Thursday, January 8, 2009

A Taste of Romance

My Heart and My Home

Years ago there was a song, What The World Needs Now Is Love, sweet love, that’s the only thing that there’s just too little of.

But is there really too little love? We’re bombarded from all sides with “love” in movies, television, advertising and books. We also probably hear those three little words, “I love you” several times a day from friends and family, so why aren’t we happy? Why do we sometimes feel that something is missing?

When I presented these questions to my husband of many, many years, he said that women are happy to have love, but he thinks that what they dream about having is romance. Brilliant man, my husband. He’s right, because romance is what we all dream of having in our lives.

Webster’s defines “romance” as a love story or an affair. Okay, that’s interesting, but then they define “romantic” as imaginative or appealing to one’s emotions. Ah, now there’s the difference. We’d be happy with the love story (not too sure about the affair, though) but what we’re really looking for is the person who can be imaginative and appeal to our emotions.

I would imagine if you polled 100 guys, asking them what they thought they needed to do to be considered romantic, I bet the majority would say something like taking his girl out to dinner or buying her flowers. Well, I haven’t turned down too many meals that I didn’t have to cook and clean up after, but there isn’t too much imagination required to drive to a restaurant and let the date choose her own entrée.

Wouldn’t you consider it romantic if your guy told you to stay seated and finish your coffee while he loaded the dishwasher for you? Well, if he’d never done it before and wasn’t expecting something in return later in the evening, I’d say he was appealing to his lady’s emotions. Maybe guys just don’t realize how easy it is to please most of us.

Here’s a quick peek into how easily we can be pleased. This is an excerpt from My Home and My Heart, my first attempt at writing back in 1998.

Sarah’s mind was already fast-forwarding to everything she needed to accomplish that day as she leaned over the table and picked up the breakfast dishes. Without a word, she turned her back on Thomas, leaving him to finish his coffee.

She had been mighty young when he had captured her heart with his strong, silent ways, but every now and then she wondered what she had seen all those years ago. Oh, he was a good man and a hard worker, but…

She was just wiping the counter when she heard the back door close, signaling that her husband of over ten years had left. She paused for a moment to watch him plod toward the barn while shrugging into a lightweight denim jacket that would soon be discarded when the sun rose higher in the sky. She waited, as she always did, until she saw the tractor heading out to the field. She could only hope that this year’s crop was better than the last. Times were hard, but spring always gave her hope.

Within minutes she heard the tractor returning. Had he forgotten something? Sarah craned her neck to see out the window, watching him stop the tractor near the backyard fence before climbing down and heading toward the house.

A cool breeze followed Thomas inside as he walked toward her, holding out a tiny, purple wild flower. Without a word, he leaned in to place a gentle kiss on lips slightly open in surprise before he turned and headed back outside.

As the tractor made a sweeping turn around the huge oak tree, Sarah stood in the middle of the kitchen, the tiny flower held between two work chafed fingers as tears slid down her face to drip off the edge of her jaw.

Now, I’d say that Thomas scored two for two, don’t you think? He was imaginative and he cut right to the heart of her emotions. (I’ve heard it said that you really have to watch those quiet ones)

When my husband read the draft of this blog post, he was silent for a moment (nothing unusual) before telling me that he had never known my reaction after he left me standing in the kitchen that day. You see, although the story was fiction, certain parts were taken from our everyday life. Personally, I think he’s just relieved that I don’t write erotica!

After thinking again about the words to the song, I’ve concluded that maybe there really isn’t enough love in the world, or maybe the problem is that we’re so busy wanting someone to show their love to us that we don’t show our love for them. The interesting thing about love is that if we do unto others like we want them to do unto us, then that just might solve the whole problem. So I challenge each of you today to be creative and have some fun doing something out of the ordinary for that special person in your life.

Are you willing to share the most romantic thing anyone has ever done for you? Don’t forget, ladies can be (and should be) romantic also, so maybe you’d like to share something romantic you’ve done for your special sweetie.


Debbie Kaufman said...

My dear one struggles with the fact that I didn't come with instructions! The ways he shows his love doesn't involve any grand gestures. Instead, it's the daily things he does. Like the foot rubs when we watch tv together or the times he fixes me a cup of tea. Its working in a cold garage to fix my car or being the one to go out at night, without complaint, to pick up a child just because I ask. Yes, I still remember the first time he bought me roses or jewelry. But, it's really the constant caring that does it for me.

Tami Brothers said...

Love the post, Sandy. Very touching.

My hubby doesn't give the candy or jewelry. Like Debbie, I too remember those moments pretty well. What he does do is pick up around the house, cook meals when I'm busy and when I'm not, take care of my son. He also does a really nice job of just listening.

I know this sounds like something they all should do. But come on... It doesn't happen with them all and I just love the idea that I was lucky enough to get someone who does...

