I was recently waiting in line at the local Giant pharmacy. I was sent on a mission to pickup a prescription for my wife. We have reached a point, in our 9 year marriage, where 20 minutes of solitude is welcomed, even if it is standing in line behind an elderly woman with as many medicine bottles as hairs on her chin and paying with an assortment of loose chains from the bottom of her purse. It may not be glamorous but I am out. The stresses of life, bills, work, two little girls, all of it can build quickly so when you get a chance to go, you go. Besides, I learned a long time ago to just nod my head and say, “okay”(I learned to never roll my eyes either, especially in front of a mirror when she is behind me). So here I stand behind Whistler’s Mother as she counts up her change.
Amongst the shoppers I spy(aside from bored husbands and whiny kids) is a teen couple coming down the aisle toward me. The boy is pushing the cart with his right hand while his left hand is firmly epoxied to the right hand of his diminutive girlfriend. They are walking almost on top of one another so much so, it looks as if they have three legs instead of four. She appears to be smitten at the fact her acne riddled man can navigate the cart while still displaying his perpetual love for her.
The two of them get me to thinking(on something other than how these two bozos make me nauseous). This is the couple who share the same seat in a restaurant booth. This is the couple who own trucks so they can snuggle on the front bench seat while one of them drives. This is the couple who talk baby gibberish to one another. This is the couple who believes their proximity somehow will positively affect the profoundness of their love.
Now I am not a guy without emotion(I cried at ‘Field of Dreams’). In fact, in all of my life, there has never been someone who has seen more of or made me show more of my emotions than my wife. My wife and I began dating 11 years ago(I know the years because she told me last week). I never believed in love at first sight until I set my sight on Alicia. I was home from college and more days removed from a shower than I should have been. I was with mutual friends who had decided on gathering a gaggle of us to go out. I was hooked from that point. I have loved her since the moment we had our first date(the movie ‘Titanic’, I know cheesy but effective). Yet after watching Bonnie and Clyde make their way down the frozen foods aisle hand in hand do I love my wife like that? Should I love her more? Do I need to push her towards the wall so I can slide in next to her the next time we’re in a booth at a diner(she’s a lefty and I’m a righty, it could work, logistically speaking)? Do I need to come up with a mushy nickname for her like ‘Honey Pumpkin’ or ‘Schnuckie’?
It quickly dawns on me I don’t need to do any of those things. What my wife and I have transcends simply holding hands in the grocery store(Question? How in the world do you navigate that cart around the Weigh Watcher’s Snack Packs in the middle of the lane anyway?). My wife and I have been holding each other’s hands for 11 years. Through first love, the first fight(the 168th fight too), ups, downs, and in-betweens, we have had each other’s hands and each other’s hearts.
She has propped me up and I have kept her from falling. We have relied on each other. We have cried, laughed, sighed, frowned, grinned, and sat in shock with each other. We have run the gamut of emotions life tends to bring to the surface for anyone living in it. And in all of that time and emotion, we never let go of each other’s hands. We have formed a perfect union. A dynamic duo. Her good cop to my bad cop. Batman and Robin. Starsky and Hutch. Laurel and Hardy(I dare not have her hear me compare her to Hardy. Or Laurel).
My wife and I let our hands go a long time ago(If I suggested hand holding during our Giant run I’d get the ‘are you out of your mind?’ look. The one I get when I suggest the merits of her wearing the Princess Leia ‘Jedi’ bikini). Yet even though our hands are at our sides, Alicia and I continue to grow closer everyday. We find new reasons why we love each other and I fall in love with her all over again. Maybe our proximity isn’t as close as when we were first dating or married but isn’t it said absence makes the heart grow fonder? I think that axiom is true. I think it applies not only for the distance apart you are from someone you love but also whether or not you’re holding hands grocery shopping, sharing a booth while you eat your dinner or are just waiting in line at the ‘Giant’ pharmacy.
- Gentlemen, you will permit me to put on my spectacles, for, I have grown not only gray, but almost blind in the service of my country (and bald...and cranky...and out of shape...in the service of being a parent) - George Washington
Seek and Ye Might Just Find