Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Romantic reminiscences...

The irony of it all is that I love romancey chick-lit'ish movies, I dig the occasional romance novel (Jennifer Crusie), and I like relationships even though I'm not in one (and I'm not good at them). But, I don't do romance. Romance, in the traditional hearts and flowers and candles way, makes me uncomfortable and giggly. Giggly in an awkward I-can't-keep-a-straight-face way. It all sounds very good on a novel someone else wrote or a movie that someone else produced...but when it comes to putting romance into action, I fall short. I cook special dinners, I say nice things, but when the sap is aimed at me, there are problems. One reason I detest Valentine's Day, and sappy romance in general, is the conventionality of it. Sure, it's nice to get a card and some roses, but it's all so standardized. Some of the most romantic things that have ever been pointed in my direction were unconventional, tailored, and that makes me swoon. I'm also not a huge fan of "things." Things from the heart are special....the obligatory cheesey card is not.

My friend Paul used to send me little dinky surprises in the mail. Mix tapes, letters, a book on soccer once (just to share because he loved soccer). On my 22nd birthday, in the throes of my Dave Matthews Band obsession, he sent a gawd awful tie-died Dave Matthews shirt, circa 1996. His favorite Dave shirt, as a matter of fact. I had pictures of him in it, he was usually wearing it when we talked, and he sent it to me so I'd feel closer to him. I almost cried when I got it. It was worn and really really ugly, but it was his.

He wrote a song for me once. Actually, what made it so special was the fact that it was a song about me more than for me. I was going through a tough breakup and feeling very lost and lonely. I sent a long, pensive e-mail one night, and a few days later he'd taken my words and woven them into a gorgeous song. I have it stashed in a journal and pull it out occasonionally to take a gander.

My friend Jeff said something to me years ago that still sticks. It's the first thing that comes to mind when I think of all the sweet things anyone has ever said to me...."I hate that you know what 10:30 feels like before I do."

And perhaps the best way to ask a girl out...when I was a sophomore in high school a junior asked me to his prom with the following question: "So, when are you going to ask me to prom?" Just the right balance of awkward and hopeful.


  1. I totally agree.

    We've talked about this before and like you, I'm really not a fan of romance or the supposedly "sweet" or complimentary things convention tends to proliferate. I don't know how to react to those things and the really cheesy stuff just makes me burst into a fit of giggles and disgust.

  2. Giggles and disgust is the perfect way to say it. Like I said at Valentine's, I'd rather have a card with a turkey leg on it than a cupid.

  3. I'm with you on the romance thing too. I like stuff that requires some thought and proof that a person actually pays attention to what I say.

    I try to stay away from the Hallmark sort of romance. I hope that what I do shows something more than a dozen roses would.

  4. I think romance is highly over rated. Especially the retail contrived kind. Give me something that I can use or fits into my life, something that takes more thought than going to the corner 7-11 for a single rose. In other words, make me feel like you really like me dammit! :)

  5. Good man, Sole. We womens appreciate it.

    Vix, I agree. I think those thoughtful things show a much higher level of interest than cheesey crap.

  6. ITA. The most romantic thing A ever did when we were dating was to bring me Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and a movie to me when I was sick. I had told him to stay away but he didn't.

    And once he put a carnation on my car at school. With a little note that said he was thinking of me.

    I kinda miss those days. Now it's those "little things" have been reduced to when he takes Ellie to the bathroom so I can cook supper! LOL

  7. Those are sweet, Heather. Esp. like the cookie dough idea. Any man bearing cookie dough is a friend of mine.

  8. andi, when we start dating I promise to take you for granted. No cheesy cards from me.

  9. I'm sorry, Todd. What did you say? I was busy watching the point sail over your head.


  10. Oh Andi, I am SO with you. I can totally get into the right mushy, sappy chick flick or great romance novel but I hate all things conventional. I've been with my man for over 8 years and my engagement ring is the first piece of real jewlery he's ever bought me. Well, I think he bought me one of those cool plastic rings once. I loved it. He's bought me flowers maybe 3 times but each time was very special. Valentine's day is a joke! BUT really knowing someone and all of those little things are what mean the most. Sounds like you have a really great friend. Don't worry...the right, romantic in just enough kind of guy will come along.

  11. TSO sounds like a good one, Funky. He's got the right ideas. :) And I'm not too worried about the right one coming along. I'm too busy right now to romp. And I have my celeb crushes to inspire me. ;)

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