Monday, December 31, 2012

Cooking

My mother is a good cook. His mother is a good cook. We both expected to eat well when we began our home together. I don't know why? I guess you believe you will live like how you grew up. When we started out we both worked and went to school so we shared household chores including cooking. We basically ate meat and potatoes, or a variation of that (although there were probably a lot of grilled cheese and tomato soup dinners thrown in). We rarely ate out. Neither of us were fond of fast food, and like I said, we were use to eating well.

My mother was a more adventurous cook, so I was accustomed to a more diverse menu. When He finished school and I stayed home full time I became the primary cook. I was determined to expand His pallet. Like my mother, I sought out the best that different cultures had to offer. My mother said: "a good cook is good cook, no mater what ingredients are used". I was on a Greek phase, and I decided to try moussaka. I already knew that lasagna was not His favorite (although I love it). Moussaka it was.


It took a lot of preparation and it looked delicious. Well...by my own account it was pretty bad. I have decided I do not like eggplant. I knew if I thought it was bad He thought it was horrible. He didn't say anything. He ate the hearty serving I had put on His plate. However, He did not want seconds (a dead giveaway). He thanked me for dinner. Later when I asked Him if He liked it He said it was good. I asked Him if I should put it on the dinner rotation? ( I read somewhere that the average family repeats the same 20 meals for dinner.) He said: "we don't need to have it if it is so difficult to make". He eats anything I make, no matter what is in it. He doesn't complain. He always tells me He loves anything I cook-even if He doesn't.

He happily endures my culinary experiments...

...one more reason I love Him.


Monday, December 24, 2012

Performance

He doesn't sing. He doesn't pretend to sing. I was in charge of the Christmas Eve program. I had written a script that included musical numbers. I needed a soloist for How Great Thou Art. It is a difficult piece of music and requires quite a bit of confidence to pull it off.

I had hoped that I could get someone to perform it a cappella. I could not find anyone to take the part. It was an important element to the program, and I decided that if I couldn't find someone to sing it that I would just have the pianist play it. The morning of the program I told Him that I didn't have anyone to sing the song. I asked if He would be willing to do it. He said that He really didn't want to do it, but He said He would if I need Him to.

He wasn't able sing it a cappella, and He had to have a few chords changed. He then practiced it for about a half hour with the accompanist. He sang a song with friends in high school once, but other than that He has never sung in front of anyone before except in a group. That evening He sang a solo of How Great Thou Art, because I needed Him to.

He sang...

...one more reason I love Him.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Dealing

He is His father's son. He has always been close to His father. I think it is probably both nature and nurture. He and His father shared similar interests, they had the same temperament, and people often told Him that He reminded them of His father (however, that can also cause a child to rebel). He was also brought up with a healthy dose of respect laced with a little fear of His father. His father was a man of few words. He said what needed to be said, but not much more than what was necessary. He was neither a playful nor demonstrative man. He was however a man of principles, and his word was enough.

Once in a while I saw His father get upset with Him for whatever infraction He had committed (usually related to His attitude while playing sports). He rarely, if never, talked back to His father that I witnessed, but I think that was fairly normal for His generation. What impressed me most about His attitude toward His father was how He respected him on a personal and private level. He contemplated His father's advice. If His father reprimanded His behavior or attitude, He thought about it. If His father offered direction, He didn't dismiss it. His father was conscientious about looking for opportunities to help neighbors, friends and family, and often drug Him along as an extra hand. His father would even offer His service to someone without asking Him. He always went along with it.

Their relationship wasn't perfect, but there was never anything that had to be resolved or mended, they just moved on. When His father would say or do something that He didn't agree with, or that challenged Him, He would walk away without a confrontation. He would go home frustrated, simmer for a bit, and then sleep on it (it also may have caused some tossing and turning). Sometimes He would change His mind, sometimes He would stand His ground, and sometimes He would apologize. But the one constant was that He never said or did anything to alter their relationship. He loved and respected His father, and that meant dealing with whatever.

He worked on His relationship...

