One of my favorite books that I've read in the past couple of years is Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. It is the most clever, enthralling book from cover to cover. It's one of the few books that I have read more than once! I just couldn't put it down! It's one of those books where you start slowing down as you come to the end because you just don't want it to be over!
I went to see Elizabeth Gilbert speak in San Rafael last year, and she is wonderfully entertaining. She read from her latest book, that came out in January, Committed.
I have to admit, I didn't enjoy Committed as much as I loved Eat, Pray, Love. It took me a long time to finish - about 6 weeks off and on. I'm usually one who gives up everything to finish a great book - but not this time - sorry, Liz.
But, I can't say that Committed was not enjoyable in it's own fashion. The book picks up from the end of Eat, Pray, Love as Liz and her lover Felipe HAVE to get married in order to be able to remain together in the U.S. So Liz, who swore to never be married again, begins a research journey into the subject of marriage in order to come to peace with having to be married again.
Reading Committed made me look at my marriage and how marriage in general is viewed. I've been married for 14 years. My hubby and I have done a pretty good job of continuing to grow together and evaluate ourselves over the years. We've had our share of ups and downs, and our share of counseling sessions, but I love him with all my heart and plan on growing old and gray (ok, I'm already gray, but monthly touch-ups keep that secret hidden) with him.
One of my favorite parts of the book is a discussion about love versus infatuation. We've all had that relationship that we believe is LOVE, but turns out to really be INFATUATION. Gilbert describes the difference beautifully - "Infatuation is not the same thing as love; it's more like love's shady second cousin who's always borrowing money and can't hold down a job."
She goes on to describe "real, sane, mature love - the kind that pays the mortgage year after year and picks up the kids after school." A love "not based on infatuation, but on affection and respect." When I described this to my hubby, he didn't understand, he believed this to be a boring description of love. I don't agree - I think this description is all about love, and trust, and respect, and being able to count on someone. To me that's love. Knowing that I can trust hubby to be there for me and our kids everyday. We have a trust that been built over the years based on respect and reliability. I know that he's going to come home everyday, talk to me when things aren't right, and yes, pick up the kids after school when he says he's going to. I'll take that over infatuation anytime. Boring? No. That's love! I love you hubby!
So tell me, what is real love to you?