That’s Amore

Although that younger couple appears to have the “big mo” heading into life while that older couple is not quite as picturesque because that bald patch in the back of his head makes it especially tough to look prince charming-ish, that doesn’t mean one automatically has a lock on romance and the other doesn’t.

Fact is, it is likely that the older couple took another shot at marriage due to their addiction to romance or their continued search for it. The younger couple is probably more concerned with where their honeymoon is rather than what happens on it.

Pizza Delivery

Want to hear a really romantic story? I was about 16 and was working a summer job on a garbage truck for the city. My supervisor was in his late fifties and on this one particular morning he told me first thing that we had to really hustle today because he needed to leave an hour early for the day and that we would be taking lunch late.

We worked hard up until about 2 o’clock, parked the garbage truck, piled into his pickup truck and then he drove it through the car wash and we zoomed to his house.

He went inside while I ate my lunch in the truck and about 20 minutes later he came out freshly showered, hair all slicked to one side, a new bright red t-shirt tucked over his belly into his cleanest jeans. He even put aside the Budweiser belt buckle and put on a conservative “Buck Fever” one with a peaceful looking deer on it. Not since the funeral of the mayor’s mother had he looked so nice.

When he got in the truck he reeked of Old Spice and his face was red where his usual stubble had been raked off. He clamored into the driver’s seat, avoiding my eyes, and started driving.

I missed the corner of my sandwich and bit my finger with astonishment at his new look. I waited in the truck again while he stopped in front of the local grocery store and came out carrying a bouquet of flowers wrapped in plastic. He handed them to me and told me to peel the price tag off the plastic while he drove to the airport.

“Is today your anniversary?” I asked as I peeled. I’d gotten the tag off but the white part under the label was still stuck on.

“No,” he said embarrassed, keeping his eyes on the road.

“Well Bernie,” I said, “I gotta know what’s going on.”

“My wife’s mother has been sick so she went to Florida to spend the week with her.”

“Yeah, so?” I said.

“Well her plane lands in five minutes,” he explained, cursing the traffic.

“So we’re picking her up?”

“Yeah,” he said.

“So why am I here?” I asked.

“So as I can park in front and you can sit in the truck behind the wheel whilst I goes and gets her and then she don’t have to walk far. Remember son, ladies deserve things like that.”

He pulled right in front of the airport passenger pick up doors and parked. He put the emergency lights on and told me to slide over behind the wheel. It was 1976 and they let you do that stuff at airports back then.

He stood outside the truck with the flowers in his hand and leaned against the door. He was trying so hard to look cool. The double doors whooshed open and there she was, his wife of 32 years.

I heard him gulp audibly as he stood and straightened himself. She bobbled a big bag of grapefruits as she opened her arms to embrace him and they stood there in a quiet hug for what seemed a whole minute. Not a big, sloppy public display of affection just a sincere embrace.

The bag handler put her luggage in the back of the pickup and Bernie opened the door for her. He came around to the driver’s side and practically sat on my lap. He was so mesmerized by his wife he’d forgotten I was even there when he opened his door.

“In the back,” he whispered.

I smiled at her and nodded to him and jumped in the back with the luggage. He put on their favorite radio station and she scooted close to him on the seat clutching the flowers, her head on his shoulder.

As we drove back to town I glanced through the back window into the cab from time to time and they weren’t saying a word, just enjoying being back in each other’s company.

Outside of my house the truck stopped and I jumped out, slapped the tailgate twice and watched them continue down the road, oblivious to me. I didn’t really know it then, at 16, but I’d learned a lot on that day.

What do you want your life to include? Do you take the time in your life for romance or have you become too worn down by life to put forth any such effort. Do you say things to your spouse like,

“We don’t need to buy Valentine’s for each other any more, you know how I feel.”

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