When you are casually dating someone, you are probably aware of only some of their faults. Maybe they chew their nails when they are nervous, or they have an affinity for crappy movies. Up until this point, their faults are more like lovable quirks. Little adorable pieces of them that make up this person whom you think is pretty damn cute.
But when you are firmly and madly in love with someone, that is when you really find out how annoying they are.
I think that the second I fell in love with my husband, I started showing my true colors. To my husband’s dismay, this includes wrestling covers away from anyone who happens to be sleeping next to me like a rabid coyote. I also wake up annoyingly chipper every morning, and I sometimes don’t hear important details when my husband talks about recipes or car things. I really can’t be bothered with things like details.
My husband decided that, when he fell in love with me, he was finally going to let me know that he is incapable of putting clothes away in drawers and that he becomes triggered by wasted food in the refrigerator. Very triggered. He also has to have music playing at all times — which is fine — but it’s literally all of the time.
Yes, love is messy and annoying, and it never hangs up its wet towel, like, ever.
Love is making each other laugh so hard doing spot-on impressions of each other that you come this close to wetting your pants.
Love is dark and gloomy some mornings. You each prepare to go out into the world when you really just want to pull the covers up over your head and sleep and sleep and sleep.
Love is easy. It’s like putting on your most cozy sweater or finding the perfect parking spot at Costco — on a weekend.
Love is excruciatingly hard because they are so stubborn and annoying and they have to be right all the time and they need to stop bossing you around or you are going to throw their shit on the lawn.
Love is making dinner. Sometimes it’s rushing around and heating up leftovers to save the “food waste” argument. Sometimes it’s putting your whole self into a recipe you’re sure they will love.
Love is when they don’t say anything snarky when you sing horribly off-key.
Love is breathing a sigh of relief when you hear that car come up the driveway, just as you were starting to worry.
Love is self-righteous, indignant, passionate anger over the dumbest things: paper towels, toilet lids, dirty socks, temperature control.
Love is so much inappropriate humor. Years of inappropriate humor. In front of the kids. And they don’t get it. Which is even more funny.
Love is not meshing for weeks. Not being able to find that groove of being a couple and working together, no matter how hard you try. Being grumpy and distant, but missing one another when you are each right there.
And then hanging on tight. And hanging on until maybe you just hold hands for a few quiet minutes, and there, you found your groove again.
Love is giving someone else the bigger piece of pie or the best piece of chicken. Not always. But sometimes.
Love is being wide awake to another person. Knowing them so well that you can interpret their sighs, their body language, their laughter, and their silence.
Love is doing shit you don’t want to do sometimes, and sucking it up because it makes them happy.
Love is knowing what they would want you to order them when they have gone to the restroom.
Love is the very depths of sadness. The hormones, the misunderstandings, the miscommunication, the lashing out. Oh my god, you hate them so much. Until you don’t anymore.
Love is knowing that they hate spaghetti, but that the kids love spaghetti, and so you make the spaghetti anyway, buy you throw a chicken breast in the oven because you’re feeling extra nice.
Love is naked. Good naked. Bad naked. Laying it all out after years and years, and they still think you are the most beautiful thing they’ve ever seen. And they tell you this. And you believe them.
Love is making plans together for when you are 95 and knowing that you will both try your best to make those plans happen.
It is also maybe having children with a person and those kids taking over your life. And then it’s really seeing each other amidst the chaos on some random Sunday morning over waffles.
Love is so many things for so many different people, good and bad and strange and always changing. But if you find that elusive thing, you need to hang onto it, because even when it’s the hardest thing that’s ever happened to you, it’s worth the ride.