The smell of my lover’s cologne. On him, not on anyone else. The sound of his special ringtone when he’s finally gotten off of work after 10 hours. His hand on my hip as he leans in to kiss my neck. The voicemail I’ve saved from 2008 that says, “I love you more than all the raindrops in Oregon.” The taste of Wild Blueberry Twist gum that he was fond of when we went on our 2nd date – rafting down the Rogue River on the 4th of July. That moment in the middle of the night when he wakes up momentarily, to search for my hand so he can hold it. The feel of his tongue running along my lip. The memory of the first time he kissed me, at a ninth grade dance, just before the Vice Principal came up behind him and cleared his throat. These are the things (the things I don’t mind sharing with you, that is) that make me swoon.
Not literally, of course. Swooning, in the traditional sense, means to faint or become completely enraptured by ecstatic joy. For me, swooning is more like a giant sigh while butterflies do somersaults inside my stomach. Swooning is the way I feel when I’m in the first stages of falling in love. When I’m completely smitten and can’t seem to stop smiling from the moment I wake up in the morning to his “Good morning baby, I love you” text message. And still today I find myself feeling all giddy, whether it’s with anticipation, knowing that my lover will be here any minute, or from a sweet memory from four years ago.
That swoon, that deep breath that relaxes every muscle I have, is what lets me know that I don’t just love him. I’m in love with him.
There is one other thing that still makes me swoon, and that’s music. Of course. You know me well enough by now to know that was coming, right? But admit it. You’re the same way. I know you are. When you’re falling in love, just like when you’re going through heartbreak, you relate emotionally to every single song on the radio. Your senses are at Defcon 4. Suddenly, the lyrics that were pretty meaningless last week now make perfect sense and seem as if they were written specifically for you. You know what I’m talking about, don’t you?
And you know that I have a playlist to swoon by. You knew that I’d pull it out of my hidey hole to share it with you on the most sacred of all lover’s holidays. I am, of course, because I would never dream of disappointing you.
This is my very special playlist of music I like to play when there’s nobody in the house but us. Because who knows what might transpire. It’s the music that reminds me of those first few months together again after we hadn’t seen each other for more than 25 years. Sometimes I become that 14 year old girl all over again, charmed by the long haired wrestler who playfully tugged at my shorts instead of the flag during a flag football tournament in gym class.
The funny thing about this playlist though, is that not all of these songs are about falling in love. Some have nothing to do with happy, warm feelings or joy and everlasting harmony. But each one of these songs strikes a chord inside my body that brings me incredible peace and warmth or they got me a little hot and bothered and…well, I don’t know any other way to say than this: These songs make me swoon. Doesn’t matter what the lyrics are about. It’s the way they make me feel when I hear them.
I hope you find a song or two in this playlist that brings you close to that feeling, and I’d love to know one or two of the songs in your own internal playlist that bring on your butterflies or put you solidly in the mood.
And lastly, if you’ve got a lover, please take a moment to reflect on how you felt when you were first smitten, and don’t let Valentine’s Day go by without reminding your sweetheart why you fell in love. Maybe you can do it all over again – with a little mood music.
I’ve got one more thing to say, as an addendum of sorts. I’m writing this after reading the column to my lover, just to make sure he was completely okay with me letting the world know that this tattooed, rough-around-the-edges construction worker with a missing tooth doesn’t mind me telling the whole world that I can reduce him to tears (albeit happy ones) just by talking about a song that reminds me of him.
I didn’t always have Eddie. Four years ago I was divorced and pissed off. I felt like I had so much love to share and I wanted to be with someone. Or at least I wanted to have fun with someone. Even that seemed like too much to ask for. Dating was like beating my head against a brick wall sometimes.
Maybe that’s where you are right now. Wishing you had someone to swoon about. Maybe you’ve been hurt before, or lost someone or things just ended badly. Perhaps you’ve taken a few hesitant steps out there into the dating world, fallen on your face a time or two, and now you’re resolved to spending the rest of your life alone because you don’t want to get hurt again. Don’t want to get cheated on. Don’t want to be lied to. Don’t want to end up neglected, lonelier with someone than without.
Please, don’t do this. Don’t give up.
Would you rather be lonely for the rest of your life, never taking a chance because you’re afraid of something that may or may not happen?
So what if you end up in a relationship that doesn’t last the test of time. At least you had some happiness, some good company, maybe some good sex. At least a couple of nice dinners and interesting conversation. Maybe you’ll be lied to again. And it’ll hurt. But it’s not on you, it’s on them.
What’s the harm in putting yourself out there?
That old saying about how “It’s better to have loved and lost then to have never loved at all?” It’s true.
So get out there. Give it all you’ve got. Worry about getting hurt when it actually happens. Don’t let it stop you from having a fulfilling life.
Flirt. Get smitten. Love. And here’s the most important thing of all: Be the best person you can be. Because when you fall in love, it’s not because someone else ‘made’ you fall in love with them. It’s because you love who you are when you’re with that person. You’re falling in love with YOU. So be that person every day, whether you have someone else encouraging you along or not. Because when you’re the best person you can be, it’s extraordinarily attractive. Who could possibly help but to fall in love with you? But you gotta put yourself out there.
Run along now, fall in love.
A News Cafe, founded in Shasta County by Redding, CA journalist Doni Greenberg, is the place for people craving local Northern California news, commentary, food, arts and entertainment. Views and opinions expressed here are not necessarily those of anewscafe.com.