The little things

12Jan10

I overheard a conversation at work the other day that caught me a bit off guard.

One of my colleagues’ friends was whining that his wife was getting fat and that all she did was complain. She was bad-mouthing him to her friends, he said, and she didn’t appreciate him anymore.

He didn’t seem to notice that he was exhibiting exactly the behaviors he was bemoaning. I had to restrain myself from quoting random lyrics. “You know, buddy, try a little tenderness. In the end, the love you take is equal to the love you [give].”

I was reminded of that overheard conversation a few minutes ago, when I called my dad. He’s a temporary bachelor tonight because my mom’s watching my nephew, so he knew he’d be coming home from the university to an empty house.

But he was surprised to find that my mom was still there, in a sense. She’d taken care of everything: The table was set for his dinner, his supper was in the fridge, and there was a little note on the coffee maker. “Coffee’s ready,” it read, “just push ‘start’.” He waxed poetic about this for quite a while.

It got me thinking about the many small, sweet things Esteban does for me every day.

Every morning, Esteban puts on his shearling coat and trudges out to the garage to start my car. He makes sure it’s well warmed up before I drive off, and then he stands in the driveway and waves goodbye.

And on his way home from work, he often calls to ask whether I need anything from the store. Sometimes he makes a special trip to get me exactly the kind of yogurt I like, or to find my favorite kombucha flavor.

That is love in action. Who cares if he never gives me flowers?

In the end, it really is about the little things. Our smallest actions speak volumes about how we feel.

If that braying whiner comes around again, I may just be tempted to ask him when he last brought his wife yogurt. Women love that sort of thing.



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