Love

Forgive my paraphrasing but tonight I witnessed what was truly a moment that could have been taken from a Nicholas Sparks book. 

I felt as if I was intruding on what should have been a truly intimate and tender exchange but considering it occurred in the middle of the pub we were at and the young man was obviously intoxicated, I can’t really beat myself up. 

Let me set the stage, so to speak…

It’s a small local pub. There never seems to be any rhyme or reason as to what is the best night to come because a Tuesday can be standing room only and a Friday, like tonight, it can be barren. In fact, there were only about 8 people in the entire place at 9:30 pm. 

It was dark, the music was obviously on a loop and Julie and I went to simply pacify a couple that we sometimes spend time with. 

Again…I obviously didn’t record the outburst but there are parts that stuck with me and made me want to go “ahhhh”

A man of about 35 and a woman of the same approximate age were sitting at a table with three others; two more men and a woman. They were joking, laughing, carrying on as you’d expect any group at a bar on a Friday night. Suddenly, the man I described, loudly addressed the woman:

“I’m tired of hearing this bullshit! You get on the dating websites and you look and look but it’s always 2 hours away, 6 hours away. You never look for anyone here! Well, let me tell you something! I love you! (At this point the two other men tried to quiet their friend but he waved them off) What? That doesn’t make me weak or pathetic! Yes, (insert name here) I said I love you! I don’t give a shit about your hair, job, car, house of any of that other crap! I don’t care that some days you are a pain in the ass! I don’t care that you are moody and irritable! I just love you! But the kicker is that you tell people you’re not attracted to me. That I’m too dominant of too needy or too whatever. The truth is that if you let me in. I mean really let me in and trusted me you might actually love me back. And if you loved me back then you might be happy. And if I stopped loving you or if something happened to me, that happy life would be taken away again and you wonder if you are unlovable or maybe if you are allowed to be happy. So you look for people who you can’t love. People so far away that you automatically have an excuse when things go to shit! You want the fun shit that goes along with a relationship like sex and companionship but the truth is that you don’t want real! So go chase whoever but that not going to make me stop loving you!”

When he finished, he grabbed his coat and left. Everyone in the bar just stared. Except me. Me being me I looked at the woman and said, “takes a lot of balls to admit something like that, even if it was induced by liquid courage.”

Julie nudged me and we paid our tab and left. 

What happened next surprised me almost as much as the mans admission. Julie stopped at the table and told the woman, “if even the smallest part of what he said is true, you may have just let the best thing that could ever happen to you walk away.”

It was definitely an interesting night. 

A quick little laugh 

Last night as Julie and I were not celebrating New Years, a friend stopped by. 

There is a running joke amongst some of my straight friends that several of us will run off to Utah and I will marry them all. They call themselves my “sister wives”. Julie think it’s funny and has even started telling them, “as long as you all remember I get to be the FIRST wife” 

Well, J (the friend who came over) has become the latest in my group of sister wives. Which is up to 8 now. For the record, I can barely keep up with one wife. I make no pretenses that I could EVER manage more than one relationship at a time!

However; we were making the bed and joking about J’s new status as a sister wife. She asked, “what separates me from the others?”

I responded, jokingly, “would you be willing to fix my coffee in the morning without bitching about it?”

She replied, “absolutely!”

“Then it’s already better than my last relationship. Hell, we didn’t have sex the last year we were together anyways so there ya go!”

At which point Julie started giggling uncontrollably. I asked what was so funny and she said, “well, YOU didn’t have sex the last year you were together!”

Yes….my girl is a smart ass… 

New year 

Yesterday we decided to forego any New Years celebrations. Oh, don’t get me wrong…we didn’t make an intentional, “let’s be anti social” or “let’s just be together” decision, we just realized that we are at a point in life where the passing of one year into another, while monumentous, is just another day. 

We had originally planned to go to New Orleans. As I sat down a few weeks ago to book our trip, Julie and I decided that we didn’t really want to go. 

Then we decided to go to Austin. A friend invited us to her annual bash and it seemed like a good idea and an even better reason to go to our second home. We decided Monday that wasn’t what we wanted to do either. 

Yesterday we were invited to spend the evening with friends at their remote home. Just a casual dinner, wine, laughter and fun. The nastiness of the roads made us change our plans yet again. 

What did we do? 

We went to dinner at a local “Mexican” restaurant. I use that term loosely because no where around here has anything remotely close to what we like to call Mexican food. 

Julie had two margaritas and I had tea. Last thing either of us needed was to get pulled over on the biggest night the police have. 

We went home. Julie and I changed the sheets on the bed. She folded socks. I cleaned the kitchen. We watched tv. 

In fact, we were both in bed, sound asleep when New Years chimed itself in. 

I was awakened by mine and Julie’s phones lighting up from all the texts and messages wishing us a happy new year. I responded to the ones from Huey and Dewey and a couple of close friends but left the others for this morning. 

I did compose a note to send to Julie for her to read when she woke up. 

“Happy New Year, Beautiful. 2015 definitely tried to kick our asses. Both individually and together. There were times when I’m sure both of us wondered if we would ever find our footing on the foundation that kept our love alive all these years. I was a douche bag on plenty of occasions so I take full responsibility for any battles that we may have been waging inside our hearts. No matter how scared I was; no matter how hard things got; no matter how easy running away would have been, I never once entertained the idea of giving up on you, me or us. Most days I could easily point to you and say, ‘she’s the best part of me’ because you always make me want to be a better person. Thank you so much for that. I know that sometimes life gets hard and it feels like there’s no end to the struggle. Please, always remembe this; you are loved, respected, admired, wanted and needed. My life is better with you in it on a bad day than it ever was without you on a good one. May 2016 be gentler than 2015.”

At 8:02 am I was awakened by a kiss on my forehead and my beautiful wife crying. She told me that was one of the most thoughtful and touching things she’s ever read and it reminded her of just why we were always meant to find each other again. 

We battled cancer. The building of a house. A move to Texas. Cancer again. My own slew of injuries and illnesses. And we came out on top. 

2015 wasn’t a great year for us. But it was a hell of a lot better to go through it with her than it would have been to go through it with anyone else! 

Happy New Year!