What Does Love Look Like To You?

My husband is a total gear-head. If you cut him he’s more likely to bleed motor oil than blood. He loves American Muscle. Large cubic inch V-8s, lots of torque, two doors, ostentatious colors and loud stripes, get his heart pumping.

Fast, sleek, sporty, closed-bow boats do it for him too.

If he doesn’t have grease or paint under his fingernails, he just isn’t happy. Currently, he owns one car that is officially done, one he’s working on and one project waiting its turn in the wings. To say he stays busy would be an understatement.

When the kids were at home, he had to curb his tastes to fit within the family constraints. Our family ride was a limited edition, sporty, four door truck. Not so bad, right? Well, it almost killed him. The only thing that made it tolerable was the hemi and cool go-mango paint. Our boat was a compromise too. He called it a ‘soccer mom boat’ and there was some truth to that. It had a large sun lounge that we could snuggle on, a stow and go table we could use as a family, and a walk-through, open bow. It was convenient. And he hated it.

After our kids had graduated college and moved on with their life, my husband ran across his dream boat while surfing the internet one day. It was a smidgen expensive, but knowing we could easily sell the ‘soccer mom boat’ and recoup most the money – we sprang for it. I wish you could have seen the smile on his face as we pulled that rundown speed boat into the drive.

He spent that entire off season reconditioning the boat. He completely restored both the interior and exterior. It was drop dead gorgeous. We used it frequently that summer. One evening while we were enjoying a sunset out on the lake, he asked me what I thought of the boat. I told him it was beautiful and that he had out-done himself.

After spending thirty plus years with me, he knew I was hedging. Being the dominant that he is, he didn’t let my half answer ride. I didn’t want to hurt his feelings. He had turned an old rundown boat into a show-piece. It was a great boat if all you wanted to do was cruise the lake and ski. If you wanted to snuggle, you were out of luck though. Eventually, I told him so.

That winter he told me we were selling the boat. I felt horrible. This was his dream boat, the one he’d drooled over as a teen. He’d worked his butt off restoring it and now he wanted to sell it. I told him I wasn’t comfortable with that decision and I really thought he would come to regret it. They are fairly rare and it wouldn’t be possible for him to just buy another. In our household, decisions are made by him. He listens to my input, but ultimately, it’s his decision. All I could do was sit back and wait. And hope.

A few weeks went by before we discussed it again. He told me he’d been thinking about what I said and he’d come up with a compromise. The boat was actually longer than our previous boat, but the cabin design made it feel cramped. His plan was to completely redesign the cabin area. He wanted to literally take a saw and cut away a portion of the aft-deck to enlarge the space. With the added room, he would be able to duplicate the wrap around seating and sun lounge area of our previous boat.

The project he was proposing was huge. All the work he’d previously done on the upholstery would be for nothing. He’d have to re-engineer the rear seating area, fabricate and re-gelcoat a significant portion of the rear area of the boat – all because I missed snuggling with him.

What does love look like to me? It looks like my husband spending hour after hour working to make his dream boat, our dream boat. It looks like my husband putting his car projects on hold while he spends months making sure our alone time on the lake is as special as it can be.

I asked my husband what love looked like to him. His answer was immediate – my woman having faith and confidence in me.

What does love look like to you?

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