We bought our first house. Both of us. We are only tardy in doing so if you do not subscribe to the notion that 30 is the new 20. We went real estate shopping and had big fights about money and who’s more responsible with it, whose employment is more valuable, and whether we were sealing our relationship’s fate.
I did (most of) the packing. Which means I went through (most of) the closets, and found forgotten stuff both important and trivial. In Brad’s clothes closet I found an old envelope I sent him when we were first dating. Back before we’d spent much time together in person. When we were still in the delirious, heady, infatuation stage. When we would talk on the phone for hours, and still write emails, too. When we lived for our weekends together and weren’t too vexed by the commute.
The envelope contained a card that said something absurdly lovey-dovey and a pair of my panties folded up in a zip top sandwich bag. I was both touched that my highly pragmatic lover kept said card, and excited that I found another pair of panties! My first impulse was to wash them and put them back into circulation.
When I mentioned them to Brad, he said, “You can have them back if you want.” If he’d given them back to me a year ago, my feelings probably would’ve been hurt.
Maybe I’ve misunderstood it along the way from the things I watch and the people I know, but it seems to me that, while sex is totally fun and really makes things a ton better–all can be forgiven when orgasms are imminent–I’m starting to think that my long-held notion that sex is somehow an integral bit of what makes two people stay in love relationships might be flawed.
Here’s why. On Sunday while Pearl was having a play date, Brad and I went to Lowes and bought some new deadbolts for the new place. He installed the first one largely unassisted. When he was finished, I had this flash of wild gratefulness and love and pride and glee. It was kind of like how I feel post-orgasm. I’ve been feeling this way about my lover a lot over these past couple of days.
I guess I didn’t realize that one can access that kind of joy in other ways. Though somewhat similar, it was even different from the feeling I get after Pearl does something incredibly cool, or she says or does something that makes parenting feel like a payoff. It’s like a confluence of sentiments. A party of pleasures that originate in myriad bits of my mind and body.
It’s like for every way in which he annoys me deeply, there are at least 10 things about him that I just don’t think I could do without.
I like doing his laundry. I like that he kept some of mine in a bag for a couple of years. I like the way he smells. And I like him as a lover, but what I love about him is so much more than that.