Monday, July 20, 2009

Views on affection

When TC and I were newlyweds, we were weird. We're still weird, but the weird that I’m talking about is this: we were so determined not to fall into the “normal newlywed” category that we were particularly particular about PDA. We rarely held hands when we were out, and would only do so if we were sure no one was looking. Scratching each other’s backs during church was strictly off limits. We were never to kiss in view of other people. And most certainly we would sit a respectable distance from each other. Other people may not have felt convinced that we were married let alone in love. We probably looked like friends, without benefits.

Back in the day.

We were so entrenched in this idea of not falling into the "normal" category that on our wedding day, at the end of the ceremony when we were told we could kiss, we pecked uncomfortably in front of my family and friends. The man who married us urged us to try again, this time like we meant it. We pecked again for a millisecond longer. Still not satisfied with our lackluster kisses, he told us to kiss again. I could have died I was so embarrassed. TC likely worked to suppress urges to punch the guy.

Then time passed, and our strong opinions about PDA faded. Nowadays, you might catch us sitting at a disrespectable distance, or holding hands even when people are looking, or *gasp* we might actually kiss in front of other people.

Being around newlyweds on our trip was a revelation to me. I realized what we had missed during those early years. It’s the time of your marriage when you are expected and encouraged to be affectionate. Why didn’t I take advantage of this? Of course, there is a balance that must be found. One couple I knew years ago would kiss midsentence while having a conversation with me. And there was usually tongue and some heavy breathing involved. That was overboard. And uncomfortable. Where do you look? Do you just wait for the rest of the sentence post-kiss? Or should you leave the room? These are questions I never found a satisfactory answer for.

But I digress. Recently I found newlywed-dom contagious. And I realized that I thought I loved TC back in those days, but it was through the experiences we’ve had together, good and bad, that I have grown to understand better just how deep love can go. And I’m sure that 40 years from now I’ll look back at this blog post and think, “I thought I loved him then, but that was just the beginning.” That realization led me to affection: the hand-holding, kisses on the cheek, sitting too close together kind of affection. It led me to want to relish every moment I have with this man.

Getting cozy more recently.

So don't be surprised if you catch us cuddling or holding hands. We won't be offended if you're annoyed. We understand.


  1. I just love this post. It is sweet and tender and it makes me want to be in new love with my husband all over again. You've got such a great knack for writing. xo

  2. Ok, I'm cracking up at your reference to "disrespectable distance" :).

  3. Affection is an interesting thing for Jared and I. It has little to do with any concern for being gross in public. He's just an affectionate guy and I'm not an affectionate girl. We've both had to make some compromises, but in the end I think it's worked out and, happily, I think we end up being pretty normal in public. I will say, though, that being around newlyweds is definitely contagious.

  4. SO SORRY we made you uncomfortable with the mid-sentence kissing with heavy breathing. Being newlywed, and all, we didn't think you would mind. Now I know. :-)


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