Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Wednesday's Words for June 3, 2009

Every Sunday morning, Mr. Ashbury sleeps in until just before 9 a.m. This is a royal sleep-in for him as the other six days of the week the alarm goes off at 4:45.

I awaken him just before 9 because he loves to watch his Sunday morning talking heads. Then, just as Meet The Press is winding down, I begin to cook his Sunday morning breakfast. This meal never varies much. He likes sausage, eggs, hash brown potato patties and toast. Sometimes I do the potatoes differently by shredding raw potato into the pan and adding lots of butter. He loves that, so I save it as a special treat. Sometimes I make him pancakes as well, and once in a while I substitute pemeal bacon for the sausage. This breakfast then is delivered to him in the living room, where he can enjoy it while he continues to watch his news/political shows.

I tried preparing a more healthy breakfast—once. I made oatmeal, and a fresh fruit salad, and one slice of whole wheat toast. I put everything on a nice tray, and proudly carried it in to him.

He looked at it a long moment before venturing, “What the heck is that?” (He didn’t really say ‘heck’ but I am trying to watch my language. I’ll let your imaginations supply the word he did use.)

I said, “It’s your breakfast!”

Well, he did eat it, but with such a grumpy-face—and the request that I go back to making him real breakfasts from now on—that I have never done it again.

The reason I am mentioning this at all is that I have had occasion to observe younger couples and what has struck me the most about them and their relationships is the lack of the concept of service between them.

Has anyone else noticed this?

“Do you make your husband breakfast on his day off?” I asked one young woman, just to see what she would say.

“Why should I? I’m not his mother.”

Judging from some of the young men I know, I’m not so sure about that. But it’s not about acting like a mother—or a maid, either. It’s about doing something loving for the one you’re supposedly in love with.

We’ve been married a long time, Mr. Ashbury and I. It will be 37 years in July. Now I’m not going to lie to you. The bloom is off the rose and the honeymoon is over. Nights of passion? Yes, I remember them. But they don’t exist anymore. If they do for you and your beloved, that’s wonderful and a bonus, I think. But just because we don’t act like star-struck twenty something’s doesn’t mean we’re not as in love and committed to each other as we were when we got married.

Actually, I think we’re more so.

When you first get married everything is soft music and pretty flowers, candles that gut out in the middle of the night, and cosy mornings-after. But the future is a giant unknown, and while you hope you’ll be together forever, you don’t know that you will be.

Mr. Ashbury and I know.

You see, love is more than an emotion; it’s an action. When you love someone you do loving things for them.

I always take pains to make good meals for Mr. Ashbury as he does love his food. I ensure when he works long hours that he doesn’t need to do anything at home. His off hours are for lazing on the sofa watching television, not for doing chores around the house. He doesn’t drive, so I take him to work and bring him home again. When I pick him up from work every day, I have a coffee for him—and often a bag of his favorite sour cream and onion potato chips, too.

Mr. Ashbury does loving things for me as well. He told me that I was retired from the working world and could therefore devote my time to writing. He makes sure I go to conventions because they will help with that dream. When he sees me admiring wildflowers, he picks some for me. And in the evenings, I put my feet on his lap and without a word he gives me a foot massage. Every time I want one.

What could be more loving than that?

Feed the flames of your passion…with a novel by Morgan Ashbury

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