Have a great day everyone!!!


Sandy Elzie said...

Hi Debbie and Tammy,
Yes, I was a lucky one also, as you can tell by my post. I think one of my favorite things is that he's willing to sit down and watch a chick flick with me or sit in the bath tub and talk for an hour or two. It's the little things that get them all the bonus points.

Tammy Schubert said...


I agree with Tami and Debbie. I'd rather have a husband who shows me he loves me rather than just say the words. For instance, my hubby cooks and helps around the house. He is very attentive. That's love.

J Perry Stone said...

Oh my God, Sandy! That's was so beautiful ... and the best way to start my day. Truly.

As for my most romantic thing:
My husband is cut from the same cloth as yours (and Thomas).

My husband came to this country at a young age and worked in restaurants to survive. After college, I got a job in a popular restaurant where my DH was a bartender.

As many restaurant workers know, you work holidays. My dh hadn't had a New Year's off in ten years, but that year was different.

I, however, had to work.

We had just started talking. He asked me to go out with him for our first date after my shift was over. After a history of lackluster New Year's celebrations, he said he wanted to show me that they could be something special.

When I got to work that night, I saw him, in uniform, standing behind the bar.

He'd picked up a shift so he could be with me.

Our marriage has been a series of such gestures. Being thoughtful and putting a loved one first doesn't mean diamonds; it just means effort.

It means purple wild flowers and picked up shifts.

CiCi Barnes said...

Ah, love sweet love. Sandy, your hubby sounds like a winner.

My hubby washes my car before I head out to a GRW meeting. He doesn't want my fellow writers to think he allows dirty cars. He also checks the oil and tires, making sure I won't have any problems in that area on my drive in. Then he tells me to call him when I get there. Don't you just love it?

After Christmas, we headed to Orlando with two other couples for the Dawgs' bowl game. After I had graced the entire stadium with one of my cheers on jet plane decibals, he says, "I'm the luckiest man in the world to have a woman who likes what I like and isn't afraid to show it." Then he grabbed me in a big bear hug. I love that man!

On the flip side, I fix his meals - he can't boil water - wash his clothes, pay the bills, clean the house, and follow him to all his music events, sitting patiently while he does his thing. He takes this all in stride, and says the best thing he likes about me, "You don't nag me." I'm sure to the male species that's probably the most romantic thing there is.


Sandy Elzie said...


Sounds like you have a great guy and all you have to do to make him happy is not nag? Piece of cake!

Yes, my husband also allows me the great privilege of shopping, cooking and doing the bills, but it's worth it.

He recently learned how many scoops of coffee grounds it takes to make a pot of coffee. At least he has remained teachable!

CiCi Barnes said...

Ah, yes, the teachable man. The trick is not to let him know you're guiding him in the way you want him to go. Let him think it's his idea.


J Perry Stone said...

CiCi, that reminds me of that quote from my Big Fat Greek Wedding:

"The husband is the head, but the wife is the neck ... and she can turn the head any way she wants."

Sandy Elzie said...

I loved that movie and that statement is very true. In fact, I saw my granddaughter exercising her neck with her grandfather at a very young age...or was it her little finger? Regardless, her grandfather would walk over hot coals for her and all she has to do is smile.

Walt Mussell said...

There is one problem with the men loading the dishwasher mention (besides the fact that no man, even after being taught, really understands how to properly load a dishwahser) is that if you do it once, it's romantic. If you d it twice, it's appreciated. On the third time, though, it's expected and you're in the doghouse if you don't afterwards. ;-)

Sandy Elzie said...

Walt, don't tell me that you're starting to understand women! No, all joking aside, I, for one, appreciate it every time my husband does something for me, I just don't always tell him. Since retirement (almost 3 years), I've been trying to improve in that area since I kicked up the writing habit to a new level and truly appreciate it when he makes the coffee in the morning while I make the bed or when he loads the dishwasher while I put away leftovers. Marriage should be AT LEAST 50/50, but we all love it when our special person finds a new and tender way to say (or be shown) that we're loved.

Maybe the key is to never do that special thing more than once? But then you'd be constantly trying to think up new ways to impress your sweetie. Guess it's your choice.

Thanks for the male take on the subject, it was interesting.

AliceAnderson said...

I think being romantic has a lot to do with being thoughtful, attentive, and considerate.

One of the commonalities in the women I know is that they're caretakers, they care for their loved ones. They make sure everyone is fed and happy. They anticipate people's needs.

If a man can anticipate his lady's needs, then he's a giant step closer to being romantic. If he's thoughtful, thinking of her, of what she might like or need, when he's not with her or before she needs it... that's romance.

Romance isn't about flowers. It's not about diamonds or fancy dinners. It's a feeling. It's action. It's a footrub at the end of a really rotten day.