How do I love thee…

“Do you love me?” asked my wife.



“I don’t know. I just do.”

“Not good enough.”

“Okay. Because… you always know what I’m going to say next.”


“And because you cut the top off your boiled egg instead of peeling it.”

“I knew you were going to say that.”

“Don’t be clever. And because you’re clever. And because you think vitamin C, echinacea, acidophilus and pawpaw cream will cure everything, including smallpox and amputations.”

“Go on…”

“Because you take the chipped breakfast plate and give me the good one; because you always give me the biggest slice of everything and because if there’s only one left you pretend you don’t want it.”

“Is that all?”

“No, of course not.”


“Er… because you have a good body.”

“I’m getting old. I am old!”

“Old wine has a good body. So does a vintage car.”

“Are you saying I’m a good ride!”

“Don’t be vulgar.”

“You were saying…”

“Because you’re a tease, and because your eyes shine. Because you call me husband and not your partner. Because you don’t smoke, drink Coke, or take drugs. And because you cry when you hear TV news stories of people in distress.

“Because you nag me to turn off the tap when I clean my teeth; because we laugh at the same things. Because you know life is not always a field of long grass in soft focus through which two happy people run hand in hand and smiling; because you know that sometimes it rains, and lightning strikes. Because you can sometimes be utterly unreasonable but you still grin and bear it. Well… bear it, anyway.”

“Why is it men think it’s only women who nag?”

“Because you never forget anything and you always think I’m getting at you, And because you make sweeping generalisations.”


“Because when Mildred next door comes over and says something bloody silly I can catch your eye and know you’re thinking Mildred just said something bloody silly. Because you pick up my dirty socks and underpants and shirt off the floor and put them in the washing.”

“I use tongs.”

“Because you’ve always got a smart answer. Because when I give you a present you are always surprised, always enthusiastic and always love it – even when you don’t.”

“But I always do!”

“And because you tell lies to save hurting me.”

“So do you. More than me.”

“Because you’re so bloody competitive. Because you have no affectations; because you don’t say ‘cool’ or ‘ciao’; because we can sit in coffee shops together and talk for hours instead of staring at the walls; because you’re straightforward and open and honest and because you’re beautiful. Anyway… why all the questions?”

“No reason. I just wanted to know. Give me a cuddle… lovely. Listen… you know how hard it is to get the car in the garage and how the doors need widening?”


“Well, not any more.”