In past years, I've heard a lot of talk about "love languages". Author Gary Chapman categorizes the love languages into five groups: words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, and physical touch.
Of those five, receiving gifts would be the one that my Hubzam never requires (actually, it's a little irritating). The Man warns me preemptively that he doesn't want gifts for his birthday or Christmas. I rarely listen, but he makes it clear that gifts are not required.
Removing that "gift" love language from the list resulted in a new opening and allowed me to customize it. The modification makes it more realistic to our current Flipside-era of romance. I present to you "things I don't do" for love:
- I pretend that I haven't noticed his favorite shorts are about two years past the point where they were ready to be donated to Goodwill...or the dumpster. Why? Because The Man still likes them. I don't make them disappear, as many of my friends have suggested.
- Everyday, I put his lunchbox away. I mumble under my breath, but I put it away; I don't mention it. (Oops, now I mentioned it; I don't have another "don't" to put here...wait! That was a don't! I'm back on track.)
- I cook things for The Man that I'd never eat. Never, ever, ever. I don't deny him. Of course, this opens the door for me to cook things he hates, like chicken gizzards (yeah, I'm surprised I do that, too).
- Not only do I cut his hair and make his sideburns much more even than he would ever notice, I don't let him walk around covered with hair, unless it is attached (i.e., all areas but the top of his head and the soles of his feet). I also vacuum him. Now, tell me that isn't going the extra mile?
- When he snores so loud that the walls rumble, I don't call the authorities and report a seismic episode. Never, I swear, and it's tempting.
- May I add that although I've threatened to sleep with a frying pan on the nightstand - just in case he needed a gentle nudge to stop snoring - I've never actually done it. That's love.
- No matter what I eat at a restaurant and no matter how much I might love it, I always save some for The Man. I don't let him silently drool over my appetizer or entree and never get the opportunity to dive in. He just reminded me that he does the same for me (I knew that).
- I don't complain about his randomly abandoned shoes; I move his shoes to the PROPER area, and he knows full well that I am the self-appointed dictator for appropriate shoe storage. I realize they are not a decorating accent in the living room, even if he doesn't. We have an eclectic interior design mix that does not include Birkenstock accents. He has some things mixed up...shoes in the living area, framed college degree on the floor of the closet where shoes go. I mentioned that we might want to put his college degree on the wall somewhere in the house, and he responded with, "Why? Who wants to see it?" (I don't question that logic, but I'll bet the answer is "your mother". Mothers always want to see degrees prominently displayed.)
- I've washed his clothes for twenty years. I don't let him resort to nudism. You'd have to know how much I hate doing laundry to fully appreciate this. It's not that it's hard, or that I'm lazy...well, maybe I am lazy - a bit, anyhow. When you have accumulated a seriously high number of completed laundry loads over the course of your life time, you lose the desire to participate in the drudgery of it, day in and day out. Unless, of course, it is a love language. In the future, I'm hoping they have disposable clothes. When that happens, I will gladly throw his away when I throw mine away. I'm capable of modifying my love languages.
- I don't make him live above the Mason-Dixon. I listen patiently to all that blah blah blah about the North and Yankees without adding a rapid fire, laser-pointedly precise, statistically viable and highly accurate commentary that would reduce him to a mound of quivering, fearful man-flesh. Lay off the North already, I get it.