I recently sampled a book in which the author said such-and-such was the “second most enchanting thing” he’d ever seen, save only seeing his wife for the first time. The line made me reflect upon the first time I met my wife:
In a hot tub.
Kind of skanky, I know. In any case, I certainly wasn’t mesmerized. My first thought: “Cute girl.” That was it. No, “I want to be with this person the rest of my life.” No, “This is the most beautiful creature I have ever laid eyes upon.” No, “This will be the mother of my children!”
Seeing Lindsey for the first time was not unlike seeing other cute girls I first encountered as a single guy. For me, there was no love at first sight. There was no unique enchantment.
The love and enchantment came months later. It intensified years later, after thousands of hours of laughter, sacrifice, compromise (by way of therapy), and serving each other.
In my case, that means small things like turning the forks rightside up when loading the dish washer. Killing spiders. Cleaning up after dinner. Taking an interest in Law and Order: SVU and watching movies I otherwise wouldn’t watch.
In Lindsey’s case, that means big things like watching the kids during the day—a monumental personal sacrifice. Accepting a sustainable lifestyle. Taking an interest in sports. And trusting that I’ll provide for her as a self-employed hack.
It’s because of the above that I love Lindsey more today than when I married her 12 years ago. She has reciprocated that love in exponential amounts. So in my case, love came after first sight. It deepened as Lindsey and I grow old together, trust each other, look out for one another, and are considerate of each other’s interests.
Even as are hardened and tan bodies deteriorate.
So physical attraction and compatible personalities brought us together. But intimacy, selflessness, and trust keep us together. In other words, come for the good looks and fun times. Stay for the soul mate.
In that sense, I hope the above author had his tongue in his cheek when he perpetuated the idea of love at first sight. Because not only is the idea cliche, it’s a sham.
First published March 11, 2011