Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Recipe for Romance

When you're a new wife, you analyze everything that your husband says and does and rate it on the Romantic Scale also known as the This Determines Where You Sleep Later Meter.

Some days he scores an 8 and some days he sleeps on the sofa. The trouble for the new husband, is that it takes him a while to figure out exactly what he is supposed to say and do, or not say and do in order to earn the required points and get a good night's sleep.

There are also some very critical moments and holidays which may weigh a little heavier in the scoring process, thereby providing the opportunity to either negatively or positively affect the romantic points total.

For example- The Birthday. First, let's assume that he remembers the birthday. (I have to say that mine always has.) If your husband gives you a gift that is not related to domestic duties (i.e., blender, vacuum cleaner, iron), he will score well. If the birthday gift comes in a small box and has a description involving carats, he will score even better.

On the other hand, if your husband completely forgets your birthday, deduct 100 points. He is in the negative and must work feverishly over the next 3-4 birthdays to make up for it. (Most likely this will involve a small box and carats.)

Then there is Valentine's Day, a holiday invented by a deranged hermit who may or may not be working for the greeting card companies. The hermit delights in the thought of newlywed couples fighting over the Romantic Scale and the fact that households across the country are forced into bankruptcy over the price of red roses.

Valentine's Day can tip the Romantic Scale. If your new husband is in the hole, he can score (or dig) his way out in just one day. The number of flowers correlates to the number of points. The mushiness of the card also directly correlates to the number of points, though it does not weigh as heavily as flowers.

Months and years go by. Anniversaries come and go. Sometimes you each score well on the Romantic Scale and sometimes you end up sleeping outside with the dog. Or you sleep outside and the dog gets the bed. Eventually, all of the points just don't matter anymore.

One day, you both wake up and look at each other and say,"Honey, you've got a little drool dried around your lips and you snored last night. Happy Birthday. Would you like to go out to dinner tonight or how about some pizza?"

I'm not saying the romance dies. It doesn't. At least, it doesn't have to. You just learn that romance means different things to different people. Romance wasn't invented by Hollywood and it doesn't come as a plush, red puppy holding a heart in its mouth and sold by Hallmark (with the purchase of three greeting cards.)

Romance is the little things.

Romance is respect for each other. It's the "thank you's" for doing the dishes or the laundry. It's taking care of each other when you're sick. Some days a frozen pizza for dinner is romantic. Some days you like roses. Others, you'll take a potted plant.

When your marriage matures and you grow in love with each other, romance can be in the everyday, ordinary tasks of life.

Like making a meal for the one you love.

Last night I made meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and green beans. It wasn't gourmet and it isn't necessarily my husband's favorite meal, but it was the kind of stick-to-your-ribs food that just fit the cold weather we're having. We ate dinner as a family. I helped our daughter start her bath and my husband did the dishes. It was an ordinary night.

Then, today I received one of the most romantic emails he has ever sent. He had taken some of the leftovers with him for his lunch at work. I guess he enjoyed it, because this was the email he sent-

"These are the best green beans I ever tasted."

That's it. No "I Love You, Sweetheart" or "You are the most beautiful woman I have ever seen." Nope. None of that. Just green beans.

I love roses. I love cards. But, an email about my cooking? Now that's romantic.

I give him a 10.



Nancy said...

So sweet!
This was a really well-written piece and so timely, here before Valentine's Day. In fact, I think it has inspired me to write my own...

Nancy said...

Here's my post about Valentine's.

Big Mama said...

I love this post, Melanie. I'm with you, a compliment on my cooking beats a Hallmark card any day of the week.

Cheryl said...

It's amazing how some men can be so non-traditional in there romanticism and yet it can be the sweetest thing.

I cooked meat loaf, mashed potatoes, green beans and corn last night. But it was for my son who had been requesting it for several days.

He did thank me and tell me how good it was though.

Chrissy said...

Speaking of romance, there's something brewing for Valentines Day...and you're invited!

Chrissy said...

Sorry that wasn't very clear - I'm a bit sleep deprived - there's a link on my blog about a special Valentine's Day celebration...

Linda said...

Oh, he's courtin' you! How sweet.

Roxanne said...

Ain't love grand?

Trista said...

Very well written piece. I agree. We will be married 5 years in May and the smaller things mean so much more to me now. Like when he comes home from work and I've spent all day cleaning (hard wood floors swept, swiffered, mopped...wood wiped down with pledge, etc) and after he does the usual kiss/heyhoney, how was your day/I love you...he says "Honey, the house looks good and smells good", I melt!

Tammy said...

I can't believe I'm just seeing this, Melanie! How did this one get by me? I LOVE IT! :D