Yesterday, Dad and I relaxed in the hot tub watching a basketball game when he said something that inspired this week’s memo. He said, ” As far a I’m concerned, this is our anniversary.” I asked why, and he went on to say that he knew he loved me in March 1977, only a few months after we met. He said as he watched NCAA basketball games eating strawberries, he knew it must be love because he had never watched the tournament or eaten strawberries before. But he found himself not only doing things he’d never done before, but proclaiming to enjoy them, and he could only explain that as love.
When he said that, I realized that he may be right. Can you believe I went to a hydroplane boat race with your dad? And I found myself listening to Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson, and Loretta Lynn. Country music? How did that happen? It must be love.
I don’t mean to say that we had nothing in common. We both loved Western North Carolina and in fact, that’s what brought us both to WCU. We loved the North Carolina mountains and rivers and hiking and camping. We both loved the beach. While I’d never sailed, I’d been convinced since seeing the movie, The Dove, that I would love sailing and I just couldn’t get enough of the beach. We both enjoyed sports…not always the same sports, but sports. We both loved spending time with our families. We had a lot in common.
However, I think Dad is right. When you find you’re willing to consider new favorite things because of the person you’re with, it must be love. While Dad and I both enjoyed the Southern cooking at the Jarrett House, dad started eating chili with spaghetti and I started eating chili dogs. While we both enjoyed listening to Jimmy Buffett and the Eagles, I started listening to country music and he started listening to Top 40. While we both enjoyed sports, I started watching tennis and soccer and he started watching basketball and track. What else could explain such strange behavior? If you are willing to change your plans for someone else or adopt their love of a pet, you may be in love.
I wish I knew the secret behind what makes a happy, long-lasting relationship; but I don’t. Patience is certainly required, as is flexibility, good communication, and honesty. But maybe the sign that you are willing to change, not because someone expects you to but because you want to…because you truly do enjoy these “new things” simply because you enjoy spending time with someone…you may be in love.
Love…it’s crazy…like the NCAA basketball tournament…it’s madness. Watch for signs of strange changes in your behavior that can only be described as love. We’re celebrating 34 years of marriage in August, but I guess this month really is our anniversary…our 36th anniversary of falling in love.
May you experience this crazy thing called love.