The message board for TARA members recently had a long, fascinating thread on all the romantic little things our husbands do to keep passion alive in our marriages.
I found myself going in the wrong direction with my contribution, saying lame backhanded stuff like, “He cooks dinner half the time, but I do the cleaning up all the time.”
And little does he know that I would cheerfully be his wildest fantasy sex slave for life, if only he’d keep the gas tank filled. He was running on fumes and letting the car die in the middle of the road long before high prices made it fashionable.
Let’s see if I can do better here: Instead of rattling off what I wish he’d do (more popularly known as nagging), what are some of the romantic little things he’s already done to keep me from running off with the pizza delivery guy?
1. On my birthday right after we married, he decorated our apartment with streamers and balloons and gave me a great big ice cream cake, because I never had anything like that when I was a child.
2. Whenever he buys me clothes, especially nightgowns, he always buys them in blue because he knows that’s my favorite color. (Yes, he also did my website/blog.)
3. Last fall, he bought me a three foot high jasmine tree because I love jasmine (I find the scent wonderfully intoxicating). I was heartbroken when the dog managed to dig it up only a week later, and Mr. Lucky said it couldn’t be saved as the roots had dried out very quickly. The place where he bought it didn’t have any more, so he embarked on a quest and found another one at a nursery about 30 miles away. When he planted that one, he put rocks around it and one of those decorative border fences to dogproof it, despite my demands for an enclosure to rival the Berlin Wall. The tree is still there, and it recently exploded with blossoms.
4. Sometimes he comes home and surprises me with either a Banana Royale from Baskin-Robbins, or a Blizzard from Dairy Queen, made with my favorite flavors. I never care if they’re partially melted. It’s still ice cream!
5. If he’s channel surfing and stumbles across a documentary having to do with royalty (a passion of mine), he tells me and lets me have the TV to watch it.
6. He says I look much better with long hair than short.
7. He watches movies and mini-series based on Jane Austen novels with me, and always manages to stay awake—because he likes them.
8. For our fifteenth wedding anniversary, he gave me a ladybug pin, because he hadn’t forgotten the time that two ladybugs landed on me, and I thought it was a sign of good luck to come—and only two days later, he proposed marriage to me. He thought the ladybug pin would bring me luck with my writing—and sure enough, only a few months later I sold True Pretenses.
9. And when I sold it, he told everybody he knew, and he surprised me by mounting and framing the cover flat himself.
10. Most importantly, he taught me to stand up for myself and not let other people push me around.
Could any of these be considered “romantic little things” that keep the spark in our marriage, or is this just a dress rehearsal for the day we might have to attend one of those “Save-Your-Marriage-In-One-Weekend” retreats, where I’ll be told to go off by myself and make a list of ten things he’s done right?
They do keep the pizza guy at bay.