Love isn’t always something big and earth stopping. Sometimes it’s small and constant and comes in the shape of a little black dress.
On the long drive over to the coast for a week’s vacation, my husband and I pulled into a truck stop for breakfast.
“Where else can you still get liver and onions any time of day than in the ‘Liver and Onions Diner’?” and after breakfast, on the way to back out to the car, I spotted a bright red dress on display by the cash register.
“Oh, my God, David. Look at that cute dress!”
I went over to examine it further. Yep. It was my size, my cut and it was a gorgeous color of bright red.
It was made for me.
“Honey,” my husband said warily, glancing around at the gaudy, touristy, rhinestone entrusted purses, belts and cowboy hats with the word “Arizona” blazing across them, “Are you going to buy a dress in a truck stop?”
I paused for only a moment.
“No.” I said, taking the dress off the hanger.
He, and I and the cashier all laughed as David reached for his wallet.
The whole thing was so tender, so sweet and so dear that later that evening when we were sharing what the highlight of our day had been, I told him mine was him buying me a $24.00 red dress at the truck stop gift shop.
I am convinced that it’s the little moments. The ones in which we sit in bars laughing with the Scottish bartender while the roof leaks rain into buckets standing all around the floor. Or the pet names we give places such as the “Liver and Onions Truck Stop.” Or the other countless times that we are easily in tune with each other that connect us, not so much the big moments.
They are like the tiny knots in a thread that keep the whole piece from unraveling; more important sometimes, than the entire piece itself is.
A week later, as we started our drive home, I asked my husband if he remembered where I’d gotten my little red dress.
“Well, I wish I got that black one that was hanging right there next to it too,” I said.
“Does that mean you want to stop there on the way back?”
Of course, that’s what I meant—even though we’d earlier decided to take another route—would he mind? It was just such a cute dress, and it was so cheap. Didn’t he ever see something he really wanted, like a little black dress or something that he couldn’t forget? And before the ridiculous question was out of my mouth he said, well, no, actually, any little dress would do for him. Red. Black. It didn’t matter.
We were having a good time. We were driving down a straight, flat, boring highway through the middle of the desert and we were having a wonderful time enjoying each other’s company.
We were making knots in the thread. We were in tune with each other. I could feel it.
We drove past a Rest Area with a “Closed” sign in front of it and headed on towards the Liver and Onions truck stop. My husband joked about how maybe the truck stop was paying the State of Arizona to keep that Rest Area closed, but I wasn’t paying attention.
“I can’t wait to get my black dress,” I said, at which point he reached over and patted my leg.
“Honey. Have you thought that maybe….?
“It’s there,” I interrupted him confidently—despite the fact that I didn’t feel confident about it at all. “It’s there.”
It wasn’t there.
He went in with me, and I looked around, but I couldn’t find it.
I even asked the cashier and just before I left told David I wanted to look around one more time.
“To be sure.”
He followed me to the back of the store where I looked through some racks.
“I guess it’s not here,” I said. Sounding, quite honestly, like a forlorn 5-year-old little girl.
I turned to go, and that’s when the biggest highlight of the whole trip happened.
My husband came over to me and, right there in the middle of that Liver and Onions truck stop store, put both his arms around me and said two words in my ear.
They say that what comes from the heart, goes to the heart.
No doubt, that “Aw, honey,” of his went straight to my heart.
It was worth all the little black dresses in the world to me.
It was love.
Author: Carmelene Melanie Siani
Bio: Carmelene Melanie Siani is a 75 year old woman who began writing for publication on her 73rd birthday in 2015. She writes stories and vignettes about life and how life itself gives us the lessons, hopes and directions we need to put our feet on higher ground. You can find her writing at www.elephantjournal, kindnessblog.com, betterafter50.com, thetattooedbuddha.com and on her Facebook Writer’s Page, Storybelly.