April 29, 2009

Love and Affection Promote Romance

When talking to people who have been married a while, you often get the idea that all romantic notions went out the window shortly after the honeymoon ended. Yesterday, I laughed as I read Heather Kay's entry because it was so closely related to my topic for yesterday. Which I never got written. I was encouraged to know that other "old" married couples still have romance.

Sometimes, yes, couples do get comfortable and forget that they need to keep romance in the marriage. Just the same, I believe for many couples romance doesn't die after being married a while. We just view it differently. I will take my hypothesis one step further to say that a person's idea of romance is strongly tied to your current situation.

Don't get me wrong. My heart always did a flip flop when I heard his car in the driveway. But, when my Allen was first courting me, romance was the flowers he sent or the times he would show up on my door step carrying my favorite mint chocolate chip ice cream.

I lived in New Jersey for a time and my sweetheart would sometimes come to visit on the weekends. Those were sweet times together as we would walk the beach and grill fresh fish. We would spend hours standing in the driveway staring at each other and saying goodbye and that was romantic but... I was extremely broke and trying to get by on my own and romance was also in the gas money I would find in my billfold or the little bottle of perfume I loved but could never afford to buy for myself.

In our first apartment, when I worked nights and he went to college by day, little was more romantic than the notes written on the bottom of the grocery list detailing how he'd run a load of laundry and what type of toilet paper he'd chosen and why. Even more so, were the times he waited up for me and cooked us dinner in the middle of the night or wee hours of the morning.

As I was sharing with Heather Kay, when all my boys were babies and I slept about 3 hours a night and I didn't have time to take care of my self and eat the way I liked...romance to me was a glass of fresh pressed carrot juice while I was nursing a new born after those sleepless nights.

When we had our sixth baby, romance meant any time alone togehter. A walk in the park or sitting on the bench in the back yard after the kids went to bed.

When I was trying to lose weight, Romance was knowing I was loved by the endless supply of diet coke in the fridge and the times he kept me company while I was on the eliptical bike and on my evening walks...even though he hates exercise of any kind.

Romance to a diabetic was that Allen would read what seemed like thousands of labels and count carbs with me. My heart is warm and tingly when I remember the way he encouraged me and stood beside me when I had to learn how to inject insulin even though he gets light headed at the thought of needles.

This week, romance is a grocery list. Let me explain. Allen is often away from home for his work. I hate this. I have never kept that a secret.

Most of all, because I am lonely for my best friend.

Then there is the fact that I have to do the job of two.

And I get no break. I am on duty from 6 am until 10 pm. And night duty, too.

And our schedule is messed up.

And I can't sleep without him, so I am really tired.

And something ALWAYS goes majorly wrong. Like the time he was in Indonesia. Our van broke down on the Dulles Toll road. Ten miles from the nearest anything. It was 105 degrees. I had our then 2 little girls with me. I was 7 months pregnant. All in the days before cell phones.

So this week he planned a little suprise. Which is something in itself because my husband doesn't plan ANYTHING. I told you I love folding socks. I like almost all my homemaker duties. Apparently, a lot of people in blog world hate sorting socks. But the only chore that I absolutely hate is shopping. And grocery shopping more than all the other shopping combined.

Before he left, my romantic fellow carefully planned our meals for the time he was away. They were all easy to prepare with kid friendly dishes for them and a healthy alternative for me. Take tonight's menu for example. Chicken nuggets, broccoli and tater tots for the kids. Ceasar salad topped with organic chicken breast, hearts of palm, artichoke hearts and olives for me.

Romance this week is that he didn't stop at planning the menus. He went to Walmart and bought all the ingredients. He brought them home. He unpacked each item. He put them all away.

Romance this week, is in the little envelopes hidden around the house. One with a gift card to our favorite restaraunt for the night of my exam. Another with cash to take my daughter on a date to buy sandals. A gift basket of bath items to help me unwind and get a good night's sleep. Little ways to show he cares about what is going on in my life even when he is far away.

Now that is romance.


  1. Thank you for linking to me. (Sorry my email got there late)
    Your husband's thoughtfulness is awesome!
    Your salad sounds very delicious. I love the idea of the easy meals for the kids while he is out of town. When I know J is going to be too late for supper, I find myself uninspired to cook. This is a nice solution.

  2. This is so inspiring. It is so wonderful to see how romantic couples can be. I'm still a newlywed and we are so overwhelmed at times with his children that we find it hard sometimes to remember 'us'.