Dolly Merritt: Ways of showing love

According to the book "Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus," written by John Gray during the 1990s, males and females are as far apart psychologically as the planets are from each other. And most of us women - who, of course, talk about those differences - would agree.

For instance, my husband and I had only been married eight months when he handed me a Valentine's Day card - rather than having mailed it to me. In my mind, I believed it had been chosen hastily and I was disappointed. Of course, I let him know about it.


I suppose in his mind, he was baffled, thinking, "What difference does it make if I mail it or give it to her?" He never said what he was thinking, but ultimately wrote on the back of the card, "I am sorry I didn't mail it!"

Many valentines later, having gained some wisdom, I have a different appreciation for ways of showing love that I've not only experienced but have also observed through the acts of other husbands.

I've come to the conclusion that - though indeed men may express their emotional selves differently - I have witnessed their subtle expressions of love that are far more profound.

Here are some examples of what I think love is all about:

Love is a husband - of the Jewish faith - who spent hours preparing a Christmas feast for his wife and her family though it wasn't his holiday.

Love is giving his wife a stockpile of carefully chosen boots and gloves throughout the years for one practical purpose: to keep her warm and dry.

Love is a man - who never notices dust or dirt, which is an act of love in itself - telling his wife how good the house looks every time she cleans it.

Love is praising his spouse's cooking - even if it's ordinary - and thanking her for it, too.

Love is filling her gas tank when she doesn't even ask.

Love is taking her dog out in the middle of the night.

Love is letting her sleep in on Saturdays while he takes the kids to breakfast.

Love is still holding her hand in public after 50 years of marriage.

Love is sitting at his wife's hospital bed nine hours every day for a month while she is recuperating.

Love is taking his wife on a "dry run" drive to be sure she gets to her destination easily.


Love is driving her across a windy Bay Bridge - because she's uncomfortable - so she can attend her luncheon meeting.

Lastly, love is never having to say he's sorry, but doing it anyway.

With all of these observations and experiences, I want you Mars men to take note.

Remember, we Venus gals still enjoy romantic cards, dinners and bouquets of flowers on occasion.

The heart holiday is only 12 days away and you have plenty of time to mail a card.