Last night, while Kelle was still en route from work, Kurt and I spent some much-needed quality time together. Of course, our current work schedules allow us plenty of time together, but only rarely do we really sit down and talk deeply like we did last night. I wanted a romantic, relaxing setting in which to talk, so we filled the bathtub, lit a woodwick candle, started a “relaxation” channel on Pandora, opened two hard ciders, and turned out the lights. Once we were all comfortable, sitting in the fragrant, hot water, I looked at him and asked, as I often do, “What do you love about me?”
“I love that you’re passionate about things.”
“No, you don’t.”
“Don’t tell me how I feel.”
“Sorry. But it doesn’t feel that way. You say that, but you’ve only ever shown me that you don’t like when I’m passionate.”
“I just don’t like when you’re irrationally emotional. That’s why I try to calm you down.”
“When you tell me to calm down, it makes me feel like you’re invalidating my feelings, like you’re telling me I’m wrong.”
“Well, getting all hysterical about stuff isn’t going to solve anything.”
“I’m not trying to solve anything! I’m just reacting. Don’t you react to stuff?” This was when the conversation from yesterday’s post happened. We ended that bit with me saying, “But it still doesn’t help when you shut down when I’m overreacting. It only makes it worse.” He asked what I wanted him to do, and I said, “Agree with me?” And there was nothing more to say about that.
I sipped my cider and gazed out at the flickering candle for a second before asking, “What else do you love about me?”
“I love that you are kind. You love to help people.”
“Really? You always seem to get mad when I give to strangers.”
“Only when you’re giving away things we really need to survive ourselves, like a $50 check or the last of our Target gift cards. But giving someone your extra food after we’ve been to a restaurant… I love that.”
“I love that you’re smart. You know things! You love to learn things! I can have intelligent, in-depth conversations with you about science and literature. I love that you work hard. And you’re romantic. You come home with flowers randomly. Even if it’s not very often, it’s still really sweet. And you’re just so cute!” I pinched his cheeks, eliciting an involuntary squinty smile and head duck. “And you use proper grammar! I don’t think I could marry someone who didn’t. When people use poor grammar, it just sounds like they’re hearing and seeing the language that is around them everyday but not actually understanding it, but it’s just because no one taught them correctly. Too many people are taught that you put a comma anywhere you would pause in a sentence, but that’s not exactly true! That’s a very shallow definition! And it causes people to use punctuation and words without knowing what they mean. They think they do, but they don’t, and that’s really sad, because it will only hurt them later in life. I just want to help everyone understand these things!”
He smiled and tipped his cider to me, like a toast. “See? Passion.”
I smiled back, and then turned around so that my back was resting on his chest. “You know, sometimes, I still think we rushed things. I never broke my record for longest time between relationships. We could have been friends longer.”
“Yeah, but we both knew what we wanted. You don’t regret marrying me, do you?”
“Never! You’re perfect for me. I still marvel at how crazy it is though. We met on Xanga. And now we’re married!”
And then Kelle called and said she was about to board her second bus home. She wanted to make sure she got on the right one. We figured we had an hour before she’d be home, so we got up and dried off, then took this picture for my 365 project:
Married people: Do you feel like you make enough time for intimate conversations?
Unmarrieds: What do you love about the person you love the most in your life?