Drunk on Love....is How I Want to Live

(This article was also posted on MariaShriver.com Valentines Day)

A little background -- in 2014, I’ll be married 28 years to a man I dated for 11 years prior. We met at the age of 13; we are turning 52 this year. He is still my confidante and best friend. No one will love me more deeply than he has – not even my own mother.

I don’t know why the universe presented this man for me, first time out of the gate. I don’t know where we found the fortitude to understand what “relationship” meant so young, but we both intuitively knew. We knew the work it took, every single day – the patience, the kindness, the loyalty. And we’ve both worked at it for thirty-nine years.

Now the story -- I love the country band Little Big Town. On an early morning run in January, 18 degrees (balmy in Maine after a winter of negative temperatures), I listened to their new song, Sober, oh, maybe twelve times in a row. The entire two miles. I tend to do that when something gets in my head. While listening and running on that gray winter morning, I laughed, smiled, sang out loud (badly) and thrashed my arms.

This is what came to mind as I listened: when we got married, Frank wanted our wedding dance to be This is The End by the Doors. You can imagine my smirking face at that one. I didn’t think so.

Second choice – Wild Horses by The Rolling Stones. The romantic in me loved that he suggested that. Mick sings “wild horses couldn't drag me away….” Wow. Is that what he was thinking?

But nada. I couldn’t, at the tender age of 24, have The Rolling Stones sing our wedding song. It just didn’t fit, I thought.

And yet, for 28 years, I’ve remembered that, and you know what….it does fit. It should have been our song….because it was what HE was thinking. And that he was thinking that was just beautiful.

Silly me.

Now, Little Big Town in 2014 sings this song, Sober, that I run to and, for me, this is our wedding song at our 28 year anniversary. All pretenses have fallen away and now it’s just real. Our love is not a dream or a hope; it’s our reality.

Sober

I want to walk that line a little crooked

And live my life a little on the rocks

Laugh at every time I fell

Not afraid to make a fool of myself

And keep on dancing when the music stops

Cause I love being in love

It’s the best kind of drug

Drunk on the high leaning on your shoulder

Sweet like wine as it gets older

When I die, I don’t want to go sober

Oh, when I die, I don’t want to go sober

You’re like drinking from a never ending bottle

When I think it’s gone, there’s always a little more left

Lay back with you, and close my eyes

Let the big old world just spin on by

And saying your name with my last breath

I love being in love

It’s the best kind of drug

Drunk on the high leaning on your shoulder

Sweet like wine as it gets older

When I die, I don’t want to go sober

Oh, when I die, I don’t want to go sober*

What I know for sure at this age is what John Lennon told us so many years ago – all you need is love. Love has opened the space that allowed me to become the person I’m meant to be.

Loving someone isn’t necessarily easy; it isn’t always romantic….but I’d rather be drunk on love than anything else because it fills me up. I can let down my defenses, be silly, sloppy, sad. I can laugh, stumble, and know someone is there to pick me up if I need it.

If I can die inebriated with the passion we’ve shared, the commitment, the effort, the ups & downs weathered as a team – what more could I want? Love may not be rational or on the straight and narrow….but that’s the beauty of it. Drunk on love, as messy as it may get, is how I want to live.

At 52, when I hear Little Big Town sing it, I get it.

*Little Big Town. "Sober." By Liz Rose, Hillary Lindsey, Lori McKenna.Tornado. Capital Records Nashville, 2012. CD.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7gWngdrevM

Photos: Paris, France

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