Marriage Mondays: The Language of Intimacy
A while back, I was reading this article about the language of a marriage and found myself thinking about the nature of intimate relationships. It was so interesting to read about another couple that has a secret language. Not that I think secret languages between loved ones are unique to A.P. and me. Whenever I have been in a serious relationship, even before A.P., I had secret jokes or little Morse codes of intimacy. For instance, my first boyfriend ever and I would give each other's hands a quick squeeze three times to say a silent "I love you." He came up with it one night after we had visiting my sister. When we were getting a ride home, he leaned over and whispered the meaning of the hand squeezes in my ear. And so a secret language was born. To this day, I still remember the last time he made this gesture. We'd been having problems and had been growing apart for months. One night, we went on an innocuous date to the movies. I was particularly sad about the state of our relationship and the movie we were watching, A Beautiful Mind, was making me even more sad because of its topic (I have a mentally ill brother). He wanted to make me fell better, but we were still kind of icy and distant towards each other. And so, when he couldn't say the words anymore, he squeezed my hand three times.
This is perhaps one of my favorite things about being in a relationship with someone. This level of intimacy is certainly not confined to marriage either. It's a language built between two people who have shared moments together that no one else has shared. In six years as A.P. and I have grown in our relationship, we have developed a language, too. Little jokes that only we understand. Anyone else requires an explanation.
For instance, when we first started dating, A.P. didn't want to reveal how picky an eater he was and hurt my feelings about food I'd make him. One day, I literally slaved ALL day making a dinner for him. I made pumpkin ravioli with a vanilla scented bechamel sauce, making both the pasta and the ravioli filling from scratch. I also made frosted buttermilk brownies with cherries and chocolate baked into them. It's important to note that the entire meal was amazing and the brownies were DELICIOUS, but A.P. is a picky eater and he was even pickier then. He didn't like that the pasta dish was sweet and the brownies were fluffier and more cake like than regular, dense brownies. Plus, they had frosting on them and cherries in them and, well, all of those things made A.P.'s head explode. He couldn't really hide the pasta on his plate, but he successfully fibbed about the brownies. I left him a container with a bunch more brownies in it in the fridge. Then, I watched as I returned time after time to the container of brownies in the fridge. I kept asking him if he liked them and wanted one and he'd tell me he just kept forgetting about them. Finally, months later, he confessed he hadn't liked them. We laugh about it now, because he could have so easily gotten away with it had he just tossed the evidence, but he really did keep forgetting. Now, when A.P. says he likes something I've cooked or baked and I doubt his, shall we say sincerity, I will ask him if this is like the brownies. We always laugh and he will reassure me that no, if he didn't like it, he'd tell me now.
There are so many more jokes we have, some appropriate...some not. ; ) And we share them all the time. They're especially handy when we're in a room of strangers. The reality is that from the time we first started dating and making memories, we became a family and that's what happens when you become a family. You have jokes and sayings that only you understand. It's the nature and language of intimacy and when times are tough, it provides oh, so much comfort.