Saturday, March 28, 2009

When You Say, "I Love You"

Just as the delivery van pulled away from the florist, the manager came running out. There was a cancellation on one of the orders, and he needed it back.

"Which one?" asked the driver.

"The one that reads 'Darling, I will love you forever.'"

They wanted it back? What happened to I'll love you forever?

When we “fall in love,” who doesn’t feel that it will last forever? But we change. And as we do, our love changes, too.

Do you remember the touching interchange between Tevye and Golde in the musical “Fiddler on the Roof”?

“Do you love me?” Tevye asked his wife.

“Do I what?” Golde responded.

“Do you love me?”

“Do I love you? With our daughters getting married and this trouble in the town, you are upset, you are worn out, go inside, go lie down, maybe its indigestion.”

“Golde, I’m asking you a question. Do you love me?”

“You’re a fool.”

“I know, but do you love me?”

“For twenty-five years I’ve washed your clothes, cooked your meals, cleaned your house, given you children, milked the cow. After twenty-five years, why speak of love right now? I’m your wife,” she said.

“But do you love me?”

Now Golde becomes reflective. “For twenty-five years I’ve lived with him, fought with him, starved with him. Twenty-five years my bed is his. If that’s not love, what is?”

“Then you love me?”

“I suppose I do.”

“It’s nice to know.”

And it IS nice to know, for twenty five years is a long time. Time enough for things to change. Time enough to quit.

My wife and I were married when we were young. And I have to say, I don’t love her like I used to. I’ve changed, and so has she. Enough years will do that. We’ve been through ups and downs. We grew older. And I my feelings for her grew older, too.

The relationship feels more secure now. I think it is a better love than years ago – more enduring. More solid. Like the two of us, our love grew up.

And maybe she could live the rest of her life without saying, “I love you.” I know how she feels. But she says it anyway.

And it’s nice to know.

-- Steve Goodier



Anonymous said...

My husband and I have been married for 42 years - 43 come June. We say I love you every day to each other at least once. Yes, love is different. It has grown to a deeper yet more relaxed thing. I wouldn't trade it for the world. toni k.

Thor Sandmel said...

Me too. This fall we have been married 23 years, and we were cohabitants 5 years before that. 28 years of love, and hopefully some yet to come. Ups and downs, of course, but the downs only fertilized the soil so our love could grow deeper. And we also say I love you to each other every day (and in Norwegian, that's a pretty strong thing to say). Indeed, it is nice to know... Thor S.