From Chicken Soup for the Soul: True Love
By Kay Conner Pliszka
A friend loves at all times…
I’m a hopeless romantic. But my husband, Mike, is probably the most unromantic guy I know. When I was growing up I pictured myself being married to someone who would take my hand when we went for walks, shower me with affection, and enjoy long, heartfelt conversations about special feelings and philosophies.
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I think Mike reached for my hand once since we’ve been married. He was lying in a hospital bed waiting for surgery and fearing he might die. That doesn’t count!
Hugs I get — when he wants a new car, a $300 Precision Graphite Classic OS tennis racquet, or a golf trip with his buddies.
As for philosophical talks, forget it. I don’t even try.
And when it comes to romantic lingo — after I say “I love you” Mike’s typical response is, “Right back at ya, kid,” or “Me, too, you, Babe.” Hardly heartwarming.
I think Mike was the inspiration for the story about the woman who said to her husband on their anniversary: “Honey, we’ve been married forty years and since our wedding you have never said I love you.” The husband replied, “I said it once and if anything changes I’ll let you know.”
But there is chemistry between us and a joyful oneness of spirit — like when he says or does goofy things to make me laugh so hard my sides ache and I can’t catch my breath and I have to beg him to stop; or when something happens that reminds us of the past and we say the same thing at the same time and others haven’t a clue what we’re talking about; or when he looks at me during a concert of beautiful music with tears in his eyes and wipes my wet cheek knowing our hearts are one at that moment.
Mike says I am his best friend. I guess that’s more important than a lot of romantic jargon, public display of affection, and all those other fantasies of mine.
And I do know that he loves me. After back surgery, the doctor said I shouldn’t use a vacuum cleaner for at least a year. Now, twenty-nine years later, Mike still does all of the vacuuming. “It might hurt your back,” he says. He has never voiced a complaint or even accused me of bribing the doctor. Now if that’s not love, I don’t know what is!
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