We keep this love in a photograph

My husband and I have been married a very long time. So, on Saturday morning when I asked him to take a picture of me so I could send it to our four kids, and he said,  “Are you sure you’re feeling photogenic right now?” I said, “Apparently not,” and thanked him for the helpful tip.

Then, we laughed pretty hard.

As there, thankfully, remains no photographic evidence of my appearance that fine day, I’ll tell you that I was wearing an old red baseball cap I’d found on the workbench in the basement of our cabin. It provided a kind of corral for my uncombed hair, and a nice accompaniment to the enormous, green, velour sweatshirt I had dug out of the closet when I realized I hadn’t packed warm enough clothes for our weekend Up North.

I paired all of that with my gray baggy lounge pants and an old pair running shoes.

Maybe you’re thinking the wiser thing for my husband to do would have been to simply snap the photo and let me decide for myself whether I was feeling photogenic. Had we been a younger, fresher couple I might have agreed. But, Vince knows me very well and I count his comment as one of the many times he’s saved me from myself.

I can say these things at this end of the marriage, but I assure you that, had the conversation taken place during the early years, it would have ended very differently.

As a young bride, I’m sure I would have been very offended, possibly even cried . And, as a young husband, he would have stood there with a blank look on his face that said, “What? What did I do?” though he wouldn’t actually have said a thing.

Our conversations have evolved. They’re more direct now and, frankly, more honest. If I want him to do something, I ask and, if he does make me mad, I explain why. He shows me the same courtesy.

I’d like to have told my young self every time I was tempted to whine, “If he loved me, he’d know that I …”

He does and he will.

It just takes a little time, a lot of love and some good belly laughs.

I’m not sure I’ll ever be “feeling photogenic,” but I do love this picture Molly took of Vince and me having a good chuckle on the Fox Cities Trail yesterday.







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