Brain Drain


I found the Mr. standing in the middle of the kitchen staring into space. Like many of us, he forgot why he came into the room once he got there. This made me start thinking about how long I had been doing the same thing as I had a niggling worry deep inside about going senile. And I think I nailed down the problem that leads us to forgetting things.

Children.

Think about it. Before kids, we generally cruise along in life fighting the battled of becoming an adult. Sure, we forget to do things now and then, but the majority of the time we are sailing along just fine. Then it hits women first when they get pregnant. Baby brain slowly creeps in but we cope with it, after all baby will come along soon and it will all change. Our husbands, partners, whatever, get upset with our baby brain moments, but generally just laugh at us.

Then baby comes along. And so does a complete lack of sleep, organization, and ability to think. New parents are so tired that sleep is more important than showers, food, or even sex. That is when true forgetfulness strikes both parents hard. The slow unraveling begins. Even after the baby sleeps through the night, starts walking, potty trains, and talks, the brain begins to drop bit and pieces everywhere.

OK, kids get old enough to go to school, most folks have several by then, and are pretty oblivious to the brain drain taking place. Mom and dad start making notes and keeping calendars to stay on track, Kids have school, sports, play dates (as silly as that sounds), and there are a multitude of other activities from school plays to family dinners. And the brain just keeps dripping cells everywhere.

By now the parents are in their forties. Kids are driving themselves and creating a life of their own, soon they will be off to college or working (hopefully), and the house gets less hectic. The only calendar kept is one for doctor appointments and such. Until, one day, the house is empty and a couple is alone again. And that is when the final event hits, the memory wall.

We forget what we were saying mid conversation. We forget where we put our glasses Every. Single. Day. We forget our car keys, our wallets, and where we took off our shoes. We double check to see if we fed the dog and if we left water out for the cat. We have to go see if we locked the car door, and we always have to make sure where we put the credit card after using it. But mostly, we can’t go from one room to the next without forgetting what we were going to do when we got there.

Sometimes, we stare in the refrigerator thinking that’s why we are in the kitchen. Or, we go into a room four times before we get what we came for, because we get distracted by something else, and walk out of the room without the one thing we needed.

By the time we get to retirement age, we start reminding each other about things before going out the door. We do a check list, wallet, keys, glasses, hat, sunglasses, cell phone, and most importantly the list of things to get done or for shopping. Oh, and don’t forget each other while you are out.

So, yep, it is all because we have kids. Those that don’t have kids, have extended family, friends, and pets to help drain our brains as we age. Therefore, it doesn’t help not to have kids.

Next time you are standing in the middle of a room and forget why you are standing there, remember to blame it on the kids. And watch your own kids start down the same road with their kids and laugh. Then spoil your grandchildren and sent them home, just to get even.

Feminist or Victimist?


Back in the dark ages of the 1970’s women declared themselves to be feminists by burning their bras, and protesting Viet Nam. They cried, “I am WOMAN, hear me ROAR” while prancing around bare breasted to declare their freedom from oppressive males. Yee Haw, no longer ladies but WOMEN! And a lot of the regular women went along with the hard core man haters as they were bullied and shamed into standing “with the sisterhood.” Personally, I thought the whole thing was silly and embarrassing.

I didn’t need a bunch of females telling me how to be a woman, nor did I need to join a group of man haters and burn my bras to feel free. I didn’t need to have sex with everyone to feel empowered, and I sure as hell was not going to let anyone bully me into being a pathetic follower. I was, and always have been, always will be, a strong, independent minded, fully functional, intelligent, lady. Meaning, I have manners, morals, and a mental altitude geared toward compassion, motherhood, and being a wife and partner to my husband.

However, the hater feminists screamed louder, and the younger set fell for their lies and consummate bullying tactics, and we are now in our third generation of feminist females. I don’t have a clue what women find attractive about that title. More than a few have followed the Gloria group, declaring they deserved to have it all. A partner, kids, and a career that made them feel powerful. That the glass ceiling had to fall, and they would be the generation of women to do it. Yawn… whatever.

