"...there must be continued courting and expressions of affection, kindness, and consideration to keep love alive and growing." Spencer W. Kimball
My honey said that he fell in love with with my hands first, before any other part of me. Evidently, I was sitting several rows up in an otherwise empty theater: crossed legs, elbow to knee, chin atop draped fingers. I didn’t realize then how small my hands are, or how they decorate my face when I talk, like the ruffles of a blouse or bonnet. Dale pointed out those feminine features later, when my hands belonged to him.
Those hands have taken a beating in the three decades since: dishwater, toilet water, cuts, burns, and scouring pads. Still, he loves them. We were walking down a Reading, Englad Street to the train station, when he interrupted our conversation and gave my fingers an extra squeeze. “Oh, your hand feels so good today,” he said. That tender remark, which may seem a small thing, yielded big dividends. The woman in me turned to putty.
I live every morning for his “you look so pretty”. My heart jumps when I see his phone call in the middle of the day. I long for his kiss when reunited and never feel more loved than when he listens to my tremendous trivialities. By night, I melt like butter as he strokes my forehead and tells me he loves me. And of course, notes and flowers are the occasional surprise that slay me altogether.
Women need affection like air: it creates an atmosphere we can thrive in, like an exotic flower in the mist of the tropics. Every chocolate ‘affection’ is savored to the last; we roll it around in our imagination, replaying and drawing out romantic nuances for days, even years, creating meaning that sustains us through doldrums or famine. (If we go without it for too long though, we will shriek, or shove, or just shrivel.)
So take note, dear husbands: our “beast”, if he can learn to express consistent, real affection, will be magically transformed into a “prince”, whose shortcomings we can become blind to, and whose own masculine needs become a pleasure and priority to satisfy.
Strolling through Kensington Gardens in London last summer, under a perfectly blue sky, my musing awakened me to all the hand-holding going on. Couples hobbled, sauntered or brushed past -- clasped together in the international sign of friendship.
The most striking of these lovers was a white-haired, pleasant looking man and woman, stepping in leisurely unison, their hands swinging like a rope, binding them as they stopped to admire the children, gawk at the swans, or rest on a bench. They were irresistible. How long, I asked, have you been holding hands? With the kind of smile that made me feel naive, they answered together: “Sixty-one years.”
See how far a little affection will take you?
Mona muses every Sunday at Mona's Gospel Musings and preaches romance in marriage at Mona's Musings with a Hint of Romance. She is the mother of four plus three and grandmother of two and the award-winning author or With Mine Own Hand: The Musical Account of Nephi. For a daily Hint of Romance, go to Mona's Musings on Facebook.
Photography from Dreamstime