"Do you love me?" I asked Better Half out of the blue when we were driving home from an evening out of a little of this and that, a little of here and there.
He looked over at me and made his husband face, one of those oh-no-here-we-go-again looks.
I guess menopause moods are as tough on husbands as they are on wives. One minute witchy woman, the next, weepy wife. Insecure weepy wife.
There was a pause, what seemed like a stretch of silence a way lot longer than the highway before us.
"Ohhhh, let me count the ways," Better Half finally responded to the inquiry with exaggerated cheerfulness, accustomed to these periodic pop quizzes I give.
I think of them as state-of-the-marital union reality checks.
Or quarterly reports.
There was more silence. A "man-o-pause," I suppose.
"Have you forgotten how to count?" I asked.
"I'm thinking, I'm thinking," came the pressured yet animated response as he drummed his chin with his fingers.
"What's to think about - you either do or you don't," I said matter of factly and a little annoyed.
"You're right," he said with a sense of confidence and finality.
"I do love you," he surrendered at last. Cupid's prisoner.
"Liar," I said.
Then some silence, all of 5 seconds.
"Do you love ME?" he asked.
Now it was my turn to look over at him and make my wife face, my version of the oh-no-here-we-go-again look.
There was a pause as I searched for the right words.
I took a deep breath.
"I guess," I shrugged my shoulders for emphasis.
We both started laughing.
Of course we love each other, we decided.
We finish each other's sentences.
We sense each other's moods the way dogs sense bad weather on the way.
We know each other's habits good and bad and still live under the same roof.
We have children and animals.
We grocery shop together without bloodshed at the check-out.
We respect each other's remote control ways.
We're peas and carrots.
We're two legs on an alligator.
And we have lots in common, and not just an appreciation for the daily Jumble in the newspaper.
We're always up for the challenge of a good pop quiz.
(Kiaski, a resident of Steubenville, is a staff columnist and features writer with the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times and community editor for the Herald-Star. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.)