Why Do I Love Thee?

Have you ever tried to write a love letter, only to give up because words seemed so inadequate to describe how you’re feeling? I wish I could have penned Elizabeth Barrett Browning‘s words to her husband when she wrote, “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways…” Alas, she beat me to it, and I am left here fretting about how to get started.

You see, this weekend my beloved and I will have been married for forty years. We have this little joke between us that when I tell him I love him, he responds, “Why is that?” I always say it would take too long to list the reasons, but the real reason is because I can’t put the reasons into words.

Big Al says, ” The real reward in blogging is not whether you are widely read but how it acts as a journal for your feelings, opinions and interests.” I wholeheartedly agree with him, so I’m writing this post to capture, in whatever imperfect way possible, how I feel about my husband.

Dearest Husband,

Why do I love thee?  Let me count the reasons.

1.  You buy my popcorn at the movies.
2.  You are a quick learner.  You learned early on that the two most important words a husband needs to know are, “Yes, Dear.”
3.  Sometimes I can feel you staring at me, and sure enough, when I look up, I catch you smiling at me.
4.  You call me Mrs. Beautiful, even after all these years.
5.  Your favorite song is Jimmy Durante‘s “Make Someone Happy,” and that someone is me.
6.  You laugh at my jokes, finish my sentences, and always know what I’m thinking, because it’s what you’re thinking, too.
7.  You pay attention to me. In a world where people are constantly in motion, their minds rushing from one obligation or task to another, you slow it all down and take the time to notice me.
8.  You pump my gas, check my tires, and wash my car.
9.  When there are only two pieces left, you give me the biggest one. (This is not true if Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia ice cream is involved, and that’s why I had to finish the rest of the carton while you were at work the other day.  Sorry.)
10.  You buy my popcorn at the movies, or did I already say that?

Drat!  As I said at the beginning, it’s impossible to put my feelings into words.  Maybe I could sum it up in the words of the poet Naomi Shihab Nye, “Of all life has given me, you’re the best surprise.”

Now here are a few pictures to chronicle our forty years together, nearly forty-two, if you count when we met in college.

The cocky young man as I met him in college at the University of Connecticut. Man, I thought he was a hot ticket! I still do!

Do you think my grin could be any bigger? He still makes me smile. All the time.

First there was one...

Then there were two...

And then there were three. They outnumbered us...scary.

About twelve or thirteen years of marriage. Blue eye shadow was in then...trust me, it really was.

Our 30th anniversary

Forty years and still going strong

About Coming East

I am a writer, wife, mother, and grandmother who thinks you're never too old until you're dead. My inspiration is Grandma Moses who became a successful artist in her late 70's. If I don't do something pretty soon, though, I'll have to find someone older for inspiration.
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36 Responses to Why Do I Love Thee?

  1. What a lovely post! Congrats!!!

    He’s a cutie — and has such a kind face. Good catch, babe!

  2. Amy says:

    You might like one of the photos I just posted. Happy Valentine’s Day!

  3. notquiteold says:

    Love Love Love this sweet reminiscence. I’m a UConn alumni too, by the way.
    I married late in life, so it’s only been twenty years. I am a little envious of all you’ve shared.

  4. Yen says:

    Oh wow, Congratulations to you and Mr. Okaty, Susan! I love the pictures! The love and the happiness as a couple simply radiate from the images. This is such a cute post from one of my favorite sweet couples in blogosphere. haha!

  5. edrevets says:

    The purchasing of popcorn seems like a beautiful base for a 40 year relationship.

    The pictures were wonderful.

  6. Congratulations to both of you! What beautiful pictures of a very happy couple and adorable family!

  7. Emily says:

    Oh, your husband sounds dreamy! 🙂 I love your list and your pictures. Happy Anniversary!

  8. Liz says:

    Happy Anniversary to you and George, Susan. Did you dance on this anniversary like you did on your 30th anniversary cruise? Can’t believe that has been 10 years ago! Yours was a beautiful love letter.

  9. LOVELY photos! Happy Anniversary to both of you. A beautiful post and tribute to marriage!

    • Coming East says:

      To all of you who sent lovely comments on my anniversary blog, thanks so very much. We are enjoying a little fourth honeymoon in D.C. for an extended weekend and will be back to write again early in the week.

  10. Aw, huge congratulations on such a milestone! Have a lovely weekend together. Aren’t the hows and whys of love always fascinating and beyond words?! 🙂

  11. A very handsome couple, indeed, and rich in that which cannot be put into words. Congratulations to you, and many happy returns!

  12. Robin says:

    Happy Anniversary! 🙂

  13. Such a sweet tribute to 40 years of loving! I think you’ve written the perfect love letter for your husband, and I bet he thinks so too. Happy Anniversary and best wishes for many, many popcorn sharing more!

  14. E.C. says:

    Congratulations! This is a beautiful and fun tribute to your special fellow and your special day. I enjoyed your love letter to your sweetheart. Celebrate well you deserve it.

  15. oldereyes says:

    Happy Anniversary. Lovely post. Being together for forty years is something not many couples experience these days.

  16. Patti Ross says:

    What a great post! It is a daunting task to enumerate the many, many details that demonstrate the love shared between the two of you. You are lucky to have each other. Your post made me think of two quotes from Jerry McQuire that seem to fit love: “You had me at hello.” AND “You complete me.” Happy Anniversary!

  17. Amy says:

    It’s so beautiful… You smile on your wedding picture is stunningly beautiful, it tells the love story. Precious pictures!

  18. Dor says:

    Oh Susan, this was so beautiful. I hope you are printing these out for the kids to have later! You were and are a gorgeous couple.

  19. pattisj says:

    Congratulations on a love that lasts, Susan. Love the picture of your children. I remember blue eye shadow, so I can testify this is a true statement. My hubby jokingly says, “Yes, Dear.” lol Must be love, buying movie theater popcorn at those prices. 🙂 Great quote, that may show up on a handmade Valentine this year. Thanks!

  20. OH, this post was so beautiful! I love all of the pictures, very sweet…and I love the wedding picture–I had the same huge grin on my face when we were married. Happy anniversary to you both!

  21. Scrolling through the pictures was wonderful!! As soon as I got to the 40 year picture I couldn’t help but notice the smiles on both of your faces have not dimmed in the 40 years from your wedding picture… evidence of two people who bring out the best in each other. I especially like #7 on your list. Congratulations on making each other your priority and continuing that perspective for 40 years! Wishing you many more…

  22. Shary Hover says:

    Happy Anniversary! Love the photos. You all look so happy together and I guess that’s the number one item on anybody’s list.

  23. What a great way to start my day. I almost put off taking a peak, as Chapter 6 awaits me and I keep avoiding it. Thanks for giving me a smile inside my heart that brought tears to my eyes.

  24. Happy Anniversary! Really, he can sing Jimmy Durante’s “Make Someone Happy” and he sings it to you? You have to love that for a lifetime. Congratulations to a very handsome couple with beautiful children.

  25. Big Al says:

    Congratulations!! We’re going to be in Virginia Beach this weekend. We’d love to meet you and buy you an anniversary drink, but realize you’re probably pretty busy. However, if you can, the email is poppyalvah@aol.com.

    I feel sorry for the hubby. He’s going to have to go some to top this romantic post! Very nice and loved all the pics.

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