Me (with a sad sigh): I don't know what's happened. There was a day, not so long ago, when I had a routine. I did laundry everyday and put it away before it got wrinkled. Your sock, t-shirt and underwear drawers were neat and organized.
Him: Is this some kind of weird woman thing where your self esteem is tied to MY underwear drawer?
Me: Well, when you put it THAT way it sounds kind of silly, but yes.
Him: Well, put your energy into something else. I am perfectly content to have MY underwear drawer in chaos.
Me: Blank look of shock.
It IS his underwear drawer. Even after 37 years of marriage, it's still HIS underwear drawer. My value as a person really shouldn't be based on whether or not his jocks are folded. Should it? His mother IRONED not only boxers but briefs. But I'm not his mother. I'm his partner.
I've known him since I was 15 years old. But lately I've noticed that he's changing rapidly. In fact, I think he's aging quite well. When I listen to what he is saying, I'm always amazed. The last 60 years of experience is suddenly coalescing into brilliance and wisdom.
For our 15th wedding anniversary, we took a bunch of couples out to a park that was formerly owned by a married couple who were famous for, among other things, their happiness together. We had everyone make plaster masks of each other and then we sat in a circle and talked about the masks we put on those to whom we are closest. It is a sort of short hand caricature of who that person is, or was the last time we looked. For a relationship to grow, we each have to be willing to release our partner from the stiff, plaster masks we create for them, and see them for who they are this minute. Then we took of each other's masks and promised to see the real beloved.
Lately, he's busting out of his white plaster cast in strength and beauty. I really like him in living color! I was giddy in love with him long ago. I'm not so giddy now. I love him with a more, um, dignified passion. But I think I love him a lot more today than I did on our wedding day.