Sick Days

Nothing clears my head of clutter quite like listening to Top 40 radio on my way home from work. While I’m sure Selena Gomez is now an expert on love because of her failed relationship with Justin Beiber, her words in “Love Song,” really made me think. Is it true that “Every beautiful thought’s been already sung?” And how do you love someone, “like a love song?”

Most love songs that I can think of are about the wonderful aspects of love. They are about when love is shiny and new and life is still perfect. They are about long flowing hair dancing in the wind and the strength felt in a warm embrace. Nobody would write a love song about that one time their fiance rubbed their back while they got violently ill. Because that’s just not pretty is it?

I experienced love quite unlike a love song this past weekend. After dealing with a mild stomach ache all day Saturday, when Sunday came, I felt like I was certainly getting sick and decided to stay home from church that night. My fiance Zack, who is very committed to our usual evening church service, surprised me by offering to keep me company and make sure I was taken care of.

I get quite agitated and all my responses turn in to grunts when I’m sick. Poor Zack was such a trooper as I muttered incoherently and frantically for him to turn on the little fan that was propped up in front of my face as I was lying on the couch. Experiencing hot flashes and cold rushes, Zack didn’t mind turning the fan off and on repeatedly or running to get me a wet wash cloth when I thought for sure I would pass out if I got any warmer.

Once he figured I was settled with my fan to keep me company, he went to the grocery store for my requested applesauce and cheerios and my movie of choice, “Frankenweenie.” Kindly, he didn’t complain as the cat lapped up the applesauce when I was too nauseous to eat it anyway. He didn’t laugh as I hid under my blanket to avoid the smell of cheese while he ate his pizza, and he humored me by muting the TV every time a food commercial came on. It didn’t even bother him when I asked if we could stop the movie 20 minutes in because I was too sick to watch the rest of it.

After two days off, I found myself driving in to work thankful for the experience of the stomach flu. Not that I enjoyed the pain or the nausea or lying on the couch for three days straight. I did, however, get another opportunity to experience my fiance’s love for me like never before. He selflessly gave his time and compassion to me when I needed it the most. He dealt with the unglamorous at the expense of making sure that I was taken care of. It’s certainly not something a Disney star will be singing about any time soon, but I sure am happy that he loves me beyond the confines of the standard love song.

Something Worth Writing About

Ok…I have a confession to make.  This evening I watched the Bachelor.  Yes…fault admitted…I am recording the series and watching it every week.  But truth be told…what is really exciting about watching realty TV dating shows is not the hope that they live happy ever after, but the desire to see how nasty the break up gets in the tabloids after the show airs. Why?

Because everyone loves a good breakup.  A lot of the best songs are written about them.  Taylor Swift makes her millions by cashing in on the juicy details of her break-up of the week in her lyrics.  I admit most of the songs I’ve written have been about break-ups that I either experienced or imagined experiencing.

I realized a little while ago that all that inspiration would stop for me.  As the wedding countdown app tells me on my phone…in just 248 short days, I will be married.  (Does he know what he’s getting in to?!?!) If I want my marriage to be the healthy, successful and fulfilling relationship that I pray it will be, there will be no more real-life break up drama for me to write about.  Where does that leave me?  Making songs about relationships that certainly everyone will know are falsified?  Or do I have to figure out a new way of writing?  A way that doesn’t always involve revenge, heartbreak, or anger.  Could I truly write a song about being happy? (dun dun dun)

We as a society love heartbreak.  Magazine covers are splashed with the latest celebrity divorce rumors and movies make it seem like marriage is a job to be quit for one with a higher salary.  I’ll admit that I’ve enjoyed driving fast with the windows down singing Adele at the top of my lungs while crying.  I’m not ashamed.  Often times the pain of a heartfelt song of loss just feels good.

But what does that say about our marriages?  Will we grow up a generation bored when things are going well?  Tired when our spouse makes us happy?  Desiring the drama of a Nicholas Sparks novel?  What if we had more songs and movies that made being married look like fun?  More books that show a couple withstanding all challenges because marriage is a commitment to be honored.  Maybe then more people would long for the kind of marriage that lasts instead of the kind of relationship that creates headlines.