It’s the small gestures that make me feel loved, not the big ones. When my husband remembers my favorite drink (no question what that is, right), or brings my favorite ice cream home from the grocery store. When he rolls over and gets up with the baby on Saturday morning even though he worked all week and neither one of us got to sleep in. That he catches up with my mother when she calls before he hands me the phone. That he calls me every single day from work to see how things are going.
To me, those little every day gestures are the things that make a relationship work, long after the blush and tingle of newness have faded into the triviality of mundane daily life. Little gestures that tell me he knows me, he remembers things that are important and poignant for me. Those small offerings and humor have seen us through nineteen years. Well, little things, humor and alcohol (after we reached the age of twenty-one, of course).
Nine years ago, on a cruise ship off the coast of Italy.
Him: What are you thinking about?
Me: I’m day dreaming about this day in the future. We have our own house with a beautiful garden and you come home and surprise me with a a chlamydia vine.
Him: I come home and surprise you with a list of people in the chain of my unfaithfulness that resulted in my contracting a venereal disease?
Him: What are you talking about?
Me: What are you talking about?
Him: Don’t get all indignant with me, you’re the one who brought up Chlamydia.
Me: The beautiful flowering vine with the huge purple flowers that covered the bower where we sipped wine today. At an Italian vineyard. On our honeymoon.
Him: Little buttercup, light of my life, that was not a chlamydia vine. Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted disease.
Me: Pet names laced with sarcasm are not romantic. It started with a C and sounded familiar.
Him: Don’t get all grumpy with me. I was a good new husband. I asked what you were thinking about.
Me: Don’t do that.
Him: Deal, it’s scary.
Three days ago at our beautiful house with the disaster of a backyard that we are trying to make into a garden.
Him: Hey! Come out to the car. I got you something.
Me: I’m blogging.
Him: You’ll like it.
Me: (grumbling) Walks to back of house, out the door and into the driveway.
Him: I went to the hothouse and got you a present.
Him: Take off your clothes.
Me: Daytime. Driveway. Not a chance.
Him: That’s the only way to give it to you. I went to the hothouse special to pick up Chlamydia just for you.
He opens the tailgate of the van. There are two gorgeous starter vines covered in gigantic purple flowers.
Him: They’re called CLEMENTIS.
Me: I both love and hate you. I can’t believe you remembered. I TOLD you it started with a C!
Oh, and always letting me have the last word. What’s the glue that holds you and your partner together? And don’t say ‘shared venereal disease.’ TMI