...one more reason I love Him.

        

Monday, December 10, 2012

Homemade

He had a waterbed. That was the only furniture we had when we started out. He loved His bed. I, however, was not thrilled with the sloshing and rolling, not to mention the cold. He loved the cold. It had a heater and He was willing to turn it on for me, but it never even warmed up to tepid. We slept on that bed for a year, and I was uncomfortable every single night. I didn't complain (at least that's how I remember it).

I don't usually give Him much credit for being perceptive. This is one time I have to give it to Him. He told me that He was going to make me a new bed. His woodworking skills were limited to junior high shop class. That did not limit His enthusiasm for the idea of building me a bed. He asked me what I wanted and to draw Him a plan. What I wanted was a four poster, mahogany colored, queen sized bed that sat high off the ground. I visualized an exotic Caribbean plantation bed. He and His dad worked on it for a couple months in the shop behind His parents house. He delivered a version pretty close to my dreams.


This is the romanticized version of the story. I am sure I complained about the waterbed, as well as His attachment to it. In all likelihood it was probably a point of contention. This is not what I dwell on though. What matters is that: one- He gave up what He wanted; two- He asked me what I wanted; three, He put forth His best effort to make me happy; and four-He did it in a timely fashion.

He built it...

...one more reason I love Him

Monday, December 3, 2012

Consider

My father tried to stop Him. Its not that he didn't like Him, rather he was giving Him an exit strategy in case He was having second thoughts.

It was the day of our wedding. My father picked Him up to drive Him to the ceremony (an intimidation tactic-or nuptial enforcement?). There was a stop sign at the bottom of the hill He lived on. At the sign my father stopped...and didn't go. He turned to Him and said, "You know, She can be very headstrong". That was it. No explanation, no expounding. He didn't know how to reply. He wondered if my father wanted Him to turn around. Maybe He thought my father wanted to say that he warned Him if it came up later, so He couldn't say He didn't know." What did he mean by "headstrong"?! I thought I had been a fairly easy daughter to raise, compliant, obedient, helpful, and goodnatured. What personality traits had I unwittingly been displaying that my father felt a need to give Him such a pregnant warning?



When He figured out my father was waiting for an answer He said, "okay". At that my father continued on their way. He didn't tell me about this episode until a few years ago. What must have been going through His mind? As it was a fairly long drive to the ceremony, He had a lot of time to think about what my father meant by the warning. Did He have second thoughts? Did He think it was too late to back out? Was He petrified taking His wedding vows? This episode puts a whole different perspective on that day.

He didn't hesitate...

...one more reason I love Him.

 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Ringed

He didn't propose. I hear of all these fabulous, romantic and most of all surprise proposals, and I wonder if I am the only girl who never got one. We had been talking about "when we are married" for a long time. One evening we decided when the "when" would start. It was still exciting and scary. I have always believed that the reason He didn't surprise me with a ring was because He knew better. I am not demanding, but I am very particular (of course He knew this long before we were talking about "when"). Like every girl I had thought about my fantasy engagement ring.

Without recognizing the development of my taste in engagement rings, I understand now how my choice might have evolved. My grandmother's ring was a ruby. Her mother was Danish and it was popular in her country to have a colored stone. I never saw my grandmother's ring. She lost it before I was born. However, it sounded very exotic compared to the colorless stones of my mother's friends.
I had narrowed my ring down to three choices: ruby, sapphire, or emerald. The color of the ruby and emerald felt too intense for me. But the most important reason for my choice was that historically sapphires were given as a token of fidelity. That was romantic.

So when the "when" came and He asked me what ring I wanted-I knew exactly. Oh-He was surprised, and even though He didn't say it He was troubled. It was different and unique for the time and place, and that meant He would get flack from every corner that weighed in on the matter. Of course when I finally got the ring everyone wanted to see it-and we got a lot of "ohs", (if there were an exclamation for Huh? thats what I'd use here). When He got that "oh" He never excused himself by explaining He just gave me what I wanted, thereby vindicating His poor taste and judgement. Rather, He took it like a man, and smiled at his good fortune because He was able to make my dream come true.

