is analyzed, dissected, and deconstructed. We fantasize, romanticize, fetishize, darker moments of pessimism push us to minimize as we are demoralized. The Oxford defines love as

An intense feeling of deep affection
A deep romantic or sexual attachment to someone

As very young children we understand the meaning of love, it’s an early word in our vocabulary, this emotion of the heart. We know love when we feel it, even if, after the fact, we change our minds and re-describe the emotions as lust, infatuation, crush or some other, safer emotion.

Emotions are tricky. There is a certain cultural assumption that when emotions are felt, they are expressed. Feeling and expression are two different things, the lack of expression does not indicate a lack of emotion. Yet we find ourselves saying things ‘If you love me, why don’t you show it?’ and the like, confused at this separation, expecting, even as we know better, that the lover will express emotion in the same way we do, and hurt when that expression is not forthcoming.

When I fall in love, what is it that I fall in love with? How do we parse, identify within the being, the exact bits that enrapture us? The pat answer is that if I am in love with you, I love everything about you, that love is unconditional and all-encompassing. To be sure, there are parts that are far less likable than others, parts that are difficult to understand, but the envelope of love surrounds every piece of the parcel.

I say ‘I love you’, the emphasis on ‘you’. And you is a big word, encompassing everything that you are, or maybe it’s a small word, encompassing the tiny kernel in the center, surrounded by a multitude of external factors that give you an appearance, a character, an image. Factors that can be changed, removed, replaced, while still leaving you as ‘you’, the one I love.

Picture the person you are in love with. If they color change their hair style, length and color, you are still in love. If an accident takes away their mobility, you are still in love. If illness removes their ability for sexual intimacy, you are still in love. If their gender expression changes, you are still in love. If you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that they love you, but they are unable to express it outwardly as they once did, you are still in love.

If I say I love you, there is nothing you can change that will change that.