When I was a little girl, all I wanted was movie love. I was obsessed with those cheesy movies there are so many of even though they all seem the same. I cried and laughed and dreamed of the day it would be me, the girl who got to kiss a perfect man as the end appeared on the screen.
I waited and waited, I grew up and understood life is not like the movies and I am not Julia, Sandra or Jennifer; I grew up, but maybe secretly I kept waiting. Through high school boyfriends who were still learning how to kiss, through college guys who wanted my virginity but never to be boyfriends, through men with actual jobs who seemed like actual adults until they weren’t, I waited. Every day I am closer to him, one way or another, I thought. I waited and waited and waited.
And then came you.
Glasses too big for your face, that awkward scar on your left shoulder, the undereye bags from the nights you spent writing instead of going to sleep, a smoking habit that you kept trying to kill but just quite couldn’t. You were too imperfect to be a prince.
We fought about stupid things sometimes, like who was the last one to do the dishes even though you aren’t supposed to keep score. Sometimes we ate too much on special dates and by the end of the night we couldn’t move, even if just to touch each other’s lips. When we were too drunk I forgot you tickled when I kissed your neck, and it totally ruined the mood. After my mother met you, her first comment was that your brown eyes probably meant our kids’ wouldn’t be blue. You proposed to me in the car, on our way to the supermarket. We were not movie love.
Movie love is chasing someone in a crowded airport, kissing in the rain, declaring your love at the top of the Empire State, falling for the newly made-over girl as she goes down the staircase, making outrageous bets that somehow always end well, realizing that after seven years it was your best friend all along, running in a wedding dress because you love someone else. No, we were not movie love.
We were something else. I loved you enormously through and for the little things. When we did the dishes together, listening to the silence. When you put my favorite song on without me having to ask. When you picked me up from work and took me to the movies on a Tuesday afternoon. When we held hands despite being too full to move. When I kissed your cheek before leaving for work, trying not to wake you. When my mother said I seemed so happy she didn’t mind us losing our blue-eyed genes forever. When you asked me to marry you on the car because you didn’t want to wait for the dinner planned the week after.
We were not movie love, no. We were real, flesh and bone, flawed and imperfect, far from princes and princesses. Our love was not movie love; it was infinitely better, because it was here and it was ours. And when right now is as sweet as nothing, there perhaps isn’t such a desperate crave for happily ever after.