Keep it alive with kisses
Kissing is a means of getting two people so close together that they can’t see anything wrong with each other.
I am going to tell you a secret — a good marriage can be kept alive by at *least* one red-hot, blow your shoes off your feet, melt your socks, body-to-body kiss a day. I’m talking full bore, panting, groping, intertwined kissing that steals the breath from your body and makes your pulse just race.
Even the best marriage is four fifths joy and one fifth smack ’em upside the head. We’re humans and it’s in our nature to drive each other crazy. There’ll be times when we fight. When we look at that person and think “that’s it. That’s just it,” and we’re ready to just stop — stop right then.
That’s when we have forgotten the other four fifths because that one fifth is looming large – but before we give up – kisses. At least one. Every day. And along with that, a wrap our arms around each other hug that brings us right up soul to soul, heart to heart. It’s damned hard to keep a good mad when we’re wrapped up so tenderly. It’s hard not to remember just what we fell in love with in the first place.
Trust me on this. My husband and I drive each other crazy. We have little angers we can’t quite let go of. But I still love this man and yes, I still want to climb him. My Darryl.
Now mind you, there are times when a relationship is so toxic that it cannot and should not be endured. But there are other times when we just give up too easily. It can be a terribly fine point of difference. Yeah, my husband is so lazy he won’t even feed himself. Yeah, I come unglued and carry on like a tantruming toddler when I stub a toe. Try 29 years of that and you may say you can’t do that even one more day.
But did we forget that everything we fell in love with is still there? Did we forget that we love that person’s sense of humor? That their hugs make every hurting part of our hearts just fall into place? That they cry when they see sappy movies and love little kids and get all excited over silly little things? And that all that is wonderful about them is exactly where it was when we looked at it last?
Look again. Trust me. Look again. That marvelous human being is still there – unless he or she wasn’t there in the first place. That’s usually how it works. It’s quite possible to fall in love with someone we invented out of whole cloth and then pasted that person’s face on top of it. The person we love doesn’t exist and the person who’s actually standing there isn’t God’s gift to the planet. Then yes, give up. There’s a real and wonderful person who’s out there, waiting for us to wake up and be free to find them.
More often, though, we’ve gotten out of the habit of loving. We’ve forgotten to have fun with each other, to be tender, to literally wallow in the deliciousness of it. So yes, back to the root of it – kisses.
We started this all those years ago playing backgammon. I kid you not, backgammon has saved our marriage more than once. In backgammon, you can lose more than one game in one. Roll doubles to see who goes first, lose badly enough and you are in the hole. I refused – absolutely refused. Bad enough to lose (and in the early days, I lost all the time), but to lose more than one game? Not fecking likely, thank you. So Darryl asked me what nonmonetary thing would I play for?
Kisses, I told him. But not just a little smoochie. Oh, no. I wanted the kind of kisses that you see in the movies. The kind that make you want to crawl inside the person with whom you most identify up on that screen so you can have that kiss all for yourself. That kind.
So we keep a tally of games, and that tally is of kisses. When I have a balance, I dance about crowing “I have SIX sweet, juicy Darryl kisses.” And I collect. You bet I do. And truly, with every kiss, I fall in love all over again. Even when I am frustrated. Even when I’m a millimeter away from smacking him upside the head again.
This is dedicated not only to those people who haven’t given up but also to those who do need to let it go and find the person who’s been looking for them this whole time. <3