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Love in a Dumpster: Where Does It Go and Where to Find It

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I'm (Doug) sitting in a restaurant and pondering life, marriage and some of the pressing questions we all ask. Questions like this one. Where do the waiters and waitresses go while you're waiting to be served? It seems at times they just disappear and you're left wondering hard at their temporary escape. Are they in the back smoking weed? Eating our food? Running errands? Sitting on the toilet barely able to get back out to bring us our food? Did they wash their hands?

And where does the garbage go? There's a million dollar inquiry. Really, with so much stuff piling up, where do they put it all? How is it all possible that at some point, we don't see it pouring into our streets or backyards or playgrounds?

And how in the world do we have enough grapes to make all the wine, gallons of grape juice and thousands of bins and barrels full people buy every day? Let alone apples, wheat, corn and other staples we depend on.

But sometimes the questions get much more personal. We wonder where our zest for life went --when we once had radiant hope and believed we could conquer the world. When we knew we would be wealthy before our 40s. What happened to laughter and fun, when life got too serious? Why our careers don't seem so exciting and we wonder if we chose poorly.

And then we face the truly million dollar marriage question -- where did our love go and why? What happened to our sold out passion for one another? The passion that got replaced with complacency and doubt. Laziness and carelessness. When we at one time knew we married our soul mate. And we can't remember exactly why or what happened to the best friend we once had.

Did we throw it away in some rusty, blemished dumpster that collects old love, determined connections and deep commitment between zealous lovers? Is it sitting in some back room, doing shots, hiding and refusing to come out and serve its guests in a now empty restaurant once devoted to fine dining and exclusive love?

And like the grapes, apples and amazing edibles, have we forgotten where love comes from? Because we thought it would just be there always? Never stop filling up our cupboards to overflow without any effort or attention on our part?

Love happens:

• When we start wondering and wondering hard what makes it work. Where it comes from. How to find it, buy it in the market place of the heart, and never take it for granted. When we give up our sometimes infantile need to just have it there, magically, no matter what.

• When we understand that, unlike grapes, love is endless but it is also truly manufactured. In the spirit that won't let go of wonder, hope and passion and a deep desire to reach out to our lover. We find it and create it every day, every hour and each moment we breathe.

• When we stare hard in the mirror and commit ourselves to selflessness. When we define the enemy as selfishness. When we desperately want to be a lover that makes a difference -- first to ourselves and then to our lover, life partner and spouse.

In closing, I like what Tom Robbins said: "We waste time looking for the perfect lover, instead of creating the perfect love."

Yes, indeed. "Creating the perfect love." Creating. The. Perfect. Love.