Frugal Weirdos In Love

crispydoc Uncategorized 9 Comments

Until my late twenties, I possessed the naif’s distorted if highly romantic view of what love would be like as a firsthand experience. A couple of weeks ago, I experienced a sudden and unexpected surge of love at the most unlikely, least romantic moment I could have imagined. Following is the difference between the movie love I imagined in my youth and the mature love I’ve come to relish in middle age.

So Happy Together

One of the benefits of cutting back is that I now enjoy lunches at home with my wife on most weekdays while the kids are in school. These are not elaborate dates together, but simple moments where we check in and appreciate one another’s company. We talk about interesting articles we’ve read in the Times or the New Yorker, ideas we came across that challenged our assumptions, literature we’ve enjoyed – a routine that is at once mundane and beautiful.

The Apple Of My Eye

As lunch drew to a close this particular weekday, I sliced an enormous Fuji apple on a cutting board and we picked at the slices together until all that remained was the core.

As I brought some dishes up to the kitchen sink, my wife asked me not to throw out the core, since there was still plenty of apple to gnaw on before it ought to be discarded.

This was a woman who did not want to waste even a small amount of food that could still be enjoyed. I felt precisely the same way, and informed her that I planned to gnaw on the remnants as well. It was our Lady and The Tramp sharing the same pasta moment, and the fact that we felt so similarly underscored our connection.

It’s About More Than Sex

There are moments in life where love floods over you – during a spring hike in the months of new courtship, or on a beach at sunset on your honeymoon. These moments of “movie love” are rare and become less frequent over time.

Physical contact and intimacy remain important, but a sense of companionship gradually comes to complement touch. Being coupled provides the privileged experience of understanding someone’s dreams, vulnerabilities and world view up close and in great detail. When it works, it means you know what makes the other person tick.

This is an exhilarating feeling because to know someone, and to feel known in return, has turned out to be one of life’s great pleasures.

The Opposite of Lonely

Like finding a long-dead author who once captured your sentiments with precision or stumbling upon a blogger who is a misfit in the same way you are, it’s the opposite of lonely to find such a person.

The moments of love that bind you to a partner occur in mundane instants over something as unlikely as an apple core, when you recognize a kindred spirit or discover yet another way that you’ve grown together with your companion.

It’s a lifetime of seeing in black and white undergoing the sudden transformation to vision in vibrant color.

May those who have yet to experience it be fortunate enough to find it, and those who possess it be wise enough to savor it while it lasts.


Comments 9

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      Look For Zebras,

      I really like the mental imagery of “apple core moments.” Love is a gnawed, irregular surface that browns from exposure to the real world. Still, you’d be hard pressed to find better nourishment if you can look beyond the surface.

      Appreciate your stopping by,


  1. Happy for you guys!

    Just the other day we had a family conversation about how we choose partners. I used to think common interests were important. Now I realize it’s common values that matter. The rest is details.

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      Reassuring to know we are not the only ones who saddle our kids with overly serious family conversation topics! My daughter has perfected her eye-rolls for when I start to talk about how we make choices that differ from other families in our area, but so far we seem to be under her radar when we talk about values and relationships. In fact, with 5th grade girl drama in full bloom, she has grown more receptive to discussions of values and what constitutes a good friend more than ever before.

      Grateful to have you visiting from SE Asia!

  2. Awww. I absolute love reading this CD. You give hope that such love does indeed exist and transcends the silver screen.

    I really hope to join you in the ranks of such a relationship. That trumps any financial accolades one can have.

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      It’s a trade-off, but worth it. Let’s take the house as an example.

      I feel we have too much house, my wife is perfectly happy staying put, and our home over the years has had enough issues (floods, remodels) that she has a valid point in observing we won’t likely find a place more suited to our tastes.

      In those moments where I get impatient, where I feel like if we just agreed to downsize or ditch the house and reach our 33x super-safe multiple of expenses in one fell swoop life would be better financially with a lot fewer whatifs, I think to myself that my why for seeking secure fatFI is really to spend time doing fun things together with her.

      I often pose variants of this question to friends in social settings: Would you rather be right or married?

      In this case, to turn it on myself: Would I rather be securely fatFI or married? I choose married every time. So we stay in this house…



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