I am very quick to admit the things I love -- chocolate peanut butter cupcakes from Sprinkles, just about any shoe that Tory Burch designs, lunch with my closest friends, the color pink, and making things pretty. And that's just a small sampling.
Funny how I will squeal out in the middle of Nordstrom, "I LOVE this handbag!!" without a second thought. But I knew Chris Linebarger a very long time before I would even let myself admit that I loved him, much less whisper those words. "I love you."
It's easy to "love" things. We are not really asking them to love us back. We are just expressing our temporary adored-ness and infatuation with something that is most likely temporary. Seriously, how long do you think a Sprinkles cupcake lasts around me? And shoes that I have loved (enough to go into debt for at some points of my life) have eventually made their way to my Goodwill pile.
But loving another person -- well, that's different. Because we want to be loved back. And we want to know that we will be loved for a good, long while. And we want to make sure that we won't ever be tossed in the Goodwill pile.
When I married Chris 15 years ago, I knew that I was going to live the rest of my life with my best friend. I knew we were going to laugh a lot, and we have. I knew that life would be more fun and more adventurous with the two of us together. But I had no idea how much I would be loved.
Loved with the kind of love that never ever stops.
Love that is there when I wake up in the morning and my hair is all yuck and I seriously need to brush my teeth.
Love that is there when I mess up.
Love that is there when I am ranting and raving about some stupid thing.
Love that is there when I spend too much on the AMEX.
Love that is there even though I need to lose "just-a-little-bit" of weight.
Love that is there when I leave my credit card at the restaurant.
Love that is there when I burn dinner.
Love that keeps going and going.
Chris, if there's one thing that has surprised me in 15 years, it is how you go on loving me, difficult as that must be much of the time. When I feel like I am playing tug-of-war with the world, you so quickly come to my rescue and help me pull. You silently show me love by doing more than your share around the house and filling in the gaps that I often create. You find ways to show love without words, but you also say the words, just in case I didn't know.
But I know.
And though I still may not scream in the middle of Nordstrom, "I LOVE Chris Linebarger!" everything inside of me does. And will. And will continue to always love you.
Happy 15 years of us.
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