Willem Van Aelst - Stillleben mit Blumen / Still Life with Flowers (1665)
I write this as soon as I finished writing the previous entry, simply because I want to get over with those thoughts lingering in my head.
I got the idea for this entry few days ago, when my wife and I visited my mother-in-law's house, where my sister-in-law and her newborn baby are still there, in her "pantang". (Pantang : a period after birth where the mom adheres to certain Malay guidelines for health reasons)
I was watching this Honey and Clover episode 09 after reading some books, when something struck me. I suggest you to watch this too, to understand what I'm trying to convey, especially the part on Morita and his brooch.
Willem Van Aelst - Bloemenstilleven met horloge / Flowers in a Silver Vase (1663)
Sometimes, love will be more special, if it was done discreetly.
Sometimes, women wanted men to say things, but I think men prefers sentimental-ism in quiet ways.
I remembered when my wife and I first got married, we always talk, when we started to do things, we would talk but soon I discovered a different approach.
Sometimes I would quietly bring the dirty clothes to laundry without telling her. I know she eventually found out, but still I kept a dumb look as if I didn't care.
Sometimes I just bought that soya bean juice or strawberry yogurt that she loves, and put it in the fridge. She would be happy to find it out, and I would just reply "mmm".
Willem Van Aelst - Flower still life with a watch (1663)
I was searching for a short comic that I read some long time ago, a silent comic with no words.
There was this old married couple, in their 50's or 60's maybe. There were no kids of them shown, persumably the kids are in college, or grown into adulthood, or maybe they didn't have any kids in the first place.
The first few pages show a dull marriage. The wife was expecting some romance from her husband, but her husband was probably too tired.
I didn't remember much about the story, but at one point, someone (not sure the wife or the hubby) bought some grapefruit.
Somehow when they tasted the grapefruit, they remembered their younger days of romance, when they always hangout at this grapefruit vineyard.
And at the end of the comic, the husband bought the grapefruit back home, and they spend their time that evening watching TV together while eating grapefruit.
It was a sweet story but I'm sorry I did not manage to story-tell you perfectly.
Grapefruit, is sweet, and in the same time, had a slight bitter taste in it, and maybe that's what love and marriage feels about.
And somehow today, while I was browsing for that comic, I found this beautiful gem.
The Grapefruit Syndrome
As a young wife, I learned that the taste of marriage could be sweeter if I didn’t focus on my husband’s faults.
My husband and I had been married about two years—just long enough for me to realize that he was a normal man rather than a knight on a white charger—when I read a magazine article recommending that married couples schedule regular talks to discuss, truthfully and candidly, the habits or mannerisms they find annoying in each other.
The theory was that if the partners knew of such annoyances, they could correct them before resentful feelings developed.
It made sense to me. I talked with my husband about the idea. After some hesitation, he agreed to give it a try.
As I recall, we were to name five things we found annoying, and I started off.
After more than fifty years, I remember only my first complaint: grapefruit. I told him that I didn’t like the way he ate grapefruit. He peeled it and ate it like an orange! Nobody else I knew ate grapefruit like that. Could a girl be expected to spend a lifetime, and even eternity, watching her husband eat grapefruit like an orange? Although I have forgotten them, I’m sure the rest of my complaints were similar.
After I finished, it was his turn to tell the things he disliked about me.
Though it has been more than half a century, I still carry a mental image of my husband’s handsome young face as he gathered his brows together in a thoughtful, puzzled frown and then looked at me with his large blue-gray eyes and said, “Well, to tell the truth, I can’t think of anything I don’t like about you, Honey.”
I quickly turned my back, because I didn’t know how to explain the tears that had filled my eyes and were running down my face.
I had found fault with him over such trivial things as the way he ate grapefruit, while he hadn’t even noticed any of my peculiar and no doubt annoying ways.
I wish I could say that this experience completely cured me of fault finding. It didn’t. But it did make me aware early in my marriage that husbands and wives need to keep in perspective, and usually ignore, the small differences in their habits and personalities.
Whenever I hear of married couples being incompatible, I always wonder if they are suffering from what I now call the Grapefruit Syndrome.