You know, I've been on this planet for quite some time now and I have learned a few things. One of the really important things I have come to know is that Love, I mean real true love, is nothing like they write in (most) books or show on the silver screen.
I have no idea what men think about the reality of the various media interpretations of Love, and I do mean big L love, but from a very young age most girls believe that some version of Prince Charming and Cinderella is true. And that is what we grow up wanting, expecting, hoping for. And when we finally do fall in Love, at least in the beginning, that's what we feel. The heart swelling, brain muddling, knee shaking, finger trembling, L.O.V.E. just like in the movies. And of course, we expect it to be that way forever.
But over time, even though we still really do love this person that we chose to spend the rest of our lives with, the trembling and shaking seems to have fallen away and is replaced with annoyance over laundry and stress from financial discussions and the sheer repetition of our days. In other words, real life. And sometimes, maybe we either take our life partner a little bit for granted or just lose sight of how important that other person really is to us. And perhaps, way in the back of our brains there is a wee tiny corner that is wistful for the early days when everything was new and exciting and we felt that we had to constantly prove our feelings of love to each other. Way back in the cobwebby corner, we still yearn for the fairy tale.
This is a story of what true love really is.
Some of you already know how I feel about jelly beans. For those who do not, mostly I am not a big fan. With the notable exception of yellow jelly beans. I adore the yellow ones. Tim, however, rather likes jelly beans, but only jellybird jelly beans. The old fashioned kind which used to be the only ones in the store but nowadays, they are harder and harder to find. He likes them all, even the nasty black licorice ones. And he eats them all mixed up. So there's green and white and purple all in a single mouthful. He likes it that way. I don't understand it, but I accept it as true.
So when Easter rolls around every year, I make sure that I buy Tim a bag of jelly beans. This being the Easter Season, I set out to find some. They weren't in the first store I checked, Nor the second, but I did find them in the third. Oh they had other kinds of jelly beans...spiced jelly beans, unusually flavoured jelly beans, jolly rancher jelly beans, etc. etc. but not the old fashioned kind. As I said, those are slowly becoming a rarity. So there you see, I went out of my way to go to three different stores to find Tim the jelly beans that he likes. But that isn't the true love story.
I brought the bag of jelly beans home and stashed it on a shelf in the pantry behind other things. I wanted to surprise him. And then I realized that I am being ridiculous. This is not a surprise! It's Easter. I buy jelly beans every year at this time. Having some in the house isn't unusual at all. So to really surprise him, this year, I will not eat the yellow jelly beans. This year, I will save them for Tim.
You see, normally, the first thing I do when I put the jelly beans out is pick out all of the yellow ones for myself and gobble them right up. I am a terrible person. This poor man has not had a yellow jelly bean since we started dating many many years ago because I eat them all before he has a chance. This year however, at long last, I was going to resist the siren call of the yellow jelly bean. This year, I decided, he finally gets to have the yellow ones too. A real sacrifice on my part, seriously. I do adore those yellow jelly beans. But nope, that isn't the true love story either. Not yet.
I swear that once upon a time we used to have a real covered candy dish, but for the life of me, I couldn't find it this year. (I know I used it last year so it is a mystery) But necessity being what it is, I made do and decided to set the jelly beans out in a sugar bowl. It's not as strange an idea as you think. What are jelly beans made of? Well mostly sugar and gelatin. Sugar bowl, sugar candy......close enough. So there the jelly beans were. All of them. Every single one, including the yellow ones. See?
Oh it was hard to resist but I did. I marveled a little bit really over how very many yellow jelly beans there were in this particular bag, actually. I didn't plan it that way. It isn't as if I examined all of the bags before selecting one. I just grabbed the one on the top of the pile. But as it turned out, this year I hit the mother lode of yellow jellybeans. Dang. Just my luck. The one year that we are swimming in yellow jelly beans is the year I decide to be noble and sacrificing. I'm sure he wouldn't notice if I took just one, right? But no! I will be strong. I will be disciplined. I am fully committed to my mission. I will NOT take one single yellow jelly bean. And I didn't. I put the lid back on and walked away. But that isn't the true love part either!
So after dinner that day, after me walking past that sugar bowl/candy dish multi-times throughout the day but still not taking ANY jelly beans (so proud of myself) finally we sat down in the family room for a few minutes and talked about our day. Somewhere during the conversation, I mentioned to Tim that, you know, just by the way, I bought you some jelly beans. And he smiled and said thank you and that he had noticed. I waited a few minutes and then said, kind of just FYI, "You might notice that it's a little different this year". He looked at me in a questioning sort of way so I continued, "Well this year, all of the yellow jelly beans are still in the bowl. Even the yellow ones. That's right, I ate none of them!" He laughed and thanked me and told me to go ahead and eat them if I want to because he doesn't mind. It has kind of become tradition at this point. But I shook my head and was very firm. Nope, This year will be different. This year, finally, you get to find out what yellow jelly beans taste like. This year, I am not eating any of the them. He said, "Wow! thank you!" and that was kind of the end of that.
Several days went by and while I noticed that the level of jelly beans in the dish was slowly dropping, I didn't investigate any further until I was dusting a couple of days ago. When I took the sugar bowl off the table I kind of bobbled the lid. I carefully set it down (I tend to drop things) so as to reset the lid and saw this:
I walked into his office with the sugar bowl carefully held in my hands and kind of thrust it at him. He looked up at me. "You didn't eat any of the yellow ones." I said accusingly, "I wanted you to have them this year." He smiled back at me and said, "And I appreciate the gesture but I know how much you love them so I left the yellow ones for you".
THAT my friends is true love. During our twenty-five years of marriage and three years of dating before that this man hasn't had a single yellow jelly bean. Something he REALLLLLY likes and only eats once a year (coz that's the only time they are in most stores). And when, at long last, he finally had the opportunity to have them, instead, he passed up the chance and left them for me. I nearly cried I was so touched.
Prince Charming does exist but it's not silver slippers and magical pumpkins and royal balls, it's yellow jelly beans. True Love, right there in real life. And that's a fact.
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.