I don’t really think Valentine’s Day is the end all be all, but as most of you are celebrating it today (with ridiculous enthusiasm), I thought I should dedicate a post to it. So here it is – my no-take-back understanding that we all love in different ways. And that’s ok.
My husband is not a flower-giving, hand-holding, cuddly-canoodler, spend–spare-time-with-me, fun-loving, romantic–in-any-way-shape-or-form kind of guy. He is the complete antithesis of any of that. Does it bother me? Of course it does. And he knows it. We are total social and romantic opposites. But we are a love story all the same.
Here’s the thing – I’m a girl. So I do this – “Sweetie, I love you so much! Let’s go to dinner.” Clifford’s response? “No. There’s people there.” Did I forget to mention he hates people? So, still a girl, I do this – “Honey? Want to go to a movie?” He says – “No. Why would we do that?” Let’s add in about a million other examples of these type scenarios transpiring over eight years of marriage… a girl tends to question if the guy actually loves her or if he has just found a roommate for life (and one that doesn’t really cook and clean very well, I might add).
Well my guy loves me. But I have to remind myself it’s in a different way. I want sweet nothings whispered in my ear. I want snuggling. I want grand gestures. Well, one out of three ain’t bad.
A few of those gestures:
In college, I had a Pre-Columbian art history final to produce. It was a tribal mask made of clay. I don’t do clay. I don’t sculpt. And yes, maybe I had had two months to get it done but was just starting it at 7PM the day before it was due? Regardless, I carved my little heart out that night. It took me hours and hours, but it was done. I was pretty proud actually. I just needed to bake it and paint it. It blew up in the oven. As I sat, completely devastated that my procrastination had somehow failed me, Clifford grabbed the extra clay and made me an identical mask. It took him hours as well, but less hours than it took me. It came out of the oven just in time for me to paint it before heading to class. He was my hero.
The mask that demonstrated Cliff’ord’s love for me. It took hours and hours. And yes, it’s supposed to look like a five year old made it, people. It’s Pre-Columbian.
He surprised me with a trip to Universal Studios for my 21st birthday – my lifelong dream.
He built me a studio so I can illustrate.
He built me this studio.
He built me doors to keep the dogs out of my studio.
The doors look like bamboo because of the technique he used to make them. This picture doesn’t do them justice.
He built me a light table so I can trace with ease.
My beautiful light table.
He has driven over an hour every November to cut me down a Christmas tree even though I know he HATES it and the holidays.
He roasted a pig for my brother’s 40th birthday in Florida in 98 degree heat. And he HATES Florida. AND heat. AND he got super sick which means he missed out on eating any of what he roasted.
And this week, he drove up to Northern Indiana, packed my parents’ entire house in a Budget truck, by himself, in -22 degree weather, in an asinine amount of snow, missing one of Atlanta’s rare snow storms (he LOVES snow storms) only to have the truck breakdown north of Nashville, basically delaying (for another few hours) a man who hadn’t slept for 48 straight. All of this for in-laws mind you, not even his own flesh and blood …if that isn’t love, if that isn’t a grand gesture, I don’t know what is. He is dubbed “The Man” in my phone contacts for a reason.
It may not be what I think I want in terms of romance, but it is what he gives me. The next time I decide to have a fit that my husband isn’t doing something I want, or I’m upset he chose not to participate, I need to remember those things. He shows his love differently than I do. And even though it is different, it is just as heartfelt and just as pure.
So what’s your love story? Do you have a perfect match? Or maybe your tale involves the one that got away? Love stories are some of the best no-take-backs there are. I want to share yours.