The Sound of a Happy Heart
Why is it that some relationships can go the distance, while others crumble along the path and dissolve? Or even worse, why do people stay together, when there is no affection left between them? For two people to make it ten, fifteen, or twenty or more years, and then go separate ways, defies logic. What is it that is present in successful relationships that is missing in the rest?
I can only speak for me and Annie, and it starts with liking one another. She is not a glamour girl, eschewing makeup much of the time, which works fine for me, because I prefer all things natural. I know she feels the same, or else she would never have dated a man who drove a calico-colored VW bus, which had to be push-started the first night I first took her out to dinner, at Lou’s Village, on January 21, 1981. She makes her own dresses, preferring to use the material she likes and a style with which she is comfortable.
We have been walking daily together on Bell Springs Road since 1985, and that has given us a spell each day, to touch base and find out how the other half thinks. She is comfortable with her body, and does not wish to look like a twenty-something person. That works for me, because I wouldn’t know what to say to her, if she were twenty-something.
We both spent careers working in the school district, and we now collaborate to keep the financial picture focused, so that the bills get paid, including health insurance. She spends much of her time grappling with quilts that are either out-of-square, or have issues with the backing, but she always gits ‘er done. We like to play cribbage in the evening, maybe shoot a game of nine-ball, or watch a film, or even fiddle with our respective laptops, and rarely do either of us see nine o’clock.
That doesn’t mean we haven’t had difficulties. It just means that we have managed to overcome the problems by staying focused on the game at hand. I have experienced some profound changes in my emotional makeup this past year, based on ridding myself of my panic attacks, and the accompanying anxiety issues. Annie feels I still need to work out a few wrinkles, and that’s fine. I’m good at talking, and I want things to keep going on our current path.
We have been together 31 years, come the middle of January, and she still makes my heart go pitter-patter. Whereas fluttering hearts can be problematic, not so when it comes to love. For many couples sex can be a real deal breaker in so many ways, and we are lucky to have found what works for us. As with much of life, timing enters into the picture a lot. As long as we keep things in perspective, namely our ages, we seem to be able to make a go of it.
I have a lot of respect for Annie as a mother, as a teacher of special needs kids, who learned critical life skills with her, and of her as an artist. You can go a long way with respect as a cornerstone of your foundation, and you don’t need any cement to keep it firm, just affection.