He indulged...

...one more reason I love Him.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Surprise

He came to pick me up. This was right before we became engaged. He was driving His Plymouth, (the one I decided needed to be painted firemist blue). After He came to the door I assume that He waited for me to finish getting ready, (as this is what He remembers most about our pre-marriage dating, although, now I am usually ready before Him). Then we must have discussed where we were going. The point is He was not in any hurry.

We walked to His car and He opened the driver's-side door for me. Of course there was no center console in His car, and I slid in over to the middle of the bench seat (there was no seatbelt law either). Before He turned the ignition, He leaned across me and opened up the jockey-box. Reaching inside He retrieved a pink rose. It had a fully blossomed head. He cupped it in His hand and gave it to me. As I took it from Him I realized that it didn't have its stem attached. It crossed my mind to take it back in the house and put it in water, but I realized it wasn't going to live very long without its stem. I kissed Him and then held the head of the rose in my hands until we got to our destination.


I think about Him getting me that rose. His driveway was lined with rose bushes. I imagine Him going out to His car to come over. He sees the roses and decides to bring me one. He goes into the garage and retrieves the clippers. I can picture Him studying the rose bushes looking for the rose that is most fully bloomed and perfectly formed (I have seen Him do this many times in later years). He also searches for the one that has the most beautiful universal color. He then cups the rose with the stem between His first and middle finger, and clips it off right below where the blossom opens. It was a gift of spontaneity, but one that was measured and appraised. It was the sweetest and most innocent gift of love.

He picked me a flower...

one more reason I love Him.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Protect

It was a brisk fall evening. The sun had gone down and the street lights had turned on. It was a school night so we couldn't go out. He called and asked if I wanted to go running. We would both leave our homes and meet, about 1 1/2 miles in the middle. Sidewalks were far and few between, as were street lights. The roads were edged by a wide gravel shoulder and crowned high for runoff. Since rutted gravel was risky in dim light I usually ran on the edge of the asphalt.


I was almost to the half way point when I saw the headlights of a car behind me. I moved to the gravel and slowed down, as I was worried I would hit a divot and roll my ankle (done that). The Jeep didn't pass. Instead it slowed down and seemed to be following me. I kept thinking He would be along any minute, but I was scared. I veered off to a house and went around the back. The Jeep passed the house a couple of times and then stopped down the road withs its lights on and engine running. I waited by the side of the house and searched the dark road ahead for Him. Finally I saw Him coming closer. I stepped out from the house startling Him. I told Him what happened. I was really quite shaken, and I think He could sense it. He suggested we run back to my house and He would go home from there.  

As we headed back I started running toward the inside of the road trying to find a more even surface. He fell behind me and came up on my right side (car side). I was thinking He was trying to get the flattest road too. It took me quite awhile to realize that whenever we were together on a road He purposely took the outside. He was protecting me. I don't know if He was taught to do that, as a gentleman, or if it was instinctive. It doesn't matter why He did it, or why He still does it. It matters that He does.

He ran on the outside...

...one more reason I love Him

Monday, November 5, 2012

Whisper

I wasn't sure I heard Him. At the end of a date we didn't want to leave each other. But the evening was over and it was inevitable. Usually, we prolonged the night by sitting in silence, thinking time might crawl a little slower. His eyes would close. Usually, I thought He was feigning sleep, but more often than not He really was asleep. This particular night we were both tired. It had been a long day. I was happy to sit next to Him while He slept. Our heads were close enough that I could sense His breathing, but they weren't touching. I felt Him lean His head closer to mine, put His mouth against my ear, and whisper "I love you".

I didn't say anything. I wasn't sure I really heard what I thought I did. I thought, what if I said it back and I had misheard Him? So I just sat there. I know I heard Him. What did He think when I didn't say anything? He must have felt so awkward. He didn't say anything. He didn't move. We continued to sit there pretending nothing had happened.

