A nice discovery.

My mom and I don’t talk a lot. At least, our conversations aren’t usually among those that stand out as memorable or life-changing or ultra profound. Today was different though. I was leaning on the kitchen bar, looking into the skillet of pasta sauce my mom was stirring on the glass-top stove. The conversation began as your typical “girl talk,” and at this point, I was explaining to her that yeah, I want a guy who is a spiritual giant and intelligent and funny and all of that, but I want to be in love with him. I want to fall head-over-heels in love; I don’t want to marry a guy just because he is a good guy.
“Is that bad?” I asked.
“Well, if you get a little older and you’re still single, you may just consider that ‘falling head-over-heels in love’ is not the most important thing when it comes to marriage. Remember the Powells’ daughter?”
Mindy Powell had gone on several dates with a particular young man. He was a steady, kind-hearted guy, but he was balding in his mid-twenties and a little overweight. She cut things off because she felt zero romantic feelings toward him. After fifteen or so years, she was thirty-seven and still single. This guy was still single as well, and he was still interested. So she married him. She married him because she knew he would make a good husband and father, and she didn’t see any other options coming around anytime soon. “And they are very happy,” Mom concluded.

“Yeah, I know, but…”
“But,” my mom cut in, “at twenty years old, I think falling in love is something you can want.”
She poured in another can of tomato sauce.
“Mom, were you in love with Dad when you guys got married? Or were you thinking, ‘Man, he’s 27 and I’m only 19, and I really don’t want to do this, but he is really strong in the gospel, so I guess I better’?”
She laughed and turned to pick up the cutting board covered in sliced zucchini. She slid the zucchini rounds into the skillet. “No, Kaitlin, that’s not how it happened. I was very in love with Dad.”
“Really? I mean, are you just saying that? Because I really want to know.”
“Of course I was. Really. And I still am.”
“Yeah, but is it the same as it was then?”
“No.” She stuck her pinky in the sauce and tasted it. “No, the love is different now.” Then, as she tossed in a few shakes of basil and oregano, Mom explained how love changes. She explained that when you go through broken transmissions and miscarriages and super tight budgets and six kids with a person, your love changes. It gets deeper. It goes beyond the twitterpation of young love.
“But we still go on a date every week.” She let her head rest on her shoulder and smiled, looking into the sauce. “And I still catch my breath a little from this excitement I get when I see his car coming down the road.” She laughed then, a quiet, private laugh that had had memories behind it.
Later, after the vegetable lasagna was eaten, I was finishing up the dishes and saw my dad’s car approaching the driveway.
“Dad’s home!”Mom looked out the window. “See? I felt a little rush of something when you said that.” She patted me on the back then turned and walked over to kiss Dad as he came up the stairs.


iBo said...

I keep thinking of our conversation we had in Pizza Hut in Crescent City about this. I think you got your answer.

iBo said...

Ok, I think I should say a bit more than what I just did.

Cherish this memory you have with your mom Kaitlin. Sometimes these talks are rare.

I don't know much about love, but I'm really kind of counting on what your mom said. I'm a Romantic at heart and despite what the rest of the world may say about relationships failing and what not, I really think that you can stay in love with someone--even if it does change and grow deeper, it's still love right?

My dad would always echo the words of the prophet, "Don't just marry the one you love, but love the one you marry" or something like that.

I've seen a lot of older couples that have really taken that to heart, seemingly just as in love as school kids on their first crush or whatever.


Kaitlin said...


(That was a sigh of relief)

I'm glad you posted that second comment, Ivor (or Igor, since that'sthe name that pops into my head sometimes and I think it's funny). Because I agree. I just can't settle at all when it's an eternal thing, so I am counting on having a marriage like my parents' seems to be.

iBo said...

See that's kind of what I meant when I think of it being an eternal thing. If it's already that kind of deep and what not in the flesh, it's got to be a smooth transition in the after life right?

(Igor? I've killed men for less than that. Grrrrr...)

Sky said...

