What is romance?
I started thinking on this question with an email I received from a friend. She told me not to feed her romantic crap, but to just be honest with her (I’m paraphrasing here). I told her that if she wanted romance, she had come to the wrong place. This ain’t no Princess Bride zone.
As an aside, I have to say that I love the Princess Bride. The movie is freaking awesome and is one that I absolutely adore. I have the Princess Edition of The Princess Bride on DVD. So don’t be hatin’ on me – I love the movie!
So what is romance? Is it the “Maid in Manhattan,” “New in Town,” crap that Hollywood feeds us?
I would have to say an emphatic, HELL NO!
Real life doesn’t work like that. Life isn’t one, big Harlequin romance novel (although, I do escapist read those).
Let me break it down for you. In Hollywood/Harlequin the plots always go something like this:
Boy meets girl. Boy and girl fall in love. Boy and girl have disagreement/someone comes between them/someone kills someone (ok, I made that one up). Boy and girl resolve disagreement, etc., and come back together to live happily ever after.
You know I’m right.
But Hollywood/Harlequin doesn’t take into account pride, which is a damn strong emotion. They also never seem to take into account that maybe the woman didn’t want to be with him or didn’t need to be rescued. Or maybe she wanted to continue being a hooker.
Another aside – isn’t the last line in Pretty Woman the lamest thing ever? Here, let me refresh your memory:
She rescues him right back? Seriously? Ewwww…..
I have never understood women that want to be rescued. And getting to the rescued part? That’s a whole lot of drama that this mama don’t want.
Flowers, jewelry, things…..those aren’t romantic. To me, at least.
Another wise friend said that romance is individual. Each person has an idea of what romance is to them.
She’s right. In 16 years of marriage, my husband thought that I wanted the Hollywood/Harlequin version of romance. And then accused me of not being romantic.
That’s because he never bothered to figure out what I thought romantic is.
To me, romance is sharing your time. Not sitting on your computer playing computer games for hours. It’s watching a show together and talking about it, laughing about it. It’s asking about the other person’s day and then sharing observations or advice.
To me, romance is sharing the household chores. Something he never, ever did. Why in the world he thought I would want to be doing housework all day and then, when exhaustion had set in, have sex (which was mediocre at best) baffled me. He never got enough sex and I never got enough romance. And the house was always a mess.
To me, romance is telling someone they look good. Take a moment and see what I’m wearing today and offer up an opinion that makes me feel good about myself. As a housewife, I didn’t have much interaction with adults (especially in the summer). And the interaction I did have was with other housewives. It may not be right, but we don’t dress up for our men or ourselves. Where are we going wear that nice shirt? To clean the toilet? To the supermarket? Yeah, ok. So when I take the time to dress up, compliment me. Or, even if I didn’t, say my hair looks nice. Even if you’re lying.
To me, romance is NOT sexting. My husband was big on sending me sexts where he would say something to the effect of, “I want a blowjob.” Yeah, that’s gonna getcha whatcha want. I can’t tell you how many times I told him that that was a turnoff and to quit it. But he never listened.
To me, romance is NOT buying me expensive things. Don’t drop $500 on a freaking bracelet or ring. I don’t have anywhere to wear them. Buy something for the kids or the house. Not me. I don’t need that crap. It sits and never gets used. Why? See two entries above.
I know, some of you will say that communication is the key. I tried to communicate, but he never listened. He would say the same thing about me. I never listened. Maybe I didn’t. Maybe neither of us did.
I want a man that will listen to me. I want a man that says, “As you wish” and means “I love you.” Because he is listening to what I want and need. I don’t want someone to tell me what is romantic. I want him to understand that I already have a standard for romance.
I want a man that will surprise me on my birthday with a cake that he baked himself, something my husband never did in 16 years of marriage. (In fact, I’ve only gotten one cake from my husband. A cake he bought at Dairy Queen two years ago. I hate ice cream cake.)
I want a man that will do the dishes without being nagged because he ate off of them, too. Or will fold laundry, or clean the toilet, or run the vacuum.
I want a man that will talk and share with me. I don’t want a slave. I want a partner. I don’t want to be a slave. I want to be a partner. I don’t want to be a princess. I just want to be one half of a cohesive unit that works well together.
I want someone that says “As you wish,” and really means it.