Friday, October 9, 2009

I Still Get Butterflies (Tea and Crumpets with My Lover)

Several years ago when my younger brother was contemplating marriage, he called and asked me how I knew my wife was the one. Now, you would have to know my brother to know how big a deal this really was. For him to even ask a question like this concerning any woman was huge.

Of course, love is always such a deeply personal thing, and we cannot always pinpoint that exact moment we knew or, better still, causation, so I told him I would get back to him.

I then I sat down and thought about it for a minute or two before I realized that before my mind ever registered what was going on, the psychosomatic symptoms provided all the evidence I needed; at just the mention of her name, at the very thought of her, I got all light-headed, and my skin got all clammy, and above all, I got butterflies deep in the pit of my stomach.

You know, for the longest time I could think of nothing else but her. And I began to do just absolutely absentminded, foolish things. For instance, one day I was to meet her after my last class, a late evening class, for dinner. That class lasted perhaps longer than any other class I had ever attended in my life. And I didn’t learn anything that evening because she so preoccupied my mind.

As I left campus that evening, my gas light came on. So, I stopped at a gas station, ran in and paid for my gas, ran out of the gas station and jumped in my car and just drove off. I never realized that I didn’t even take the time to pump my gas until about ten minutes later when I was sitting on the side of the road. I ended up calling her to come get me.

And then there were those instances when I knew she was to be getting out of class or off work soon, and I could expect her to call me or stop by. As the time of that expected call or visit neared, I could do nothing else, I could think of nothing else. I just sat by the phone or peeked out the window every two minutes, with my skin all clammy and my stomach tied up in knots while I wringed my hands like a nervous old woman.

This whole thing, this love thing, shocked my sensibilities. I was a person who took pride in my self-control. And suddenly I had none.

But perhaps what solidified the whole thing for me was when I begin to think in the plural terms of we and not I whenever I had occasion to have an introspective moment and think about the future; I could not even begin to imagine my future without her in it.

All of this came back this afternoon when I got a text message from my wife. It read simply,

“Way ahead on my workload, and I have no trainings for this afternoon. Taking off at noon and going home. Why don’t you meet me there?”

Of course, I tried to be cool about the whole thing. I tried to be coy. So I sent her a message back: “Don’t know what we do with a whole afternoon by ourselves. Do you have anything planned?”

And she shot back, “Just tea and crumpets. Are you coming?”

So I left at eleven o’clock, office hours be damned. Ain’t nobody need to see me that bad anyway on a Thursday. And if they did, they have my email. And I raced pell-mell across town, breaking every conceivable traffic law in the process, to be there on time, and all the while, those old symptoms returned. I got all light-headed. My skin got all clammy. And I could feel the butterflies colliding right there deep in the pit of my stomach.

And the thing is, I couldn’t even figure out what it was all about. I really am not that fond of tea, and I don’t even know what the hell a crumpet is.


Tower Farm said...

You know, I was going to try to come up with a joke comment. But, you have really written a very sweet post. I have been married for four years, now, and I am still crazy about my wife. I recently had to go out of town for three days for business and just hated not being around her.

Great post!


Laura said...

That was simply beautiful how you described your feelings. As a woman, I really appreciate hearing how a man really feels inside. We rarely get to hear how a man deeply feels. I have been with my husband for years also, and we often talk about how great it is to really like the person you are with, not just love. I still watch my husband from across the room and get a warm feeling rush over me thinking about how wonderful and handsome he is!

md20737 said...

This is tooo sweeet for me & I can relate to all the symptoms and feelings of love... I still get excited about seeing my boyfriend of 7 years.. But im still crazy about him after all this time.. Thanks for the reminder of what being in love is like.

Anonymous said...

This was beautiful :)

Denisha said...

I think I laughed and cried at the same time while reading this! Beautiful writing from a man's point of view and the use of "we" instead of "I" in future plans was informative. Crumpets lol that's a term waiting to be Googled.

Anna Renee said...

Oh so beautiful Max!

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