Curmudgeon’s Corner: Love is… One Man’s Opinion

Written by Sanford Begley

love isIn the seventies most papers carried a series of Love Is… cartoons, mostly things like cooking together or sharing a drink, that sort of thing.  All of these were visible things that people in love could do. Sadly, they never really said what love is, just things people in love could do together. After all, you don’t have to love a woman to enjoy a shower with her. For that matter you don’t even have to truly like her, at least that is the evidence of many people who collect notches on their bedposts.

So if love isn’t what you do together, what is it? Ahh… that is a question. I have thought on it long and hard over the years. I’m not a man to love easily, nor shallowly. I saw lots of people “in love”, for some it truly was, for others? Not so much. I liked a lot of women over the years, enjoyed the company of some I didn’t like for that matter. The concept of love still escaped my real knowing.

Honorary Great-Grandson
Honorary Great-Grandson

I began to get glimmerings eventually. I think the one who cemented it for me was my grandson. Well, my ex’s grandson whom I claimed. Actually I claimed all her grandchildren. They are mine now and forever.  He was an unhappy baby and was fussing while very small. It got on my nerves, so I picked him up. It was instant adoration for both of us. I hadn’t held him previously because I was afraid of hurting him. He was fussing because he wanted Grandpa.

I got to thinking about love again. Louis L’Amour used a term which is an allusion to Francis Bacon’s essays. “Hostages to fortune” which is what a man with a family has. L’Amour also mentioned, quite frequently, a paternal instinct. This is different than a maternal instinct in that a maternal instinct is mostly to nurture and tend to children. The paternal instinct is to protect and provide for.

Love is... Letting your mother tease you.
Love is… Letting your mother teasing you.

Now, getting back to what love is, a subject I really haven’t left, though I’ve been wandering through the byways of my thought processes. I honestly think that love is taking responsibility for another person freely and of your own will. When a man loves a child he takes responsibility for protecting that child into his heart. When he loves a woman he takes responsibility to protect and care for her. Some men have taken that to the extreme of letting a woman they wanted and could have kept go, because another man would make her happier.

One of the trite truisms of love is that the other person’s happiness becomes more important than your own. That is why taking responsibility is love. You, and you alone, feel that the other person must be happy. When both of you feel this way you have a path to a solid and loving relationship.

May all of you find that solid path.


8 responses to “Curmudgeon’s Corner: Love is… One Man’s Opinion”

  1. Reality Observer Avatar
    Reality Observer

    Should have put this one up on St. Valentine’s Day, Cedar.

    Love is also when you keep that responsibility feeling – even on the days when you don’t particularly LIKE the other person. (And those days happen…).

    1. But he only wrote it for me the night before I published it 🙂

  2. aAlabamadill Avatar

    I knew DH really loved me when he told me I could do a better job than I was doing at something while we were dating. . I being slower than cold molasses told him to go home. But as soon as I cooled off I knew two things. He was rt. I could n should have been doing a better job. And he really loved me. Terrifying at the time.

    1. I knew Sanford and I would be good together when I asked him to help my improve my driving skills – I hadn’t gotten my license until after my divorce – and he has been so patient with me as I’ve learned and made mistakes (none major, thank goodness).

  3. sanford Avatar

    Yes that would have made a good Valentine’s Day post, I wasn’t moved to write it until now. And aAlabamadill, sounds like he felt responsibility to make you better, at whatever it was. After all, no skin off his nose unless he had decid3ed you were “his”

    1. Reality Observer Avatar
      Reality Observer

      Well, to contradict myself somewhat – thinking about love when it is not one of THE days is also a good sign, IMHO…

      There’s always blog recycling, too, for that matter.

      1. Reality Observer Avatar
        Reality Observer

        (Considering the second picture – Mother’s Day, too.)

        1. sanford Avatar

          There are after all, more kinds of love than that between a man and a woman 🙂