Cold feet

Seven or eight years ago, on a nippy night in November or December, I stood in the parking lot outside my apartment with The Happy Just-Friend. We used to stand in that parking lot quite a bit, usually at night and regardless of the weather, because I would always walk her to her car at the end of her near-daily visits and it always took us a while to get around to saying good-bye. At those times, we would stand under the stars of the big Texas sky and talk (at that point, yes, we actually did spend all of our good-bye time talking) about anything and everything to delay her leaving. This particular night, we had a conversation about marriage.

She spoke of things she wanted in a husband. I don’t remember what they were. I spoke of things I wanted in a wife. I do remember one of the things I said: “I’ve always wanted a wife who would let me warm my feet on her legs in the winter.” (That was on my mind because my feet were cold at the time, their constant state whenever the temperature drops below 60.) So my best Just-Friend looked at me and said, “I would do that.” It didn’t faze me. I nodded my head, gave her a hug, and said good-night to the fabulous young woman who was just my friend. I really was an ignorant clod.

Anyway, years later The Happy Just-Friend became Mrs. Happy, and she had to make good on her promise. She regretted ever having made it. My feet actually form a more accurate gauge of outside temperatures than inside. In other words, if the temperature in our bedroom holds steady at 70 degrees while snow falls outside, the skin temperature on Mrs. Happy’s legs stays somewhere between room temperature and her overall body temperature whereas my feet feel more like the snow. Her legs serve as the perfect heating device for my feet, though, and however much she may dislike my popsicle toes I believe she cherishes the opportunity to warm them.

My hands get pretty cold, too, but I don’t have to wait for bedtime to warm them on her back. Every time I do that, she grits her teeth and scrunches her face until my frigid hands make contact with her warm skin, and then she reacts with fairly violent spasms, playful slaps, and finally laughter. Sometimes her hands get cold and she does the same thing to me, and it’s just as fun. Please forgive my sappiness, but I love her.

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