True Romance

The other day I noticed my friend  and colleague walking a little bit funny.

No this is not going to that place, stop it!

I asked him (let’s call him John for the sake of his privacy) what was up and he pointed at his feet. “oh, new shoes, still wearing them in?” I asked him.

“Yes and no” was his reply.

Curious as to how the answer could be both when he was quite obviously wearing brand new sneakers and they were obviously causing him some discomfort, I asked him what he was on about.

His answer surprised me, and as the day wore on it caused my eyes to open wider and my admiration for him grow.

You see what John told me is that yes, the shoes were new, and yes, they were hurting his feet. But they weren’t his new shoes.

It turns out that John and his boyfriend (let’s call him Tom) wear the same size shoes. Tom works in the hospitality industry and spends long hours on his feet. So whenever he gets new shoes John wears them in for him for a few days before Tom wears them to work, to make sure that Tom doesn’t hurt his feet.

I was so touched by this display of love and caring. It may not sound like much at first, but think about it. when last did you walk in a pair of shoes? It hurts!

As the day wore on my respect and admiration for John’s commitment only grew. his feet hurt. He was clearly in pain as the hard new canvas rubbed blisters into his heels. But when I asked him why he doesn’t take them off for a while he just smiled.

The look in his face said it all, “I love this man, I will not let anything hurt him, not even a new pair of shoes”

I was touched to my core. As a mother and someone who has been through relationships, a marriage, a divorce and seen plenty of other people’s relationships along the way, I can quite safely say that the only other place I have ever seen that look before is in the eyes of mothers with their children (and even then only in the loving and protecting moments, not the exhausted and exasperated ones!).

It also occurred to me that there are some things that most of us heterosexual types will never understand about the closeness and love and caring in a same sex relationship.Don’t get me wrong, I’m not negating one or trumping the other, it’s just that I think so many of us “normal” people accept and are happy with the idea of same sex relationships but don’t relate. So though we may try to equate them to boy-girl relationships, and spend endless amounts of time trying to figure out the logistics of how it all works (the emotional stuff – get your damn head of the gutter already!) we may have missed the fact there are things gay people will experience in their relationships (again, will you stop with the dirty!) that we never will.

No two relationships are the same. regardless of the sex or orientation of the people in them. Every single one is different, has different dynamics, different strengths and weaknesses. The thing is if two people really, truly love each other – like for real love – it is more than something that they feel or say.

Love is all the little somethings that you do, with no thought for yourself, because someone else’s happiness, comfort and safety, brings you more joy than even your own.

True romance is not candles and roses (although I certainly don’t sneeze at those) true romance is wearing in your boyfriend’s shoes so that his feat won’t hurt, or bringing your sweet heart coffee at 5am because they need to get up early, or tip toeing so that you don’t wake them up when you have to get up early. It’s taking a risk and making a fool of yourself to declare your feelings in any number of ways (even if you don’t think you have the slightest hope) because there is a chance that it might make that person happy, or because you can’t live your whole life wondering what might have been if you had just tried.

Thank you guys for reminding me that true romance does exist.


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