[dropcap]G[/dropcap]ag me. I saw two teenagers in Piggly Wiggly, groping one another in the checkout aisle. They behaved in a manner that would make streetwalkers blush.

“I’m falling in love with you,” said the melodramatic young girl, like she was going to drench the boy in pepper-gravy. He smiled back. Then more fondling. I covered my eyes.

I’ll be frank, I don’t believe in “falling” in love any more than I believe in teenage vampires. And while I know it’s only a catchphrase, some of us work very hard at love. It’s ignorant to suggest such a thing is as simple as falling down a flight of stairs.

Also, I worry some teenagers don’t know what love is. Because rounding second base in the cashier’s lane sure as hell isn’t it. In fact, brace yourself, love has nothing to do with sex.

Love isn’t about skin-tight skivvies, sloppy kisses, or getting butterflies in your bladder. Sure, those things might be fun, but they’re not love.

You want to understand love? Think of the best conversation you’ve ever had, with someone who listens more than talks. Then, toss in a belly laugh that makes your stomach muscles knot up. Afterward, finish your evening with a, “Call me when you get back home, so I know you made it safe.”

It’s about not losing your temper. It’s about not being afraid. And it’s about saying, “I’m sorry,” without adding a, “but.” Love is waiting in emergency rooms, sappy radio songs, paying taxes, and doing yard work. It’s accepting flaws. And I’m not talking about theirs.

To love someone is the hardest thing you’ll ever do. Because — and I don’t mean to be rude here— you’re an egocentric jerk and so am I. We’re humans.

And one day, when your face sags and your hindsection looks like an old sofa cushion, you’ll see things in a different light. Then, you’ll be like the rest of us — a walking-talking lower-back problem with bills. And if by then, you’re still stuck with an unfortunate dingbat who thinks love is like falling into a kiddy pool…

You’ll understand everything I just wrote.

And you might wish you’d kept your hands to yourself.