Ah, the long-term romantic relationship – I’m not talking about seeing a guy or girl from Tinder three times in a row…I’m talking one of those lifelong, till-death-do-us-part kind of deals. You know the type: the kind you hear about in the movies. I’m in one of those relationships, with someone I’ve known (or rather, known of) since I was seven years old. It was one of those small-town, gag-inducing, “Will she ever see him the way he sees her?” kind of stories. Eventually, she…I…did.
When you spend a lot of time with someone, you start to see them in a certain way…perhaps in an unflattering way. Maybe a way that makes your eye twitch when you see them chewing on a piece of meat fat long after the meal ends, or a way that makes you say “Shut up!” instead of “Bless you!” when they sneeze so loud you fear it may be the catalyst to set off the big earthquake we’ve all been waiting for. You know when you’re in that mode — day in, and day out, tolerating each other’s quirks for a time and then, wham-o! You see your significant other in a different context and you really can’t believe it’s even them. It’s in those moments when you realize that fat-chewing, quake-inducing human being is an amazing soccer player, or can talk on the phone with a coworker with authority. Me-ow. Talk about a perspective shift. They are no longer a person placed on the planet to be endured; they’re a full, complete human being – the one you fell in love with.
There is a lot of negativity and fear in our nation right now – surrounding a long list of issues. Heck, some people that I’ve talked to even think it’s literally the end of the world: the actual end of the world! Can you imagine? Guess we’d better all stock up on rice and masks and toilet paper…oh, wait…
People are under stress and anguish surrounding many things we have little control over. Pandemic, unrest, uprising, racism, polarization…Not to sound nerdy, but I do feel “BattleStar Galactica” must be quoted here: “All of this has happened before and all of this will happen again.”
Maybe it hasn’t happened in our lifetime, but then again, here it is now: happening in our lifetime.
Right now, people in our community – restless people, anxious people, fearful people – and people across this nation have a looming sense of dread surrounding the upcoming elections. What I will say is this: likely, if you find yourself reading this, you’re in a long-term monogamous relationship with these United States of America. We’re going through…a rough patch right now. And I know it sounds old fashioned, but till-death-do-us-part is really the type of relationship most of us are in with the USA. For better or for worse. The nation may come out on the other side looking like a cool soccer player, but we must also brace ourselves for the troublesome fat-chewer to rear its intolerable head. Maybe America will be the person we fell in love with, maybe not.
What I’m suggesting is, no matter the outcome, I do hope we can find a peaceful way to come together and “Stand By our Man.”