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Philosophical Monday: The Most Practical Path to Mad Love


I know that people often discover surprising stuff from their past when they’re moving out of their homes, and as it turns out, I’m no different. As I’ve stated before, I came into my relationship with CH with very little. No furniture, just two suitcases, and a few other items, all of which, fit easily into my tw0-door Echo without obscuring my rearview mirror’s reflection of what I was leaving behind as I left North Hollywood for Silver Lake.

The job was so small that after giving away my mattress, I was able to pack up my studio apartment and get settled into CH’s house in under three hours by myself.

I vaguely remembered putting a few things in the garage, during this move, but that was all.

That is until last Wednesday when CH asked me to sort through my stuff, so that he’d know what to give and/or throw away.

I wasn’t surprised about all of the papers. I am brutal about throwing away things I don’t need, but like most writers, I find it hard to let go of things I’ve written in the past, no matter how bad they are. And last Wednesday, I had no problems throwing out cards, photos, jewelry, and knick-knacks, but I kept my papers stacked in a bottom drawer and by the time I was through with my narrow plastic drawer thingie, all I had left was papers and Derby Doll memorabilia.

I thought I was pretty much done. But then CH brought over the first black suitcase. I opened it to find it filled with kitchen wares, most of them an Ikea double of what we already had in our own kitchen: frying pan, pasta strainer, a couple of plates, kitchen utensils — even some spices and other non-perishable food stuffs. I was a bit perplexed. Why had I decided to keep all of this stuff when I knew that CH already had all of it in his kitchen? “You can put the whole suitcase in the Goodwill pile,” I told CH.

Then the other black suitcase appeared. This one had the pieces of my old three-bag laundry system and some towels and that was all. Goodwill again, but I was beginning to remember why I had packed these things… Then a trash bag was brought over. It was filled with bed linens: a heavy blanket and sheets. Then the last trash bag was brought over and that one had pillows inside of it.

I was stunned. Basically I had left myself an apartment survival kit, so that if things went south with CH, I could get out quick and be set-up with essentials in a new place, easy-peezy, with everything accept a mattress.

I was both impressed and stung by my forethought. I had remembered being slightly uneasy about moving in with CH. It had been my plan to always keep an apartment of my own unless CH asked me to marry him, but CH had made some really practical arguments for why I should just go ahead and move in with him — basically I was living with him anyway and it was silly to spend all that extra money on an apartment I never used anymore. I agreed to move in, but I put aside the money that I had been paying in rent into a savings account, just in case. And after we got engaged, and I got my first gig as a full-time writerr, I used that saved money to pay off all of my overdue bills, so that I could get my credit right.

I guess it’s a testament to how happy I’ve been with CH that I totally forgot about the back-up plan in the garage, or the fact that I was completely — and I mean completely-completely — prepared to run if things didn’t go well with him.

My sister always makes fun of how quickly CH and I became a full-on couple. She does an impression of us, starting with CH saying, “Hi, I’m CH, you want to move in with me?” and her normally level-headed sister answering. “Sure!”

Even I’m a little amazed that I took the leap with CH so easily, despite years of dating experience that had turned me a little cynical. But I suppose the answer to that out-of-character question was waiting in the garage this entire time. I was able to take that leap, not because I fully trusted my instincts, and not because I was nose-wide-open. No, the only thing that allowed me to follow the path of mad love was first fully protecting myself, just in case I didn’t like what I found down the road. And then promptly forgetting about all of the resources that I had stored in my back pocket.

It makes me wonder what other people had to do to allow themselves to follow the path of love. Stories welcome in the comments.


Photo by Gisela Giardino