Sunday Snippet: L. M. Montgomery (1874-1942)

“Perhaps, after all, romance did not come into one’s life with pomp and blare, like a gay knight riding down; perhaps it crept to one’s side like an old friend through quiet ways; perhaps it revealed itself in seeming prose, until some sudden shaft of illumination flung athwart its pages betrayed the rhythm and the music, perhaps… love unfolded naturally out of a beautiful friendship, as a golden-hearted rose slipping from its green sheath.”

This Saturday is Valentine’s Day. Some people love the abundance of roses, chocolates and stuffed teddy bears. Some people view it as “Singles Awareness Day.” And some people despise it with a vengeance. Whatever your perspective may be, we can all get swept up in the fantasy of love at first sight with magical moments involving glances across a crowded room or a dropped glass slipper. Me, I don’t believe in love at first sight.

And this is coming from a guy who views himself as the hopeless romantic.

You see, there will always be a disconnect between the idealized form of courtship we see depicted in movies and how actual relationships pan out in the real world. Sure, you may catch the eye of the beautiful girl (or guy) from the other end of the room and the two of you may indeed hit it off. However, at that point in time, I wouldn’t really classify the situation as “love.”

Love, to me, is a far more complex and ethereal concept that cannot be captured in a single moment. No, love is something that develops over time and, if you’re lucky, it’s something that grows with each passing day. It’s not waking up next to the beautiful girl you met at the bar; it’s waking up next to the same girl for years and being ever happier and more grateful each time you do. Love isn’t about the first sight. It’s about the 100th sight. It’s about the 1000th sight.

Indeed, I had previously written about the best decision I ever made and, at the time, I didn’t know what would become of the situation. I couldn’t have predicted that we would get married and have a little child of our own. We’ve had our ups and downs, as any couple does, but it is through overcoming those downs and celebrating those ups together that we have forged the relationship that we have.

The quote at the top is an excerpt from Anne of Avonlea by Lucy Maud Montgomery, oftentimes credited simply as L. M. Montgomery. It is the second book in the popular Anne of Green Gables series. Montgomery was a Canadian fiction writer, authoring some 20 novels and over 500 short stories, many of which were set in her birthplace of Prince Edward Island.

The sentiment expressed is echoed by American journalist Mignon McLaughlin. This sounds about right to me.

“A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.”