As you may recall, dear friends, recently I brought up the topic of love and intimacy, meaning love and communion between a man and a woman -- not sexual intimacy. And of course, some people experience love and intimacy with a close friend or a family member.
Today we're starting a new series that I hope will be with us for many Thursdays. I've asked a number of writers to try to explain love and intimacy to us. If they haven't experienced it, then they can tell us what they imagine it would be like.
I've asked this question because I have never been loved by a man, and I have never felt the close, confidential friendship with a man that I imagine intimacy to be. Although I believe in the love I have for my children and close friends, I'm not sure love between a man and woman can endure. Look at the divorce rate. I think if people are very fortunate, their lust turns into a long lasting and joyful friendship.
But I want to hear other points of view.
Our first writer was here recently. She's our beloved Fishducky, the peas to Bud's carrots. Fran and Bud have been married more than 50 years. If they hadn't achieved some form of love and intimacy, then I don't think they would still be together.
So here's Fishducky's answer to my questions: What is love? What is intimacy?
What's it like to be loved? People have been trying to answer that for centuries. I can only tell you about myself. I love--&; am loved by--my husband. I do not need him to "complete" me. Our love allows us to be complete in ourselves, while having each other to cuddle with &; share the good (much better with him) &; bad (not as bad with him) times. We can (&; do) laugh at &; with each other. Yes, we sometimes argue--but not very often. We feel very fortunate to have found each other--our world is a better place because the other one is in it.
I can’t remember when he wasn't part of my life. We started dating when I was 15. I was also dating a friend of his. I had to decide which one to invite to my Sweet Sixteen party. I made the right choice. I’m not sure why I picked him—I guess I liked the way I felt when I was with him.
As you [she means me -- Janie Junebug] said, lust eventually becomes friendship. It helps, though, if there’s friendship to begin with. There’s not much lust left now—I’m 77 &; he’ll be 80 soon—but we still enjoy a lot of hugs--&; kisses, too. I think one of the best parts of our marriage, aside from our 3 children &; 4 grandchildren, is a sense of humor. I used to ask him, as a joke, if he was still glad he married me. On our 25th anniversary he gave me a sterling silver necklace in the shape of an ingot. Engraved on one side was his name &; the date &; on the other side were the words, “I’m glad”. On our 50th, I thought he would give me a gold one just like it. He didn’t. Instead, he took our family to a fancy restaurant & had a rectangular cake made with yellow icing &; “I’m glad” on the top. I asked him why the cake &; not the necklace? He laughed &; said, “Do you know how much gold costs now? I wasn’t sure you were still worth it!” I often say, “Hi” to him in the middle of dinner or when I pass by his home office just so he’ll know I’m still there.
We have many friends in common &; also many people whom just one of us calls a friend. We enjoy being together, but we are not tied at the hip. I have a once weekly luncheon date with a girlfriend. We have a ladies night at the movies every week. He has a Monday night poker game. We each feel free to do what we want, but we would drop everything to help the other in a minute.
We will celebrate our 57th anniversary in February.