If I could take anything back it would be that moment. I would turn and whisper in His ear "I love you too". Before that night I had thought about saying it many times. Its scary to be the first one to say it, because you are afraid it won't be returned. Then you've put yourself out there, bared your soul, and been left to flounder in your uncertainty. I left Him to flounder.

I remember aching to say it first. I remember my heart pounding trying to gather enough courage to say the words. Every time we saw each other I thought "I'll say it this time", but I couldn't. I was afraid He wouldn't say it back. If He felt anything like I did it took an enormous amount of courage for Him that night. How many times had He felt the same way I had? How many times did His heart race trying to get the courage to tell me? How many times did He fail, because He was uncertain if I would return His feelings? That night He loved me enough to say it, regardless of the consequences.

He said it first...

...one more reason I love Him.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Dress-up

I love Halloween. How can you not love a holiday that combines candy, doughnuts, and costumes? I've never been fascinated by the creepy side of the festivities, rather I see it as an excuse to play dress up. I begin planning Halloween costumes months in advance. Our very first costumes together were Red Riding-hood and the Big Bad Wolf. I made Him a long flannel nightshirt, and painted His face.



He has been Tinker Belle to my Peter Pan, Captain Hook to my Wendy, king to my queen, a Hari Krishna to my clown (not one I'm proud of), mouse to my cat, Cowardly Lion to my Tin Man, Ward Cleaver to my June, Prince to my Rapunzel, Mad Hatter to my Alice, a warlock to my witch, a 17th c.Venetian Carnevale reveler to my female version, Pinocchio to my Jiminy Cricket, and many more. Not all of His costumes were physically (or theoretically), flattering. He has often had to wear heavy make-up, tights, wigs, dresses, and pantaloons. He has also endured being extremely hot, itchy, and all around uncomfortable for the sake of pleasing me.

He has never had any input in what we dress as for Halloween. I don't even ask His opinion. He has said "no" to my suggestions, however, He always complies in the end. He indulges my sartorial play-acting endeavors, and He does it year after year with a smile.

He indulges...

...one more reason I love Him.  

Monday, October 22, 2012

Honor

I was standing in His living room one day, waiting to go out, and His mother asked Him to do something for her. I don't remember what it was, how difficult it may have been, or how long it would take. I do remember His reaction. He did it, right there and then. Looking at it objectively now, I wasn't so much impressed that He did it, rather, it was how He reacted to her request that stood out.

He said okay, but not in an irritated way. He smiled at me, implying his apology for the delay, but without making an excuse for helping her (He shouldn't apologize for helping His mother anyway). He did whatever it was that needed doing in a matter of fact way (just doing it, getting it done). It was as much as what He didn't do, as did do. He didn't roll His eyes, act annoyed, hesitate, or in anyway let Her know that she had asked too much of Him.



His mother was a typical 1960's homemaker, except for the fact that she had a full time career. In retrospect I am amazed that she managed to do all the things that stay at home mothers of that era did. I haven't analyzed how her choice to have a career might have affected how she raised her children, or how His father contributed to their behavior. I sometimes think that those of us with mothers who were homemakers were more annoyed when asked to help out, because thats what we thought our mothers were there for, to assist us. Either way, I think there is a complicated nature vs. nurture, innate vs. learned component to how we treat our mothers. I have always been impressed by the respect and honor He showed His mother, how He addressed her, and how He helped her. I have especially noted how he spoke about her when she wasn't there. As she got older, and need more help, her requests were oftentimes demanding, and sometimes illogical. However, He did what she asked, never made her feel like she was a burden, or an obligation, and He never complained.

He respected...

...one more reason I love Him.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Playtime

The unwritten code of teenagedom is that younger siblings are annoying. It probably stems from trying to distance themselves from the immaturity they believed they left just a few years before. You didn't have to actually be mean to them to be cool, you just had to roll your eyes at their simplicity. You could also demonstrate your superior sophistication by either humoring, or ignoring them. However, it was usually un-cool to engage with them.

