But as much as we'd like to, we can't live in bed only. We need to get up and go to a job to be able to pay our bills--well, most of us do, anyway. And we have families and friends that we interact with. Commitments.
So since we do need to get out of bed, at least occasionally, the other necessary component we need is FRIENDSHIP. I thought about saying respect, but most of us do respect our friends. We don't take advantage of them, or take them for granted. We feel lucky to have close friends who understand us. But sometimes we don't treat the one person we're having sex with as well as we treat our friends. Why not? That person should be your very best friend. Intimacy lends a whole new dimension to friendship, but it should not replace basic decency and respect. And even today, when couples routinely live together before marriage, saying the vows and making that commitment really does change things.
"So Diego and I just need time, is what you're saying?"
"Sha-sha, I don't know what it is that precipitated your coming home, and I don't care. It's not my business, and I won't pry. But if you're thinking that marriage is all beer and skittles, you're wrong. It's a lot of hard work. It will cause buckets of tears, and many hurt feelings. You will learn that your love ebbs and flows like a tide. Sometimes you'll look at him and wonder what you ever saw in him, and question your own sanity for marrying him. Other times, you'll feel so deeply in love that you'll be drowning in a pool of attachment hormones, making you feel like you're nothing when you're not together...making you feel so empty without him."
Her mom gave her a significant look, with a quick eyebrow waggle followed by a wink.
"Mo-om!" She giggled. "You're outrageous! Aren't you too old for that sort of thing? Other moms don't talk about sex like you do!"
Her mom sniffed. "Dad and I may be old, but we're not dead yet. And more's the pity for their children that they don't. I won't ever lie to you, Sha-sha. I tell the truth. Marriage is like getting older: it's not for wussies. You have to be strong, to knit two lives together with thread of steel, so that the bond can't be broken. Trust me on this. I know of what I speak."
"Oh, Mom!" Saoirse fell forward into her mom's embrace, and she could feel all of the cold, numbness melting inside of her, as the love she'd depended on from her earliest memories washed over her and wrapped her in a cocoon.
They held each other for a long time, breathing in sync.
* * * *
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