Long, long ago (9/14, I believe) on a Friday night, you sent me out to Redbox to get whatever movie I wanted. I was super excited. When I got there, I noticed that Redbox had a movie you’d been wanting to see—What to Expect When You’re Expecting. Obviously, I wasn’t excited about that one. But, in the interest of putting your interests above mine, I rented that movie for you. Man, were you excited! And man, did that make me glad. But, in the interest of stating the obvious, I did not like the movie–the book was much better. In fact, I was bored to tears and zoned out for much of it. I’m sure you do something similar whenever I get a movie that has gangsters or fictional creatures or spaceships.
For this act of love, I planned a family movie night for us. I can’t remember what we saw, but I’m sure it was something with a pink or purple cover. We had popcorn, we turned off the lights (our oldest likes to do this because it reminds her of the drive in theater), and we snuggled together on the couch under a blanket.
For this act of love, I took you and the girls on a date to the drive-in theater to watch Madagascar 3. (It was free that night. Shhh! Don’t tell my dates.) The girls went in the bounce house, we had great popcorn, and saw tons of people we know (I guess our friends are cheap know how to take advantage of a good deal too). We had a super fun time and even enjoyed the film.
I recently had a breakdown due to all the pink in my life. To help me through this, my cousin (with your cooperation) surprised me by taking me to see The Avengers.
While the evening afforded me an excellent man break, it didn’t start out very manly. When we stopped for coffee before the movie, I ordered the light roast, I drank it with cream in spite of my impassioned promise to drink it black, and I talked about the fitted polo I recently purchased from Express (for Men).
But once I snapped out of pink mode, things got really manly. We talked about glocks and police chases. We drank our coffee in gulps. We propped our feet up on the theater chairs in front of us. And we cheered as the Avengers obliterated enemy aliens and demigods using NYC as a battleground.
What a night! It’s been a while since I’ve seen a movie in which so many things get smashed and broken (unless you count broken hearts . . . but those are always mended in the end). A good man break was just what I needed to weather the storms of pink in my life. Thanks, Francine, and thanks, Cousin.
On Tuesday, we went on a date of sorts: we watched a movie in the community center of our apartment complex.
On Tuesday afternoon, I went to the apartment-complex office and rented the community center just for us for the evening. After dinner, we made some kettle corn and went to the community center, plugged our laptop in to the big screen TV there, and watched Emma.
We took the girls with us, but they played on the floor while we watched the movie. About halfway through, though, all three girls got tired and whiny, so we took them home and put them to bed. We tried to finish the movie at home, but we both fell asleep. (Good thing we’d both seen this one a couple of times already.)
This was my attempt at giving you a break from the busyness of the week by taking you on a quasi-date. It cost us nothing and was quite enjoyable, even though it was cut short.
On March 21st, Casablanca was re-released in theaters in celebration of the 70th anniversary of its 1942 release. Unfortunately, we couldn’t see it. So on Tuesday, we ate popcorn and watched Casablanca on DVD for an in-home date. The movie was amazing, of course. You didn’t finish it though, but fell asleep while snuggling me on the couch.
I let nearly the entire day go by yesterday without even thinking about what act of love to do. I don’t blame me—Wednesday marked a kind of end to a big project I’ve been doing for work. So yesterday I just wanted to relax.
At any rate, when midnight came a knockin’, I had no clue what loving act to do. Sleep wasn’t an option. Skipping a day wasn’t an option. Doing an act of love for you before the day’s end was the only option. After mulling over some ideas for about an hour, I decided to film myself telling you I love you and wishing you a good day. In order to preempt jealousy in the ranks, I made a similar video for our daughters. Both videos are in an obvious place on our desktop, so I’m sure you’ll stumble across them.
Last night, we watched the movie Courageous together so that I would be strengthened in my resolve to be a better husband and father. (I’m setting aside my desire to critique its filmic elements.) I praise God for giving me the resolve to do well by you and our children. May he strengthen my resolve.
Being a good husband to you requires being a good father to our children and vice versa. Being a good husband and father to you and our girls requires devotion to God and vice versa. May God increase my devotion.
Incidentally, the whole family’s been getting involved in showing love to one another. In addition to the note you gave me, you (and the girls) surprised me with a special dinner to encourage me for doing well at work. Plus, our girls, seeing the love notes we give each other, now frequently write each other and us love notes. And, every time we go to the grocery store, they run to the flower section and ask me what flowers we should get for you. Of course, we can’t spend a fortune on flowers, so I tell them that we can only buy you flowers once a week. It seems like 365’s become a family matter.
After we put the girls to bed last night, I popped some popcorn and threw our wedding video into the DVD player. When we were about to start watching it, we heard our girls talking upstairs in their beds. We agreed that, though it might be fun to snuggle up together alone while watching our wedding video, it might be just as fun (more fun?) to show the video to our girls. So we called them down and enjoyed it as a family.
While watching the video, you kept smiling at me while holding and rubbing my hand. Afterwards, when the girls were in bed, you hugged me and told me you’re glad you married me. For a while, you wouldn’t let go of me and kept repeating what you said. I’m so glad I married you too.
I said I would maybe talk more about Keller’s book, so here’s a great quote from it:
Our culture says that feelings of love are the basis for actions of love. And of course that can be true. But it is truer to say that actions of love can lead consistently to feelings of love. Love between two people must not, in the end, be identified simply with emotion or merely with dutiful action. Married love is a symbiotic, complex mixture of both. Having said this, it is important to observe that of the two—emotion and action—it is the latter that we have the most control over. It is the action of love that we can promise to maintain every day (103).
After work yesterday, I asked you if you wanted to go the beach with me (and the kids) to watch the sunset. You said yes. As we walked out the door, we spotted police officers pinning a man to the ground and a police helicopter circling overhead (I thought we lived in a good neighborhood!). While the officers struggled to handcuff the suspect, he taunted them. Eventually, six cop cars showed up to take care of him. We ended up missing the sunset because we weren’t comfortable leaving the house with everything going on.
Instead, we waited until everything settled down, grabbed some dinner, then went to the drive-in theater to watch The Muppets. I think we ruined the ambience of the drive-in for some of the couples there when we pulled in with our minivan and three wound-up kids. Still, if our presence there forced them to watch the movie, that’s good: it was stupendously funny!
What a contrast in our day between manic suspects and screwy Muppets–mahna mahna, that’s life!