What About Love?
I've been witness to far too many relationships ending negatively in the past two months to not address this subject. Besides, I'm a self-proclaimed expert of nearly everything. (What I don't know, Andrew knows the rest.)
When we were growing up, parents were sure to tell us that the violence in television and movies wasn't real. They were actors and they weren't really getting hurt. Too bad they didn't say the same thing about the soap operas and love scenes. In entertainment, everyone dresses fabulously (even the poor people are chic) and dramatic events always turn out okay (like when Laura married her rapist on "General Hospital"). They don't tend to have sex on dirty sheets, and they aren't too distracted from pleasing their mates by the day they had. The women look beautiful when they wake up in the morning -- no blemishes, no ratty hair, wearing matched pajamas and with an unmistakable glow. The men don't have hair growing from funny places, don't have a beer belly from too much partying in college, and don't have dried sleep in the corners of their eyes.
Why didn't Mom and Dad warn us that this stuff was unreal? I admit, the idea of having a Hollywood ass when I'm 40 and rolling over to wake Andrew with a perfect coif and the glow sounds great. But it's not real. I'm afraid that in this day and age people expect the relationships between men and women on film and TV to materialize in their own lives with absolutely no effort. The expectations are unreal. Women won't always greet their husbands with a martini and open legs. Men won't always greet their wives with perfect hair and a fistful of spending money.
If you can face the reality that your significant other won't always look perfect or behave perfectly, that you may have to see him or her vomit or that it's not always going to be sunshine and pancakes, and you can embrace that, that's true love. If the other person can do the same thing, I give you my permission to marry.