The other day Andy sighed deeply and said, “Look at me! I’m getting old. Soon my face is going to look like an old boot.”
“I’m getting old too,” I said. “We’ll be old boots together.”
We sat quietly for a moment and then I added, “I’d rather be an old boot than new shoes. New shoes are so uncomfortable.”
I think back to my younger and more beautiful days when I was a new shoe. I was such a prickly and aggressively independent person, when Andy and I were first married. I must have been very uncomfortable to live with.
When I was a newly married woman, I remember a friend telling me she had just finished ironing all her husband’s work shirts. “Oh I never iron Andy’s shirts,” I replied, rather proudly. “He has to do those for himself.” No one was going to take advantage of me. The friend looked at me sadly. Obviously I didn’t understand the first thing about being a wife. Ironing shirts doesn’t make a wife a slave. It’s an act of love, an act of self-giving.
It took me a long time to learn that marriage is all about giving: two people giving themselves to each other completely. It’s not about taking at all. I also learnt that when we give, we receive. We don't have to hold anything back for ourselves. And it's much nicer to receive from the one we love, than to receive from ourselves.
My sister Vicky wrote a wonderful post about cropping photos, which inspired me to go and crop a few of my own. I found these photos of Andy and me. They were taken on our 29th wedding anniversary last June. Vicky is right: less is more, and the photos look much better with most of the background removed (even with the wrinkles enlarged!)
Andy and I may be turning into old boots but we are comfortable, and we match. We go together perfectly.
"What are you doing?" Andy asks me.
"Ironing your shirts," I reply.
"I'll do that," Andy says,'
"I don't mind ironing your shirts," I assure him.
But Andy takes the iron out of my hand. "Go and sit down. You're tired."
Isn't he a wonderful man?