Ok, I'm probably going to be sorry I jumped in here, but I'm totally against "settling" no matter how old, no matter what country, no matter what time in eternity. (I know; I shouldn't be talking here, you think. But, you don't know very much. Some marriage partners die; some marriages break because of too much pressure; some fall apart because of sin or free agency--but that's another story and none of your business anyway.) HOWEVER, my grandmother used to say, "Don't marry a man (or woman if you're a man--just thought I'd clarify that) because you want to live with him; marry him because you can't live without him." Love is like a rocket ship zooming off into space with rainbows and cymbals, but it's quiet also. It's calm and peaceful, and you're never comfortable without the other person being there. It's home. And until you feel that, you don't know what love is. Don't settle. Even though love hurts like h---, it's worth a 1000 years of settling. Phsssha. Do you think all these love songs were written about settling? And age? Getting older? You g & gs (guys and girls)are so mixed up about age. In Kolob time, doesn't it figure out to our life being about two hours plus? The Lord's going to look at you and say, "Wow, didn't you just leave here?" And you're going to walk in pulling some settling thing settling in behind you? Take a breath. I will wait for all eternity to fall in love again (and it does change into such richness); I don't care if I have to sleep with Cat purring in my ear forever; I will never "settle." I don't think the Lord would want that. Settling sounds so mediocre, and I don't think He's into mediocrity. Shishhhh, now this stupid library is closing, and I'm writing on a stupid blog about love when I'm not done with my STUPID WORK.

Crystal said...

Sis. Morgan, I'm with you. Eternity is a heck of a long time to spend with someone you decided was better than nothing. Everyone deserves more than that.
I know I would be much happier single than married and wondering if this is really as good as it gets.

(Though I think/hope Kaitlin is talking more about finding that balance between wanting romance and true love while not losing sight of reality and waiting for Prince Charming to show up on his white horse.)

Sarachel said...

Sis. Morgan and Crystal--I'm with you. I think love is worth waiting for. Even if it means I have to go through mortality alone, I'll wait.

Sky said...

By the way, Kaitlin, your picture of your mom and dad is really nice. You should write it up for them. It shows a good kind of love. I'm glad your mom didn't settle.
And, Crystal, true statements. I hope no one thinks I was implying that=--even with great love--there are days you'd like to slit each other's throats, but you just keep feeding the kindnesses until they outweigh Satan's arrows. (Where are your tithing envelops, Girl?)

Jami said...

Kaitlin, I don't know you, but we're connected in the WC family, so I feel like I can add my two cents :)

I could taste the tomato sauce and basil as you and your mom were talking to each other. You showed emotion rather than explain it. I connected with this piece, and I'm so glad you inspired S.M. to write about love instead of finish her work.

When I try to explain how it feels to be in love, it seems cheesy. I either delete it or save it in my file that no one will ever see. When Sister Morgan writes about how love feels, I find my heart thudding in my chest and my mind saying "Yes, yes, that's exactly right."

I agree especially S.M.'s metaphor of love being like a rocket ship and also a quiet need for the othe person. Beautiful. (And, naturally, I connected with the acknowledgment that there are days when you want to slit each other's throat, but it doesn't matter.)

Sky said...

Ha Ha. I'm telling Travis, your wonderful husband, to watch out for razor blades. I agree with Jami about the writing, Kaitlin. Very visual.

Travis said...

I know no one is reading this blog anymore because it's an old entry...but I'm just now discovering it, and discovering that sometimes my wife wants to slit my throat with razor blades. Yikes! She can expect an electric razor for her next birthday, I'm getting rid of the normal ones...

Sky said...

Ah ha, Jami. I knew Travis would find out, but I PROMISE I did not tell on you.
Don't worry, Travis. Jami's so squeamish sometimes that I'm sure if she gets real mad, she'll use rat poison instead like in "Rose for Emily." But, then again . . . I've also seen how feisty she can be also, so maybe you'd better keep all sharp things under lock and key. Man, I MISS YOU TWO. And let us know how the job hunting goes.

Katie said...

Kaitlin, I appreciated this post--I know it's an old one now, but something similar was on my mind before you posted, and I've been thinking about it a lot. I agree with everyone: settling is not cool. I think waiting is the hardest, when we could have 'good' right now, but the great has both the goodness and the butterflies. : ) Hope is what's cool. Nice images.