I Take You for Granted — And That’s a Good Thing

I was not endowed by my Cre­ator with the inalien­able rights of life, lib­er­ty, the pur­suit of hap­pi­ness and a beau­ti­ful mis­tress to love and cher­ish me.

My Beau­ti­ful Mistress:

Last night we were talk­ing before we went to bed, and you asked me when I knew I want­ed to be with you forever.

I said I wasn’t sure; you asked why not. I said there were sev­er­al things involved: I’d been hurt and I was gun­shy; I want­ed to be smarter than Mr. Stu­pid­head and not rush into some­thing blind­ly; that I wasn’t sure if I was good rela­tion­ship mate­r­i­al; a few oth­er things. I can be mighty slow on the uptake but I final­ly fig­ured out that yes, I DO want to be with you and belong to you for­ev­er and ever.

You asked me if I ever felt that I wasn’t good enough for you or if I thought I didn’t deserve to be hap­py. I used to feel that way about five thou­sand per­cent, but thanks to you I’m learn­ing to grow out of that. But I do feel that way some­times still.

I went to sleep feel­ing smug. I, I thought to myself, am An Enlight­ened Male! I am too enlight­ened to take My Beau­ti­ful Mis­tress for grant­ed! You won’t catch THIS Enlight­ened Male for­get­ting Valentine’s Day or your birth­day! S‑M-R‑T SMRT, that’s me!

But I’ve been think­ing about it all day today and I real­ized I was wrong: I DO take you for grant­ed. And I should.

There’s a lit­tle game we play that I love: I say, “I love you!” and you say, “I love you too!” and I say, “I love you MORE!” and you say “Why?”

Then, depend­ing on my mood, I might tell you some­thing sil­ly: “Because I’m taller” or “Because you’re a lot more beau­ti­fuller than me!” If we’re out some­where togeth­er I often say, “Because I’m with the most beau­ti­ful and awe­some woman here and every oth­er guy here wish­es they were with you instead of me!”

But you know what the real answer is: Because you chose me. You could have any­one you want­ed, but you chose ME.

I try not to be a gram­mar Nazi, but dog­gone it, “grant­ed” means “to bestow,” “to accord as a favor,” “to give,” “to con­fer.” I know when peo­ple say “tak­en for grant­ed” it usu­al­ly means “Duh. I deserve it; it’s mine.”

But you are not just some thing I deserve. I was not endowed by my Cre­ator with the inalien­able rights of life, lib­er­ty, the pur­suit of hap­pi­ness and a beau­ti­ful mis­tress to love and cher­ish me. I didn’t buy you; I didn’t earn you; I did­n’t win you in a con­test. I didn’t hunt you down and catch you; you’re not some tro­phy I shot, stuffed and mount­ed on the wall. You’re a GIFT.

You patient­ly and kind­ly coaxed me out of my fear, and one day I gave you my heart. I often say you cap­tured it, and you did, but you cap­tured it by open­ing your hand and gen­tly, oh so gen­tly, wait­ing for me to real­ize I could trust you.

And I did, and I do. I was scared; I was afraid of being laughed at; I was afraid you would sud­den­ly wake up and say “What do I want with THIS loser?”

But you didn’t. Instead, you gave me YOUR heart.

No, wait — you just remind­ed me that you’d already giv­en me your heart and helped me stop being afraid to take it.

I have nev­er thought “Well, of course; I gave you mine, you give me yours. It’s only fair.”

No, no, a mil­lion time no. For me, it’s more like I gave you a crum­pled, torn, stained old piece of paper and you treat­ed it as if it was a win­ning lot­tery tick­et. Not just A win­ning tick­et — THE win­ning tick­et. I gave you noth­ing and you gave me everything.

And I take it for grant­ed. Because “grant­ed” means “gift­ed.” I will nev­er for­get it. I couldn’t if I tried.

You could have had any­one, any­one at all. But you chose me. Me!

And because you did, the worth­less, dirty, dam­aged, used-up old thing I gave you is blos­som­ing. It’s becom­ing new and beau­ti­ful. It’s alive again.

And all that hap­pened because you chose me. I belong to you; I trust you. I love you. I always will.