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Monday, April 14, 2014

Holding Hands

When you're walking together, or watching television, or standing in line at a movie theater...do you still hold hands with your mate?

I hope so, because that kind of casual yet intimate contact can be one of the most important parts of the glue that strengths a marriage, and ultimately holds a marriage together.

Holding hands is a gesture that says "I'm comfortable with you, I'm glad to be here with you. I want to be close."

I don't want to be separated from you.

And yet...so often when we'/re together, we're apart. A few years ago there was a cell-phone commercial (when 4g was the Big New Thing) that showed a family walking through a museum, ignoring the exhibits, each one sending texts.

And separate from one another.

There was something screamingly ironic there, celebrating the ability to reach out while emphasizing the way technology pushes us toward ignoring our immediate surroundings, and the people with whom we share them.

But it's not just technology that's to blame. For me, it's...books.

From early childhood, I escaped into books. I always had at least one paperback in my pocket, or a hardcover in my hand, because I really did not want to be with the people who were around me. I wanted out.

A necessity became a habit, and I simply felt more comfortable with paper people than with real people. If they were irritating - I had control, and could close the book, or pick up another.

It worked when I was single, and wanted to keep people at a distance anyway.

When I married, well, not so much.

But I've learned, and am learning. I still usually have a book in my hands...but when my wife walks into the room, I close it and listen. Okay, I hold my place with a finger.

Maybe one day I'll even put in a bookmark, and put it down.

What are you carrying that's preventing you from holding hands?


  1. Andrew ... you know this ... when my husband was in the service, he'd always say, "No PDA" ... public display of affection! Ha! I think when the girls came along, and we were carrying infant carriers, or the girls ... you just get out of the habit. We've been re-finding that sweet habit!

    1. Sorry, Shelli, the comment below was intended for you, and I placed it in the 'general comments' section. Oops.

  2. Ah, yes, the PDAs!

    It is hard, when the odds seem stacked against you and there seems to be little chance to hold hands. It makes the effort all the sweeter, though.

  3. I understand the thing about books. While I am an extrovert, when I have an emotional shock of some sort, I bury myself in a book. Every time. Great post.

    1. Thanks! Books really put my life into a different framework, and lend a perspective I would not want to lose. I don't know how people can be indifferent to reading.

  4. I'm so guilty of escaping through books, ha! And I do hold hands with my hubby, but I need to practice shutting the book to listen to him...ouch! Good advice, Andrew! Thanks.

    1. It can be hard to shut the book, but it's sometimes harder to change the train of thought. My wife is watching "The Voice", and I am reading Rick Atkinson's "The Day of Battle".

      It's very hard to transition from Monte Cassino to "who is Usher going to take to the live show".