I recently added “Sleepless in Seattle” and “You’ve Got Mail” to my DVD collection. I hadn’t seen either film in years, certainly not since Zac and I rekindled our romance in 2008.
Although I will always be a fan of both movies, I don’t think I will ever watch them with the intensity that I once did.
I am no longer a sappy teenager trying to live and love vicariously through Meg Ryan’s characters. I am happily married to my Tom Hanks.
It hasn’t all been sunshine and roses for us, though.
As proof, I have a series of e-mails from our dating days in my box of souvenirs. What I once viewed as virtual love letters straight out of “You’ve Got Mail” now seem like the beginning of a bad romantic comedy.
The female lead is as insecure as her new man is clueless to the ways of women. Both are more than a little selfish. Neither has been in a serious relationship before, but bless their hearts, they’re trying.
Any intelligent observer might wonder why one of them doesn’t call the whole crazy thing off.
The best description I have of how odd a couple Zac and I are is that he is the Tigger to my Eeyore. It’s a wonder our union works. There have been days that I didn’t know how much longer it was going to.
As Rosie O’Donnell points out in “Sleepless in Seattle,” being in love and being in love in a movie are not the same thing.
Real love is messier. Married life doesn’t allow you to enjoy the passion without sharing some pain and one of its greatest surprises is how beautiful both can be.
Zac, like a typical Tigger, believes that everything that goes wrong will work itself out because we love each other. I’m not so sure that love alone is enough.
However, I have learned that love makes whatever the world throws at us worthwhile.
Although Zac and I have only been married a few years, our love has already been refined by fire and has carried us through the rain.
It has witnessed the birth of a child, the loss of a town and a million humdrum moments in between that I can’t imagine sharing with anyone else but Zac.
Because I believe we have the real deal where love is concerned, I don’t put any pressure on Zac for Valentine’s Day.
Our marriage would be nothing more than a legal arrangement if Feb. 14 was the only time that he made me feel loved.
I prefer the little things Zac does on a daily basis, like sending me sweet text message at lunchtime and wrapping me in bear hugs at the most random moments.
However, he really swept me off my feet in February 2010, our first Valentine’s Day as husband and wife.
I came home one night to find a card in the mailbox and a Post-it on the door. Inside, there were more notes leading me through the various stages of Zac’s elaborate surprise — bowls of candy on the coffee table, flowers in the dining room, a teddy bear on the bed, a candlelight dinner in the kitchen and a CD of love songs playing on the radio.
Zac set the bar so high that year that he thinks every Valentine’s Day scenario he has thought up since then pales in comparison.
He doesn’t seem to remember that I was equally impressed by a much simpler meal we shared while we were still dating.
The main course was Pasta Roni divided into two mismatched bowls. Zac poured a Pepsi into the fanciest glasses he had on hand and lit a single scented candle for ambience.
If we were starring in a romantic comedy, I’m sure the director would have rewritten that scene and many others from our life together to make them more sophisticated.
But real life isn’t like the movies; it’s better.