About ten years ago, I was sitting in a friend’s room, waiting for her. My friend, whose room was so small that he can reach everything by hand from the center, asked me, “Are you serious about her?” I answered, “Definitely. You will see it in a year or two.” Here I am, in the ninth year of our happy marriage.

In one word, she is amazing.

In a sentence, she is a great lover and a wonderful mother.

In a paragraph, I find her excellence in almost anything. Having a mother who ran a successful Padangnese restaurant, I savor every meal she prepared. In fact, I cannot enjoy eating below her standard anymore. She is also an avid reader. She read more books than almost anyone I’ve ever met. That’s why I always enjoy a conversation with her brain, either before-during-or after savoring our meal. She also does crafts. I don’t understand most of them. I just buy her every tool she needs and watch the beauty of the results.

In a book, well, you’ll have to wait for my memoir.

Being together for nine years, I think I would know everything about her. Fortunately, to prove me wrong, three days ago, I learned something new about her. I have just confirmed her favorite color, which turns out to be purple. Also her favorite flowers are sunflower and calla lily.

We are very happy. We have a very strong connection. In a cellular phone term, a full bar. Prior to being proven wrong, I assume I would understand her without asking. Unfortunately, we both grow. We develop new details during the growth. In a software term, new features and bug fixes are inevitable. The only way to always understand her completely, is by asking her. Sadly, I stopped asking her. Well, not completely. I stopped asking her for small details.

Luckily, being apart for a year makes me realize something. While I am pursuing a Master degree in the United States and she is taking care of our three wonderful children in Indonesia, we did less romantic things. Romantically speaking, our relationship transforms into routine obligations. We were very busy. Don’t get me wrong, we are still happy. However, I realize that long distance marriage with less romantic supplies is unbearable at some point. I decided to take an action. Something romantic that I have never done to her. I googled flower delivery service in Indonesia that can accept payment from the United States. I ordered one.


It was delivered three days ago. I asked her if she like the flower. She said, “Not much.” I asked why. She asked me back, “Do you know what is my favorite color? My favorite flower?” I tried to answer rationally. I answered her favorite color six times wrong. Then I took a deep breath, searching for the answer with my heart. And I found the correct answer, purple. I recalled her saying it a long time ago. Purple, with equal components of red and blue.

For the favorite flower, I asked her to provide multiple choices. I thought it would make it easier for me. She gave me three choices: rose, tulip, or sunflower. I took another deep breath. I closed my eyes. I remember she planted a lot of sunflowers while we were living in Kepulauan Selayar. She wrote a short story about sunflower. I answered nervously, “Sunflower?” She said, “You just got lucky.” She added that she does not like roses because their structure is too complex. She likes sunflowers because they look cheerful. She likes calla lily because of its simplicity and elegance. Well, then, the flowers I sent her was fifty percent correct.

I am truly sorry, Honey. I’ll give you sunflowers next time. To further confirm, I asked her again, “Well then, would you like purple sunflowers?” She answered, “I love purple, I love sunflowers, but I’ll hate purple sunflowers.”

For those of you reading this, don’t stop asking and paying attention at small details. I assure you that it will be worth it. We continue asking each other in details. About everything. I mean ‘everything’. Within the answers, we knew that we’ve just found the right ingredient for greater happiness.