A few nights ago, my cab driver pulled in front of my apartment at 12AM. After a fun night filled with catching up and copious amounts of alcohol I wanted to do nothing more than pass out on my bed in my air conditioned room and sleep 5eva. The next hour, however, was spent listening to my cab driver tell me just what he thought about love.
“Love is a beautiful thing,” my old, thickly accented cabbie said. “When you find that love you don’t keep it secret. You feel it build up in here,” he indicates his heart, “And you let it out everywhere. It makes the world a beautiful place.
“So, you say you have a good man who treats you well that you are not sure of how you feel for that man? Well, me tell you something. There are plenty of beautiful people in the world, and there are plenty of people in the world capable of treating you how you deserve to be treated. Men always play games. Men know if they fawn a beautiful woman long enough they can get what they want. And they know they only have to be nice long enough to fool you. They do not have to be nice forever.
“Then you have women buying all of these expensive things to show off their money; bags, fake boobs, nice clothes. And men with nice cars, working on Wall Street, living in big apartments. You can fix your looks with plastic surgery easy. And, yes, money and a good job and good looks will make you powerful. But none of this will make you love.
“Listen to this: you don’t love someone because of how they look or how they treat you. Looks and money fade. Good people can do bad things. When those things are gone, you will stop loving them. This is why you can only truly love when you love someone for who they are.”
Seems logical enough, don’t you think? No one needs to sit through an hour of anecdotes of this cabbie’s encounters with beautiful women, of his divorce, of his strange experiences offering his wisdom to other broken, or proud, or hopeless men and women. We all know exactly what he was telling me. People get old. People get laid off. Shia Labeouf and Megan Fox broke up even though he saved her life. Having things doesn’t beget love. Doing things–even the act of loving–doesn’t beget love.
If you were me, you probably would have gotten out of that car at 1AM feeling relief that’s probably akin to the relief a preteen feels at the end of a “serious talk” about sexual encounters from their awkwardly indignant middle school sex-ed teacher. Finally. Jeeze. Couldn’t get out of there fast enough.
But when you consider how many times you have loved a person solely because of what they possessed or what they did, you’ll realize that you’ll be beating yourself up for the lost years and not the hour.