Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Genuine Romance

An advice columnist recently featured a letter from a 20-something gal whose live-in boyfriend never sent her flowers. She went on and on about how she begged him to be romantic by sending her flowers. She hinted repeatedly, and when that didn't work eventually worked her way up to saying that if he really loved her he would send her flowers. Gag. I wonder if her next step was to hold a gun to his head. Would she have been happy then? The advice person said, "if you want flowers, buy them yourself." Amen. And she went on to say that everyone has their own way of showing love or being romantic, but it might be not be a Hallmark ad.

So I thought I would write a few paragraphs here about what passes for romance in our household. Someone else might think how dull or boring or unimaginative we are, or that we should be doing this stuff anyway. But every time I hear boasts from friends that their husbands often bring them multiple giant bunches of flowers or pricey jewelry or that they dine at the Stephanie Inn ($$$$) regularly or whatever, I just smile and think how dull, boring and unimaginative that would be in my book.  \Sure it's nice and has its place, but there are endless ways to show feelings, and putting forth a healthy outlay of cash is not required.

My husband fixes my computer. On demand. Sometimes not on demand. I use it a lot for research and have a low tolerance for clunk. If I even so much as hint that there's a problem, he drops everything to wave his magic wand. Voila!  It is fixed.

He also writes programs just for me to do what I need done.

Recently the door to our deep freeze got left open and you know how that goes. You can't shut it again until you defrost it, and I had to go to work over in Troutdale for the day. I quickly unloaded it and set a pan of boiling water inside and left. I knew when I came home that I'd be scrubbing and chipping before re-loading it. But surprise, it was completely defrosted AND completely scrubbed out. Now that's romantic.

Occasional drives through the countryside are something I really enjoy and guess what: he does all the driving while I do all the looking. And we both are happy.

I've never had to mow a lawn, never had to clean the rain gutters (and believe me, that's a gooky job here in the PAC NW). If he's passing Winco he might call to see if we need any groceries. He makes the trips to the bread outlet for bargains. He takes Daniel on errands so I can have a few quiet minutes. Recently we had been discussing adding insulation to our attic by doing it ourselves; a month ago my husband declared the day had arrived, made the arrangements for materials and machinery, and we worked together that evening to get it done. We could have been sitting in a nice restaurant instead, or he could have brought me flowers, then sat down to watch sports on TV. But instead we had this fun time working together that won't be forgotten. Installing insulation can be romantic? I vote yes.

Perhaps I'll dine at the Stephanie Inn before I die. But being romantic revolves less around impressing the other person than from an attitude of "what can I do to make [the other person] happy?" I think at least one person in this household knows the answer to that question.


  1. I feel the same way about Jared. He isn't the type to tell me how he feels, he shows me. And I think that's what counts more. I have only seen Paisley to nurse the past 3 days because he has been taking her with him on errands all day so that I can nap and do homework. And If I hint at any "honey do" type of chore, it is done before I know it. I am happy to see that I married somebody similar to my dad!