Recent comments by presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann have stirred up the discussion about gay marriage once again. While speaking to a group of high school…
When I was growing up, I thought romance was about the chick-flick worthy moments in a relationship. I thought the guy who could produce the most moments like these would be marriage worthy. I remember the lists of date ideas for my future husband that I wrote in my diary:
- Drink coffee with me on the roof while watching a sunrise (Does this actually happen to people other than insomniacs and people in Levi Jean commercials?)
- Driving to nowhere with me
- Get out crayons and color in coloring books
- Drive around town pretending to be tourists taking pictures
- Recite poetry to each other
- Draw hearts around the city with sidewalk chalk
There are men that love putting on those kinds of productions and there are some women that love them. But the love of my life is not that kind of man and I am not that kind of woman.
Romance with my husband has manifested as connection and conversation and not so much in fairy tale anecdotes. One time at lunch before we were engaged, my husband imitated the zombie characters from the video game “Time Splitters”. It had me in stitches. Was this romantic in the tradition roses-and-chocolate sense? No, but it was hilarious, endearing, and it gave me a funny feeling inside my chest that meant I was becoming more and more attached to this guy.
It’s not the adorable sayings (“The spaces in between your fingers were meant for mine”) or the bouquets of flowers that keep beckoning me closer to the man I married; it’s the evenings when we rant back and forth about how “Inception” was snubbed at the Oscars. It’s the night I’m too tired to cook, so we make a Taco Bell run and he laughs at me between bites at the stupid things I did during the day. It’s when he buys a new CD he’s crazy about and gives me a track-by-track commentary.
While these moments are cute in their own right, they aren’t grand, traditionally romantic gestures. Grand gestures can be great, but what I learned is that despite what some married women whine about and what I learned as a teenager, love is not sustained on who remembers to buy you flowers the most. I have a friend who complained when her boyfriend didn’t hand-write her any letters even though she gave him a self-addressed stamped envelope. I didn’t understand at first because I know that my husband will probably never write me a letter. He just isn’t that kind of guy and that is perfectly okay with me. (Not to mention, me pushing him to become that kind of guy doesn’t add any value to our relationship.) But to my friend, the hand-written letters are a priority in her in the relationship and that’s okay too.
Romance is all about your expectations and what you find attractive in other people. Some people connect over debating the accuracy of the casting choices in Lord of the Rings ( … I may or may not know anyone like this), and some people prefer long walks on the beach at sunrise. A great example of this is in the TV show “30 Rock” when Liz Lemon finally finds a guy she connects with:
Carol: I’m not sorry you saw me cry. I’m an emotional guy. That’s actually not part of my personality. That’s just something that happens to people who change altitude more than four times a day.
Liz: Is that also why you got so mad watching the Giants game?
Carol: No. That was because why does Geico have three different spokespeople. They have the caveman, the gecko and then the stack of money with eyeballs.
Liz: And the fake Rod Sterling guy.
Carol: Oh my god, right! Thank you.
This is a very romantic moment for Liz because both her and Carol (played by Matt Damon) care about the same things. In a later episode Liz is seen with her boyfriend, Criss, at the hotdog cart he runs, shoving a coney smothered in mustard into her mouth. Does this sound like something straight out of “27 Dresses”? Of course not, but because Criss is running a hotdog business and Liz’s loves food, they have an instant connection that draws them to each other. Jack sees the two of them laughing and sees that despite Criss’ lack of pedigree and corporate attitude, he makes a good partner for Liz.
If you can’t fall in love with a guy because he won’t wake you up before dawn, drag you out of bed onto a chilly roof while balancing a thermos of coffee, that is your prerogative, but I need an every day uncomplicated steadiness. I want a no-gift, Pizza Hut pasta, Netflix movie kind of Valentine’s Day. I want a guy who refuses to use an alarm clock on vacations. I want to talk about what made the newest Star Wars movies bad. That’s exactly what I have, and that is why I find my husband so irresistible and so, so romantic.
Any guy can buy you chocolate and flowers. But when you both hate it when people order cereal at a restaurant and both want to see “Piranha 3D” on a Friday night despite how cheesy it is, you know it’s romance.
Photo credit: Flickr/ jtbrennan