Code for “I Love You”

Sometimes we express our love without actually using the words “I love you.” Actions speak louder than words, after all. For Patrick, saying he loves the cats isn’t easy. He used to be anti-cat. Now he feeds them and cuddles up to them and asks me about them when we’re not home. “What do you think the stanks are doing?” he’ll ask me. “The stanks” is code for “our beautiful kitties.”

Yesterday, he said to me the best thing I’ve heard in a long time: “Sad. ‘Fish Taco the cat’ yields no results when typed into Google.”

That’s code for “I love that cat.”

And bam! Now “Fish Taco the cat” will be googleable. That’s code for “success.”

Observations

Being a “blogger” changes you. Last night, I dreamt that one of my posts got published in some magazine. I woke up happy.

I can’t cook a meal without taking photos of it. A good conversation with a friend is likely to wind up on the internet. The mundane can suddenly become interesting. Photos of your pets become global phenomena… well, maybe not… but one can dream.

Come on. Fish Taco SHOULD BE a global phenomenon. Look at him.

He turned Patrick’s cold, cat-hating heart into…

This.

The Things We Learn From Strangers

Communication is such a funny thing. Sometimes it’s easier to say the things we can’t normally say when we’re talking to people we hardly know. I read an amazing post today by Girl’s Gone Child. I was humbled by the honesty of her words and the beauty of her metaphor. It was easy to tell a stranger that I fear for my own relationship sometimes, that I, too, have felt the foundation slipping, and I felt comforted by the words of a woman I have never met.

Relationships are exhausting. We keep score, we hold grudges, we reveal our greatest weaknesses. It’s such a relief to know that I am not alone.

It can be so easy to overlook all the good things. We find faults in favors, and we lose patience even though most often our only real pressure comes from within ourselves. “You cooked dinner, but you made a mess.” “You put your clothes away, but your left your shoes everywhere.” We focus on the “you did nots” versus the “you dids.”

We are human and we take the things we love for granted. But sometimes, if we’re lucky, we pick ourselves up and learn from our mistakes. The truth is that love doesn’t need to make a grandiose entrance. Love just needs little coos of appreciation from time to time to nurture it. It is a shared popsicle, it is driving and letting the other one sleep, it is running at a slower pace so your partner can keep up, it is letting one more stray cat stay.

In a way, I’m glad it isn’t easy. It’s like a good soup. What fun would plain onions be or boiled lentils or a spoonful of salt? You’ve gotta give it time to simmer until one flavor makes another one better.

One More Stray Cat