He has that particular look on his face, one of the many I know by heart after reading him 30 years.
His lips are pursed to the side like he's trying to figure something out and he says to himself but out loud, "I've got a taste for something sweet…" and the thought trails and hangs in the center of the room.
It's the look of a little boy masterminding a plan to get his way about something important.
"So, you wanna run to Subway and pick up a dozen cookies?" because their White Chocolate Macadamian are his favorite and he's wishful-thinkin' I'm in a generous, other-minded mood.
But it's dark-thirty and rainy and cold and I'm feeling stingy and selfish.
"There's chocolate ice cream downstairs," I remind him, fully knowing that's not what his sweet tooth is craving.
The wheels are still turning behind his boyish blue eyes, and daggum it, I say it before I'm smart enough to sit in the quiet, "I guess I could make a batch…" and he pounces on that like kitten to yarn, "But we don't have the stuff DO WE HAVE THE STUFF?" and he's already opening cabinets.
I know we have the stuff.
With little enthusiasm I drag to the kitchen, and he considers himself helping by getting out the butter and telling me a half batch is plenty because he knows how long it takes to drop four dozen cookies with 11 minutes cooking time for each sheet. Just undercooked, soft and gooey.
E v e r y time he reminds me to take 'em out before they get "too done." I happen to like cookies crunchy, so it's not unreasonable for him to remind me.
I'm combining the white sugar and the brown sugar right when it hits me that timing is everything and now is the time–
The overhead light has been burned out in our bathroom for over a week and I've mentioned it a few times, hoping he'd take care of it before I had to drag a chair upstairs and do it myself. That's my version of playing the Stereotypical Man's Role card, and my trump and presumed motivator was when I asked him if wanted me to ask our landlord to change it.
He was a little insulted, which, of course, is why I suggested it.
But he never even uses that light in the bathroom so it easily slipped his mind every day, and every morning I mentally grumbled while I was putting on make up, just thinking about dragging a chair upstairs.
Mixing in the flour and eggs with my back facing him in the den, I casually ask if he knows if we even have replacement lightbulbs. In one moment he's opening a drawer and the next he's upstairs and I hear metal and glass and I can visualize him unscrewing the fixture, untwisting the dead bulb and corkscrewing in the new, all the while I'm stirring in the soda and baking powder and a full serving of vanilla extract because I like it.
A smile crosses my lips that no one else sees.
Within a few minutes he's back downstairs about the same time I'm stirring in the oats, ready to drop the first batch.
Moments like these make marriage look disceptively simple.
Love always wins.
We will hit the 20-year mark in 2013. I’ve found, so often, the secret to feeling loving is to act loving. It’s crazy how long I will wait for my emotions to motivate my actions, when a little action often does a better job at kick starting those loving feelings.
Kelly, that’s the kind of advice you only can give after being married a looooong while ( woulda never guessed you were old enough to be married almost 20 years…wowza!). I’d have to agree, feelings follow actions; but daggum, sometimes don’t we want it the other way around???
This was just lovely. Truly. And, you are so right–after many years of marriage, you just know what’s behind some facial expressions. They have either driven you crazy, or they’ve become beloved quirks. Sometimes it takes years to move from the crazy to the beloved.
And now I just really want cookies.
You wily (and wise) woman, you. 😉
Nancy, first, thank you for your kind words. But second? There's a thin line between love and crazy, isn't there? And I thin you're right–time softens one into the other. What a fun way to think on this :).
YOU CALLED ME WILY!! Two points for you!!! (I feel kinda like the Roadrunner's coyote, though…hmmm…) :). xo
Loved this, Robin. And now I need the recipe. Please????
First I have to say that I agree with you–there’s no way Kelly could be married 20 years! And second, have you been hanging around my house? That sounds exactly like something that would go down here. Love this! I just wish it hadn’t take me SO LONG to figure out that, like Kelly said, my actions are what bring the attitude, not the other way around.
I’d love to share it with you but I’m headed out of town; will you remind me next week??? Ai yi yi, I’m forgetful!! (and THANK you!!)
S i g h…if only you and I lived closer together, dang it :). xo
My Love and I renewed our vowes on our 28 which was a particularily hard year for us with Male Crisis. We just passed 29 years and parents on both sides said we’d never make 3 years! God’s hand was upon us for sure! Our love is deeper because of these hard times, like 6 deaths in 6 months, our daughter left us at 12, and I was diagnoses with Bipolar and my Beloved with Depression and Hard of hearing 34 years after which.
Yes, God surely had us in HIS HAND all the way! Our love grows each Day! Thks!