Love is a Ham Sandwich
It was almost 8 p.m. when he walked in the door after his meeting. I hugged and kissed him “hello.” I’m an affectionate person, always have been.
“Have you eaten?” I asked.
“Oh, I had a little something,” he said. I could tell that he was hungry, but he didn’t want to trouble me.
While he was changing out of his work clothes (he’s one of those rare ones who still dresses up for work), I took out the ham and the cheese and the mustard. I toasted the bread and melted the cheese and it maybe took ten minutes. I put a handful of chips next to the sandwich.
When he came back into the kitchen and saw the plate of food, he looked at me with such emotion. I wondered what I had missed.
“Nobody’s ever done this for me before.” Nobody had ever made him a sandwich? I wondered if that could be true. After all, he'd been married. Surely, there had been sandwiches.
And then he explained.
He had always been the caretaker in his relationships. He cooked, cleaned, did the grocery shopping, ran all the errands, paid the bills. All of it. And he did it willingly—happily—because that’s who he is.
I’m sure that a lot of relationships are like that, where one person is the giver and the other is the receiver. I’ve just never been in one. I guess I like a bit more balance. I’ll cook and you do the dishes. I’ll drop off the dry-cleaning and you pick it up. That sort of thing.
He ate slowly, telling me in earnest how delicious it was.
And he just looked at me, with that intense look. For him, it wasn’t just a sandwich. It was proof of love.