There’s crazy weather outside. Like rain and winds. I live in a house on the top of a hill now and there’s so much more wind up here. The rain hits the windows of my studio, but when I look out at night I can see the lights of the city streaked with water and interrupted by the crazy waving of the trees. I think the wind makes it sound more torrential than it is.
I’m reflective. We’ve had a long weekend. I got some rest. We only had 2 children for most of it, which just gave me some space. We hung more pictures and made the house more like us. We’ve been watching ‘The Beautiful Lie’ and although I just know it’s going to end up a tragedy, I can’t stop laughing and enjoying the couple who are working their way through his affair with the au pair. Watch it and you’ll understand how I could find something like that so amusing. And not at all hard to understand if you know the man beside me now.
And so I want to talk about love currency. The scoring system. Not as a competition, but the just so maybe we can all understand each other better. Oh and it’s funny. And before I actually found a person who cared so much about me I didn’t really have the opportunity to score. I nearly gave my marriage another go for a 48 Cadbury’s Milk Tray because it seemed so thoughtful.
My guy is incredible. Truly. He thinks I’m the best thing since, anything! He does the best collection of great things for me and us and with such genuine sincerity that I can’t help but test his resolve. He doesn’t even bite. Ever. Just smiles and shrugs my shit off. Or asks me what’s really going on and makes me tell him. And then says all the right stuff. Is it any wonder I need to clarify the love currency? I wouldn’t want to be in debt!
Here’s the thing. I didn’t have much of an idea about his generous nature, except that from the beginning he would always an over-caterer. He is the kind of guy who has to bring something and won’t come empty handed, but if you say bring bread he’ll bring 4 loaves, 40 sausages and the biggest tomato sauce in the shop. He’d open doors for me, take me to lunch, bring me flowers and coffee and cold-pressed juice and rub my head for hours and listen to my ramblings. And then it was my birthday and he gave me the most epic 24 hour date day which culminated in tickets to see Gurrumul with him and my biggest girl and 3 of my favourite chicks (plus flights to Perth, a hire BMW, A hotel room) and ALL a surprise. There’s so much more, it’s hard to actually write this and not get overwhelmed that actually I do have a massive love debt. Anyway, don’t judge me. I’m just trying to explain something.
Women score in a way that a guy would probably consider measly. Our scoring system is not that we don’t appreciate the gift, but pretty everything is only worth ONE POINT. Which is cool because he’s done a lot of stuff right, so they one points are adding up. The one points don’t have any variation is size (as in there are not bigger one points than other one points. They are all just one). Sometimes a guy can get more than one point for stacking things together (surprise, flights to Perth, daughter visit, 3 friends, concert tickets – was 5 points, Gurrumul was actually 2 points because he didn’t know for sure if I would like his music and his music was like everything I love about music. It was like a room full of angels making my hair stand on end). Incredible. It was incredible.
The currency is also related to love languages, and the ones that are your favourite. Mine are physical touch (getting my head rubbed is my favourite and he just does that automatically) and quality time (doing jobs together around the house and watching ‘The Beautiful Lie’ are right up there and this 3 days has been full of that). I’m also into words of affirmation, because I write, it’s the stuff written down rather than spoken that seems to be the best. And acts of service, like tea and toast in the morning and helping put the kids to bed. And I didn’t really think I was into gifts, but to be honest I didn’t really know. And now I do know I like gifts too. So we’re all covered. But I like the way he chooses flowers, and the time her go me Butter menthols and healing herbs when I came home with a cold.
Anyway, he brought me a Prado for my birthday. It’s my birthday in 7 days and I have a special appointment on the day to pick it up. I’m not sure how many of you know that I’ve always wanted a Prado and once, a few years ago I cried and told my friend (after watching another friend drive off in her nice car that her husband brought her) “one day I’ll find a man who would want to buy me a car”. And not in a bitchy ‘that’s what I deserve’ way, but in the way when you dream of someone caring enough about you and your kids and wanting you to get around in a nice, safe car and be proud of you. Like that. So when he told me I just knew that it was all OK. But it’s still only one point. Well two actually because it’s coming on my birthday and that’s a bit special.
Are you choking? He laughed and laughed when I told him and said (like a typical guy), “Yeh, but it’s a really BIG point right?”. And I couldn’t lie, but he’s happy. Joyful in fact. In his scoring system it’s 100 points right there and he’s riding those points all the way to the end. Not literally riding. But you know.
God, I love him. I love how he just accepts with totality me and mine. And the menagerie that came with us – the cat who has pissed on two plush floor rugs, the dogs who are digging in the lawn, the chooks whose epic pen has been a labour of love and never ending work for a total of 5 points (the brush fencing, the flowers, the love heart in screws above the gate, the shelter and the toiling) and the rabbits which freak him out a bit. His level of patience which in all things surpasses mine. You know when you find the balance in a person? Not that he completes me, because I had to be whole first to even find a man like him, but the other end of the spectrum and at times exactly the same.
He also had a brilliant idea after we moved in together to go on a holiday. I may have cried for the third day in a row about the children (we have 5 children 12 and under living here with us most of the time and it’s more than we anticipated -the time, not the children). There were some teething issues. And mostly me crying or hiding. And he had this brilliant idea to go travelling, on an epic adventure to another country in a couple of month’s time. Which normally (if anything in my life had any sense of normalcy anyway anymore) I’d be all over, but right now it unfathomable. And so his brilliant idea got one point for it’s epic-ness and lost 30 because I cried (again) about how I couldn’t do it right now. I know. We aren’t measly in the negative points. Those bastards just get put out there. Minus 30. That’s a lot of Prados.
In the end you know, your guy just wants you to be happy. If he has no idea how to do that then it’s kinda your job to gently and lovingly guide him. If you have no idea how to do that it’s going to make things REALLY hard. I know my happiness scores a massive 100. And he doesn’t take away points very easily. Ahhhhh. Men and women. We crazy. But in the end it’s about reciprocity. Not because you want love back but because if you give it without expectation is just comes around anyway. It’s the law of the universe.
How do you score acts of love?