This afternoon, I had lunch with my husband. When the salads arrived, he put his napkin on his lap, picked up his fork and piled all his croutons on my plate.
Meanwhile, I was placing my cucumbers gingerly on the edge of my fork (not wanting to contaminate it with their nasty aftertaste) and dumping them in his salad.
And that, my friends, is the fantastic thing about being married for a long time.
Sure, new love is exciting and heady and full of surprises (or so they tell me. I don’t honestly remember). But long-term love? Has its own beauty.
He can tell just by looking at me in the morning whether it’s safe to talk or if he needs to just go downstairs and turn on the coffee.
I can tell just by the set of his shoulders whether it’s okay to interrupt his drawing or if doing so will bring down the Artist’s Wrath.
I know how many times he hits snooze in the morning (five). I also know how to make him stop it (a good kick works wonders).
He knows my cycle well enough to realize when to bring home chocolate and wine—and when to stay the hell out of my way.
He knows exactly how to piss me off. I know exactly where to push if I want to hurt his feelings.
He cleans the cat litter box. And all episodes of animal-related diarrhea.
I clean the bathrooms. And do the laundry when we run out of underwear.
We have our places on the couch. Our seats at the table. Our spots on the towel rack.
We have been known to have farting contests. And drinking contests. And who-can-ignore-the-dog-barking-the-longest contests.
It works. We work. It’s not always sexy, but it’s…good.
And every once in a while? We still surprise the hell out of each other.
And that, my friends, is the beauty of long-term love.