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Thursday, February 12, 2015

THE VINEGAR CRUET: A Love Lesson (Happy Valentine's Day!)

A Love Lesson

It was a silly whim, really.

My wife and I used to play this game all the time in our early married years. She or I saw something at a garage sale or flea market that neither one of us could ever use, let alone be caught dead with. So she/I bought it for a birthday… or our anniversary… or any excuse for gift giving like, “have I told you lately that I love you?”

I once got her a two-foot tall ceramic monkey dressed in an Uncle Sam suit, red-white-and-blue top hat and all. Days later, I would see on my dresser, a small souvenir pillow with a fancily embroidered drawing and the words, “Niagara Falls… where the rivers gently flowing come to a crescendo of nature’s might.”

It was our inside joke… a goofy ‘thing’ that always brought us closer, made us laugh and enriched the bond between us.

That was then… when we were more in love with each other than our careers and before life’s distractions took their toll.  Sadly, the ‘surprise’ gifts got fewer and fewer… until there were none at all.  Who had the time any more? We kind of ‘forgot’ that we loved each other and often, acted accordingly.

Then, one day when I came home from work--late as usual—and there it was… a vinegar cruet that had lost its purpose many years ago.  I found it, with a small, hand- lettered card that said, “In case you forget, I LOVE YOU.”

We decided that if either of us took the stopper from the cruet and laid it across the top, that meant, “I need a hug. I need a kiss.” Once delivered, the stopper was put back into the cruet.

Funny thing is, the stopper was atop the cruet almost all the time… first by me… then her. It became our token of why we married in the first place… A reminder of what is really important.

My, how easily one forgets.

From that day forward, we stopped taking our lives together for granted. We started to dwell on the more important things like, ‘Gosh, how beautiful you look today’…’Can I help with the laundry?’…”Remember how we laughed so hard when I had toilet paper stuck to the heel of my shoe at a friend’s wedding… and I was the best man?’

That has been a number of years ago now… and I must say, THE BEST years ago.  Our marriage is richer than it ever was… and it gets better every day.

A friend asked us if we could ever live without our vinegar cruet that still sits on our bedroom dresser.  Of course! We know the cruet is just a reminder that took us back to a place and time we had forgotten.

That silly cruet and all that it represents is worth a million dollars in our hearts.  But we often wonder if there are others, like us, who forgot. Maybe they need the vinegar cruet now more than we do.

True happiness always wants to be shared.


I wrote this story six years ago and always loved it. 
Hope you do too.


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