"Do you like your penguin?"

"Of course, honey." Sometime while he was on tour, Josh had told me over the phone that he had bought me a present. It's not unusual for him to come back from his travels with some little trinket. Then he told me he bought it at Office Max. Okay, that was a little more unusual. Turns out, it was a flash drive shaped like a penguin. To use it, you have to pop off the penguin's little rubber head.

"How could I not like a penguin flash drive?" I asked. I know that he worries sometimes about his gift-giving abilities. He seems to think that I am a difficult person to buy for. I've never had a problem finding things that I will like, so I'm not sure what his issue is.

"I dunno. I just wonder sometimes whether you feel appreciated."

"Is this something you worry about frequently or did it just occur to you?" Is this something that men worry about? Or is this one of those backward conversations that happen in a relationship where someone asks you if you feel a certain way, when really it's because they feel that way? Maybe I'm not doing a good job appreciating him?

"I dunno. I guess since you are so affectionate all the time, I wonder if I'm not holding up my end of it." Oh! It's because I am doing too good a job appreciating him. Well, he is right. I am terribly snuggly. Osmosis is a very effective form of love transfer.

"I guess not feeling appreciated is a common complaint in a long-term relationship."

I hated to break it to him, but all that snuggling is not just for his benefit. I wouldn't do it if I didn't enjoy it so much. Also, it's pretty much a two-person activity. If I was just holding on to him while he sat there like a log, I probably wouldn't do it very much. We feed off each other's affection.

Still, I thought it was sweet. Our relationship has ups and downs like everything, but we do alright. It's like he was looking for cracks, trying to head off problems before they get too big. He was actively looking for ways to be a better boyfriend. It made me want to snuggle him.

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