ZigOn Being Nice

I'm seated in the Tampa airport on Pearl Harbor Day, December 7, 2005. A gentleman recognized me and approached me saying, "Greater love hath no man for his wife than to always open her car door." That's something of a takeoff on what I've been talking about for many years, that it's the little things husbands and wives do for each other on a regular basis, not the big things once or twice a year, that breed long-term, successful marriages and lots of honeymoons instead of just anniversaries.

I believe quite strongly that is the approach we need to take. It's the little things. For many, many years I've been doing exactly that. As a matter of fact, since I first caught sight of her on September 15, 1944, at 9:08 p.m., at the YWCA in Jackson, Mississippi, I have been courting that woman of mine avidly. Two years, two months and eleven days of relentless pursuit later she finally said "yes." I'm convinced that the little things make the difference.

The Redhead and I take turns trying to outdo one another in being nice, thoughtful and helpful to each other. Simple example. On this trip, as in all trips when I'm gone for more than just the day, the Redhead has followed through on things we started doing years ago. I stopped carrying my cash in a wallet; I just fold it over and put it in one of my pants pockets. In the evening I lay the money on our bathroom counter. She counts my money and if she doesn't think I have enough to cover emergencies where cash is needed, she gets me more. Now that's not a big deal, but it's one of those little things that says an awful lot. It says, "Honey, I love you very much. You're very important to me. I will be more comfortable knowing that if there is an emergency and cash is needed, you will not be embarrassed, delayed, or perhaps endangered." That's a big thing. Little things, over the years, can make a big difference. Husbands and wives, first be faithful to each other. Second, keep the romance going all of your life by courting each other every day.

Immediately after my encounter with this gentleman in the Tampa airport, I called the Redhead to tell her about it. Her response fascinated me because it emphasizes what I'm talking about. She said, "Honey, I just want you to know I'm in the process of making you your uncooked fruit cake," which just happens to be one of my favorite of all things for the Christmas season. I really love that fruit cake! It's the only one I really do enjoy. While I was gone, there she was, thinking about what she could do for me.

Yes, when husband and wife try to outdo each other by being nice, thoughtful and attentive, it's amazing what that does to the romance!