Am I Really This Romance-Challenged?

Lurking just around the corner, with its paper doilies and chalky heart candies, is Valentine’s Day.  Therefore, it feels appropriate to discuss aspects of romance, wooing, and amore.

Or lack thereof.

Each of us is born with a special talent.  Many have the genius in the area of love. They walk among us as mere mortals, but have been hit by Cupid’s arrow. They spread love and joy while throwing rose petals in the wind. They compose sonnets, look passionately into the eyes of their lover, and say things like, “Your skin is like fresh calf’s milk,” and mean it. They are romantic.

I am not one of these people.

But I married one.

My husband is a writer. He does not do it for a living, but he is excellent at it. Since I have known him, he has written me poems on cards, sticky notes, and emails – all beautiful, all from his heart, zero gag-factor. He loves to surprise me, more than enjoys giving well thought-out presents, and should win a blue ribbon for his gift wrapping skills.  He plans ahead for special occasions. He is romantic.

I, on the other hand, am slightly challenged in this arena. I like to tell my husband that my gifts lie elsewhere – such as properly loading the dishwasher and sneezing.

Oh I remember every holiday and birthday, but I don’t go all out. I get a card and sign it,

“Love, Me”

Sometimes I like to add my own flair such as: “Love Always,” “You’re the best!” or the one that makes my husband look at me as if I just ate cocaine for breakfast, “We’ve made it!” I figure if I just spent $3.99 on a card proclaiming eternal love and soul mate companionship, what the hell else can I say? Hallmark took care of it. Done.

I have tried to be amorous in the past – epic failure.  Many moons ago, I once made heart-shaped muffins for a boyfriend. I obtained the recipe from Cosmopolitan in a section entitled, “Ways to Show Him You Care.” It was part of their Valentine’s edition and I thought, “Sure, I care.” The result was a bunch of rock-hard inedible lumps that (and trust me on this) looked like a zoologist’s collection of shrunken heads (or whatever profession collects those).  Apparently I didn’t care enough.

I feel totally phony when I try to be romantic. It’s just not my thing. I come off sounding like the Nasonex Bee with a speech impediment. Ridiculous.  Also, prolonged eye contact freaks me out. It’s not a staring contest people, look away.

Aside from my husband and me, the law of opposites really does apply to romance.  I have witnessed this polarized attraction in other couples as well. One must be slightly dull for the other to pour on the adoration. It works; it evens out the scale and keeps the earth revolving.

Can you imagine if both parties in a relationship were romantic? What would that look like? 1) They’d never get out of bed causing job loss; 2) They would have a hypoglycemic problem with all the chocolate eating; 3) They’d develop a severe form of dry-eye due to staring at each other for hours; and 4) even Harlequin Romance novels would vomit a little with all the usage of gooey language. Yuck. No thanks.

I think I’ll stick with the way things are – even Stephen. I love my husband, and he loves me. He knows it because I tell him (sometimes) and I take care of him (daily). He can make it rain pink hearts, See’s Candies, and nights of passion.

Because at the end of the night, someone’s got to take out the trash. And that someone is me.