You might think that on the eve of Valentine’s Day I would be dreamily waxing about love and romance and how I knew that my husband was my soul mate the moment I laid eyes on him.
But you’d be wrong.
The fact is, I gave careful consideration to whether I could and should love the man who would become my husband.
And I’m not even sure I believe there is such a thing as a soul mate.
Sure I’m a bit of a diva sometimes, but I’m not hard to get along with. I’m relatively easy on the eyes and I fly airplanes. (Guys love that.) The thing is, if I hadn’t met Rob, I’m pretty sure I would have happily met someone else, married, and had a child. (Not one half as cute as Graham, but still.)
But of course I didn’t marry someone else, I married Rob and not a day goes by that I don’t congratulate myself on the wisdom of that decision.
Because it was a decision, not just to marry him, but to love him. Sure there was lust and there were sparks, but the love was a conscious decision on my part born of the realization that it was time to settle down and make a commitment to this smart and sweet man who is as handy with a power drill as he is with a spice rack.
On New Year’s Eve, 1997, I made a resolution. I resolved that in 1998 I would meet my future husband. I started dating Rob in July of 1998 and we have together rung in every New Year since.
The love I have for my husband is not something that was predestined or sent from above. It is a state of mind. It is a vow that I renew to him, to myself, and to our son every day—on good days and, even more importantly, on bad days.
It’s a love that will not fail because I won’t let it.
Sometimes I envy happily married women who got an early start on marriage and children. I was almost thirty-three when I married and five years later, I still don’t feel my family is complete so, God willing, I’ll be changing diapers into my forties.
But the thing is, I wasn’t ready to commit my life at twenty or twenty-five or even thirty, and neither was Rob. I’m not one of those people who thinks maturity only arrives after one has attended the requisite number of wild parties but, believe you me, I attended my share just in case.
In fact, I attended enough parties that I was actually growing weary of them when, celebrating the wrap of a film we both worked on, I struck a conversation with a man who struck me immediately as a gentleman.
I did not hear the angels sing. I did not feel struck by a bolt from above. I did think, almost immediately, I am ready for love and this might be a man I could grow to love.
And so I did.
I love the way he insisted on coming in and having a glass of wine with my father the first time he picked me up from my parents’ house. I love how attentive he was to my elderly grandmother who lived there.
I love that we can talk for hours about the ills of the world and that I never secretly think I’m smarter than him. I love the way he took my first effort at screenwriting and turned it into something of which we could be proud.
I love that he carried my engagement ring in his pocket for days as we hiked through the Andes and then pulled it out to propose as the sun hit Machu Picchu.
I love that he slams on the brakes to avoid hitting butterflies. I love that he insisted on rushing my first baby to the vet one day, thereby saving his life. I love that people think he’s passive and shy because he’s quiet, when in fact he’s the most strong-willed and stubborn person I know (after me).
I love that he doesn’t care what other people think of him.
And so, while I’m not even sure I believe there is such a thing as a soul mate, I definitely, definitely believe in love.
Happy Valentine’s Day, Rob. I love you.
Photo courtesy of Don Mills Diva