Saturday, February 25, 2012

Love Is Not Exciting Unless It Involves John McClane

I have had the same awkward interaction with Chris, the associate pastor here in Nelson, about three times. It starts when he asks me, "Now that you're with this girl who could be the one, aren't you excited?"

As soon as he says it, I immediately shift into awkward mode because I realize that my answer is going to sound terrible. I pause and then say, "...yes?" It is not even a statement. It sounds like a question. The question being, "How do you define 'excited'?"

I feel awkward answering the question, because that is the worst response to that question. It should be a definite "YES!" shouldn't it? Or if you are more reserved, then a solemn, but distinct, "Yes," would suffice. It should not be an uncertain maybe-type answer. And a question mark should not be on the list of punctuation used in the sentence.

I really do believe I love her and I absolutely love spending time with her and I feel connected with her, but I don't know if I have ever been excited about the prospect of her being the one. It troubled me that I was not.

Perhaps, that was one of the reasons I was reluctant to get too close with her in the first place. I wasn't excited. As I reflected on Chris' question, I thought that I needed to figure out why I wasn't.

People who know me, know that I can get very excited for things. The upcoming seasons of Lost or 24. Or the potential of the new Batman movie or for an upcoming show that I'm performing. When I was younger, it would be releases of certain video games or the potential of a game of Gold Rush or Mission:Impossible at camp. Yes, very nerdy things and usually events. I was reflecting on the things that link all of these, it is the element of mystery and uncertainty. I don't know what the show will hold and I love stealth and plot twists and story. I love using my mind to interact and solve the mystery or at least take a guess.

Now, before people get too concerned and call Kyla and tell her that she should not be with a guy who is more excited by TV shows than her (and I do know that her mother reads this), let me explain.

Mystery is what gets me excited. Fast-paced action is exciting. The idea of a future with Kyla does not. I am definitely looking forward to it, but I'm not excited by it. Some of you may say that there is plenty of mystery in a relationship as you discover more about a person. That there is a lifetime's worth of mystery. That there is the mystery of where life will lead you with this other person. Now, all of this is true on a certain level. However, it is not on the level of intrigue and layered unravelling as in the examples I mentioned. The mystery of life is the act of living your life. There may be things you don't understand, but uncovering the mystery of life is what we do on a day to day basis. It is not the kind of mystery that gets the blood going and the imagination into high gear. It is a rather necessary and mundane mystery that you uncover more and more over time through reflection.

The mystery that prompts action in order to avoid disaster, the kind that really excites me, is not present with my relationship with Kyla. In my reflection, I realized that that was a really good thing. I don't want to have some supernatural or super intense mystery with Kyla. As Demetri Martin talked about, there are not really any positive mysteries. It is always, "Who killed the butler?" or "Who stole the jewels?" In the same way, the intense mysteries that have the possibility of being found out in a relationship are almost always negative. When someone is acting mysteriously, it could be that the person could be cheating on you or they are in a lot of trouble.

I suppose that some positive mysteries are usually about surprise parties or special dates or the nature of the marriage proposal, but once again, those are not the deep and layered mysteries that get me excited.

Some may say that I should be excited, but I disagree. What I have found to be the thing I've always desired in a woman and what I have found with Kyla, is a sense of stability and reliability. There is already so much in life that is unknown and uncertain already and in the midst of all that you want to know that the person with you is not hiding from you some intense, layered mystery. Let the world be mysterious, let love be known.

Really, if you can find love from whoever it is in your life, not just a significant other, whether it is from family or good friends then a sting of life's pain and anxiousness of life's mysteries does not bother one as much. It will still be a challenge and may even overtake you, but at least you are not forgotten in the midst of it all. I find that the moments I appreciate most with Kyla is when we are simply together and put the worries and distractions aside for a while and just be. She allows me to relax when normally I would be stressed.

I may not be excited about the future with Kyla, but that is a good thing. Excitement for me involves action and dire consequences and life and death scenarios and complicate mysteries and I don't want a life of that kind of excitement.

However I am definitely in anticipation of what will be. I am expecting to bring along with me, an ally that I can trust. I don't want to be excited by the idea that she may be secretly a government agent or is a werewolf or is waiting for the opportunity to kill me for my life insurance (which she will be severely disappointed if that is what she is thinking) or that what comes with her is some action-packed life as we are on the run from the mob. I don't want her to be the life's mystery itself, I want her to be my Watson as we solve it together.

"As for me, well I'll find someone who's not goin' cheap in the sales,
A nice little housewife who'll give me the steady life and not keep going off the rails,"
- "Say Hello Wave Goodbye" from the David Gray album "White Ladder"

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