how will i love/ i will never swing baby shoes around my neck.

nicely, i’ve an anecdote to match with this interesting photo-documentary on couplings.

today over lunch, she leaned towards in a kind of half hiss, ‘ohmygawd -guys! i just saw right, this couple- was wearing matching baby shoes as necklaces!?! And it was this big!!’. she raised her eyebrows as a ‘fashion wth!’. the other three of us, being either just over the thirty mark or a bit too rocker-cool for such public saccharine sweetness, expressed appropriate amounts of incredulity on our faces.

but i’ve always found the things couples do to be one of the most fascinating things to observe. nauseating occasionally, but that is a matter of personal taste. some, can be so intimately couply you can’t help but wonder what goes on between. or what’s going on in each of their heads, like with the matching-babyshoes/necklace couple, or like in the picture above, cosying up for quick fireworks.

i wonder at their inner worlds. when two people come so completely and wholeheartedly together, there’s a third entity created: a “them”. when i observe a “them”, i see how words can seem a narrow channel of communication. on good days (or maybe with true ‘thems’)  i realise there’s infinity uncomprehensible within one’s heart. as one of an ‘us’, one can feel a tideswell of generosity, or a wild heroism, or a certain gravitas. you’re larger than you thought you could be.

every ‘them’ with its own codified order is always strangely fascinating to watch.

“]i think such a spark so potent, is worth cultivating during our time here on earth.

::words on loves:

She hates it when I say I’m tired. It’s the first rule of marriage: never tell a wife you’re tired. Ignore that, and you fall foul of the Bill of Women’s Rights, which states: “Throughout this marriage, we are the ones who’ve got up, every night, often to tend to children who literally chewed our flesh. In all arguments and situations, therefore, we shall be considered the injured party, and if any man should dare to complain, on the one day he woke early, he shall rightfully taste the lash on his fat hairy shoulders.”

The next stage is when you notice all the tiny things they do differently from you, and you resent them. My wife used to be attracted by my creativity. She found it sexy to have a man who could empty his thoughts on the page. Then she found she preferred it if I emptied the bin.

Andrew Clover.

We are each other’s best friends, and in the end we esteem our partners and wish for their happiness. Esteem may be the most lasting form of love that anyone can know.

We are each other’s best friends, and in the end we esteem our partners and wish for their happiness. Esteem may be the most lasting form of love that anyone can know.

Edmund White.

It’s the sheer newness of life that’s meaningful for those nearer its end. What a distance separates us from those tiny babies and eager toddlers growing up in a world so totally different from our own childhood.

Then, as they get older, comes the growing surprise of new friendships with unshaped minds. The first picture book, the first words… it’s the second time round and you have more patience and possibly more imagination.

Joan Bakewell.

It’s taken me a while to sit down and write this piece, because every time I went near my desk to pen my thoughts on maternal love, one of my older children — boys of 14 and 17 — would say or do something Kevin the Teenager-ish that made me hate them.

(Maternal pride is also to do, less attractively, with being pleased with yourself for the good job you’ve done.)

Sometimes you stand there feeling like St Sebastian, thinking: “Go on, fire off another one, I think there’s probably room for another arrow just by my right ventricle.” And then you think, great — now I’m one of my least favourite things: I’m one of those women who thinks herself a martyr. And you look at your children, who have by now laughed it off and blown you a kiss and grunted a “sorry”.

India Knight.


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