Letters to Luthien

Letters to My Future Bride

Tough

“You’re out of luck 
And the reason that you had to care 
The traffic is stuck 
And you’re not moving anywhere 

You thought you’d found a friend 
To take you out of this place 
Someone you could lend a hand 
In return for grace…”
U2 

I have to let you in on a little secret. Men aren’t that tough.

Maybe you already knew that, or thought you did. Maybe your mother or a relative already told you a woman can handle three illnesses at once, while a few flu germs will lay a man up for a week. Not in my experience, but, ha ha, whatever. Me, I get sick maybe once a year, and not even laid-up-in-bed sick.

No, what I’m talking about is facing down the world. It hit me again today, another bad day, and I found myself longing for you again. I just need somebody on my side, who can look at me, and immediately know (and ask) what’s wrong, and not to give up until you’ve dragged it out of me.

The world troubles me. I’m probably carrying more than my share of it, but it’s heavy. People will ask me how I’m doing, but they don’t mean it. So I smile like we all do and tell them things are fine. By the way, I’m not going to break down and tell you what’s wrong the first time. You’re going to have to show me you can see something’s wrong and you want to know.

When it comes to lifting heavy loads, performing grueling manual labor, facing the odds and fighting danger, sure, we’re tough.

But when it comes to just the simple, stupid things of everyday life, things are different. I work with several police officers, and the toughest, biggest, strongest one of them admitted he was weeping while pumping iron when he thought of his unborn baby daughter.

We’re not as tough as we look sometimes.

There was a girl I thought profoundly worthy of further inspection and acquaintance…one of the first of whom I’ve thought so well. She immediately rejected my interest, explaining that she had some things in her past that made her put most people in the “friend zone.”

I don’t know why it hit me like it did. Rejection? I’ve felt that before. Frustration? Sure. Like She Who Never Called Back, it seems that any girl I view with some interest immediately views me with disinterest. Meanwhile, I’m assailed with uninteresting women who would love to have a piece of me but have nothing to give in return.

You know by now I’m joyfully anticipating every moment of our lives together. And we build up those hopes, don’t we. We start building a house without ever asking somebody if they’d like to live there. You think you’re close to hot meals, warm conversation, loving eyes and tight hugs; all the creature comforts that have eluded me for so long. To think you’re close to all that and then have someone slam the window on your hopeful face…well, it hurts.

They say you shouldn’t idolize marriage. It’s not going to solve every problem, it’s an imperfect arrangement between two sinners. But look, I deal with sinners all the time, myself included. I can put up with a lot. Somehow, I just don’t see the curses that come with marriage possibly outweighing the benefits…just as I don’t see the blessings of solitude outweighing its universal curse.

And who are they to tell me not to idolize marriage, that institution that the world drones endlessly on about in song and verse, music and poetry, movies and novels, stories and conversations and anything and everything in between. You can’t rave about the honey and then warn the starved souls about the stomach ache. You probably shouldn’t have been raving about the honey to begin with.

Anyway darling, I consider myself pretty tough. That’s not to say I won’t break down when I think of our children or you, but I think once we’ve got each other to lean on, there’s no reason why we can’t both be tough together…even through the tears.

April 9, 2012 - Posted by | Loneliness

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