Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other.
She was everything you say and more. She was the best of my heart for thirty years. She was the music heard faintly at the edge of sound.
In 1927, when he began his courtship of Dorothy Thompson, Sinclair Lewis followed her across Europe, all the way to Moscow. At Moscow Airport . . . the press was waiting to greet him. “What brought you to Russia?” Lewis was asked.
“Dorothy,” he said.
“We mean, what’s your business here?” the press persisted.
“Dorothy,” said Lewis.
“You misunderstand. What do you plan to see in Russia?”
“Dorothy,” said Lewis.
Your absence has gone through me like thread through a needle. Everything I do is stitched with its color.
A good relationship comes down to conversation and sex and good manners, I suppose. And if you can continue your conversation and your bawdiness and your good manners for more than ten years, then you’re doing awfully well. Conversation is the truest barometer in a relationship, and when you’re not moved to open your heart to your lover, something’s wrong that needs fixing. We all know that. And yet it’s a fabulous gift, true conversation. The world is full of cant and rote and reflexive chatter; good talk is pure gold, and it’s what lovers need from each other.
Love: the skillful audacity required to share an inner life.
So a relationship is a great gift, not because it makes us happy — it often doesn’t — but because any intimate relationship, if we view it as practice, is the clearest mirror we can find.
I love you no matter what you do, but do you have to do so much of it?
Often the difference between a successful marriage and a mediocre one consists of leaving about three or four things a day unsaid.
He didn’t say, Why had I gone. He didn’t say, When would I return. He didn’t ask anything about my plans, or tell me anything about him. Instead, when at last he spoke, Dennis said, “I’d be curious to know what you think marriage is. If the word marriage has any meaning for you?”
What an excellent question! It was elegant, succinct, dignified, painful, and utterly shaming — a beautiful response.
On the highway trucks blew past. I stood in a hot wind, clutching the receiver, trying, against daunting odds, to compose the felicitous answer his query deserved. Nothing would do. Not the intimidated child’s “I don’t know.” Not the political campaigner’s “I’m glad you asked.” Not the overextended adulterer’s “Please don’t question me now.” After a long, potentially fertile, but finally unproductive silence, I said, “I think when you and I got married, we felt we really loved each other.”
And canny Dennis said, “I ain’t talking about love.”
The heart of another is a dark forest, always, no matter how close it has been to one’s own.
In every marriage more than a week old, there are grounds for divorce. The trick is to find, and continue to find, grounds for marriage.
Nothing anybody tells you about marriage helps.
Free love? As if love is anything but free! Man has bought brains, but all the millions in the world have failed to buy love. Man has subdued bodies, but all the power on earth has been unable to subdue love. Man has conquered whole nations, but all his armies could not conquer love. Man has chained and fettered the spirit, but he has been utterly helpless before love. High on a throne, with all the splendor and pomp his gold can command, man is yet poor and desolate, if love passes him by. And if it stays, the poorest hovel is radiant with warmth, with life and color. Thus love has the magic power to make of a beggar a king. Yes, love is free; it can dwell in no other atmosphere.
I look down the tracks and see you coming — and out of the haze and mist your darling rumpled trousers are hurrying to me.