February 14th, 2010
Dear Anne and Carter:
In honor of Valentine’s Day I’m going to make a list for you of “Things I Love about Larry.” I’ve learned a lot from my experience with men over the years. I’ve been married to three and lived with two others. I felt I was “in-love” with a few more, and had hot affairs with more than that. But Larry who I met when he was 45 and I was 49 was and still is the best.
- He gets up every morning before me, turns on the coffee (which he got ready the night before), makes oatmeal and topped with fruit and nuts, and brings it up to bed where we talk about our dreams, read a meditation and the New York Times in bed. All my life I’d imagined a relationship that started the day this way.
- He pees sitting down. Most men stand up and miss the toilet leaving all kinds of messes that clean freaks like me end up wiping away several times a week. He tells me that’s because if he wakes up with a “woodie” (an erection when his penis gets hard), it would really make a mess.
- He doesn’t like watching sports on television. Only once or twice a year, like the Super Bowl, will he sit glued to the TV shouting. I usually watch with him, but sort bills for taxes or something. I like the half-time and even the commercials. My favorite Super Bowls were when Dianna Ross was lifted onto the field by a heli-copter, and when Janet Jackson’s leather dress popped open.
- He calls his 83 year old mother at least twice a week and, whenever she needs help, goes down to San Diego without complaining. Tip: When you meet someone you want to marry, check out how they treat their mothers.
- He’s smarter than I am! When we met, he was a plumber and just starting to go back to college to finish a his degree. I thought since I had a Ph.D. I’d be able to help him with his term papers. But surprise surprise, the writing in his first one was terrific. He didn’t need me. Oh well. We now call ourselves”significant equals.”
- He always remembers my birthday and even other important anniversaries, like the day we first met and drove to Big Sur on May 6, 1994.
- He cooks and even looks up recipes on the internet, AND cleans up after himself!
- Note: When I first met him, Larry’s house was so messy I called it ‘the bachelor pig sty!’ But somehow over the years either I must have trained him or he changed. He helps with almost everything. I swear that as men age, they get more female hormone or something and act more like their mothers. When he does laundry, he gets grease spots out with New Dawn OXY and it works! He looked that up on the internet too.
- And last but not least: he never, ever, criticizes how I look. He thinks I am beautiful (and I am not the magazine image of beauty!) The first day we met
- we were in an art gallery in Carmel, and a long tall image of a mermaid was reflected in a mirror. Larry came up from behind me and pointed me toward the reflection and said “look at yourself in the mirror.” Ooooh, what a great way to start falling in love, and he’s kept it up for 15 years!
So Anne, I wish I answer the question “What is love?” for you so you would know when “the real thing” comes along. It is something people have been trying to answer for years and years. At this ripe old age, I think it basically it comes with lots of work on your “issues,” as well as finding someone like Larry that accepts all of me, pehaps better than I do myself. It is tied to looking in that mirror and loving your Self. This is a lifelong journey that, until recently, I hadn’t fully come to realize.
To love of all kinds!