I’m not sure how old I was when my fiancee gave me his army blanket. But I’m pretty sure it was fairly early on into the relationship (the first 5 years, give or take.)
He gave it to me in the hopes that it would keep me warm when he wasn’t there. When he handed it over, though, I wasn’t convinced. It was very light and raggedy looking. Nothing at all like its fluffy, thick cotton candy cousins I ordinarily called blankets.
It wasn’t until I wrapped it around myself later that day that I saw what a gift he had given me. It’s deceptively thin, but it insulates incredibly well. You have to generate your own heat for it to work, but once you do, there’s no getting rid of it. And best of all, when he first gave it to me, it smelled of him. Not in a gross gym sock way, but like clean laundry. Occasionally, when I was feeling generous, I would bring it to him, and he would spread it out over us like one of those huge colorful parachutes we had in elementary school. I was glad he didn’t ever ask for it back, even though I knew he missed it some days. I think he just knew I needed it. (And not just because I was cold.)
And now that we live together, the army blanket is on our bed. It warms us both. It covers us both. It has come back to him, but it stays with me.
And yeah sure, I probably would have given it back had we broken up or something. (Well, I would have put up a good fight for it because I do love it, but I definitely would have given it back…probably.) But we didn’t, and so we share it now.
Which I think is a perfect lesson about love. You quite literally get what you give. And if you wait long enough, what you give will return to you again.
I shudder to think (in more ways than one) what would have happened if he had been selfish and had kept it for himself, or had simply let me borrow it. But he didn’t; he gave it to me, with no expectation of getting it back. And there’s a lot to do with love in that, too.
All I know is that love can be smothering or lightly covering, but above all, it should warm you all the way through.