"I Could Tell You Wanted Them"

There is a fairy tale that is ruining the lives of women (and men too, probably) everywhere. It’s the fairy tale of romance. Of what it is and what it means to be in love. It’s the fairy tale of Edward and Bella, of Scarlett and Rhett, of Romeo and Juliet, of every Harlequin romance novel ever written. It’s the lie found in every book and movie that says it’s not enough to be best friends. You have to have an all-consuming, take-over-your-life sort of passion to really feel fulfilled.

But it’s a lie. That kind of thing burns out easily and is rarely healthy and almost never withstands the test of time.

This is love: It’s walking the aisle of Bed Bath and Beyond with your husband and kids, and seeing some flexible cutting mats just like the ones you have at home that are practically cut to shreds. You touch them briefly, not even pausing, just a slight touch as you walk by, and you think to yourself, “I would really like to replace those things.” But that’s it. Just a glance and a touch, nothing more, nothing that would be noticeable to anyone else. And you walk on by, on your way out the store, when you notice your husband isn’t with you anymore. He’s in line waiting to buy those cutting mats. Astonished, you ask why he’s buying them, and he says, “I could tell you wanted them.”

It’s having your husband the very next day take the time to set the DVR to record late when he sees that a show you watch is starting late due to some hyped-up football game. He has absolutely zero interest in said show, and you didn’t think he even knew you watched the thing. But, somehow, he noticed, and he thought of you, and he took the time to take care of you.

It’s the Noticing. The Noticing and the Caring and the Being Known. The small things that all add up to make up one huge thing called Love. It’s much quieter, and much simpler, and, quite frankly, much more mundane than the popular perception of romance. It doesn’t make a good movie or keep you up at night turning the pages of a novel. It doesn’t make scores of girls and women swoon and fantasize and flock to the movie theater. Really, it doesn’t sound like very much. But it’s wonderful. I wouldn’t trade my best friend romance for anything in the world.

“I could tell you wanted them.”

Take that, Bella.