My husband and I found love much later than most. Then in my mid-forties, I had been a divorced, single Mom for over a decade. My husband, then in his early fifties, was a widower. Love came as a complete surprise to both of us, and we vowed to cherish and carefully cultivate what we had found.
We have had our share of trials and tribulations, of course, but – perhaps because we had both been married before – we also had a very clear idea of what we wanted from a relationship.
Even now, ten years later, we still marvel at how two such-different people could ever have found one another and fallen in love. We are complete opposites. I am an introvert; he is an extrovert. I am quite reserved: in any crowd, I disappear into the woodwork. I do not draw attention to myself and I do not make a scene. Ever. My husband, with his imposing physique, booming voice and larger-than-life presence, draws attention the second he enters a room. He speaks his mind (whether you want him to or not). I generally do not know what is on my mind until I write it down. He bursts into boisterous song and twirls me around for a dance in the middle of a crowded mall. All. The. Time…
Being so sensitive to others, I always notice how much attention he draws. He, of course, is completely oblivious. I was the one who first began to perceive the strange looks that we were getting, especially if we were out taking a lunch break from work together. It took me a while to figure out why people were giving us such long, sideways, clearly-disapproving looks when my husband would twirl me around the parking lot or plant a loving kiss on my up-turned, smiling lips.
It hit me all at once. “They think we’re having an affair!” I exclaimed one day, after a particularly displeased look that was pointed in our direction. “How often do you see couples our age acting like newly-weds in public? I’m sure that’s it!” In the beginning, he thought I was being ridiculous but eventually, he, too, became aware of the judgmental frowns and critical head shakes. After several months, he conceded that I was right. We were loving but we were not being inappropriate or vulgar: my theory was the only one that fit.
My husband is not one to take a challenge sitting down. The next time we were holding hands at a restaurant and the disapproving stares rained down on us from a table across the aisle, my husband was ready. As he got up to go and pay the bill, he bent down and placed a long, lingering kiss on my lips. “Say hello to your husband for me, won’t you?” he boomed, as he strutted away from the table.
Introversion forgotten, my howls of laughter followed him to the end of the restaurant.
Patti Moore Wilson/© wednesdayschildca.wordpress.com