Being the sentimental part of the #alyxkelly25 project

There’s a line early in The Winslow Boy: “Let’s take the sentimental part of the project for granted,” it goes. It’s a dad’s way of saying to a young man, “I get you’re in love with my daughter, but let’s not go talking about all these feels of yours, all right?”

To which I say Fuck That! If I’m gonna make a big public fuss over my anniversary, let’s lead with emotion.

I fell irrevocably in love with my wife Kelly when I saw her dancing at a bagpipe funk concert sponsored by the Lethbridge Folk Festival, back in the late Eighties. I remember the moment. The thunderbolt. We’d been friends awhile, had gone to the concert together, but boom. Everything changed. And that night she slept over at my place and…

… and nothing happened. No romance, no heartfelt confessions. I was dating someone else, see.

(Which was a situation that went on, messily, for rather an embarrassingly long while. It took time for me to get my head out of Denialsville, otherwise known as my ass, and the rest of me out of the prior relationship.)

This thing K and I have, it is the billion dollar lottery win. It is the One True Loveā„¢. It is hearts and flowers; the glass slipper. It has the feel of fate, and tastes of the marrow-deep conviction that there is no other. All those schmaltzy “two hearts beating as one” lyrics and greeting cards may as well have been written for us.

And though it doesn’t feel anything but right, it’s easy to see from a distance that it’s weird, because I’m a pragmatic, tough-minded and generally rational being, with little patience for magical thinking. My head doesn’t take seriously the proposal that in a world filled with billions, each of us has one other half whom they might never actually meet. I’ve watched Tim Minchin’s lengthy, slightly NSFW, “If I Didn’t Have You” a hundred times because I love it. (Thanks, Linda C, for that!)

And my brain buys in, utterly. Perhaps especially the part of love being made more powerful by the trauma of shared existence.

Logic aside, I live the happily ever after implied in every Austen novel and romantic comedy. The right person came along for me, the One. And that, my friends, is that. I love Kelly with a passion that borders on worship.

I am incredibly, unbelievably fortunate.

Bookmark the permalink.

About Alyx Dellamonica

After twenty-two years in Vancouver, B.C., I've recently moved to Toronto Ontario, where I make my living writing science fiction and fantasy; I also review books and teach writing online at UCLA. I'm a legally married lesbian, a coffee snob, and I wake up at an appallingly early hour.

8 Responses to Being the sentimental part of the #alyxkelly25 project

  1. Beautifully written. Happy 25th anniversary Alyx and Kelly!!!x

  2. Know how it feels. You -are- lucky!

    There’s a lot to be said for monogamy, with the right person(tm).

  3. Yeah, I was dating someone else when I met Jan (at a SF convention), too. Later she told me that she thought at the time it was a monumental injustice. Fortunately that relationship self-destructed spectacularly not long afterwards in the sort of weirdly complex pyrotechnics only indigent young artsies can manage.

    It helped convince me I was a writer, too: I found myself taking notes on the variations of emotional pain involved for later use.

    Then Jan and I met again and -bang-… 8-). On the honeymoon, the staff said we were the only people they’d ever seen able to read, eat and hold hands at the same time.

    If you’ll pardon a slightly more serious digression, I think that one reason love has been “sentimentalized” is that the 19th century Romantics gave us a rather restricted view of it — confusing bursts of romantic passion with “love”. That’s certainly -part- of it, but by no means all. A high note of that sort can’t be maintained all the time. Love is as much a mutual committment of the intellectual will -accompanied- by (varying) emotions, as it is an emotion -sensu strictu-.

    Essentially that view confuses the process of -falling- in love with -being- in love, IMHO.

    She’s also the only person I ever met who can be in the same room while I write without it bothering me.

    • Yes, that’s part of what I’m talking about, above. We sell a Hallmark hearts and flowers package–and that kind of romance has an intrinsically satisfying narrative–but there’s so much more.

  4. True.

    OTOH, to play devil’s advocate, parts of it may be in the category of “necessary cultural fibs”, aka “myths”.

    Maintaining relationships is hard; people need the discipline of internalized expectations as part of impulse control.

    It’s like the constantly repeated drumbeat of the “emptiness” of revenge and how “unsatisfying” it is; that’s bullshit, but we say it over and over to restrain people from their natural impulses.

    • alyxdellamonica says:

      Yes, I think you’re right. (Though I have to admit the few times I’ve been in a position that might be considered revenge-y, it was pretty damned unsatisfying. I was probably doing it rong.)