I'm sitting here waiting for Hurricane Earl to blow my beach house right off its stilts. Once the storm clears I'll be left to commit atrocities here at Dewey Beach, DE.
When we fall in love with someone, we put up with certain things, or make a sacrifice because of that devotion.
One of the many reasons I am still single is because I don't make those little sacrifices. I refuse to perform any Labors of Love. Someday, I hope to be able to do that but for now I am enjoying playing wiffle ball and grilling with my buddies.
Here are a few examples of Labors of Love that people do because of their devotion to their significant other:
Supporting the "Talent" They Wish They Had
I remember when I first started playing guitar, I thought I was so good. So I made my poor girlfriend at the time listen to me play. I still remember how awful I sounded trying to play Smashing Pumpkins' "Disarm." I'd say "wait" between each chord.
The other day my mom made me listen to an awful karaoke message my dad left on her voicemail. He regularly karaokes with his Filipino cronies. He can't sing a lick, and his typical choice of music is Engelbert Humperdink. But my mom, while not supporting his passion of butchering other people's already bad songs, puts up with it. Music seems to be something so many people think they can do.
Guys' roles in wedding planning is that of a small boat in a storm at sea: We go with the rolling tides while staying out of the way. But we can't be too blasé about it; we get in trouble for not having an opinion. It's the strangest oppressive government women create: subjugating the fiancé but urging him to have an opinion within the oppressive government. Of course, if you're semi-gay like me, you're way into wedding planning — am I going to be a bridezilla?
Avoiding "Guy" Behavior
It's hard for me to turn off my "crude" switch and remember that a girl might want to have intelligent conversation that doesn't involve farts or my college buddies' stories. "Behaving" for a girl is very much like taking time to study in college for my major — buckle down and bite the bullet to accomplish something great.
One of the best guy rooms I've ever heard of is my friend's brother's wife giving him entire room to adorn with Steelers stuff. It's a cave for him and his buddies. My dad gets the basement, and my brother-in-law gets the shed (although that sounds like a raw deal). It's basically their wives ceding territory to keep their husbands happy.
Every Mother's Day, my mom asks me to go to the opera with her as my gift to her...because my dad doesn't even perform that Labor of Love. So, I'm filled with anxiety as the day approaches. Imagine my surprise every year when I end up loving the opera. But it's still a trip home and time devoted to make Mom happy. My married friends often cut out early in the middle of fun events with us to be with their wives, or perform whatever duties they have to do. I guess time is shared once you're in a deep relationship — it's no longer your own.
I'm not sure how many people truly enjoy hanging out with in-laws. On the way down to the beach last night, my buddy was suggesting that our married friend would be arriving later in the weekend to hang out with us because he'd be attending "BBQs with his wife that he really doesn't want to attend."
But family time with the in-laws is a necessary part of any relationship, so everyone has to grin and bear it. My family is tough, with my mom trying to convert every significant other into a Ravens fan, my aunts and cousins scrutinizing, and my sisters not liking anyone I bring home. Fun times.
In every relationship, there must be things that we do even though we don't really want to do them. I'd like to believe in the romantic notion that people do these things/make these sacrifices because they love someone...so they actually want to do them. But I think there comes a time when you're actually ready to make these sacrifices. I'm not there yet, but hopefully I will be someday.
What's the nicest Labor of Love or sacrifice someone has made for you? What do you have to do in your relationship that you dread most? Did you start making more sacrifices after you met the right person?
Happy Labor Day!
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