He was the baby in His family, so He never had younger siblings. He did however become an uncle when He was 11 years old. He was a dichotomy for a tough 17 year old athlete. No one who knew Him on the football field, or the basketball court would ever imagine He had such a soft spot for kids.
He babysat, as well as attend His nieces' dance recitals. At my house He played with my younger brothers and sisters (I was the oldest in a very large family). My father was a very engaged parent, but he was not physical, he was quite reserved. He, however, was game. He would get down on the floor and rough house with my younger siblings. He threw them around. They climbed on Him. He chased them. He let them catch Him. He played ball with them. He played tea party with them. They climbed all over Him, and He never got tired of it. I think it worried my mother sometimes (there were more bumps, bruises, and band aides after He came along). I never had to worry about canceling a date because I had to babysit, we would just take them along.



I think you can tell a lot about the goodness of a person by how they treat children, whether they engage with them, find joy in their silliness, and by how well they accommodate their limitations.

He played...

...one more reason I love Him.    




Monday, October 8, 2012

Intervention

Traditionally, the term "stud row" refers to the practice of lining up prize stallions to be selected for breeding with mares. Ironically (or maybe sarcastically), our high school had its own stud row. A row of blue chairs bolted together, and then bolted to the wall. These seats lined a segment of the hall with the highest student traffic. They sat positioned below the administrative offices, above the auditorium, adjacent to the cafeteria doors, and directly across from the sophomore lockers (there were no freshmen in our high school). The school was built in the 1960's, and has always had the notorious chairs, along with their accompanying name. The occupants of these chairs were the athletes, and their entourages.  Of course girls were commonly seen sitting, and standing along stud row, as that is where court was held.


However, the majority of girls did not feel welcome on, at, or near stud row. It was impossible to get anywhere in the school without passing these chairs, and it became a painful daily gauntlet for many. The remarks coming from stud row were indiscriminate. Cat calls, whistles, barks, and howls were followed by laughter from the perpetrators. Most girls held their books to their chests, looked at the floor, hugged the wall, and prayed to become invisible as they passed by. The truth is not all the young men on stud row participated in the collective humiliation of the student body, but they were deemed guilty by association. It was an offense of omission, rather than commission.

One day He and His friends were sitting on stud row. I had been talking to them, but my friend wanted to speak with me, so I said goodbye and we left. Actually, we just stepped around the corner into the cafeteria. As my friend was sharing what I am sure was a very important snippet of high school drama, I heard His friend (one who was an admitted heckler), begin to bark at a young lady. From my vantage point I could see a mortified girl hurry past. Abruptly, I heard His friend annoyingly say "what?". He said "just stop". Obviously He had given the perpetrator a physical indication to stop. I know this seems simple, and maybe even inadequate under the circumstances. However, it was that day that I began noticing how He stood up for those who could not, or dare not defend themselves. He did not call attention to Himself when He did this, or even belittle the belittler. Rather, he quietly noted His displeasure of their actions. That is a feat for a young man.

He spoke up...

...one more reason I love Him.













Monday, October 1, 2012

Integrity

It was a cold, wet Saturday night in January. I had been dying to see a movie that was indy enough to only show in the city. I knew He had no interest in seeing it, but He drove an hour on the icy freeway without complaint or hesitation (at least thats how I remember it). The 7:00 show was only half full. About 20 minutes into the movie He excused Himself. He didn't say, but I assumed that he was going to use the restroom. Its hard to count time passing when you are engaged in something, but I realized a short time later that he had not returned. I left our coats to mark our seats, and went to find Him.


As I emerged into the lobby I saw that He was sitting on a bench just outside the theater door. His eyes were closed, and His head was resting against the wall. I thought He must not feel well. I asked Him what was wrong? He opened His eyes and said "nothing, just resting". I suggested that if He were tired He would be more comfortable in the dark theater. He said He would rather stay out in the lobby. I started to become a little irritated with His evasive attitude. Eventually, He said that the movie made Him uncomfortable, and that He would rather not watch it. His tone was neither accusatory, nor upset, but insisted He was contented to wait. He wanted me to go finish the movie, as it was one I had really wanted to see. Well, of course I wasn't going to sit though the rest of the movie while He waited in the lobby.


