Practicality is the death of romance.
I have always joked that my husband is the most unromantic bipedal mammal currently roaming the planet. Seriously, he gave me dish towels for a Valentine’s Day present. Did I mention that this was when we were d-a-t-i-n-g? Way to really bring it in the courtship department. In his defense, the dish towels did have little hearts on them and I do enjoy a clean kitchen. But now thinking back over all the years we’ve been together, I’m going to admit that, perhaps, I’ve been the slayer of all romantic flourishes. The one who takes Cupid’s little arrow and snaps it in two.
I can’t be the only woman who has gotten upset when her spouse drops a chunk of cash on flowers for Valentine’s Day. I remember back when we had our first baby and my husband bought a $50 bouquet and all I could think about was the Huggies diapers we could have bought with that money. Slowly, over the years, I fear I’ve molded (some might say scared) him into being a less-than ardent-purveyor of all things smoochie sweet.
It might have started back in the late ’90s when I declared Valentine’s Day an overpriced, overrated occasion and suggested we play it smart and celebrate it a week later on Feb. 21. I called it “Valentine’s Day observed.” Talk about a cost savings. You’ve got your cards and candy at 50 percent off or more and flowers are back to their pre-Feb. 14 prices.
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In fact, a lifelong dream of mine has been to celebrate Christmas on New Year’s Eve. Sure, you go ahead and do the religious stuff on on the 25th, but save the gifts for a week later.
Can you imagine the savings from shopping the after-Christmas sales? I’m getting excited just thinking about it. Too bad my family won’t support me in making this a reality. Every time I bring it up all I get is the “But it wouldn’t seem like Christmas” whine. Maybe not, but imagine how great New Year’s Eve would be.
Besides my frugal nature functioning as a love connection wet blanket, my theory that the more romantic the man the less I would trust him also has probably served as a lovey dovey killjoy.
Work with me on this, ladies. Let’s be honest and think of all the men we know who are/were kings of the grand romantic gesture. These are the guys who concoct costly, show-stopping shows of affection for their significant others, usually in front of an audience. Now, let’s analyze their behavior using my “go to” for most things in life: The Rotary Four-Way Test.
Is it true? Yes and no. I’ll be kind and say I’m sure the guy making what amounts to a scene to prove his undying love is possibly smitten with his lady love. Yet, the fact that by causing a scene he is focusing all the attention on himself makes me leery of his real motives. (Think Ted Bundy. He was quite the Lance Romance.)
Is it fair to all concerned? No. Because in a lot of cases the huge show of devotion is more about the guy and his “look at me” disorder than the girl he professes to love.
Will it build goodwill and friendship? No, most especially if you debut your love spectacle in an office environment, thus creating an undercurrent of seething jealousy among the females and undying disgust from all the guys in the office for making them look bad.
Will it be beneficial to all concerned? No. (See all of the above.)
I think I’ve now more than proved that Mr. Romance might be all show, and even worse, it’s always all about him. Or much, much, worse, he’s using his larger-than-life show of affection to distract from the real defects in the relationship. That’s why for me relationship math goes something like this: Three dozen roses = Your special someone is hiding something. Think what you will about this equation, but I, at least, know it’s easier to understand than Common Core.
The problem is that real, day-in and day-out romance is not very, well, romantic, but it does make you feel loved. What wife hasn’t felt a surge of passion when her husband unloads the dishwasher and sweeps the kitchen floor? Am I the only one swooning right now? Or gets the tires rotated on your car AND takes the kids with him so you can be blissfully alone.
So maybe practicality doesn’t kill romance. Maybe romance changes and while flowers are nice, having your sweetheart drive the Saturday 7 a.m. soccer carpool is even better.