What happened is there are generations of kids who were raised in day care instead of their mothers. The women spent their lives torn between career and kids. And if there was time, a moment or two a week with their partner, who still had to work to fulfill the American dream of a home, a car, and two vacations a year. One with and one without the kids. Many longed to stay home, but were pressured by the mantra of the haters to do all and be all – and to be treated just like a man in all ways. Except in a special way. – Politically correct, you know, like they were delicate flowers deep inside.

So, look what we have forty years later. Feminism has turned into Victimism. Women no longer ROAR, they whimper. They no longer burn bras, they think they need to either prance about in a vagina costume, or cover up to support Sharia law. The haters are angry because their plan didn’t work, so they hate men even more, although it is more likely they drove more women away every generation with their vitriol spewing violence. They demand equality, and once they got it, they hated it. Because they weren’t special any longer, but just another cog in the wheel of the working wonks of the world, and that isn’t faaaair…. Be careful what you ask for, it just might bite your right on your ego.

Now, victimism has managed to emasculate every traditional male role, and it has made something as normal as appreciating the beauty of a female body illegal. Feminist flaunted their bodies and told women that it was something they should take pride in showing off. So, women dressed like they were walking sex on display, and now they are whimpering victimists because some guy, or another female, looked at them. Just looked. Well, if you look like a street walker, expect people to see a street walker.

Once, women were treated with respect by benefit of being a female. No longer. We are no longer valued by men as a loving companion, mother, or lover. We are treated just like any other guy, and with less respect than ever. Feminist saw the light in the 1990’s, and decided the way to force their issues was to become victims of Every. Single. Thing. Victimism is the new feminism of the twenty first century. They want fair, but not equal. Fair is not an option in most real life situations. Equal makes them feel demeaned – go figure – and that makes them victimized via being a feminist. Yes, I know, vastly vexing and illogical.

The roaring women of the 1970’s have fallen on hard times. There is no pride in sisterhood, it is every woman out for herself, and the wimpy males that hover in the background are the whipping boys of the future generation of women. Every feminist screamed defiance. Every victimist screams they are demeaned. Listen carefully the next time the likes of Ashley Judd gets in front of a bunch of other females. Hatred, anti male, anti family, anti women who disagree with the agenda, angry, bitter, vitriol spewing victimism all over those who just want to be normal, every day, honest to heaven, women, moms, wives, partners, and most of all happy.

I am not a victim, and I am sure as hell not a feminist. I am a woman, I don’t need to roar, a smile and a chat works wonders to solve issues. Oh, and I quite like men as friends, much more than shrewish victimist females.

How Did I Get So Old So Darned Fast?


Today I turned 62 years old. I think that qualifies me as older than dirt. I know it qualifies me as a senior citizen. What I want to know is how it happened so darned fast. Just a few weeks ago, I swear I was trying to figure out the whole concept of being an adult.

When I turned nine, I remember it well, because my parents gave me a copy of Huckleberry Finn. The first real book I remember ever getting. I still have it. And I took time to re-read it not too long ago. When I turned 17, I was a married woman of a whole three months. I remember thinking I had it all, and knew it all, and wasn’t afraid to face everything life would throw at me. I was a grown woman, and by heaven I knew it all. Arrogance knows no bounds to a 17 year old.

When I turned 20, I had a three month old son, he was taking me down a peg or two in arrogance, and teaching me that being a grown woman was harder than it looked. Being a mother certainly was harder. Little did I know that by the time I turned 22, I would have a second baby boy and life was set on fast forward for the next twenty years or so.

