When Butterflies Become Moths


I was at work this weekend when a customer and her daughter approached my counter. Her teenaged daughter was talking to her dad and handed her the phone.

“Okay. Okaaay!” she said with some aggravation. “We’ll be done soon. I’m checking out now.”

She hung up and apologized.

“Sorry about that.”

“That’s okay!” I replied and started ringing up her shoes. “What? Is he waiting outside or something?”

Her daughter shook her head.

“No,” the lady breathed. “He’s at home. He’s not even here!”

The three of us looked at each other with womanly exasperation. I decided to lighten the mood a bit further.

“You’re sighing now, but do you remember the days when your heart would skip a beat and you got butterflies when he called?”

“Yes,” she cackled wickedly. “Like 30 years ago!”

I caught a knowing, far-away look in her daughter’s eye. Here was someone who had just discovered ‘love’ (whatever that means when you’re 16). We all laughed, I thanked her for her business and wished her a good day.

But then it got me to thinking – When was the last time I got excited when my husband called? Gosh, it’s been years! In the early days of our relationship, (15 years ago – before cell phones and the wide spread availability of caller ID) an expected or unexpected call from my then-boyfriend would send me into hysterics. After my heart got out of my throat, I’d be able to engage in a semi-intelligent conversation. After we hung up, I couldn’t wait for him to call again so that we could repeat the whole process…never mind that I’d be seeing him in the cafeteria for lunch/dinner or on the waterfront after class.

(image source: college candy)

Now when he calls it’s “Hey babe. Yeah, I’d like a salad for dinner.”

When I told him about afore mentioned incident, he countered that we – or anybody at our level of relationship – could still get those butterflies. I don’t believe it though.  We’re too…familiar.

 If you’ve been married for 5+ years, do you think it’s possible to still get excited when your spouse calls you, even if it’s for the most mundane question? Like “Would you like broccoli or string beans for dinner tonight?”

Or have the moths kicked the colorful butterflies off the premises for good?