February seems to be the month for love. Maybe it's the approaching spring, when young and old men's minds and hearts turn to thoughts of love. Many of them think of baseball and golf instead, but that's another story.
But love is in the air. It is all around us. I see it daily.
The other day I stopped in at one of those quick shops to pick up a few items. Approaching the cash register, I was greeted by a tall young man who appeared to be glowing. He smiled broadly at me and asked eagerly if he could be of assistance. I chuckled and told him how refreshing it was to have such a cheery sales person who seemed to love his job.
He said, "Oh, I'm just in a very good mood!" I told him it was contagious and wondered what had made him so happy.
He replied, "I'm in love!"
Not being in a hurry, and with no one in line behind me, I prompted him to tell me more. He went on to explain that he had finally reached the point in life where he wanted to settle down, raise a family and get on with his life. How wonderful, I thought, and told him so.
He went on to explain that he had met a woman who felt the same way he did, and they fell in love and are now getting married. I found it rather delightful that it was the man who was glowing. You see this in movies, but seldom in life. It's usually the woman who has fallen head over heels and has no problem expressing it. Most men do not express their feelings so openly.
I congratulated the young man and wished him the very best. As I left the store, I passed a very young couple embracing at one of the strip shopping centers. I call that young lust. Most young people fall into lust rather than love. Love comes with living together, commiting to each other and really getting to know each other. I find that many of today's youth don't want that kind of responsibility. They fall in and out of lust like I change my underwear.
Love can happen when you get older, too. But some older people are afraid to commit. We have quite a few single people in our over-55 community. I love it when two of them find each other. I love to see them holding hands, dancing together and just having fun. Some are afraid of commiting because they have been through a divorce or they don't know if they can live with another person after being alone for so long.
Some feel it would be disrespectful to have another relationship after the death of a loved one. My brother, on the other hand, believes what Helen Keller said: Life is an adventure. Live it to the fullest.
So, after 20 years of being single, he is taking the plunge this summer. He is so funny! He sounds like a teenager in love and lust. Everything she says or does he deems "so cute."
I give him credit for taking the plunge! I hope he still thinks everything is "so cute" after 10 years of marriage. Statistically speaking, romantic love lasts only 12 months. If the moon is right, deeper love follows.
We have friends who have been married for more than 50 years. I marvel at them and envy them. You can tell they are in love. They go together like ice cream and apple pie. When they dance, you can tell they have danced for 50 years.
I like to watch how they react to each other. It shows in their eyes that they sincerely enjoy each other, even though there are times they could wring each other's necks!
The other night, after going to dinner with these friends, they stopped at our house for a nightcap. My husband decided we needed a little music and put on one of his favorite CDs. As the music swayed, so did the couple. They weren't dancing, they just swayed back and forth. I looked at my husband and said, "Look. They even sway in synch. Just think, we only have 42 more years to go before we can sway together like that, too!"
I'm not sure he got the point. He just sort of looked at me like I had had one too many glasses of wine. But I know he'll get it eventually, even if it takes him 42 years!
I couldn't write this column without mentioning my cat, Ed Norton. I have seen him in love.
There is a stray cat, very black and very beautiful, that passes through our yard on occasion. Ed goes bonkers! His tail gets all puffy, he lets out this combination purr and growl, and then he clicks his teeth together. Now, if that isn't love, I don't know what is! Unless, of course it is lust.
I suppose you think I haven't said enough about my husband. We may have been married only a few years, but I know he loves me. I can tell when I'm in the kitchen cooking and he whacks me on the rear end like he would one of his fellow basketball players. What a show of affection!
I savor those moments. He sometimes calls me "Peanut." I like that, too. I'm sure after 42 more years he'll still be whacking me on the rear and we will swing and sway together. Until then, I'll keep beating him at cards occasionally and in turn he'll keep beating me (in cards).
I'll never beat him at golf, but after all, you have to let a man retain his pride.
Thought for the day: If you think you are in love, you are lucky. If you aren't in love, go out and look for it! Love is a warm, fuzzy blanket that wraps itself around you. Here's to warm, fuzzy blankets!