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


Send Your Opinions To Chattanoogan.com

We welcome your opinions at Chattanoogan.com. Email to news@chattanoogan.com . We require your real first and last name and contact information. There is no word limit, but if your article is too long you may lose your reader. Please focus more on issues than personal attacks. (click for more)

David Carroll: How About A Little Help For Officer Mark Garner?

I hope there’s someone in your life that you can say this about: “If I was stranded on the side of the road with an empty tank, I could call (enter name here) and he’d be here in no time!” Mark Garner is that person for me. I met Mark more than 20 years ago, in his early days as a DARE officer.  DARE stands for Drug Abuse Resistance Education, and has been in many schools ... (click for more)

Investigators Found Trail Of Blood, Beer Bottles Near Site Of Slaying Of Riverman

An investigator said a trail of blood and beer bottles was near where the lifeless body of 46-year-old Donald Rogers was found in an aluminum fishing boat on April 24, 2012. Detective Robin Langford said when he arrived at the site by boat docks off Johnson Road the body was still in the boat. He said the victim's head and arms were over the side of the boat. Chance Loftis, ... (click for more)

Man Stabbed In Domestic Dispute On Sunrise Lane Saturday Morning

A man was stabbed Saturday morning on Sunrise Lane.   At approximately  11:41  a.m., the Chattanooga Police Department responded to a reported stabbing at 309 Sunrise Lane.  Officers located a 45-year-old black male suffering from a non life-threatening stab wound. The victim was transported to a local hospital for his injury.   The ... (click for more)

Notre Dame Earns State Duals Berth With 45-33 Win

The Notre Dame wrestling team is peaking at the right time. It's been an up and down season for the Fighting Irish and for the first time all year, they have a full lineup. And now they can start making plans for next weekend's State Duals in Franklin after beating East Ridge for the second time in three days. The Irish beat East Ridge by eight points on Thursday night ... (click for more)

McCurdy's Clutch 3 Helps Bears Beat Blue Raiders, 65-62

(Story will be updated) CLEVELAND, Tenn. – First place in District 5-AAA was up for grabs Saturday when bitter rivals Cleveland and Bradley Central squared off at Jim Smiddy Arena. The Bearettes seized it. The Bears claimed it, too. Bradley Central, scoring eight points in the final 35.9 seconds, including Bradley McCurdy clutch 3-pointer, rallied past the Blue ... (click for more)