Roy Exum: A Man’s Candid View Of Love

Wednesday, October 2, 2013 - by Roy Exum
Roy Exum
Roy Exum

This will sound pretty silly to some but during my morning reading the other day, I came across a short letter from a father to his sons that struck a tender nerve in me. Larry Carlat, blogging on a great site called “Purple Clover” that I like, wrote “A Love Letter to My Sons.” In doing so, he makes it clear the letter is “about stuff nobody ever took the time to tell me about and I wish somebody had.”

Oh, lordy, I wish somebody had taken the time to tell me about it, too. Understand, I am now in my mid-60s and still haven’t the foggiest clue. You see, Larry tries to tell his boys about love. He seems to struggle, which I deeply appreciate. Anybody can look back on my life and plainly see I have had darn little success with it.

Obviously there are different types and sizes of love. I read somewhere else last week that a little girl asked her older brother about love as they were walking home from school and her brother summed it up pretty nicely, “Love is allowing you to steal candy from my backpack,” he grinned, “and always leaving it in the same place instead of trying to hide it somewhere you can’t find it.”

No, this is more than that. It is about having the ability to love a woman. And while I suspect Larry might have let one or two women that he once cherished get away from him like I have, his letter made all the sense in the world to me. Here is what Larry Carlat wrote to his boys:

* * *

Dear Rob and Zach,

I think it’s finally time for us to have “the talk.”

I don't mean the sex talk that we had when you guys were teenagers, which was basically a friendly reminder to just keep the thing covered, and I don’t remember any more than that because the awkwardness of it traumatized me almost as much as it traumatized you, and also at the time, you were probably having more sex than I was anyway, so who was I to talk?

This talk is more important, since you guys are older and I am older (great for you, not as great for me) and it’s about the most important thing in life. I know it’s gonna sound incredibly corny, but indulge me on this because I know someday you’ll also think it’s important. Nobody ever took the time to tell me about this stuff and I wish somebody had, although it’s unlikely I would’ve listened, just like it’s unlikely that you guys will listen to me now.

It’s about love (Ew!). And I know you guys have already experienced a taste of it, which puts you far ahead of where I was at your age, but my guess is there may be some things you don’t know about it, as there are still some things I don’t know and may never know. That’s just a disadvantage of being a dude.

The first thing is simple. Don’t ever take love for granted. It doesn’t happen too often, so when it does come around, treat it the way you would treat the most precious thing you own, whatever that is. This won’t be difficult in the beginning because this is all you will naturally want to do, but over time, other things like work and life can get in the way. So what I’m saying is — don’t let it.

The second thing is also simple. When you find someone you love, tell her! Don’t be a typical jerk who doesn’t express his emotions and keeps everything bottled up inside and only says the L-word badly, scrawled inside of a birthday card or in response to when it’s said to you. Say the word every day and before you go to sleep at night. Most times, you’ll mean it from the bottom of your heart. Sometimes you’ll say it and won’t be able to feel it as deeply, but say it anyway. Say it, say it, say it.

The third thing is as simple as the first two. Let love breathe. When you find someone you love and who loves you, don’t hold on too tightly. You’ll need to figure out when to hold on and when to let go and the best advice I can give you here is to hold on when you think you should let go and let go when you think you should hold on. I wish I could tell you why this works, but I don’t know why myself and it’s really not that important, the why.

What’s important is that all these things about love are so simple and obvious yet also complicated and ambiguous. The main reason I’m writing this to you is because I want you to have more love in your life than I’ve had in mine because you are my most precious things.

And I know this all sounds so dad-like and corny but there it is.

Love,

Dad

* * *

I don’t know exactly why but Larry’s Carlat’s letter to his sons about love is absolutely spectacular.

royexum@aol.com


Discrepancies About The Power Uprate At Browns Ferry

Some facts regarding the power uprate at Browns Ferry to share with the Scottsboro Environmental group opposing the uprate:  1.  The reactor does not run at a higher temperature due to the uprate.  There is simply more flow of feedwater, thus more steam.  So the concern about higher temperatures is unwarranted.   2.  The change in the fuel was ... (click for more)

We Lost A Great Broadcaster In Jack Hatcher

This past week we lost another great broadcaster, Jack Wright Hatcher Sr.   I worked with Jack in the 60’s and 70’s.   Jack always would tell you what he thought.   Most of his thoughts were very conservative.   He was a trivia expert.   He could tell you just about any hit record from the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s.   He also knew who starred in ... (click for more)

Saw Mill Fire In Lookout Valley Causes $185,000 In Damages

A saw mill fire in Lookout Valley on Sunday morning caused $185,000 in damage. At approximately 7:45 a.m. , calls began coming in to Hamilton County 911 about a fire in a saw mill located at 3510 Pan Gap Circle in Lookout Valley. Smoke could be seen from downtown Chattanooga when firefighters from Station One on Main Street began to respond.   ... (click for more)

Michael Wilson Back In Bradley County; Due In Court On Monday

Michael Wilson is back in Bradley County, and was escorted into the Correctional Facility around 8:15 p.m. Wilson’s first appearance in court will be on Monday, at 9 a.m. in the Bradley County General Sessions Courtroom at the Judicial Complex at 2290 Blythe Ave. Wilson was arrested last week, after e ndangered Bradley County child Skyla Wilson was found safe in Colorado ... (click for more)

Unbeaten Baylor Volleyball Sweeps Three Region Foes

The Baylor Lady Red Raider volleyball team made a successful trip to Nashville this weekend where they remained unbeaten after 14 matches with wins over three region foes. Friday's match had Baylor sweeping Pope John Paul II by scores of 25-5, 25-10 and 25-11 before sweeping Ensworth and Father Ryan on Saturday.  Scores in the first match were 25-15, 25-12 and 25-5 while ... (click for more)

GPS Splits Matches With Father Ryan, Pope John Paul

Girls Preparatory School split two Division II-AA volleyball matches on Saturday, losing to Father Ryan, 3-2, and beating Pope John Paul II, 3-0. Reagan Long posted 25 combined kills in the two matches. Emma Moore had 45 assists and Preslee Brooksbank added 21 digs. The Bruisers now have a 9-4 record. Match 1 Father Ryan 3, GPS 2 Set Scores: 25-13, ... (click for more)