• author
    • Maya Stiles Parsons Spier

      Columnist, Editor-in-Chief
    • February 14, 2014 in Columnists

    Valentine to a fairweather husband


    You’re gone again; you do this every year.  The minute the weather turns bad, poof — you’re gone.

    Darryl my Darryl -- this is how you look at me.

    Darryl my Darryl — this is how you look at me.

    Some days it’s easy and other times it’s harder.  You call from time to time, but you’re off and gone and while you tell me you think of me all the time, it’s no substitute for being held.

    I told you that the last time you called.  How do you find someone on a dating site who can handle a relationship that includes lots of hugging, watching movies all snuggled up, but no sex because I am, after all, the faithful type and that would be cheating.  That also means no real kissing either.

    I miss kissing.

    It’s a problem.  I’m 58 years old, my body and life are transforming and I’m feeling like a piece of furniture in a storage unit – only I’m not furniture and I don’t just sit patiently and inanimate, waiting to be sat on again.

    Oh, that’s not a good image, is it?

    So how do I write a Valentine to the love of my life who is gone half the time?  I totally get that it’s your life dream to travel the world.  You told me this on our first – or was it our second – date, so it’s not like I wasn’t warned.  In fact, you expected to sell the house, ditch everybody you ever loved over here and launch into the world like a rocket ship that never intends to set down more than a little while ever again.

    This is how I look back at you.

    This is how I look back at you.

    You didn’t count on loving me this much, did you?  But you do.  You light up when I come into the room.  You look up suddenly and say “Oh my god, you are so beautiful.  How did I ever get so lucky as to have you in my life?  I love you, Maya.”  It fills my heart to wordlessness.  My usual outpouring of sound stills, my mouth closes on words unspoken and all I can do is let my eyes meet yours until you fill my vision completely.

    But still, you leave.  You go in late fall, after the rains have begun and all that would be left for you anyway is to sit watching television all day, waiting for me to get home from work, to get off the computer as I write or edit or chat with the world at large or play savage games of World of Warcraft.  Because I am not a couch and because my mind is as busy as a chipmunk on speed.

    I don’t just sit and watch television too well.

    We have almost nothing in common except we are just alike.  It wasn’t a month went by after meeting you that I was struck – more like punched, actually – by the realization that you are just like me.  I’d never thought a man existed who would make such sense to me and who would get me as well as you do.

    We’re freaking brilliant.  We live in our heads more than just a little.  We can be incredibly wise and about as socially awkward as someone who grew up in a shipping container.  I understand when you cry at kid movies.  You know that even I am not strong, I am never, ever weak.  Who else would get that?

    We’re incredibly cuddly, sometimes just standing there wrapped up in each other’s arms for a good half hour or more, perfectly content.  You say “In  your place, woman.  Get in your place,” knowing perfectly well just how much of a feminist I am, but my place is right next to your heart.  You laugh because you know how that sounds, and also because, despite your being an entire foot taller than me, I could use my red belt martial arts skills to totally take you down.  (You say “I could take you,” and I snort and roll my eyes.)

    And you’re not here.  I feel your phantom hugs and kisses, but they slip away from me like dreams of a vanished life.  I tell myself you’ll be back, but I can’t hug the hope of you.  Your voice in my ear on the phone does not equate to the rumbling of it against my back.

    Oh, and passion.  I miss passion.  Twenty-nine years in June, and still, passion.

    I’m so proud of you for following your dreams.  How many people in this world actually do it?  I just wish to hell you’d come home.

    Happy Valentine’s day.


    *My Beloved Husband

    **Your Adoring Wife


    • He is sooooooooooooooo lucky to have found you. I wouldn’t be as generous.

        • Maya North

        • February 14, 2014 at 10:29 am
        • Reply

        I can let him go with love and he’s so grateful and happy and falls in love even more. Or I can fight his going with grief and bitterness and he would go anyway but he’d feel guilty, conflicted and furious. Or — I could just let him go forever, and there’s too much joy for that. So I kiss him and hold him and tell him I’m proud of him and put him on a plane. Hugs…

          • Carolyn Wyler

          • February 15, 2014 at 12:31 pm

          You are an amazing person Maya. He is lucky to have found you. You seem to have found the true meaning of loving unconditionally and allowing another to be who there are.

    • Wow. Incredible. To love so unselfishly. What about you, Maya? Where right now do your dreams lie? It is a love story of he and she, no matter where they are they form the word “we”. God bless you for letting a man dream, God bless him for allowing you your dreams. You are loved Maya.

        • Maya North

        • February 14, 2014 at 11:10 am
        • Reply

        I feel loved, angel. Me, I want a sweet little 1930s or 40s bungalow with a fenced back yard and to be near my daughter and granddaughter. One of these days, he’ll have to stop, but not yet. XXXOOO

    • There’s much to be said for loving in longing. I had a great relationship like that. once! I do not regret it for one bit.

        • Maya North

        • February 14, 2014 at 11:31 am
        • Reply

        I have regrets about a lot of things, but even with him gone, the love is so sweet I cannot regret it — even if it’s only half time 😀

    • i>m so touched. yours is love in action on a moment to moment basis. I admire you so for your ability to choose love, or should I say to choose to BE love, over & over again.

      • Maya North

      • February 15, 2014 at 5:38 pm
      • Reply

      Lori, I went from one of the most unloved children I’ve ever met to one of the most loved women I’ve ever known and not for one moment, not *ever*, do I forget how that desolation emptied out my heart and filled it only with grief and a child’s rage at the injustice of it. I know there are people who are rendered unloving by this, but I’ve found the opposite — I live to love and to fill those places in the people with whom I’ve been blessed. Even the father who hurt me so — that came from his own pain — so how can I not try to fill his empty places with love as well. I don’t know what your own source is, but you do it, too. Hugs…

      • Melinda Hirsch

      • February 15, 2014 at 8:35 pm
      • Reply

      I couldn’t do it…

        • Maya North

        • February 15, 2014 at 10:26 pm
        • Reply

        Sometimes it’s pretty painful and sometimes I feel I’m wasting half my romantic/relatioship life on hold, but it comes back to I love him and I married him on purpose… Hugs!

    • I couldn’t do it either, but Maya, you’re like a miracle.

        • Maya North

        • February 17, 2014 at 12:38 am
        • Reply

        Judith, I think he thinks so and I suppose that’s so. It was kind of a simple choice — let him go with love or go on my way. So far there’s too much good (and too much history) to throw the rest of it out, even though there are times when it’s awfully difficult…

    • A fun, heartfelt read, Maya. In some ways, he’s like someone who works all the time, like an artist. My persons likes to stay put, I like to move!

        • Maya North

        • February 17, 2014 at 12:39 am
        • Reply

        Mardith, it is, a bit, except at least artists come home a little more often than six months 😉 Still, those hugs make the wait quite a bit more worthwhile. 😀

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