Let’s talk about this. First of all, I am not opposed to romance itself. I like flowers. I like being wined and dined. I need to stop eating candy, but I’ll never say no if you bring me it. If you give me jewelry, I wear it. Plus, I can pawn it if things go south with us.
I don’t like BIG romantic things – I watched Fifty Shades of Grey a few months ago and just thought: man, most guys who do stuff like this are trying too hard and suck in bed. That’s why Christian Grey pounced upon an innocent, an ingenue like Anastasia. Someone who would be impressed with all his fancy loot…someone who might not notice how damaged he was…someone who wouldn’t quickly deduce he didn’t know what the hell he was actually doing so he needed whips and chains to cover it up. I didn’t read the book because I couldn’t bear to do that to my inner Grammarian, but I noticed by the end of the movie she finally wised up. That’s what happens, all you romantic wooers who use things to cover up your inadequacies: even the most innocent and naive eventually wise up. I mean, I’d love a new Audi and to be flown in a Eurocopter to dinner on a private beach. Impressive. But I’m far less likely to be sarcastic with you and behind your back if you just show up with a cheap bottle of wine, a bouquet of handpicked wildflowers, and you REALLY, seriously, actually want to have a conversation and watch Netflix and literally, I mean NO pervy wink, chill with me. Because that means you’re interested in ME. (If I’m interested in you, please be interested in me. The inner real me, not my physical parts…which frankly, after 44 years of gravity and childbearing, aren’t that spectacular anyway.)
But more than romantic THINGS, I like actions. Because words. Words, words, words. I know all about these, I use them all the time. As a reader and a writer, I understand how to weave them into something exotic and intoxicating or something cruel and vicious. I know all about how words work. You know what I think means more than words? Actions. Follow up. Follow through. Consistency. Authenticity. So the only time you’re going to damage or lose my respect is when I notice you talk an awful lot but you never really follow through. You might win some chicks over with flowers and jewelry, and if you bring me these you will most definitely make me ooh and aah over you for a good while because I’m such a bad feminist. Until I start to notice: hmmm. That person told me this…but that’s not what’s happening. Or: hmmm. That person used to be like this…but now I guess he thinks he doesn’t have to work as hard. And then I sigh and start adding bricks to my wall. And I’ll be honest: I hate adding bricks to my wall. It’s exhausting, and I’m tired of infrastructure maintenance.
I don’t think I’d eat someone else’s fries as suggested in the meme, though. That’s kind of…I mean, there should be boundaries. Ditto on that cake – don’t leave extra cake lying around, particularly during PMS time. Sorry. And if I’m scared, I’d rather you just hold me and shush away my fears. Or laugh at me, depending on how ridiculous I’m being. I do like random texts and calls for no reason except to say: thinking about you. That’s spot on. But I’d rather you not laugh at my jokes if they’re lame. Don’t be a jerk, but be honest. I know 3/4 of my jokes are lame, and I always mess long ones up; it’s okay to give me a loving hug and compliment me for at least trying. And what? You need to put your favorite show on pause to listen to how my day went? Dude, that show better not even be ON…turn it off, hand me a glass of wine, and go: “It looks like you had a bad day. Tell me.” Because I don’t usually have the TV on, and if you walk in all exasperated, I’ll bring you a beer or a glass of wine or a scotch straight up and listen to you. And let’s not slow dance in the kitchen – mine is narrow and there are usually dishes in the sink. But living rooms are nice. And so is kissing in the rain.
But I like the GIST of what the meme says, is what I’m getting at. Material things don’t go with you in the end, but memories do (I like to believe). And memories stay with people you leave behind, and sometimes these are more comforting than all the tangible things you left behind. I don’t remember too many birthday or Christmas gifts my parents gave me; but I remember moments that happened. The last Halloween I spent with my dad (he dressed up as a cowboy and handed out candy)…Christmas and Thanksgiving dinners we had as a family…riding in the car on summer vacations, commiserating with my brother in the back over having to listen to one more Kenny Rogers song, certain our ears would start to bleed and we would die.
That’s all I wanted to say about that, just because I saw it and thought: god, I agree but why do these people keeping putting these inane things as examples in their memes? Sharing french fries and saving cake? THAT’S what you find romantic? How about long walks in the woods and picking ticks off your love. Or drinking pitchers of your Chosen One’s favorite cheap draft even though you think it tastes slightly of cow piss, and letting your sweetheart beat your ass at a game of pool in a hole in the wall dive bar. Or sitting through an entire 5 act existential play because your most desired loves live theater, and you know in return they’re more than going to make it up to you at home later because they’re sitting next to you fully aware of your love-martyrdom.
But maybe I’m just old and sarcastic now. I don’t have a whole bunch of time left to dick around…if I’m lucky I’m halfway done here. Don’t waste my time, yo.