This past Saturday, my wife offered to “put a smile” on my face. I eagerly accepted, and shortly thereafter was grinning from ear to ear after she went shoe shopping without me.

Lots of long-time couples implement a regular “date night,” as do we. We go out for dinner and a movie, and when we get home Carol gives me a quick hug, says she has to get up early for work the next day, and then closes the door before I can step inside.

When I tell my wife she is beautiful, her response is to tell me I need new glasses. But sometimes she’ll giggle and blush, and coyly suggest we go upstairs. On those occasions we slide into bed, I make my move, and her response is to tell me I need new glasses.

Experts say you should never go to bed mad. So far, the longest we’ve had to stay up was 37 hours.

I thought I’d surprise Carol the other day by stripping the bed, turning the mattress, washing and drying the sheets, and then remaking everything neatly, with even the pillows placed just-so. Much to my chagrin, she did not appreciate my effort at all. Perhaps it was because when I got underway she was still asleep.

After so many years together, we are fortunate to have all that we need, and there really aren’t any cards that express sentiments we haven’t already shared. Therefore, on our anniversary we now sit across from each other at the dining room table to hold hands and gaze into each other’s eyes. Whoever blinks first has to go pick up the pizza.

Carol asked me recently if I wanted to try something kinky; I readily agreed. She proceeded to tie my hands and feet to the bedposts, and then went downstairs to watch Ghost Whisperer reruns all afternoon without having to listen to me bitch about it.

Ever since our first days together, Carol and I have never felt limited to traditional, gender-based roles. If you drop by our house, you’re as likely to find me in the kitchen wearing an apron as you are to see the lawn being mowed by someone wearing a sports bra and leggings. Actually — that would also be me. Those things are just so damn comfortable.

I recently retired, while Carol continues to work since she enjoys her job. Therefore, I’ve taken on the primary responsibility for cooking and cleaning. She came home from work the other night and in short order told me the house was a mess and she didn’t like what I’d made for dinner. I replied if she wasn’t pleased, she could always live somewhere else. She got out the door so fast I’m pretty certain she must have had that suitcase already packed.

We don’t argue about the big stuff: we’re on the same side of the political fence; have good control of our finances; our son is grown and (largely) responsible for himself. And it’s silly to fight over the little things: how to fold the towels; which way the toilet paper should face; how spicy the chili should be. So, basically — it’s a race to see which one of us will be bored to death first… Maybe I’ll throw an extra jalapeño in the next batch to shake things up a little.

jalapeno