A True Love Story

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A True Love Story
By Mimi Tanner

Here is a favorite story from a favorite book:

"There was an ordinary man once who worked for NBC and fell in love with a French girl whom me met on a trip to Europe. The girl was very beautiful, and it seemed unlikely that she would notice him, but he convinced her to come to America to live with him.

"Before she arrived, he moved to a coach house at a considerably larger rent than the bachelor apartment he'd lived in before, and he got a decorator to help him make it look more impressive.

"For a while, things seems to go well, and as he was connected with a show that went out of town regularly, he took her with him across the country. That was frowned upon by his superiors, but still he traveled with her.

"Then one day, for that reason or another, he was fired, and shortly after that, she left him, and he was all alone.

"I remember this story, because it was told to me by a much more attractive man, and one who had a job and a wife, and I remember him saying, sitting cross-legged on a velvet couch, 'I went to see him at that coach house, filled with all those paintings and antiques, and he was lying there on the bed in the dark, unshaven, cigarette butts everywhere, out of work, in debt, alone, in total despair, and all I could think of was how much I envied him, really envied him.'"

-- By Merle Shain, from her book "Some Men are More Perfect Than Others"

Why do I love that story?

Sure, you could say that this man made some very bad decisions, and that the girl was not worthy of him. All true. But why did his friend envy him??

Because it takes courage to love! Because the distraught man had not been living on autopilot - he had been living with passion. He gave his all for a woman he loved.

We all know that love does not always work out the way we want it to.

But what is the alternative? Not loving? Drying up? I hope not.

It's a fine line sometimes between being vulnerable for the sake of love, and doing something just plain stupid that hasn't got a prayer of working out.

But the experts takes courage to love. To experience intimacy, you have to put yourself on the line at some point.

When someone really loves you - and has the emotional maturity to know how to love - it's safe to put yourself on the line. And heaven knows, we all need to be safe when it comes to love. But love is also about risking one's heart in order to find that precious place with the one you love.

Here's more of what Merle Shain wrote about this:

"Really splendid men have this courage and know that without it, living is only housekeeping. You can tell them because they do as much feeling as they do thinking.

"...It's terrifying to care, of course, and the young man whom I once heard say to the girl whose hand he was holding, 'Sh%t, I think I love you,' in the ominous tones of someone declaring that he was coming down with the plague, probably put the fear that accompanies loving as graphically as it can be put.

"...Men are supposed to fear loving, because they fear dependency, and truly loving always involves surrender of power. 'Some temptations are so great,' Oscar Wilde wrote, 'it takes great courage to yield to them'."

Take courage and dare to love.

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