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MailTribune.com
  • Language of love

    Just a few simple words can help recapture that lovin' feeling
  • Have I told you my daughter is getting married? This is my 37-year-old daughter, for whom a career in corporate America was a singular focus for nearly a decade. This daughter, who always set a very high bar when considering future husbands, has found "Mr. Right," as her friends refer to him.
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  • Have I told you my daughter is getting married? This is my 37-year-old daughter, for whom a career in corporate America was a singular focus for nearly a decade. This daughter, who always set a very high bar when considering future husbands, has found "Mr. Right," as her friends refer to him.
    She is marrying a man of Hawaiian-Chinese-Filipino descent who makes her deliriously happy. (And, fortunately, we like him a lot, too.) I knew it was going to be the real thing when I learned they begin every day at 5 a.m. with an hour-long health club workout. This is the daughter who has never arisen that early — N.E.V.E.R.
    I was absolutely certain it was something special when I learned her fiancé takes my Jenna's fuzzy-faced pooch with him to his place of employment, so Koa (it means "brave" in Hawaiian) won't have to stay home alone during the week.
    Did I mention the wedding is going to be in Hawaii on Valentine's Day 2011? If you go to their wedding website (yes, they have one) it gives details you never thought you needed — but it also tells you how to donate to a favorite charity in lieu of a wedding gift.
    For about 30 minutes after they announced their engagement, we entertained the hope this happy couple would have their wedding in our backyard — a simple affair with local wines and day lilies in bloom. You can see how successful we were with that.
    At last count there will be seven bridesmaids (I'm not sure my husband knows, so I'm rather hoping he doesn't read this column). There is an entourage of nieces and nephews who will hand out leis, Hula of course (my daughter is taking lessons) and we will bury a pig.
    It has turned into such a grand and complicated event that I'm sometimes unsettled. But then I watch how this good-hearted, guitar-playing, storytelling man makes my daughter smile her big smile, and I sigh and marvel at how interesting life can be — and I feel the love.
    I share all this personal detail with a purpose and this question. Do you remember that feeling "… that lovin' feeling?
    Jenna and her husband-to-be are focused on their big Hawaiian wedding but also on loving feelings that last. Together they are immersed in reading Gary Chapman's "The Five Love Languages" (www.5lovelanguages.com). It was his idea — for which he gets additional points, of course.
    Any chance you've lost a little of your loving feeling?' Maybe just misplaced it? If so, the five languages of love might be a consideration. Perhaps even today you could practice a few words of affirmation. It may be as simple as "please" and "thank you." Or maybe you plan and actually have some quality time with your spouse or partner — or make an unexpected (affirming) call to an old friend. Gifts are a love language, too. They do not have to be expensive. What about acts of service? Just opening a door for another person — simple things like that.
    And then, of course, there's physical touch — that quick caress, a hug in greeting, the look-me-in-the eye handshake, and, oh yes, the big smile.
    Sharon Johnson is an associate professor in health and human sciences at Oregon State University and on the faculty of the OSU Extension. E-mail her at s.johnson@oregonstate.edu or call 541-776-7371, Ext. 210.
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