Mark of Love

Yesterday I cleaned up the BOMB that went off in my laundry room. And by “cleaned up” I mean I separated it into neat little bomb piles, lovingly washed it and then set it all on my living room couch while I bounded around the house fielding phone calls and feeding my children.

Last night, my husband helped me clean the BOMB that went off in my laundry room and was carefully moved to the living room couch.

After dinner, we sat on either side of the couch with a pile of clothes betwixt us and we folded clothes while we watched a movie. What movie? Mark of Love.


We’re funny about watching movies together. It’s something we LOVE to do, but it takes about half a century to agree on one. When we were first married, we were better on finding something we both liked. Maybe it was because we were nicer to each other then. Maybe it was because we were SO in love that all we wanted to watch was romantic comedies. Maybe it was because we were both young and were into youngish things.

Fast forward 7 years and whaddyagot? Two happily married people with two VERY different tastes. It isn’t as if we both have wills of IRON and refuse to bend. That’s not it at all. I’ll watch his shows now and then, and he’ll watch mine now and then. Lately, it has sort of bothered me that my husband doesn’t “get” my stuff. There have been many-a-poem read by me to him where he just sort of nods along. I get giddy over single sentences written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, and when I audibly SQUEAL with delight and my husband asks why… I read the sentence to him, my voice fairly rife with anticipation, and when I’m done and my eyes are beaming expectantly up at him, he looks back and smiles in a way only a loving husband who doesn’t completely not care could. He cares in the way that he’s glad it makes me happy, but it just isn’t his thing. The movie situation is another thing entirely.

I love old movies. I LOVE them. The sense of humor, the wit, the plots, the characters… talkies are superior to freshies in every way except graphics. And even then, I sometimes prefer the giant mutant ants from “Them” to a modern day blue Avatar.

Old movies really DO something for me. I love the way people used to talk -it is, well, it was like people actually CARED what they said. Again, it’s just not my husband’s thing. He begs, “No more old movies. Pleeeease.” And I wonder WHY he doesn’t GET it. They’re amazing! They’re great! My Netflix queue reflects my love, as does most every “suggestion” list I have. My disgruntled husband once slipped from his ivory tower and condemned my habit of exclusively watching old movies. He was surfing through our Netflix Instant Streaming and nearly every suggested movie was an old one.
My Netflix GETS me.

“Arg!” He said, “You’ve got to watch something else!”
I was unduly hurt, and I let him know in what turned out to be one fiery spat of a sentence about how I wasn’t going to change something I love about myself just so Netflix will suggest movies that may or may not be more fun.
Also: I don’t usually fire back at my husband, but he really hurt me. I think we all have silly things that touch nerves, and we know they shouldn’t, but they do.
I can’t stand it when anyone down plays the hard work of stay-at-home mothering. It wouldn’t bother me so much if I didn’t feel like my job was sacred. But I do. Don’t make it less than it is, and if you EVER joke about it being easy or posh… I’ll leave the room because I hate confrontation. BUT AFTER I LEAVE, I’ll come up with something awesome in my head that I’ll never, ever say out loud. And that will suffice.

I also firmly believe that individual personalities are sacred which is why when my husband gets irritated with mine and SAYS something, it hurts.
It took me a few weeks to get over it.

ANYWAY, there’s a scene in Mark of Love where Mark (who is an idiot on every count) is watching an old movie with a girlfriend, Claire. Claire and Mark plays word games together and they have so much in common that they can’t get enough of each other. Later in the movie, Mark is dating Jess. He puts on an old movie and she just complains.
“When does it switch to color?”
“It doesn’t…”
“The Wizard of Oz switched to color. Did you know I played Glinda in High School? I had the coolest red shoes and they actually used them for Dorothy’s part…” And she rambled on and on while Mark stared blankly at her face and longed for Claire. Claire GOT him.
During that scene I looked over at my husband who was voicing his support for Jess and her loathing of black and white movies.

And I was struck with a yearning… a dangerous yearning that rears it’s ugly head every time I read a line Dickens out loud to my husband.

I wish he understood.

I went to bed wishing, and I woke up to run. As I ran around and around and around, I listened to a talk by Sterling W. Sill that I’ve listened to only eleventy billion times, and while I listened and mouth the words to the poems and quotes he read, I realized something. It wasn’t anything Sterling W. Sill said.
I rather like to think it was a combination of a good night’s rest and the crisp early morning air.

If my husband got my crap, I wouldn’t be attracted to him.

I’ve met many-a-man who really did get the humor in old movies. They get the beauty of classic literature and they hmmmm in deep respect after a philosophical quote HITS them where it counts.
And (here’s the ringer) I am NOT remotely attracted to a single one of those men.

My husband is proficient in slang, and it’s something I absolutely adore about him. A few weeks ago, I posted a facebook status update that demonstrates this:
“Wait, which one’s Claudio? Is he the dude that shafted that chick?” ~Danny Deets on Shakespeare

I wrote that one night where he sat patiently through one of “my” movies, “Much Ado About Nothing.” Much Ado is one of my all-time favorites, and I can’t watch it without emitting at least 25 of the aforementioned squeals. So much wit it should like to kill me.

But I will tell you this: after my husband says stuff like that, I’m all a-mush. If anyone ELSE said something like that, I’d cringe. But the magic of my husband is that when HE says and does stuff like that, I can’t get enough of him.

And as I realized this and continued my trot (because, who are we kidding? I can’t actually RUN run) around and around around under that stars, I felt FREE. I was finally free from my dangerous yearning that had plagued me for -dare I say it? -YEARS.

If my husband GOT my stuff, he wouldn’t be my husband. And all the jewels in heaven couldn’t make me give that man up.
Not for all the talkies, all of Dickens’ archives, and every Bonanza episode ever made… including that one Easter episode where Hoss dressed up like a bunny that I can not find ANYWHERE no matter how hard I look. ¬†And anyway, his individual personality is as sacred to me as my own is.

These little revelations probably seem absolutely ridiculous to most everyone else. I think I’m on the caboose end on the Common Sense train.

As it is, I’m grateful for the morning run that gave me clarity, and I will say this: my husband’s patience with me knows no bounds. Bless that man and his crime shows.


  1. Shannon says:

    Hi, I just stumbled across your post when trying to look up what the old movie was that was playing in Mark of Love, and then I got side tracked ;) I had to post a comment because you – a complete stranger, I haven’t even read your bio – brough tears to my eyes. You get it. You get what marriage and love are all about, and it’s very touching, especially in a world of people who don’t. So, just wanted to share that with you. :)

  2. I really love the way you write, I can tell it is your passion. I too have a love for the old romantic classics, its the beginning.

    When I saw Mark and Clarie watching a classic I remembered seeing it. However, I cannot remember the name of it, do you happen to know its title?

    Thank you!

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