I had this thought last night, as I was laying in bed and mulling over what I wanted to write about me and Rachel getting together. One of the times on this blog, when I wrote about it, I wrote that we “fell in friendship-love”. I qualified our falling in love with the word “friendship”, because it wasn’t a sexual love (though it was a love that had lots of touching, hand-holding, and cuddling).
And “falling in love” is for the romantic.
Then suddenly this thing popped into my head. I don’t have any personal experience with it, but…how many times have you heard someone who just had a baby, or adopted a baby say “The first time I saw him/her, I completely fell in love”? Nobody every qualifies that with “baby-love” or “non-sexual love” or some other phrase to water it down. Nobody waters down the feeling of falling in love with their babies! It’s supposed to be the best thing ever! Probably the ONLY kind of love that is “allowed” to supersede romantic falling in love.
Then I thought about pets. I realized the number of stories I’d heard about adopting pets (most often pets from a shelter) that also use “falling in love”: “I went into the shelter wanting a Golden Retriever, but this ridiculous little Doxie mix waddled up to me, looked into my eyes, and I fell in love”. Or “I knew I wanted a kitten, but as I was looking into the cages, this big, scarred tomcat opened his eyes and looked and me and suddenly I knew he was the one. I fell in love with that steady, strong gaze”.
Once again, I’ve never heard someone qualify this was “I fell in pet-love” or “you know, I love him/her, but only as my pet“. Hell, a lot of people (myself included) feel as strongly about their pets as they do about their humans, so there really isn’t a “this is ‘only’ my pet” feeling at all.
And that’s when I realized that if falling in love with your baby is acceptable without qualifiers, and falling in love with your pet is acceptable without qualifiers, then I can damn well fall in love with my friends without qualifiers.
Yes, I understand the concept that saying “I/we fell in love” with my friend can be problematic because it makes it unclear if there is sex involved or not. You know, I don’t really give a rat’s ass if that’s clear or not. I mean, not to the point that I feel like I need to hurriedly trot it out and make it clear. I have sex with my friends sometimes. I kiss my friends sometimes. I like doing those things with some of my friends who also like doing them with me. That’s between me, my friend and any other people that we (the two people involved) feel should be in-the-know about it (like other partners). If someone is close enough to me that they learn more about exactly what this “falling in love” is about, then I’ll tell them. Or they can ask. I’m usually fine with people asking me for more information about myself. If I feel like I’ve been asked something that they don’t have a right to know about, I’m pretty comfortable with some variation of “That’s private” or “I don’t really want to talk about that now.”
So I went back this morning, and found that entry about Rachel and simply changed it to “falling in love”. We fell in love. Eventually, we fell out of love, or moved away from “being in love” to simply “loving” each other (which could be a whole other post – what does the “in” in “in love” convey that is “more” than simply “love”?). But still, what we felt, it was falling in love, and I’m not going to water that down, or qualify it with anything.
When I write Rachel’s story next, that’s how it will start, with us falling in love. Period.