I don’t remember many spectacular birthdays. They seem to blend together. However, I remember when I turned 30, my two best friends kidnapped me, drove me all over Harrison, Arkansas for a few hours, then took me out to eat at a steak place. When I walked in, almost the entire church ward, most of my Boy Scout Leader friends, and many others turned up for a surprise party. I was totally shocked. Not a clue slipped out from anyone. Back then, there were no cell phones, so no one was able to tip me about the kidnapping or anything. It was great! I was fully embarrassed, but it was the slickest thing anyone has ever pulled on me. Candy, and Edie Mae , I have not forgotten, and I will get even one day.

The best gifts my husband gave to me are: The Elton John Concert in Hong Kong, The Michael Buble concert in Memphis, and my beautiful blue Honda Del Sol sports car, I call Posh. Treasured memories, and one of the most fun toys I have EVER had.

Once our boys moved out and on with their lives, and we got custody of Crystal, we decided to move to Europe, and then around the world, using employment opportunities to set off on our next adventure. When it was time to move on to the next new home, it was always on my birthday. We were either moving into a place, or packing to move out of a place – or in accommodations between places. Since it was either a sad time, or an exciting time, there was never time to pay much attention to celebration. One exception, however, was when we were living in Hong Kong. The other moms with children Crystal’s age who attended the same international school as Crystal took me to lunch. It was a fabulous time, and each gift is still something I use today, or wear today. They are part of my treasure horde. Of course, tea in the plaza after school every day was special too. Sigh, I miss you all.

I guess I was busy having a life, and simply didn’t notice time sneaking past at such a rapid rate. Technology has overtaken the simple pleasures, and I miss that. I miss being the mom of growing boys (before teenage hell set in). I miss the summers at the swimming hole with Edie Mae and her girls, and Candy and her boys along with me and my kids. I miss the Plaza with the ladies there and their kids, I miss the women in London and Nottingham, and I miss the dear friends in New Zealand, especially Leah who was more than willing to give me a kick in the attitude when I needed one most. I miss being young and strong physically even if I am old and stronger emotionally and have more wisdom.

The older I get, the less it matters if we celebrate my birthday or not. It is a day I do a lot of reflection on my life. Since it is so close to Christmas, and the anniversary of my baptismal date this month, there always seems to be more important things to focus on. Especially, for me, spiritual matters.

But I still don’t understand how I got from 22 to 62 so darned fast! The upside, is now I have grandchildren, and great grandchildren to love and spoil. I have a husband of 45 years, who has grown up and old with me. And who can still carry on a conversation and debate over all sorts of interesting topics with me, Who still, after all this time, wants to have adventures with me. So, I guess the real trade off of getting old, is that I have had a great life, get to do so much more, and know that life is still full of adventures.

“Inaction is not an excuse for failure to thrive.”


“Inaction is not an excuse for failure to thrive.”

I’ve noticed lately that a lot of people my age tend to simply stop. They stop doing fun things, they stop being involved, they stop thinking and growing intellectually. They just stop. Then they sit about and complain about how boring life is, how hard it is to do things they used to do, how much they wish they had done such and such before they got too old. They are failing to thrive in the late years of their lives. And there is no excuse for that- period.

I know, things are a bit harder to do when knees hurt,backs don’t want to bend, and the body gets tired much easier than it did at the age of forty. We all have to slow down,but that doesn’t mean we have to stop. It may take longer, but there is no reason not to at least try.

Years ago there was a movie entitled Cocoon followed by another, Cocoon Returns. If you haven’t seen them, I suggest watching them at least once. It starred a lot of “stars” who were getting quite elderly. All stuck in a nursing home, waiting to die, fussing at one another, etc. Until things change due to a visit from the aliens. Look, I know it is really a sappy story, but what I loved about it was the willingness of almost all of the elderly folks to embrace that which was different. If their youth didn’t return, their joy for life certainly did. And, at the end of the day, their inaction became action, and their lives infinitely better.

