I have a friend who is falling in love. She honestly claims the sky is bluer. Mozart moves her to tears. She has lost 15 pounds and looks like a cover girl(封面女郎).
"I'm young again!" she shouts exuberantly.
As my friend raves(咆哮) on about her new love, I've taken a good look at my old one. My husband of almost 20 years, Scott, has gained 15 pounds. Once a marathon runner, he now runs only down hospital halls. His hairline is receding(后退) and his body shows the signs of long working hours and too many candy bars. Yet he can still give me a certain look across a restaurant table and I want to ask for the check and head home.
When my friend asked me "What will make this love last?" I ran through all the obvious reasons: commitment, shared interests, unselfishness, physical attraction, communication. Yet there's more. We still have fun. Spontaneous(自发的,自然产生的) good times. Yesterday, after slipping the rubber band off the rolled up newspaper, Scott flipped it playfully at me: this led to an all-out war. Last Saturday at the grocery, we split the list and raced each other to see who could make it to the checkout(校验) first. Even washing dishes can be a blast. We enjoy simply being together.
And there are surprises. One time I came home to find a note on the front door that led me to another note, then another, until I reached the walk-in(可供人走进之物) closet. I opened the door to find Scott holding a "pot of gold" (my cooking kettle) and the "treasure" of a gift package. Sometimes I leave him notes on the mirror and little presents under his pillow.
There is understanding. I understand why he must play basketball with the guys. And he understands why, once a year, I must get away from the house, the kids—and even him-to meet my sisters for a few days of nonstop talking and laughing.
There is sharing. Not only do we share household worries and parental burdens—we also share ideas. Scott came home from a convention last month and presented me with a thick historical novel. Though he prefers thrillers(惊险读物) and science fiction, he had read the novel on the plane. He touched my heart when he explained it was because he wanted to be able to exchange ideas about the book after I'd read it.
There is forgiveness. When I'm embarrassingly(使人尴尬地) loud and crazy at parties, Scott forgives me. When he confessed losing some of our savings in the stock(股票) market, I gave him a hug and said, "It's okay. It's only money."
There is sensitivity. Last week he walked through the door with that look that tells me it's been a tough day. After he spent some time with the kids, I asked him what happened. He told me about a 60-year-old woman who'd had a stroke. He wept as he recalled the woman's husband standing beside her bed, caressing(爱抚) her hand. How was he going to tell this husband of 40 years that his wife would probably never recover? I shed a few tears myself. Because of the medical crisis. Because there were still people who have been married 40 years. Because my husband is still moved and concerned after years of hospital rooms and dying patients.
Finally, there is knowing. I know Scott will throw his laundry(要洗的衣服) just shy of the hamper every night; he'll be late to most appointments and eat the last chocolate in the box. He knows that I sleep with a pillow over my head; I'll lock us out of the house at a regular basis, and I will also eat the last chocolate.
I guess our love lasts because it is comfortable. No, the sky is not bluer: it's just a familiar hue(色调). We don't feel particularly young: we've experienced too much that has contributed to our growth and wisdom, taking its toll on our bodies, and created our memories.
I hope we've got what it takes to make our love last. As a bride, I had Scott's wedding band engraved(雕刻) with Robert Browning's line "Grow old along with me!" We're following those instructions.
If anything is real, the heart will make it plain.