An Exotic Animal

At a dinner party many years ago, I sat next to a woman who happened to be married to one of the most beloved gentlemen in town. She told me the story of how they met and then said “Out of all the men in this world, can you believe I got to marry x!” Being single at the time, I was a bit jealous. After all, he was quite the catch. And apparently she was too, since he chose her.

A week later, when I got to write a song with x at his house, this same woman came into the writing room and berated him with no mercy in front of me. He couldn’t do anything right. I remember being so confused. If she loved him as much as she claimed to the week before, how could she treat him that way? And in front of a stranger, at that?

Needless to say, that couple ended up divorcing a few short months later.

Gary and I went to South Africa last year on safari. I had never experienced those kinds of animals in real life before…elephants, lions, rhinos. It was jaw-dropping and mind-blowing to see them for the first time. But by the third day of safari, the awe was starting to wear off…I had already seen the elephants, lions and rhinos…where were the hyenas? Where are the leopards? I want to be in awe again!!!

When that thought hit me, I turned to look at my husband in the jeep next to me whom I’d been with for ten years at this point. At what point do we forget that when we first meet our spouse, they are the most exotic, wild, one of a kind animal we’ve ever laid eyes on?

At what point, do we start thinking “I’m bored. Everything he does annoys me.”

At what point, do we forget how all those funny quirks of his used to be the things we loved about him?

Because I know how fickle the human mind can be and how it needs constant stimulation (at least mine does), it’s very important for me to stay conscious when it comes to love. I don’t believe love is a given. I believe we have to nurture and feed it on a daily basis. And some days, it’s harder to do that than others. But forgetting that love is a choice is a great way to take it for granted and to lose it.

Borrowing the words of that woman at the dinner party, I can currently say: “Out of all the people in this world, can you believe I got to marry Gary Burr?” Now my job for the rest of my days is to never forget how lucky I am. And as long as he’s doing the same, we should be just fine 🙂