Love talked about can be easily turned aside, but love demonstrated is irresistible.~
W. Stanley Mooneyham
American minister and speaker, 20th century
I was bemoaning the fact that, despite hundreds of miles run, lunges lunged and squats thrusted, and losing enough weight that I could buy my bras in "training" sizes, I still have my grandmother's saddle-bag thighs.
"But you don't have any cellulite anymore," Tom told me.
The next day I looked for myself. Sigh. Just as dimpled as ever. I knew Tom hadn't been lying or merely trying to make me feel better; he just can't see worth crap anymore.
But he also just doesn't care. He doesn't care that my hair is thinning. Heck, he wouldn't care if I went bald. He has never been able to tell when I'm wearing makeup or not (I've tested him)...so I'm sure my deepening wrinkles go unnoticed. He pays attention to me, he sees me...but it's the me on the inside...the me that he met and fell in love with despite himself almost 31 years ago. He looks past the "me" on the outside just as I look past the 55-year-old "him" on the outside and see the "him" who asked me for a dance at Diamondback so many years ago.
With my son's wedding on the horizon, I've been thinking about married love and what makes it last - or not. Here are a few more...
...Love is the sound of drums coming from my house...fulfilling a wish I had tossed aside, believing it couldn't come true because there wasn't a spot for them in our new house. Tom surprised me with a set (thank you, Craig's List) on our anniversary a few years ago. It proved to me he pays attention. At least sometimes.
(Love is throwing him not one, but two surprise birthday parties...plus a huge family reunion/50th birthday party that lasted two weeks and involved having people sleeping on every square inch of the house, including on a mattress in the downstairs shower stall. Poor Kirby)
...Love is coming in the house from a long weekend, relieved to discover your coffee grounds from four days before have (thank the Lord!) been dumped and all the pieces are clean and dry, ready to go...despite the fact that your spouse doesn't drink coffee. (If he hadn't cleaned it for me...ooh, gross!)
(Love is picking up empty Dr. Pepper cans from all over the house...and outside...and biting my tongue. Pretty much.)
...Love is finding the coupon section of the Sunday newspaper separated for me, without asking.
(Love is gathering up the Sunday newspaper, at times from different rooms in the house, and putting it in the wicker basket where it goes.)
...Love is not minding that I plant myself in front of the computer every evening after dinner to write...and biting his tongue when he sees I'm on Facebook instead.
(Love is not minding that some nights he just crawls in bed and flips channels, instead of working on whatever project is in progress at the time, because he's physically and mentally worn out. He leaves the house at 5:30 am, for goodness sake!)
...Love is not being jealous about phone calls from old boyfriends, or emails from old boyfriends, or birthday lunches with old boyfriends.
(Love is not being jealous about his women friends and co-workers...even when he pinches Lisa's rear-end.)
...Love is always dancing the Cotton-Eyed Joe and the Schottische even though his hips and ankles still hurt from that accident in 1998.
(Love is sitting by his side in the hospital for a week, afraid to leave him...holding the urinal in place for an hour because he thinks he can go on his own...feeding him ice chips, sleeping on a fold-out chair, grateful for the sound of his snoring because it means he's alive.)
...Love is piecing together sections of workshop floor matting for me to lie on when I do sit-ups, so my tailbone doesn't get bruised anymore.
(Love is subscribing to Men's World e-newsletters and forwarding the good ones to him to keep him healthy.)
...Love is not nagging each other because the bathroom he/she is in charge of cleaning is a borderline health problem.
...Love is hanging on to and supporting each other through the illness and death of a parent, financial worries, and the never-ending ups and downs of having children.
...Love is saying to hell with everything that needs to be done around here to play ping-pong...or go for long walks along the creek...or travel virtually to Ireland or Istanbul or Italy with Rick Steves...
...Love is still joking around, still having fun, still laughing at each other and at ourselves after almost 32 years...and hoping we have at least another 32 together.
The proof of love is in the works. Where love exists, it works great things. But when it ceases to act, it ceases to exist.
~Pope St. Gregory the Great
What do you think "Love is..."?
Share with me!
(If your comment doesn't show up right away, don't worry. Typepad's new anti-spam system is dumping them all into my spam folder. But I'll find them. Thank you!)
This is re-post from 2010 that I spiffied up in honor of Valentine's Day and the 1st Annual Valentine's Day Boost-My-Blog Party hosted by a Rural Journal and Two Bears Farm. Follow the links to check out other participants.