Another movie I loved was Driving Miss Daisy, a stellar performance by one and all. Again, another character that defies the tendency to just sit down and stop. Fried Green Tomatoes is a fantastic film. Kathy Bates and Jessica Tandy were great together and the flashback between Mary-Louise Parker and Mary Stuart Masterson is equally dynamic. At the end of the day, we are still not sure which woman Jessica Tandy was as the elderly friend of Kathy Bates. Ambiguity saturates the film, while turning Katy Bates’ character from a meek doormat into a woman filled with confidence. And, of course, the character played by Shirley Mclaine in Steel Magnolias is just like I want to be when I get old.

I see many older folks off and doing things all over the world. They travel, explore, serve missions of compassion – regardless of sore knees and aching backs. They move, act, and they live every minute of every day. That is what I want to do too.

When our youngest son went off to college, my husband and I decided to work our way around the world. Eight years later, we finally returned to the US. As we were raising our granddaughter, she went right along with us. We lived in London, Hong Kong, and New Zealand, and only came back to the US due to health issues and the awful Socialized Medical care in NZ. We traveled all over each region and were enriched many times over by our experiences.

But I was in my forty’s when we did that. Now I am sixty, and it is going to become more difficult to do some of the things we did. So, we chose other things to do so we could travel. A cruise or four, a road trip across the US, and our big adventure this year is to travel across country by train. I don’t hike for miles any longer, but I sure can sit and enjoy the view from the train.

So there is no excuse not to thrive, people. Just get up, take a few steps, find a hobby that fulfills you, volunteer as a surrogate grandmother to rock babies at the hospital. Volunteer at the schools or libraries to help kids with their reading skills. Go help out a nursing home if you have a talent like playing the piano. There are a multitude of things you can do to overcome the lack of inertia and sedentary inaction. For me, being with my grandchildren is one of my greatest motivators. I write, I hang out on social media sites, I keep up with friends and work on my family history, and I am planning on taking art lessons. I have always wanted to learn how to paint. That will be so much fun!

So, you are old, so what? Inaction is not an excuse for failure to thrive. Just because your body is starting to creak and moan, it doesn’t mean your brain isn’t functioning. (Unless you have a serious condition, of course.) With all the medical miracles out today, most of us will live well into our eighties or nineties.

I have a friend who is ninety-eight. For the several decades, she has traveled the world following the performances of the operas of Wagner. All on her own, she would jump on a plane and off she would go to Italy, France, Germany, or any place in the world that the operas were being performed. What an amazing lady

who just kept on going like an Eveready Battery. She is running down now, but she is still in control of her life and decided to go home until the end of her days. It is heartbreaking, but at the same time, what a life she has had! Even now, she keeps busy with doing her family history and chatting with her friends and family.

Even if you are homebound, unable to walk, unable to drive, so what? There are a million things you can do to keep your brain healthy and busy. Never just stop and wait to die. We all have a finite amount of time here in this life. I could spend it worrying about death, or I can just get on with living while I am still here.

The more we let inaction rule our lives, the less likely we are to live a long life. Not just because our bodies need to move to function well, but because our brains atrophy at an alarming rate. Inaction is not an excuse for failure to thrive. But it is only you that can take that first step. I can’t wait to become a feisty old woman who says exactly what she wants to say about everything.

Come on people, get up, find a cause, reason, purpose, or passion to fill your life. Go on!

 

Shopping With The Husband


Never take your husband shopping at the grocery store. Especially if he is hungry. One never knows what they will find when they get to the check out counter. It is even worse if we go to get groceries at Wal-Mart. Not only will odd types of food find their way into the trolley, but other things like tools, duct tape, smelly candles (that I can’t stand, but he likes), and the occasional packet of underpants will end up in the trolley too.

However, when we are in the grocery store together, I have a list, and send him off on explorations to find certain items. “OK,” he says, practically dancing, “what do I need to go find?” If he were a hunting dog, he would be salivating with excitement. “We need a loaf of French Bread. Not the kind in the regular bread aisle, but the Rustic French Bread from the bakery. Oh, and while there, check and see if they have any fresh hummus – the garlic kind – at the deli.”

