Mari Katherine Raftopoulos: Complexity of simple words
I am settling in to my new life and routine in Denver.
I never realized how amazing it is to be a drive away instead of a phone call away.
The difference is significant. Because of my relocation to Colorado, I see my family often and can experience my favorite moments with them, instead of telling them about the experience on the phone.
This weekend, I introduced my family to my new life in Denver, and of course, the introduction started with my home.
I have learned in life without my mom that if you want an enthusiastic reaction, don’t look at a man.
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If you want excitement and repetitive reassurance, ask the women in your life, not the men.
Most women will tell you a million times that, “Your outfit is perfect,” or “Your haircut is not too short,” whereas men will just tell you once.
Which answer means more?
The unique beauty of a man’s words is that because they come in smaller numbers, we tend to hang on their every word.
When I introduced the boys to my house, I knew, after living with them this summer, that they weren’t going to jump up and down, scream and tell me a million times that, “My house was the cutest thing they had ever seen.”
So, when they nodded their heads and said, “This place is really cool and the TV is sick,” I knew that they felt comforted amongst the walls and warmth of our white little Victorian home.
Living with three men has taught me that oftentimes, less is more.
They have taught me that every void of silence does not need to be filled with chatter, that every minute of the day does not need to be filled with an activity, that beer is okay on a Monday afternoon, and that yes means yes, and no means no.
And most importantly, sometimes there is no deeper meaning.
With these lessons, I have learned the beauty of living life simply.
While I love the instantaneous confidence that comes from a new pair of heels, the final scenes of a romantic comedy, and a wonderful manicure and pedicure, at heart I am a guy’s girl. Maybe it’s because I was raised that way by my brothers and dad.
I’ll admit, I have never seen “The Wizard of Oz,” but I have seen every John Wayne movie out there and can quote a life lesson from each of them, thanks to my brothers and my country upbringing.
Maybe that’s the reason this weekend felt most fitting of my personality — three football games in three days, one high school, one college and one professional. This weekend was simple, consisting of minimal outfit choices, comfortable shoes and a reason to be loud and scream.
As the boys filed out of the house one by one to return home, we waved them goodbye from the front porch. I finally realized that I didn’t have to ask them for the hundredth time if they loved our house or my new city.
I realized that there are just some words you have to hang on to with men for reassurance.
“I hate leaving your house right now,” my little brother called out from the car window.
It was a simple comment for a simple moment.
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Editor’s note: This story was updated at 6:45 p.m. to include a response from the Bureau of Land Management’s national office.