Friday, June 4, 2010

Oh, he's so romantic...

Romance. Usually, when we're little girls, we have some sort of fairy tale story in mind. Prince-like man comes rushing in, woos us, sweeps us off our feet, everything is just perfectly lovely, the wedding goes perfectly, and we all live happily ever after.

Men don't think like this. They're usually more rational. In fact, many of them simply want a woman who is like their mother- especially if they've had a particularly wonderful mother. My husband didn't want to be swept off his feet. He wasn't looking for singing birds and beautiful ballads. He dreamed of a wife that would take care of the home, prepare meals, be supportive and appreciative as he went off to work each day, and.. well, yanno- that other thing that happens in the bedroom (besides sleeping).

Pretty simple. Pretty rational. Except, not too long ago, I overheard a conversation. A young girl was expressing to her friend how "crazy" her boyfriend was.

"And he says, if we ever got married, he would really love for me to stay at home. He expects me to be the one to clean the house, make his meals, and raise the kids. All on my own! Can you believe it? I mean, this isn't the 50's anymore."

Her friend nodded in agreement, although, by the look on her face, I don't think her friend fully agreed at all.

It's interesting that women would think a man so crazy and irrational for desiring such a thing, yet we think it's perfectly rational to expect a man to regularly write us love notes and shower us with lovely gifts, especially on special occasions, but even better when it's an "every day" sort of day. We expect him to say the sweetest things, always be incredibly thoughtful and selfless, and never leave the toilet seat up.

And we think HE is being ridiculous?

Oh how many times I've heard a woman say, "Sigh, my husband just isn't the romantic type."

Newsflash- MOST men aren't the romantic type- at least, not as women view it. But most men do have a romantic side to them that often goes by unnoticed.

I know my husband's romantic deeds were often overlooked in the first years of our marriage.

My husband's version of romance is this:

- Feeding the kids breakfast and putting on a movie in the morning before he goes to work so I can sleep in.
- Doing chores I absolutely loathe, like cleaning the toilets, without being asked every now and then.
- Cleaning up that huge pile of dishes, especially after I've whipped together a big adventurous meal.
- Taking out the trash, so I don't have to deal with it. (And, this is his "household chore"... but he does it not because he has to, but because he loves me.)
- Saying, "Let's have pizza," when I don't feel like cooking.
- Giving me a shoulder massage when we settle into bed.
- Filling up my gas tank so I don't have to (or having the van's oil changed, etc).
- Stopping by the grocery store to grab milk, bread, or diapers because I forgot them or have run out.

When we truly look at all the "little things" our spouses do... we may be surprised to find they are rather romantic.

And, every now and then, we may wake up to find a sweet little note scribbled on the back of a piece of junk mail:


Or, maybe he comes home from work with flowers:


But, more likely, his romantic gestures will be something like:

- Saying yes to your request to buy these "super duper cute heels".
- Going out to a park, friend's house, or the beach even though he's tired from a hard week's work and would love to just sit at home and relax.
- Calming your fears when you "hear something" in the middle of the night and ask him to check it out.
- Sitting through a photo session and trying to not look bored, unhappy, or dull even though he's really tired of holding that pose and trying to get the kids to be still.
- Allowing you to have a dog, even though he really didn't want one.
- Overlooking the time you burned the toast... and supper... and somehow managed to mess up a dinner of canned pinto beans and cornbread.
- Listening to you ramble on about things he doesn't understand or might not really even care about.


So romance isn't always about love letters, roses, and surprise vacations... although those certainly are a nice treat.

But real romance consists of those every day things he does because he loves and appreciates you. So often, we take these things for granted because we feel our spouses should do these things anyway- but remember, our husbands feel there are things WE should do anyway (like make sure he has clean socks and underpants in his drawer), that we sometimes fail at. And there are little things he feels you should do that you don't think are all that important or necessary- even though they may mean a lot to him. (Like giving him a little quiet time when he walks in the door.)

All these fairy tales we've grown up with really feminize men. They act as if a man's only concern in life is his "one true love", when in reality, there are so many things that call for our husbands' attention. They act if men should just be totally smitten balls of goo who have no backbone. The prince is really a ninny.

If we want to find faults- we are sure to find plenty (but so will our spouses!). But, when we decide to alter our focus and begin spying out those little "notes of love" he leaves through simple words and deeds, we might find our spouse is incredibly romantic and loving. We've just never taken the time to notice!

What are some "unconventionally romantic" ways your spouse has "wooed" you?

4 comments:

Jeanette said...

Mandy,

I love this! You have a great gift with words!

The unexpected flowers after a long day are the sweetest. They mean more than the "birthday, anniversary" flowers.

I think the sweetest thing my husband did was bring home flowers not only for me, but for our daughter also.


Gotta love these men who go to work and slay dragons everyday for us. Makes me not mind one bit staying home to care for the wild ones and keep the house.

amy D said...

this is so true! thanks for this reminder. to be quite honest, i think 'chick flicks' have ruined our perceptions of men. we definitely need to take closer note of the little things, unconventional, as you said.
today my hubby packed my lunch cuz he had the day off work (which was sweet in itself) but then i noticed he sent the rest of the pita chips with me, which he had been ranting and raving about. he wanted me to have them because he thought they were so delicious. how sweet!
to add to the flowers thing...i've often said i'd rather have one little flower he picked on the side of the road than a bouquet of red roses. it's the thought that counts! *grin*
thanks again mandy, have a wonderful day!

Truefemininity said...

This was such a good reminder for me! I needed to hear this.

Kay said...

Ha ha my hubby says "Mmmwwwaahhh"! Too