Saturday, March 28, 2015

Why I love him

Robert Browning wrote, "How do I love thee, let me count the ways."

One of the biggest surprises of my life is my love for this man, not because he's handsome, although he is, but for who he is.

My friends were skeptical.  After all, I was passionately single, not even wanting a date. 

Then I introduced this man, an American for God's sake and worse a Texan. Right or wrong, the European image of Texans are those whose speech is not understandable and they are ignorant religious nuts and crazy conservatives that make even the European far right look liberal.

He won them over almost instantly with his warmth and charm...and they could understand him when he talked (maybe because he grew up in New York and didn't have that drawl that Europeans swear they can't understand). He has developed a circle of friends quickly from many different nationalities.

Now let's begin the count.

1. He has a great sense of humor. Our landlady upstairs says it makes her happy just to listen to our frequent laughter.

2. He's kind. He is always willing to help someone from animal feeding, flower watering, trips hither and yon or whatever is called for. He carries heavy parcels for the mamies which have them telling me how wonderful he is.

3. He's intelligent and can hold his own with everyone we've met: diplomats, artists, writers, economists, historians, secretaries, doctors, engineers, mamies (although the French/Catalan can be a challenge), teachers, etc.Although his French has a long way to go, he does contribute to the conversations and my friends say his accent is much, much, much better than mine.

4. He's creative not just in writing but in our daily life. I loved how he took the Scooby game with my daughter and expanded it and because of him it was expanded to others that we know. He is creative in discovering fun things to do. He's creative in finding solutions to those daily glitches.

5. He understands that I would rather go to the dentist than go to a shopping mall. He will do it for me. Of course, I have to accept what he buys.

6. He's willing to try things at least once. In fact, if it is physical trying he's braver than me.I'm happy to cheer him on from the sidelines.

7. He likes our new no pussyfooting rule. We can tell each other everything even the hard stuff.

8. We don't fight. We negotiate in such a way that neither of us feels as if we have lost.

9. His work is fascinating. I love listening when he interviews people. Not only is he good at it, I learn so much about what he does. I also see the respect he has in his field and it makes me proud even if I had nothing to do with his success. He is modest about how good he is.

10. He loves history and is willing, if not the one to stop before me, to read all those historical plaques. He loves historical research as much as I do.

11. He loves museums. Also theater, movies and concerts.

12. He loves to explore the places we go, be it a big city with interesting little alley ways, small towns, or nature. We always find something besides the normal touristy things.

13. He will coming running in to get me to share a sunset or wake me up to watch a sunrise over the sea.

14. He is in love with Canigou. I love watching him get so excited about its snowy peaks. He will climb it this summer. When he gets back we need to ride to Ceret to see the cherry blossoms along the route with Canigou in the background.

15. He doesn't care about things and certainly has no interest in keeping up with the neighbors and, like me, thinks a logo is okay to have if the company pays us to be an advertising billboard for them. 

16. He is learning to cook.

I reason I was so passionately single, I didn't think a relationship like this was possible. Built on mutual respect and making sure we are there for each and helping each attain what we want. 

For a woman who would look at couples, happy and unhappy and be grateful that I wasn't in a couple relationship, this is shocking but in the best sense possible.

About the only problem we have is my single friends, hold us up as the fairy tale ending. I'm not worried about letting them down, but it is a reminder of how incredibly lucky I am.

I could go on and on and on, but I'll stop. 

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