Who’s Stewart?

Hi,

There are many stories in here, so forgive the multiple parentheticals – recognizing of course, that really talented writers don’t use them often.  Ah well, I’ve never claimed to be a really talented writer.

Anyway, I was speaking with my builder last week.  A few years ago, her birthday gift from her husband was a girls’ weekend at an exclusive hotel.  These women have been friends for years; there are no secrets.  Well, with an abundance of alcohol there are no secrets.  And they imbibed – a lot.  One of her friends has been happily married for many years.  Great guy – sweet, attentive, doting – the kind of guy everyone else in the group holds up as the example when they’re arguing with their spouses.

After many drinks, her friend acknowledged that as much as she loved him, he wasn’t her ‘Stewart’.  Stewart was the one who got away.  Her college sweetheart – part dog, part romantic fool.  She was besotted, he was hormonal.  But she held out a fantasy, wondering for years, ‘what if’.

To abbreviate the tale, over the years her feelings for her husband have replaced that wonder.  She adores him – even though he wasn’t her ‘Stewart’.

I’ve never had a Stewart.  Perhaps it’s because I married often enough that by the time I hit 30, the prospect of a fantasy romance would have just enervated me.  I was a single mom with two boys under the age of five.  And honestly, being a mom was pretty much the only fantasy I ever really had that I insisted on making a reality (but that’s another story).

So let’s move on.

Have I told you that my sister is flippin’ brilliant?  On so many levels, this woman amazes me constantly (Debbie, I know you are shaking your head, telling me that this is same-sex, birth order bullshit – and even if you’re right, so what?  It is what it is.  Truth for sure – and some residual younger-sister-will-never-be-as-good neurosis for good measure).  She is beautiful, scary smart, talented beyond measure – and she is a writer – the legitimate kind.  In one of her recent stories she wrote “you fall in love with the way someone falls in love with you”.  Brilliant.

And true.

I fell in love with the way Andy fell in love with me.  He made himself fit into my life with such an abundance of heart, romance, delight – he introduced me to his magic and I was ultimately mesmerized.  He is my Stewart, but he isn’t the one who got away.  He’s the one who stayed.

We may fall in love with the vision of love that we see, but we stay in love with the person who orchestrated the imagery.  The person who may not be who we first saw (and are we the person they first saw?), but who’s in it with you.  The person who can be your best friend and some weird extra-terrestrial at the same time and still be cute.  The one who drives you crazy in every conceivable way.  I’m a kite;  Andy is an anchor.  He’s judgmental;  I’m not (but for my expectations of sub-contractors working on our house, but they’re not reading this).  We are opposite sides of the same coin – and that is the kind of love that can’t be fabricated by fantasy.

We fall in love with the way someone falls in love with us.  True enough.  We love the person who knew how to make that happen.  Perhaps I never had a Stewart because I have an Andy.  And even though this has absolutely nothing to do with what I intended to pen today, it is what’s been on my mind all morning.  So, I guess therein is another story.

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43 thoughts on “Who’s Stewart?

  1. I might turn my head a bit cockeyed if you ever call me Stewart, but I promise to feel as flattered as I do now. After 24.5 years, I can say that I would do it all over again. You are the other side of my coin (or I yours), and clearly you are the shiny side. My heart still lights up every time I see your wide grin, and nothing fills my heart more, when I can make you laugh. These past 8 months have been difficult living apart much of the time, but I fall in love all over again when I open the door, and we embrace with a long hard hug and kiss after kiss after kiss. I can’t wait to see you next, and I promise that we when we are back together full time , I will your Stewart each and every day.

  2. When love – the staying kind – comes through the door everybody wins. I also think that “what ifs” – the kind that make their way into daydreams named Stewart, Alan, Mark or Jon – eventually disappear into the rear view mirror where they belong. I’m glad you have Andy and that new adventure awaits. You know I’m a sucker for a great love story. Love you both and on this beautiful Tuesday morning and that’s enough to keep me smiling all day.

  3. Ahhhh, sweet friend, how I love this! Debbie is indeed a wise woman. I had never really thought about love this way, but now that I read it, it resonates. Love is tricky business and that ‘head over heels, swoon when the other walks into the room’ feeling is tough (nay impossible?) to sustain on a daily basis, but when ya got a good one, no matter how maddening he is (and he can be maddening, as you well know), there’s magic.

    The look that says ‘There’s no one in the world but you for me,’ the hug that says, ‘I know, babe, I know, and I got ya…’, the laugh that concedes ‘Yes, that WAS dumb, and thank God it was only you who witnessed it!’ — well then, ya really got something. 🙂 I’m so glad that you have your Stewart and he has you, and I wish you both only happiness and love…. All there is…xoxox, L

    • And your response is more glorious than anything I could have written. Yes indeed – this whole love thing is very tricky business – and sometimes it really feels interplanetary.

  4. Lovely story. A good match doesn’t happen every day. In my humble opinion, I think folks are just plain lucky to find each other when a really good marriage happens and lasts. If only there were more Andy’s. 🙂

  5. I declare you a talented writer Mimi! You cohesively and artfully joined the stories, while provoking interest, thought and relativity, in true Mimi fashion. Fran xo

    • Ah, thank you Fran! But truth be told, I write as I speak – and I’m lucky when someone enjoys it. This isn’t something that I can say I’ve worked at, as a true craftsman – and those people (like my sister) are in a different league. xo

  6. Smiling …. to witness to exchange of love between you.
    Also thinking that Andy Stewart was a Scottish singer that my Gran loved. Enjoy the jaunty loon and the swimming kilt!

  7. How much I love this…tears in my eyes. Happy ones – for what you and Andy have and your family who bears witness and benefits. That kind of love is magical for others too. I love the way your sister penned that idea..we love how others fall in love with us – perfect; I know this to be true now and the words just fit. So, thank your sister for me too. And just keep loving…the world needs THIS! Tons and tons. xoxoxo

    • The world needs all kinds of loving right now – and honestly? Let’s all do what we can. And please don’t think for a minute that Andy doesn’t drive me crazy sometimes too (as you know) – he’s just
      the pot to my lid (as my mom would say – and that means I’m a pretty dented lol d 😉). Xoxo

  8. I’m with Fran: you are, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the most real writers I know. I’m with Debbie: she’s right. I’m with Val: New Year’s Day was welcomed in the UK for years and years by Andy Stewart on TV – so I’ve long thought that Andy and Stewart were interchangeable. I’m with Lori: she’s wise, and she’s our pal. I’m with you and your Andy: once any of us find what you two have we know we’ve found one of life’s most precious miracles. And one fine day Jilly and I are gonna drink coffee with you, admire your lovely new home and environs, and – as Andy Williams might sing – ‘catch a bite to eat somewhere’. Keep writing. There are going to be such a lot of great things to write about in the next 24.5 years! Love for you both xx

  9. Loved this. I finally found my ‘stewart’ three years ago, at 75… and we managed to overcome a million obstacles to finally be together fifteen months ago.. even though he’s much younger, and my family can’t accept us.. life is heaven for the first time …a new life..

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