“Rustic French Bread, bakery and hummus – garlic – deli next to bakery,” he repeats. Then heads off in the correct direction. I know that he will be gone a while, because he will get distracted before he ever gets to the bakery area, and once there, he will have forgotten what I sent him for in the first place. He will remember, bread, hummus – “Oh Look, CHEESE! Butterkasse, yummm.”  And when he gets back he will have the wrong bread, the wrong hummus, but he will have his favorite cheese.

Meanwhile, I will have finished with at least half my list, working methodically from one side of the store to the other. I take what he brought and send him off again. “Dish soap for the DISHWASHER, fabric softener, and I need some of those small paper plates.” “Dishwasher soap, Fabric softener, paper plates – small.” Off he goes.

I know, you see, that he will have to go past the automobile aisle, the office and craft aisle, and the miscellaneous household doodads aisle. He will get totally distracted the second he finds the light bulbs and he will spend ten minutes looking at stuff before he gets to the aisle that has all the cleaning products. Meanwhile, I keep on moving and filling my trolley. Eventually, he turns up, with Dawn soap, dryer sheets, and a huge container of paper plates, regular size – because they were cheaper that way. Along with light bulbs for our collection of about 50 packets already, super glue, some crayons for the grandkids, and a stapler – because it looks so cool!

The next things on the list will stump him for even longer. I am sending him after cookies, hot dogs, and a whole chicken for baking. Diabolical. Before he even gets out of sight, he is distracted by the magazine rack. He slows down and lets his body keep walking forward while his head turns as far as it can while he checks out the new computer mags. I know, of course, that it will take him forever to decide on hot dogs. He will end up with Hebrew National, but he won’t be able to stop himself from doing all sorts of computations to justify buying the most expensive hot dogs in the store. And he will end up with a few Lunchables for the grandkids. The cookie aisle will slow him down even more, because I know he likes Oreos more than any other store bought cookie, but there are so many more less expensive, and he will do the hem haw dance trying to talk himself into getting the Oreos. Then comes the chicken. A whole chicken. That means he has to decided how big, how much to spend, which brand, and by the time I am nearly through the store, he will come back with what I wanted. Sort of, anyway.

Then I send him off again for Ice Cream, get some for himself, and then find some difficult to find flavor for me. He will get Blue Bell chocolate chip for himself if they have it, and then end up with strawberry sundae for me from some off brand. (I actually feed this to the grandkids. Ice cream is ice cream to them.) While he is off doing that little chore, I put back the Dawn soap and get the right stuff for the dishwasher, I put back the dryer sheets and get the right fabric softener, and replace the paper plates with what I want. I keep his light bulbs, super glue, crayons, and stapler. I figure we can always us them some day. I end up getting the right French Bread, hummus, and replace on of his favorite cheese packets with one of my favorites. He never notices the different products when we check out, he is too distracted by the magazine rack.

Am I a horrid wife? Nah, just one who knows I have to keep him busy to keep him from putting odd things in my trolley when I am not looking. He is helping by staying out of my hair. It works. Really. Try it next time you have to take the husband with you. Just don’t forget about him and leave him in the magazine aisle, the store management really doesn’t like that at all!

60 years.


I was sitting in the doctor’s office this morning waiting , as usual, and filling out paperwork, when an elderly couple came in. She was a tiny, sprite of a woman, who moved with quick, birdlike starts and stops as she urged her husband across the floor to the sign in desk. He was a tall, heavy set man, with a manual laborer’s hands, and pure white hair that contrasted beautifully with his dark mahogany skin.

She was talking as fast as she could, and just kept on talking as the receptionist asked the man questions. He was, I understood, the patient. She was, however, his designated speaker. She answered every question, told him where to sit, told the receptionist that she didn’t want to wait long, and to hurry up the nurse and doctor so they could go have lunch. She fussed and fiddled until the elderly man reached up and took her elbow. And just like that, she stopped talking and sat down next to him.

