I saw true love personified tonight.
It didn’t have the exact image I thought it would. Oh yeah, it appeared to be male, too.
He took me by surprise. He was about 65 and a bit weathered looking. He definitely looked a little tired. Of course, it was almost midnight. He had a plastic cup of beer in one hand and a Marlboro in the other. He spoke in plain, straight forward language and he didn’t care who knew he loved his wife with all he’s got - and then some. While he chatted, it dawned on me, he was beautiful. I hope she knows how he feels. What’s more, I hope she appreciates what she’s got.
Seriously, we were at our local casino and I’d reached my limit for the night and was somewhat tired. My man begged for another half hour to play and I advised I’d be waiting in the smoking lounge. I don’t smoke but there are fairly comfortable seats and tables there and you don’t need to be playing a slot just to sit and kill time in the lounge.
Since it was late, there weren’t many of us killing time there. Another woman about my age and this gentleman were the only folks there when I entered. It’s funny, we each staked out a seat in opposite corners but it is a small area and conversation began easily among us. The other lady soon finished her smoke and reentered the casino. My ale friend and I were left to chat among ourselves.
Like me, he was waiting for his spouse. He’d lost all he wanted but did not want to rush her as she was “having a good time.” He said he loves to see her enjoy herself and she really does deserve a good evening out as she’s “a good woman.” He went on to describe how hard she works and all she does for the family without complaint. While he has already retired, she’s still going off to a job each day. He claims to keep the house tidy and says he does a little cooking, too. She has recently lost a fair amount of weight and he has dutifully helped by keeping her supplied with the foods she needed for her diet. Though he loved her in her larger form, he is truly proud of her accomplishment in taking off the weight. (She’s lost about 45 pounds.)
He punctuated every other thought or two with the words, “I love her dearly.” Confessions that he knows he hasn’t always been the easiest person to live with and the fact that they have definitely faced disagreements (mostly over the kids) came up in the conversation, but were quickly seasoned with statements of “but nobody could ask for a better woman.”
His pride glowed as he spoke of her. He described her as a great beauty and exclaimed he wasn’t sure what he’d ever done to deserve her. I was beginning to picture a youthful, perky “trophy wife.” Then, he boasted they were quickly approaching their 44th anniversary and he wished he’d hit the lottery so he could give her the country mansion she deserved. Alas, he figured they’d have to make due with a “nice dinner out.”
About that time, his “fine lady” came out to check on him. She was a cheerful lady with a neat appearance and a twinkle in her eye. She admitted she’d gone through her allotted cash and at that point would have to call it a night. He admitted to having a few more bucks stashed in a pocket and gave it to her to go back and play with. She gave him a quick peck on the cheek and hurried back to the machines. He smiled proudly and said, “See what I mean?”
You know, I did see it.
My husband appeared about that time and a we rose to go, my new friend lit another cigarette and mused he should have held back enough money for another beer but then said, “She’s enjoying it more than I would.”
I felt good having had such a chat and seen such a happy pair. I think it made me appreciate my man a little more, too. I hope we’re that happy when we reach 44 years together. As we headed for our car, I reached over and held his hand. I think we were happy. I know I love him.
May we all see that type of love in our mate's eyes.