Yesterday, I saw an older couple walking hand in hand. It may not seem like much to you, but I don’t often get the chance to see something so endearing, at least not out in public anyway.
Usually I see people yelling at each other, people yelling at their children, and the general malaise that comes with simply trying to maintain while out in public. That’s why people yell, you know, because they want to present their best face (unless they’re in Walmart, in which case it doesn’t matter), and something the other person is doing is detrimental to that.
But anyway, this older couple was strolling along as if they didn’t have a care in the world, blissfully holding hands and seemingly oblivious to the rest of the world. They are my heroes. I wanted to take a photograph but it was one of those moments that needs to exist by itself, without the intrusion of eyes and lenses.
You have to understand something. I’m one of those old school, love conquers all, black and white movie kind of people. I absolutely adore public affection. But you know how when you get married there are things called compromises? I don’t mind them. They’re a small price to pay when the ultimate gift is getting to be with the love of your life.
And I found the love of my life. She just doesn’t like public displays of affection. She’ll hold my hand for small amounts of time when going into and out of places, and sometimes even when we’re inside (you know, when others can see us). But she is generally for staying focused when we are out and about, and I have to stop her if I want to hold her hand or look into her eyes.
Like I said, it’s a small price to pay, and I can guarantee you that the compromises she makes for me are way more than the ones I make for her, but it’s a price nonetheless. I look at that older couple, and I want that.
While I know that my wife loves me completely and unconditionally, sometimes I want the show too. Sometimes I want the grand public gesture. Sometimes I want the pomp and circumstance. Does that make me a bad person? No. It makes me human.
It’s funny, though, that she’s perfect for me precisely because we are not the same person, because we don’t share every interest and proclivity, that we don’t have the same views when it come to everything (she’s a — gasp — Democrat!). She’s focused on making sure everything gets done in an orderly fashion, and I’m more laid back, not that I can’t get things done too. It’s these differences that make us work, that bring us together.
But I still want to hold hands more often. Maybe I’ll bring it up again sometime.