While he filled out paperwork, she started telling him what to write down, he just kept on doing what he was doing, as if he didn’t hear a word she said. Soon she was carrying on a conversation with the woman next to her, and they set about solving the problems of the world. Well, she did, the other woman’s end of the conversation was pretty much, “mmhum” and “I hear ya on that one Sister.”

When the man got up to return his paperwork, he reached over and patted the old woman’s shoulder. She stopped spouting words, and sat still in her chair. When he got back and settled, she started talking again, and he reached over and patted her knee. He noticed the other woman and I exchanging a “can you believe that” look, he grinned at me and winked. Leaning toward me, he said, “It’s the signal we came up with years ago when she was talking too much or too loud. She can’t hear a thing, deaf as a post, but she surely does like to talk anyway. She reads lips real well, so you’d never know she can’t hear a word you say.”

I asked him how long they had been married. “Almost 60 years, now. And she is still the most beautiful woman I ever seen.” Then he turned and patted her arm, as she was talking a mile a minute to the woman next to her. He pointed at the door where the nurse had just called his name. The woman got up and started fussing and hurrying him along as if he were a toddler. He winked at me again. “Don’t tell her I said that though, cause I will never hear the end of it.”

When I left the doctor’s office, they were getting in their car. She was fussing and fretting as usual. I wondered if she was a backseat driver, or if she just prattled on until he reached over a patted her to remind her to let other’s get a word in edgewise.

The Waltz – A true story from my past.


It was a typical winters evening in Nottingham. The streets were glistening with rain, the air was cold and damp, and the walk up the hill to catch the bus seemed extraordinarily long since I had stayed late doing my daily shopping in the City Centre.
As I trudged slowly along, my ears caught the sound of someone playing old tunes on a piano. I glanced up and saw, through a large window, an elderly gentleman playing on an old upright piano in what seemed to be a recreation room in a pensioner’s home for the elderly. The walls were industrial gray green, the floors cracked brown linoleum, and the furniture the dismal Formica and plastic found in many such places.
As I stood listening to the piano player, he began to play a waltz. Suddenly, out of the shadowed corner of the room, a couple began the long sweeping steps of an old-fashioned ball-room waltz. The man was stooped with age, and the tiny, white haired woman seemed fragile in his arms. As the danced, they gazed into one another’s eyes with winsome smiles. They moved in perfect harmony, born, no doubt, of many years of dancing together.
The cold, wet evening seemed to disappear as I gazed at the dancing couple and in my mind’s eye, they were no longer elderly, but, instead, I saw a young, tall pilot in his RAF uniform dancing with a beautiful, dark haired girl with smiling eyes. A couple, obviously, in the first steps of love and passion waltzing in a crowded ballroom lit by crystal chandeliers and candle light. As he held her close in his arms, they began the steps that would lead them into a life together. One filled with love, pain, worry, and joy. As the waltz ended, he softly kissed her temple and swore he loved her.
The strains of the old piano faded and I was abruptly brought back to that rainy winter night, and the elderly couple stood in the middle of the floor as he softly kissed her temple. Hand in hand they slowly turned and walked back into the shadows of the room. The street was unexpectedly quiet without the music and the wind rushed around the corners of the buildings bringing freezing rain, but I felt warm in the glow of the light spilling from the window of the pensioner’s home and the small slice of life I had just witnessed in a waltz between a man and a woman who would love each other for eternity.

In Response to this post: http://lornamurphy.wordpress.com/2012/10/04/whatmarriagemeans/comment-page-1/#comment-19


Open marriage generally refers to both partners having multiple sexual partners while married to each other. That, I find, belittles the entire purpose of marriage. Why bother, after all, single people have loads of relationships (I use that term lightly) while searching about for the one person they can fall in love with for life.

