I’ve often heard the expression, “I love you,” followed by “I Love you more.” It is almost as if loving someone is a contest of who loves who more or better or longer or something. My R and I have a couple of rituals that keep us connected in a mystical sort of way. Each morning we give each other a kiss and hug with the words, “I love you.” We are not in a contest and so the other never says, “I love you more.” Nice.
Our other ritual is what we like to call “Bus Insurance.” Bus insurance is a kiss, a hug, and an “I love you,” when either of us leaves the other, particularly if we are out and about driving somewhere. Bus insurance is our quirky way of saying, “If you get hit by a bus and die, I want the last thing you remember is that “I love you.”
This particular ritual is so important to us that I have been known to run out the front door after the car yelling, “Wait, wait, you forgot your bus insurance.” We even invoke this ritual if I am going to stay in the car when R dashes into the grocery store for milk or bread. I mean, really, there may be bread buses or dairy buses in there. Over the years we have conjured up a whole host of different “buses” that might just smack us out and send us into the eternal whatever. Who knows? Our answer: Bus Insurance.
My R loves the spring season better than almost anything else. As soon as the first hint of a bud or a leaf pokes its head out of a barren twig, my R will say, “Look, spring is here.” This is not a weekly proclamation, but a several times daily one. As each flower pops out his spring enthusiasm mounts in a fury of ohs and ahs and he enters into what I like to call his spring ecstasy syndrome.
As the trees begin to green out in that most delicate and delightful pale green, R is known to mention how beautiful spring is and how much he loves the season minute by minute. He can do this five times as we drive about three blocks from the house. I get the message I’ve told him and I know how much spring means to him. He has retorted from time to time that since he never grumbles about the barren winter twigs and trunks he is entitled to rave about the blooming forth of spring. Sigh, I’ll give him that.
As we were driving home the other day however, I mentioned that I had forgotten to tell him “I love you,” that morning and I wanted him to know that. He nodded and we drove on. As he commented on another willow tree bursting forth in green, I commented on how deeply he really did love springtime. He smiled, looked at me and said, “Yes, I do love spring, but I love you more than green trees.” How can you not love a guy who loves you more than green trees when green trees give him so much joy?
The other day we received an email about dogs and the unconditional love they give to us humble humans. R and I talked about how much we loved our little dog and came to the conclusion that if he died before us we would simply have to get another dog. I said to R, you know “I love you more than our dog.” He said, “I love you too more than our dog, but he’s right up there!” Of course, we both cracked up laughing, and so I guess our previously simple “I love you” may always have to include the dog and green trees, at the very least!