A group of women, talking and laughing over margaritas. The topic of conversation is love.
One woman has a new baby and is counting her blessings over the sweetness and kindness of her husband. She recounts falling in love with him, how she was leaving for a tour of duty when they were falling in love. She didn't want to ask him to wait, but she secretly hoped he would. He did.
Another is finishing her degree and living with her high school sweetheart. When she first went away to college, she cried her eyes out with missing him. But she stayed in school. Eventually he moved close to her school. Now that she's graduating, they're talking about marriage.
Another misses her lover she met while working in another country last year. But things went wrong since then, and they broke up. She still feels wistful. There is a cute neighbor that she wishes would kiss her, but she doesn't know when he will work up the nerve.
Another one is in the middle of a break up. She cares about her boyfriend of five years, regrets hurting him, but she knows he is not the one for her. Will she ever find the one for her? She doesn't know, but she is chafing from restricted freedom.
Another one met a man online but he lives far away. She loves his mind, his voice, his sense of humor. But can she know it is love without scent, taste and especially without touch?
Another one is happily married, with a husband who has been very supportive as she finishes school, doing laundry and chores, but she is looking forward to taking the burden off him soon.
They all talk about who said "I love you" first in these and in prior relationships. It seems everyone always holds back, trying not to be the first one to say it. It's a delicate dance.
I listen and listen. I don't know what love is, but they seem so sure of it. I have been mistaking so many other things for it all these years.
Post Script: As my reader, Suzy, just astutely pointed out, The Fool should not be missing from this post.