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Sudie Crouch: Learning my love language cleared up a few things
Nathan Dumlao, unsplash

My idea of romance is not exactly girlified. 

Sometimes, that can be a good thing, since my husband is not exactly the most romantic either with his idea of woo being telling me he scrubbed the toilet. 

Usually, it doesn’t bother me, but I have to admit there are a few times I wish things were a little more champagne and candlelight. 

Sudie Crouch
Have I mentioned this to him? 

Of course, I have. 

There’s been times I have wondered why he doesn’t seem to care about doing special things for me, then questioned if there’s something wrong with me. 

I’ve been envious of women bragging about how their husbands got them big boxes of chocolates, jewelry, and bouquets of roses even though I don’t care about any of those things. 

Why didn’t Lamar do more to show me he cared?

I complained about this once to the grand guru of relationships herself, Granny, and got smarted by her words. “Do you do anything nice for him?” 

“Yes,” I said defiantly. 

“Like what?” she demanded. 

“I cook and I let him live,” I said. 

She snorted. “Well, ain’t that nice. Did it ever occur to you that maybe he’d like something special?”

Truthfully, it hadn’t. I always thought Valentine’s Day was for women, a day where we’re supposed to receive gifts and be treated special. Yet, I hated all those commercial trappings. 

Despite loathing those things, I still wanted some kind of semblance of them, even though Lamar was not the best when it came to shopping. 

One year he totally forgot and I ended up with a bag of Hershey’s Nuggets and the next year it was a day late so he could get the candy 75 percent off.

Maybe I wasn’t giving him hints about what to get me or reminding him about Valentine’s Day. He always remembered my birthday though. Why was Valentine’s Day so difficult? Maybe it was my own fault because I would say it was a fake holiday and declared it silly. 

Something I had done years and years ago as a defense mechanism, so I wouldn’t be disappointed when I didn’t get anything wrapped in red foil or covered with hearts.

It was my own romantic failings at work, and not Lamar at all. 

It wasn’t until I discovered Gary Chapman’s Love Languages that I started to understand that maybe I wasn’t as romantically challenged as I thought. 

I took the quiz online — it’s quite easy to find with a quick search — and was surprised by the results. 

Turns out,  my primary love language was acts of service. 

Acts of service? What?

Gifts didn’t even get a portion of the pie, with zero percent. 

Words of affirmation and quality time fell in line after acts of service, two things that I definitely appreciate. 

Not exactly how I expected love to be expressed, but it did make sense. Gifts can often be unneeded and awkward. If someone gets you something you don’t want, it can make you feel like there is a subtle message behind the gift. 

I don’t really need stuff, and if it seems like it was more expensive than necessary, I never feel comfortable using it out of fear it will get broken. So the gift isn’t used but shoved in a drawer somewhere, out of sight and mind. 

And if it’s something I really want badly enough, I buy it myself.

Words of affirmation can be more of a gift than anything bought, and I have to admit, Lamar does a good job of making me feel appreciated most of the time. 

He encourages me — when I’m not being a horses’ behind about something — and is usually supportive no matter what crazy scheme I have cooked up.

Quality time is something that it seems like we never have enough of. There’s days that I feel like we seldom see each other even though our cabin is super tiny. 

Being able to even spend time watching a TV show together is rare, and then we usually disagree about what to watch. But those rare occasions we do, it’s nice, even if we’re just sitting in the same room together.

There’s so many ways to express — and receive — love that have nothing to do with candy hearts, roses, or jewelry. Most of those things don’t really matter, not to me anyway. 

Maybe, just maybe, my husband telling me he scrubbed the toilet is truly my love language after all. 

Sudie Crouch is an award-winning humor columnist residing in the North Georgia Mountains among the bears, deer, and possibly Sasquatch. You can connect with her on Facebook at Mama Said: A Collection of Wit, Humor, and Deep-Fried Wisdom. Her recently published book, ‘Mama Said: A Collection of Wit, Wisdom, and Deep-Fried Humor’ is available in paperback and Kindle download on Amazon.