Perhaps the best advice I’ve ever received in my entire pitiful little existence came not from my mother, not my dad, not some sage mentor or Oprah.
It came from Julio Motherfucking Iglesias.
“I love it when they leave me,” he told me. “I celebrate it always.”
That’s right. Julio Iglesias, mad serious serial lover of thousands of über hot women throughout the decades. Oh, yes, laugh if you will, but Iglesias is a wise man. And over a phoner one day, after lamenting the departure of my then-boyfriend, he told me to crack open a bottle of red wine, sit out in front of my ocean-front pad (or, in my case, my backyard looking out over the alley and dumpsters) and celebrate the shit out of that one leaving, because there’s always another one round the bend.
I’ve been thinking lately that it’d be a shame if I leave New York without falling in love. Like seriously, what’s better than falling in love in New York? I’ve fallen in love in Vegas, in Chicago, for fuck’s sake, I found some non-mouth-breathers in Iowa a few times. Every place I’ve lived, I’ve managed to get it seriously on with someone I at least liked, so what is up with this?
So, I’ve been thinking a lot about love lately. And, after mentioning that Foreigner song, “I Want to Know What Love Is,” my friend Cheeseman sent me this clip. I was all like, “Is that fucking ‘Miami Vice’?” ’Cause I loved “Miami Vice” when I was a kid, even though I was totally a Crockett girl. But watching Tubbs make sweet, sweet love to his lady friend while some other lady friend gets assassinated by a hot guy in a white suit carrying flowers—I mean how many guys bring flowers anymore? Let alone guys who are totally going to kill you? That’s some class.
Anyway, where was I? Oh, yeah, love. It’s nice. It’s real nice. I like it. I like it a
lot. I like it when boys do nice things for me—like make dinner, or drive me home, or have a good conversation over eggs and coffee—and I like doing nice things for them, like making them coffee and doing it in the shower. I’ve also been thinking a lot about how many times I’ve actually been in love, and I’m not sure about the number. Four? Is that a lot? And they all
felt different—it’s not like, Bam! Love, one emotion!… I mean, I have a friend who’s like, “I’m going to ask my ex-girlfriend to marry me in three years. I just know she’s for me.” And, while I think this is terribly romantic, and I think I am a terribly romantic little lady, I’ve also seen way too much ugliness to believe in happily ever after. And I’m like, “I’ve never felt like that about anyone, that they were ‘it.’ ” In fact, I’ve never started a relationship and not imagined
its ultimate demise from the get-go.
Am I that far gone? And do they ever really go away? I want them to go away. I think most of them disappear. But, then and again, there they are, popping up, randomly fucking up my shit. There are guys who I can never be “just friends” with because it’s still there—if I’d sit down with them to coffee, for example, the bugs would be there. I had a nightmare about an ex a
couple weeks ago and woke up and felt like someone had shoved a butcher knife in my chest. Does that ever go away? But, as bad as that sucks, I can’t stand the notion of never being in love again—or having great sex, or all the conversation, all of it with someone I actually
What happens to people when really that is it? No more loving? New York is filled with these seemingly crazy-ass women, who are demented from a lack of physical contact and Saturday-night dates with their best gay male friend couples (no offense to any gay male couples out there, but let’s face it, as much as I love you, I don’t want to spend my Saturday nights with you).
Here’s what I think love is. When I was a teenager, I waited tables on weekends at the local diner…and, usually, as hungover and jaded as I was, I had some favorites among all the cheapass farmers and housewives. There was this little old couple. They were tiny and cute, like little gray elves, and they came in and the man held open the door for her, took off her coat, and they’d sit on the same side of the booth together, because he said, “I always want to sit next to my girl.” Then they’d hold hands and have coffee and talk and adoringly look at one another.
Then the wife died. And he didn’t come in a for long time. And when he finally did re-emerge alone months later, I was excited to see him, but it was never the same. Completely defeated he came, no joy, and had coffee. I asked him how he was doing, and he mumbled something about how nothing mattered because his sweetie was gone. I don’t think he lived much past that.
So, as you go careening into this so-called bullshit holiday we got coming this weekend, please think about it. It’s not about getting some crap gift made in China one day a year, or going to Kay Jewelers. It’s about being kind every single fucking day for someone you love without wanting something in return, treating them with the respect that they–and you in return–deserve. I believe the term here is selfless.
And enjoying it.