Coffee shops are funny places. I’ve spent a lot of time in them writing, dreaming, scheming, and of course drinking far too much coffee. It’s not even the atmosphere that brings me in though, it’s the people.

Just last week I overheard 2 nurses on lunch complaining about pastors who cheat on their wives. My favorite quote from that day? “Well, Daddy didn’t just fall out of bed onto another woman… he planned it!” It took every ounce of strength within me not to laugh out loud.

I’m sure if people overheard my conversations they would have those moments too. I use coffee shops as my place to re-connect with old friends, catch up on life, discuss current events, and probably share strong opinions much like the ladies above.

With all the funny things I hear and see, I do observe my fair share of pain and sadness. I’ve seen guys get dumped, women get yelled at, girls cry over the loss of a child and even covert meet-ups between 2 lovers that are married to well… not each other.

This is where I am today. I saw a woman walk in that I used to work with back in my high school days. In fact, I house sat for her and her husband. They were the couple I wanted to be someday; successful, happy, attractive, adventurous and incredibly good looking. She doesn’t recognize me. Thank you again long, dark brown hair and glasses. You help me be invisible :)

Anyway, She walked around in a flurry looking for someone, couldn’t find them and then he walked through the door. They embraced, kissed and are now sitting across from me holding hands and staring lovingly into each other’s eyes. He’s wearing a wedding ring… I can’t see her left hand, BUT this is not the man that I used to house sit for. Total side note: When they left the coffee shop two old women had some wonderfully catty things to say about how they noticed he had a ring and she didn’t. Oh, and they decided her hair had no shine and was probably fake. Insert large smile from Laura.

I should be applying for grad school, but yet again, my mind has wandered. This whole interaction has gotten me thinking about love again.

Love is something I have felt, hopefully given and hopefully been a part of. I haven’t found a love that I want to wake up next to every morning, but I’m working on it. It’s not the gaining or beginning stages of love that I’m thinking about today, it’s the maintaining or keeping of love that enraptures me.

Not being an expert on love, by any means, I’ve come to 3 simple yet so complex and unpracticed conclusions.

1. Love is work. It’s not easy. There will be blood, sweat, and tears.

2. Love is a choice. It is your choice to fight to stay in it, or to allow yourself to fall out of it. Love is a choice.

3. Love is like any relationship. You have to maintain honesty, integrity, openness, lowered defenses and vulnerability. These things are also choices.

So often we complain about things happening to us that we say we have no control over. Yes, there are some things that we have NO control over, but we do have the ability to choose so many things, good and bad, and I’ve learned that staying in love is one of them. Is it worth it? Well, my parents and so many happy couples around me would say yes, and I’m looking forward to the day that I can wholeheartedly agree.

  • Patricia Mullen

    Laura, you are amazing!!! I miss you, but clearly you are where you should be!!