We drove home in silence. We had been dating for a few years, and were in a pretty comfortable place as a couple, enough so that silence was not awkward. This was uncomfortable. For an hour we listened to the snow falling silently around us. I didn't ask Him what issue He had with the film, as I already knew. The thing is, as a young woman I should have been the one insulted by the content of the film. Instead, He was offended for both of us. He had a personal standard of decency that He was not willing to compromise, but neither was He going to lecture. He was just going to do what He felt was right. I never did see the rest of that movie, I didn't want to.

He left...

...one more reason I love Him.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Opinion

He inherited a car from His grandmother. A "Nile Green"1951 Plymouth Cranbrook. It had a 217 cid flat pushing engine with a three-speed manual transmission (maintaining an impressive presence at NASCAR through 1952), and weighing in at about 3,400 pounds.


It was in pristine condition. His grandmother had purchased it brand new, but it had been sitting in her garage un-driven for about 10 years. He spent all his free time getting it in purring. He wanted to paint it. I'm not sure why, I guess to make it "cooler". We had only been dating a few months, but he showed up one day with a color chart, and asked me to choose a color. That was a lot of pressure to put on a young girl's shoulders. I told Him I did not want to make such an important (and lasting), decision, but He insisted that He really, really, really trusted my opinion.

"Cadillac, Light Blue Firemist, GM WA4900". What other color would a self respecting 16 year old girl choose? Well, He painted it "Light Blue Firemist GM W4900", and His friends nicknamed it the "Blue Bomb". Looking back there were sooooooo many classier options to choose from, but He loved that car, and He loved the color.

That light blue firemist Plymouth drove Him through high school, took Him to college, got Him to His first full-time job, and was still around four children later. Top speed on the freeway was 50 mph. It's not with us anymore. He gave it away a few years ago - hoping someone would love it as much as He did - and maybe bring a girl a color chart - and ask her to make a decision that would color the rest of their lives.

He trusted...

...one more reason I love Him.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Chivalry

We were in a crowd somewhere. It was some kind of festival, and we had stayed until the end. It didn't feel dangerous, but it was intense. We were being jostled as we tried to make our way to the car. Without saying anything He took my right hand in His left, bent His arm at the elbow, and placed it in the small of His back. This action effectively put me securely behind Him. I looked down His back at our hands as we moved in tandem. We were so close I had to take little steps as He pushed through the crowd. Suddenly, I felt the air clear as He swung His arm back, and we were walking side by side again, my hand in His.


I didn't analyze what He had done at the time, I just remember feeling safe. It seemed like His action was instinctive. I didn't feel that He was being presumptuous or patronizing, rather, He seemed gallant. The gesture was both gentlemanly, and heroic. He made me feel that I inspired such chivalrous behavior in Him.

This became our pattern for moving through groups of people of any size. Later, if His arms were full, He put my finger in His back belt loop, and I just followed, trusting I would emerge safe and sound. Although His reaction to unforeseen dangers seemed simplistic, the implication was profound. From that point forward I have always felt safe when I am with Him. It has left me with the assurity that I am always looked after - even when He isn't there.

He protected...

...one more reason I love Him.  

Monday, September 10, 2012

Chances

He seemed so earnest when He asked me out for the next weekend that I decided I would give Him a second chance. Of course it was another double date with our friends, this time to the movies. We saw Foul Play. Whatever you might say about this Hitchcock homage, the comedy/thriller offered a funny Chevy Chase, a charming Goldie Hawn, and a PG rating - in other words, a perfect date movie. However, it was the third, not the second date that hooked me. As the second date was not an altogether flop He asked me out again for the next weekend - this time to his grandparent's 50th wedding anniversary. I can't imagine what He was thinking.

