“I love being married. It’s so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life.” Rita Rudner
My favourite thoughts are the ones that catch me when I least expect. Cleaning out the lint filter of the dryer, and suddenly from nowhere, you start thinking about the boy that sat next to you in the 3rd grade, who always seem to smell like caramel.
Or likewise, trying to drown out the sound of the extended family, as we are packed into a mini van, hurtling along an Autobahn… it suddenly occurred to me that I was in love. I had given my heart away, and didn’t even realise it.
It has taken me over twenty years to acknowledge this, and it has not always been an easy path. There were times when the hatred I felt for this ‘new love’ could have outshone the blitz from a nuclear bomb drop. There were many times that I would dip my big toe into it, feel the temperature, and decide to leave it well alone. But this ‘love’ persevered until it captured me. We would cast shy glances, under our lashes. We would bicker, we would make up.
This love is called Germany.
The good lord knows that I have resisted with all my might. I have vocalized my dissent to all and sundry. You may have seen me? I was the wild haired girl that skipped through customs at Frankfurt Airport, grinning like a village idiot, filled with the sheer relief that I felt about being able to leave Germany behind… racing off to some place more exotic.
People asked me all the time, “Wouldn’t you like to live here?” My reply did nothing help gender relationships, “I would rather stick Ebola laced needles in my eyes that live here.” It stopped them in their tracks, they never asked me again.
It was a small child that brought my secret love to light. The smallest of all the ‘guests’. With her tiny hand tucked into mine, we spent Christmas striding through castles and snow… up hills and along over bridges, until one day, she turned her dear sweet little face up to mine, and with her squeaky voice (sort of like Mickey Mouse after sucking on a helium balloon) she asked me, “Aunty Lulu, do you know EVERYTHING about Germany?”
And it struck me, that I had been talking incessantly, constantly telling little anecdotes and stories. Pointing out hills and houses, giving lectures on the history of everything from cemeteries to churches. I was, in fact, doing exactly what a woman does when she is in love. Talking non stop.
We have an uneasy love, Germany & I, but I believe that this is the place that I am meant to be. And like all relationships, we will need to find a way to live together in harmony. Right now, Germany has on its most beautiful dress, a thick blanket of crisp, cold snow. And a quiet calm that is just what the doctor ordered.