This post comes from a weekly memoir writing prompt provided by The Red Dress Club. This week’s RemembeRED asked us to write about Affection.
Merriam-Webster defines affection as a moderate feeling or emotion, a tender attachment.
It’s also described as a bodily condition, like a disease or malady.
Teen romance is more like a malady.
Some of my twenty-something relationships felt diseased.
It’s not like I didn’t have a good example of what healthy affection looked like, my parents courted each other every day of my life. They still do. But until you’ve actually felt it, tasted its emotional sweetness, you just don’t have a clue. Affection is merely two kids stealing kisses, rubbing bodies, in the back seat of their dad’s car. It’s touching hands at a club when you exchange phone numbers and ending every date as a sleep-over. It’s that hot and heavy ache mixed with a fear that if you don’t spend every waking hour with this person they might find someone else.
Until that one.
The one that holds open doors for you even after 10 years of marriage. Kisses your sleepy face goodbye every morning before they leave for work. Let’s you eat the last scoop of ice-cream. Ties your hair back on the 30th day of morning sickness. Still says you are beautiful after a week in the hospital with no shower and a catheter. Doesn’t laugh when you completely humiliate yourself. Hugs you after you’ve just yelled at them for no reason other than having an incredibly bad day. Randomly kisses the back of your neck while you are washing the dishes. Touches you whenever they walk past you in the house. Has pictures of you all over their desk at work. Holds your hand in the car. Slides their foot over in the middle of the night just so at least one part of your bodies are touching while you sleep.
Affection stops being about sex when you find the right one.
But amazingly, the sex becomes more inviting when you receive the right affection.