The date is pretty much a blur. I remember only three things: double date again; I wore a homemade  silver Qiana, cowl neck dress, (you had to be from the time to know the cool factor of this fabric); and He kissed me goodnight. It wasn't the kiss that snagged me, it was how He got it.

He seemed massive to me. He was 6'1" and 195 lbs. I was 5'4" and half his weight. He almost swaggered, carrying himself in an arrogant manner, like He knew He could handle himself. I was not impressed, rather, I was a little put off. I had assumed from His demeanor, and comments from the peanut gallery, that He was cocky. Although I was 16, I knew how to put a boy in his place, and I was prepared to do just that.


Returning home from our "meet his family fest" He walked me to my front door. My parents had left all the lights blaring for my benefit. At the door He asked if He could come in for a minute. Our friends were waiting in the car so I knew He wouldn't stay very long. Inside the foyer, under the chandelier, with His hands in His pants pockets He whispered: "would you mind if I kissed you goodnight?". Completely taken aback by His self-conscious and bashful query, I think I just said "okay". With his hands still in his pockets He leaned down and timidly kissed me very softly on the lips. It was surprising...and sweet. I had already battled a few eager gropers, and I was completely caught off guard by His sincerity. I had misjudged His character by his appearance. For the first time I thought that there was more to this boy than meets the eye, and I wanted to see what it was.

He asked...

...one more reason I love Him.




Monday, September 3, 2012

Origin

Homecoming bonfire. It sounded like the quintessential clich├ęd high school set-up. My friend told me that her boyfriend's friend wanted to go out with me and they wanted to set us up because it would be so fun to double date. I was reluctant.

I didn't know Him, but I knew who He was. He wasn't "my type". I'm not sure what my type was at sixteen, but I didn't think it was a "dumb jock". He looked kind of thuggish. Beefy neck, unruly dark hair, big brow...brutish. Under the influence of teenage wisdom I assessed Him based on his appearance. Initially I said no, but my friend begged.

The plan was for the girls to meet the boys at the bonfire. Well...He didn't show. After an hour, the boyfriend appears and explains that we need to pick Him up at his house. Something felt off. Once at His house the boyfriend went inside to retrieve my date. I wanted to go home. I was so embarrassed. I knew my scheming friend had mislead me. I sat in the car humiliated, while inside the boyfriend convinced Him to go out with me.


Twenty minutes later. He gets in the car beside me wearing a dirty, old, 10 gallon Stetson, a fleece lined denim jacket, and stares straight ahead. A hat and a coat on a warm September evening? How could I be any more impressed? The best is yet to come. Yes, we went to McDonalds. I waited for Him to order so I could take my clue as to what I should order. A small root beer. Well then... I ordered a small orange soda. We sat in awkward silence while our friends, eating their meal, tried to engage us in conversation. He looked at his cup the whole painful time. Thankfully, they dropped me home first. He walked me to the door, said "goodnight", turned and left.

I dreaded the next day at school, and the next. Thankfully I never ran into Him. It was odd. Our school was too small to not catch any glimpse of Him for two days. He wasn't at school. He had come down with the flu the afternoon of the bonfire. He went home during school and collapsed in bed. The boyfriend got Him out of bed that night with a 102 temperature, sweating like a pig, and barely able to stand. Later, I asked Him why he even came? He said he was afraid that it might be His only opportunity to go out with me.

He came...

...one more reason I love Him.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Deconstruction

I love Him.

It's easy to say (although it hasn't always been so). In the words of Spiral Staircase "I love you more today than yesterday, but not as much as tomorrow". He seems baffled sometimes at my declarations of love. So, this is an explanation of "why" I love Him.

Love is not a big event. It's not explosive. It builds up over time, and intensifies through persistence. It doesn't diminish with time - rather, it flourishes. It is the culmination of the ordinary acts of everyday life, spliced with moments of passion, sacrifice, heroism, charity, sorrow, and joy. It is what we have built together. Every day for 10,957 days.

One reason...

Because He is still here. Persistence may be the most underrated attribute of love. I have to admit some of those days I was not my best - we were not our best. But here He is...

...and I love Him.