Having been married since the age of 16, 41 years ago, I tend to see the word ‘open’ in a different light. Open means that you don’t smother each other, that you are honest with each other, that you support each other in good and bad times, and that you encorage one another to grow, learn, and become the person they are meant to be.

For instance, I didn’t go to university until I was 36 years old. But, due to my husband’s constant support, I managed to earn three degrees in five years, and was on a scholarship in Nottingham, England when our son died and I quit school to take care of his daughter. Without the encouragement, support, and outright cheerleading my husband gave me, there were times I would have simply given up. Instead, I graduated third in my class, Magna cum Laude, Mortar Board Society, and Alpha Chi Honors Society. That is an open marriage. Because, trust me, we didn’t spend all that much time together during those five years.

We have vastly different interests on many levels. An open marriage means that I don’t try to force him to change those interests because I want him to do things I like to do. Instead, I encourage him to do those things, and occasionally go along with him, and he does the same for me. We don’t have to live in each other’s pockets 24/7 to enjoy our lives together.

Most importantly, an open marriage means that we work as a team. No one is the boss, and we both work hard to keep things good between us. We talk it through, sometimes after a yelling match and a few slammed doors, but we talk it through. We also agree to disagree and some topics we avoid because we both know it will lead to endless debates and neither of us will budge in our opinion. But, we respectfully agree that as individuals, we should and can have differences of opinion, and still love each other.

The whole sex thing, well, trust me, sex isn’t the be all, end all of a good marriage. Important, yes, vital at some points in life, but the most important thing is love. Love, when he gives you a foot rub after a long day. Love, when you cook his comfort food (even if you hate it) when he is stressed out. Love, taking care of him when he gets sick, even if he is a bigger baby than your two year old. Love, when he sits through yet another three hanky girl movie even though it bores him to death. All those little things, that’s what makes a marriage work.

