He bought asparagus!


Paul and I have been married for a really long time.  And we were a couple for a long time before we got married.  And we were friends for a long time before we became a couple.

We met in the seventh grade, isn’t that weird? We fell in love at the tender age of 16, and we married at 22. We are heading for our 35th anniversary this summer.

Well, yikes.

How have we made it last, you ask?  How have we managed to stay together all this time?

That’s a really good question, and now that I am the mother of three young adults, I have asked myself the same thing many, many times.   I wish that I knew the answer. I wish I knew how to advise my children.  I wish I knew the secret.

After all this time, it is still a mystery to me to find that Paul still loves me, and that I still love him.  It kind of makes me laugh, to tell you the truth!

I don’t have all the answers.  But I think I have figured out a few little nuggets of wisdom to share.  These are the things that have worked for us, as far as I can figure.

#1) Be honest about your partner.  Don’t try to ignore his faults and only see his virtues. I mean, how unfair can you be to someone? We’re all human, and we all deserve to be loved for who we are, not for who our lover wants us to be.

#2) Be honest about yourself. Don’t try to pretend that you love fishing if really makes you sick to even think about it.  I learned this one the hard way, on a few too many hikes above treeline. Be yourself and tell the truth!

#3) In spite of number 2, be more generous than you want to be! Do things just because they make your honey happy, even if they sort of make you crazy. (Note the multitude of hikes mentioned above.) The thing is, though, its important not to pretend that you love what he loves. Be honest and be clear, and then do some things you don’t like to to do.

#4) After you do those things you don’t really like doing, forget about them.  This is vital.  You can’t go on the hike and then complain for two weeks that you did it. (OK, you CAN complain all you want, just not to your spouse. This is why God gave you friends and siblings, right?)

#5) Be romantic.  And I don’t mean the whole candles/champagne/flowers thing.  That is just plain trite.  Be honestly romantic, by thinking of those little things that will please your love.

Here is a perfect example of a romantic gesture. I think it explains why I stay married to my friend Paul.

I have had a rough couple of weeks, for various reasons. Just feeling sort of blue, sort of stressed, sort of fragile. Paul knows that.  On Friday I was at school, and I got a text. It was from my hubby.  “I just bought some strawberry plants, and I got fresh asparagus.”

Now you should know two things about my husband.  The first is that he loves fresh strawberries with a passion that defies description.  Last year he built a raised bed and filled it with strawberry plants. He was in Heaven all summer, picking and eating that luscious fresh fruit.  This year he decided to expand his bed and double the crop.

The second thing that you need to know is that Paul absolutely loathes asparagus. He hates the taste, the smell, the texture of it. He would never, ever, ever spend a nickel on this veggie for himself.

But I love it, especially when it is fresh and local.  Especially in spring.

And so my honey scooped up a lovely fresh bunch of asparagus, just for me.  And then he took the time to send me a text about it.

THAT, my friends, is romance. It isn’t jewelry or roses or a trip to some exotic locale.  Romance is when a nice man is running an errand, and something little makes him think of you. Romance is when a guy buys his wife some fresh asparagus, knowing that it will make her smile.  Knowing that he will have to light some scented candles after dinner to cover up the smell.

So this is what I wish for my children: I wish you someone who loves you so much that he will buy you something that he can’t stand, just so that he can see you smile.

30 thoughts on “He bought asparagus!

  1. Wise words indeed! 18 years for us this year. What you say is so true, it gave me the biggest smile this morning, thank you.

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  2. I am so happy for you to have married a friend who knows what you like. I lucked out, too, although I don’t often admit it to John. He does little things that make me shake my head and smile — if I’m going to be switching cars, for example, I alway s find my sunglasses have magically found their way to the car I’m driving. He has a gift, my husband does. And he likes asparagus, too.

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  3. This is lovely. When you come for your lobster dinner in NH, Paul and I can pass the asparagus to you and my husband. Having been married 37 years as of this past January, I would add that keeping your mouth shut about things that really aren’t terribly important is a smart thing to do.

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    • Great point! I should have included that one at the top! I read something once about having “a short memory” and how useful that is in all relationships. So true!

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  4. # 4 “. . . friends, siblings, . . .” and a blog. 🙂 I wish the same depth of love for all couples. It really does come down to being thoughtful and kind and asparagus.

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  5. ❤It is a great thing to be lucky in love isn’t it? I think your words of wisdom are perfect and happy to live by them myself. All that is what makes you such a wonderful couple to hang around with! 😉

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  6. Your list is IT, in a nutshell. We are in pretty much the same boat here on the Hill – we have been together for 35 years. I will send this to my married daughter in hopes that she will still be married 30 years from now as well. The only thing that I might add would be to do the chore that your spouse hates the most. (Jim is vacuuming as I write this 🙂 ) We are so lucky to have them.

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  7. What a beautiful post! What you have written is so true. I imagine your children are fortunate for having seen this example their whole lives. Thanks for sharing…I think I’ll forward it to my sons!

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    • Thank you, Jamie! This was very much what I saw from my parents, too. My Dad was more overtly romantic than my Mom, but I can remember her making a dinner or two that none of her kids liked, just because my Dad loved it. I remember them both doing little things like pouring each other coffee, you know? Those little moments that make a real relationship.
      I do wish just that for all three of mine!

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  8. Oh how our definition of romance changes as we age and are married forever! I love this and can relate to every word. We will be married for 30 years this summer. It’s the little things that make me stay in love with my husband too. He recently planted some geraniums for me because I have been feeling really low energy lately. He knows I’ve been blue about not getting my spring flowers planted. Thanks for sharing this. We are blessed to have men who love us for who we are. I intend to take care and nurture that love.

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    • That’s beautiful, those geraniums! We are indeed so lucky to have men who understand “real” romance. For us, this weekend, it is a day of hard work in the garden followed by a glass of wine and dinner on the deck. I hope that your energy returns and that you perk up just like your flowers!

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  9. Wonderful list and post. Laughed at the part about the candles. My husband cleans the shower because he knows I hate it. And the same with the sunglasses like Elyse said. Oh how I love that! It really is those little things that let you know someone knows you, notices you, and still loves you after all of it!

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    • Wow, he cleans the shower? That is true devotion!
      Its so funny, after writing this post, I took our dogs on a walk that I don’t really like, made Paul a lunch for tomorrow, and set up his coffee for the morning. He is getting worried now….!

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  10. Hubby and I will celebrate 16 married years the end of this month…almost 21 years together if you count the dating part. I’d like to think we keep on keeping on because we each know we got more than we expected and (possibly) better than we deserve. He’ll occasionally find himself in a quilt shop and I’ll somehow wind up at a car show…neither of us want to be there, but it all works out, right?! Makes you wonder why so many marrieds wind up divorced if we can do it!

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    • Truly! I think that people fail to recognize the little gestures that rae actually the big things. A car show, a quilt shop, a bunch of asparagus…..Marriage is made of little moments, right?

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  11. you know what? this is why i still am in love with my ex… he did things like this back when he had been sober. but the problem is he became rotten… i miss that guy so much and will never find another… grief — your post made me cry!!! but excellent words of wisedom…

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    • Oh, now what do you mean “never”? I’m so sorry for what happened, but I really do believe there’s another “asparagus” guy out there for you.
      Good luck!

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  12. And that sums up why some Friday nights I find myself playing pool at the Legion. On another note, I have a great recipe for asparagus that I ripped out of a cooking magazine at the dentist’s office (with the receptionist’s permission mind you). And that text sums up romance…it says I’m thinking of you and I did something for YOU. What more can a girl ask for?

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