One of my blogging friends once made a bold move for love.
You might know her. She’s April, and she writes a beautiful blog called Stories of our Boys. In The Boldest Thing I Ever Did for Love, she tells the tale of how she bent the Southern guide to dating etiquette like an aluminum can and changed her world forever.
(I won’t ruin the ending – go see it yourself.)
April’s words gave me thought, and I socked away her link for the right time. Here we are, a month from Valentine’s Day, an itchy holiday to many on which bold moves are most likely to happen.
I’ve had enough holiday dates with tiny ravioli and high expectations on that day. I expect something grander. Some more tangible measure of love.
I expect something grander than a day that we fellas should stand in line to buy flowers, scrounge after work for a box of chocolates, or pay megabucks for a pink teddy bear as the deadline looms.
We fall short, Lloyd Dobler
As a child of the 80s and 90s, the ultimate bold move for love will forever be Lloyd Dobler’s Boombox Serenade to Diane Court (swoon) in Say Anything:
I’m thrilled April’s bold move paid off. Much like Lloyd’s. I made a few in my day. They might have included*:
- Asking a girl out during a reading of Romeo & Juliet in ninth-grade English
- Asking for a girl’s number in my line when I worked a grocery store cash register – with my mom in line
- Penning the ultimate love letter, only to have it shot to bits like a low-metabolism duck on the first day of duck hunting season
*I wound up marrying one of these.
Bold moves in love are trickier than they are anywhere else in life. We boys sometimes make them foolishly. We boys sometimes don’t take the chance, and by that, wind up losing anyway.
Following a girl out of the room on the last day of class you’ve wanted to talk to all semester, only to choke on a simple “hello” to start the conversation, for instance.
In real life, bold moves for love disguise themselves in normality, in undertones of gray and deep green and washed-out blue that seem to fade into each other in unremarkable contrast. They’re often invisible, sacrifices made for those we love enough to sacrifice for.
Bold, yet understated
The everyday bold moves for love are not in-the-nick-of-time airport terminal confessions like you might see on a Lifetime original. (Sorry, Treat Williams. I’ll win her heart with something less dramatic. Plus, TSA, you know.)
Sometimes, the ultimate bold move for love isn’t made for love at all. Sometimes, it’s saying nothing. Hitting delete, not send. It’s leaving well enough alone, not lofting the last barb.
Sometimes, the ultimate bold move for love isn’t lit up like Las Vegas. It’s quiet vigil, prayerful thought, hope for the greatest outcome for someone – even if it doesn’t involve you.
Sometimes, the ultimate bold move for love isn’t a grand entrance. It’s a quiet presence, an unspoken understanding that you’re there, 24/7. All you have to do is call.
Sometimes, the ultimate bold move for love is to stop loving altogether. It’s to move out of a space for someone or something to occupy and bring that loved one to greater bliss.
Sometimes, the ultimate bold move for love isn’t constant attention. It’s well-spaced silence, a retraction of concern and involvement to let the universe’s path become known.
Sometimes, the ultimate bold move for love isn’t prayers answered. It’s prayers altered, from pleas to spare someone to pleas to take them in peace.
Sometimes, the ultimate bold move for love isn’t for someone else, but for yourself. It’s waking up every day to continue the journey to self. It’s realizing the journey may take an entire lifetime, but understanding that even if it does, nothing’s worth more. And that in order to love and be loved, you first must love yourself.
Love’s place through it all
I love to hear stories like April’s.
They fuel my belief that rather than random, the universe has a rhythm to it, that our actions aren’t simply haphazard happenstance, but a sliver of a collective whole, a life force that surrounds everything from caterpillars to the Chicago Cubs.
So maybe the boldest moves for love are just to love, to trust it, to follow it, not to dam it or damn it, but to let it lead us to a true outcome and existence, and simply live alive within it, or next to it, or from afar, whatever the case may be.
I love that idea.