Sunday, August 15, 2010

Play Footsie Under the Table


Play Footsie Under the Table is my new book which is being released in November. It will be available in most major bookstores and online. For your pre-release reading pleasure, here is its introduction:

Being in love is not a steady emotional state that some are fortunate enough to find ourselves in; it is a dynamic emotional state that requires a continuous series of actions that any of us can take if we want to preserve a romantic relationship. It is not enough to believe that the love one feels for another is just understood, it must be made clear and obvious. Love simply must be expressed if it is to known by its recipient, and if it is to flourish in reciprocated abundance between two people.

Most often we express our love through language, as in simply saying, “I love you.” Other times we express our love through the written word, as when penning love poems or sweet notes to one another. And then there is love expressed in gestures, as in those things that we do for one another to give shape to and evidence of the true passions of our hearts. The words, “I love you,” whether spoken or written, are a profound statement. When coupled with an embrace, walking hand in hand, stealing a kiss, sharing a romantic nuzzle, or a hundred other tender, giving gestures, these words are elevated to an experience, a lasting memory, a delicate, reflective moment of proof, a love sign, that demonstrates you care for me and I care for you in a way that words alone cannot. This book is about showing love signs, those priceless moments we can create that allows our loved ones to think to themselves, “I know that I am loved.”

I could probably rest assured that my wife will love me always and stay with me no matter how little I might do to show her that she is the love of my life. However, because she is the love of my life, I am driven by the desire to reassure her that I love her. I know that it makes her happy when I do, and she then loves me even more in return. So everyday I do something to show her that I care about her. Sometimes it is a simple gesture, like waking her with a kiss after I have made the coffee the way she likes it. Sometimes it is not so simple, like searching for hours for the perfect gift or writing a poem to hide in her purse for her to find sometime later. These daily gestures aren’t necessary to keep her in love with me because I know that her love is in reality a gift to me, not a reward for my good conduct. However, I also know that if romantic love is left unattended, it will not come to its full potential. Thus, I make such a gesture everyday; I show her a love sign whenever I can. I want to make it as obvious as possible to her that I love her as much as I do, because I want her to love me as much as she can in return.

We each brought a daughter into our marriage. As they approach their teenage years and become interested in and vulnerable to boys, I worry about how to prepare them for the thrills, trials and tribulations of relationships they will face without causing them unnecessary alarm. I want them to enjoy dating, but I want them to be appropriately cautious and selective about whom they give their hearts to. I want them to have deliriously happy, lasting marriages. I want them to never shed a tear over broken promises and dashed hopes. I want them to never know loneliness and despair.

When I have these thoughts, I remember how I learned about romantic love watching my parents, my grandparents, my aunts and uncles, and others close to me who had a way of relating that was unmistakable in its meaning, that an intense love was shared, enjoyed, and reciprocated. These memories further compel me to be unfailing in my efforts to show Jill that I love her, for I know that I am also teaching the girls a valuable life lesson, that is, what true love looks like. It is an almost daunting responsibility, but also an honorable one that I, we, fully embrace.

So in the end, this book is itself a love sign, another way for me to show Jill that I love her. It is a reminder to me to never take her for granted, to never assume that all is well just because it has been heretofore, to always be attentive to her, to always nurture the love we share so that it comes to full bloom. This book is also a way for me to help our daughters to set appropriately high expectations about how they should be treated, and hopefully to tell them what they should look for, in truth what they should wait for, before they give their priceless hearts to someone, and how to then show those fortunate young men that they are loved in return.

I do not profess to be an expert on relationships, but I do make claim to having the gift of artful expression, and a desire to help others when and where I can. So rather than give advice, I’ll end by simply expressing my hope. I hope that you will take this book and use it in the way that I meant for you to. That is, to go and show someone the love that dwells in your heart, and to do so everyday.

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