Marriage, An Occupational Hazard


1971

The occupational hazards of living with someone for years are many. Among them is the ability to know that they will wear the same shirt and trousers together at least sixty percent of the time, always listen to a certain kind of music, tell a certain kind of joke, read a particular author with great enjoyment, and another for edification.  They will almost always eat the same foods, drive the same way, enjoy the same people, and want to do the same things for relaxation.  They become,  predictable, comfortable, and taken for granted.  Like an old sweater, shoes, or a favourite pair of pajamas. The occupational hazard of predictability and taking someone for granted is one of the most dangerous hazards a couple can fall into.  All of the advice givers for marriage will tell you that.  They will list a long list of reasons why and then tell you how to avoid doing it.  All that is fine  and good, but it doesn’t always apply to every couple.
For instance, I like it that you remember that I like Dr. Pepper in a glass without ice and that I tend to want to sleep on the right hand side of the bed.  You know I hate it when the cupboard doors are left open and I always need the closet doors shut at night.  I like it that you know I will love certain movies, and hate others, that I am crazy about musicals and I don’t care for mystery novels.  You know that I am equally divided between the colours red and yellow, but that anything in hunter green will please me.  You remember that I am a collector of small boxes and anything with a fox on it.  I like it that you know what art I find wonderful, and that I would want to see a certain exhibit without question when it come around.  I like it that you know I want Onion Rings with my burger if possible, not fries, and that I am particular about what goes on my burger.
You know what music I like, most of the time, and that we can dance, listen, and sing along to the same favourite songs thrills me.  I love the old sweat shirts you wear and the jeans you just can’t part with, along with your Greek fisherman’s hat.  I like it that you tell me about your computer knowledge even thought you know I don’t understand half of what you are trying to tell me.  It makes me happy when you see something on the internet, or in a book, or magazine, or newspaper that you know will interest me and take the time to make sure I see it.  I am always pleased when you remember my interests in literature and try to understand as I prose on and on about things that you have absolutely no interest in, yet you go out of your way to understand.
I like the way I never know if your are going to start dancing or singing at any given moment, and yet, you are sensitive to my need to do the same thing.  I like the way we love to go to the same places on holiday, yet never get bored because we both like to discover new and interesting things.  We even go see things that would bore the other, and take turns doing it, so we both get to see what we want and still give a gift of understanding to the other. I know you will always find our way around in  a strange city, and you know that if I drive, we rarely get lost.  I love the way you read so intently, and you tolerate the fact that my mind wanders and sometimes I don’t hear you.
There are any multitude of mundane things you do for me.  I know you will always pick up empty glasses and do the dishes if I don’t get to them first.  Not because you are making a comment on my housekeeping, but because you don’t mind helping out.  I like the way you help make the beds, and help me move the living room furniture around for the third time when you thought it was fine the way it was in the first place.  I love the way you will go with me to the grocery even though you hate to, and then end up buying all kinds of things I would never have thought to get.  I know that if we go into a computer, hardware, electronics, or bookstore, you will spend a minimum of thirty minutes just looking around and not buy a thing, except what you went in to buy.
I know all these things about you and you know all these things about me, but does that mean we have fallen into the hazard of taking one another for granted?  Are we too predictable? Maybe, sometimes.
There are the times, however, when we surprise one another with something new about ourselves.  Try something new as a couple, like dancing.  Discover a new talent, thought process, idea, ability, desire to learn something different.  We are often amazed at how alike we are and how very different.  We have been together a very long time, and I still feel that there is so much I will never know about you.  Not because you hide it, but because you haven’t discovered it yourself yet.  I feel that there is so much more to me than you know as well, and in time we will make these discoveries together.
You make me feel alive, passionate, funny, and intelligent.  I know you are the most honest of men, you have integrity, and intelligence beyond my comprehension, and that you will do anything you must to protect your family from hurt, want, or need.  You are a dedicated husband, father, friend, son, and brother.  You love those who love you with an intensity that you don’t comprehend.  And you are loved in the same manner.   Everyone looks up to you, admires you, and tries to emulate you.  I know that in your career there are few who have the abilities you possess and that you can be or do anything you wish.  I know that you are loyal, determined, and strong willed and that you are a natural leader.  I know that your colleagues are amazed at your comprehension and knowledge of the work at hand and in the future.
You are, in short, funny, loving, passionate, intelligent, gentle, romantic, determined, honest, caring, devoted, strong willed, and the man that I have loved for fourty-one years.  Do we have the occupational hazard of predictability?  Maybe, sometimes.  However, I am blessed to have you in my life and that you know me so well.  I can only hope you feel the same way.

Its The Little Things


Certain little girl in France. 2000

He doesn’t remember important dates like anniversaries and birthdays.
He doesn’t  like to buy expensive gifts and things that don’t pay.
He doesn’t always think ahead when he starts to speak,
He doesn’t do the romantic, when the practical will serve to treat.

He isn’t always sensitive to my moods and needs,
He isn’t always there for me, or, maybe, that’s just how it seems.
He isn’t always careful, and he can be a dreadful tease,
He isn’t always kind, but he tries to be.

But none of that really matters, because he so good you see,
At all the little things.

He takes me out to walk about and gaze at starlit skies,
He tickles me and makes me laugh until I cry.
He swings our girl out on her swing and tells her lovely tales,
Dances in the living room with her toy dolphins and whales.

He runs down the hall in fear of her monsters there,
and dresses up and drinks her tea – then he makes me swear.
Not to tell a soul and always to conceal,
That he’s just a big old softie when it comes to a certain little girl.

He washes dishes and does laundry when I’m sick and ill,
Cares for me and worries deep and still –
Laughs at my paltry jokes and listens patiently,
As I spout long and loud on things that bore him patently.

It’s the little things you see, that make me love him so,
And I will continue to, as long as stars will glow .
He makes me feel all warm and loved deep inside,
Even though all that mushy stuff makes his face glow bright.

For he feels silly and odd, being romantic and such,
But that doesn’t matter, its for all the little things that I love him so very much.