Unromantic and Unashamed

Love means never having to go on a date night.


   Romance scares me. I think I might even have a disorder or lack some sort of neuron receptors in my brain that makes me decidedly lacking in the romantic department. I was even ho hum on the what is allegedly the most romantic day in a woman’s life – her wedding. All I could think about was let’s get this show on the road.

   As for planning my “dream day” I totally left that up to my mother. It’s not that I didn’t want a beautiful wedding I just didn’t have time to do all those bridal-esque things like fretting over the trim on the tablecloths. I was launching my career and working 60 hours a week and had a mother with impeccable taste and an intense desire to take over. So, I let her. The only thing I did do was pick out my dress and that was super easy.

   Back in the day every Texas girl went to the downtown Dallas Neiman Marcus and had a bridal appointment with the fierce and oh so proper Miss Evelyn. I bought the first gown I tried on because if Miss Evelyn said it was “the dress.” You did not question her expertise. Brides were scared of her. She would pinch your shoulders and tell you to stand up straight citing that proper posture ensured you wore the dress and it didn’t wear you. All I did was say, “Yes ma’am” to everything she barked so I could bolt for the door sooner.

   Lucky for me I didn’t marry a Mr. Romance. I can’t imagine the amount of work it would take to have one of those super smoochy marriages. In fact, if my husband did try a grand romantic gesture I would assume that 1) He had killed someone and was being lovey-dovey because he wanted help disposing of the body. (Full disclosure - I think I would have some pretty mad skills at body dumping thanks to my excessive viewing of Dateline) 2) He was leaving me and out of extreme guilt was acting out of character to soften the blow or 3) My doctor had violated the HIPPA act and had disclosed to my husband that I had a terminal disease and beset with sorrow he wanted to make my last few days on earth oozing with affection.

   What’s made my lack of romantic nature even worse is social media. Before Facebook and Instagram, I could bask in my blissful self-imposed ignorance that I maybe I wasn’t that unromantic. Maybe I was just average and there were a couple of show boaters out there making us all look bad like my former neighbors.

   How’s this for a Defcon 1 romance alert?  Every single wedding anniversary my neighbor (from two moves ago so no one in Leawood South get overly excited) would send his wife on a scavenger hunt through the cul-de-sac to find “love hints” about her gift. All the neighbors were asked to participate in the form of a clue being left at your house. The husband would give his wife a costume to wear (which was also a tip) as she went on the scavenger hunt.

    The last time this happened the woman was sashaying from house to house picking up her clues in a grass skirt and coconut bra. By the time she located her present most of the hood was traipsing behind her like children following the Pied Piper. This ensured an audience for the grand reveal when the husband showed up in some wacky boat captain’s uniform to unveil a “cruise of a life time.”

   While the rest of the females watching where all swooning I was suppressing a gag. To me it was all hat no cattle. My number one bit of relationship advice is beware of the super show offs because they’re either hiding something or over compensating for some not so attractive personality traits. Two years later my cynicism was proven just and correct. The couple got a divorce because the husband was, surprise, a serial cheater.

   Of course, now with social media I’m bombarded with cute couples and their grand love for each other. It’s all so, I don’t know, unseemly. Shouldn’t your passion be private or at least pared down because you’re making the rest of us, or more importantly me, look bad. Breakfast in bed, surprise lunches, a new freaking car or bucket list trip all with some status update about how your “soulmate is your life blood that rejuvenates and uplifts you.”

   Is it wrong that I feel the exact same way about Diet Coke?

   I think it’s time we shine the light of truth on some of this romantic brouhaha. Let’s start with breakfast in bed. One word – yuck. Is there an upside to eating in bed pre-trip to the bathroom or a good one-on-one with your toothbrush? Umm no.

   And as for a “romantic surprise” – count me out. The control freak in me doesn’t like surprises. And who wants a surprise trip? It sounds fraught with peril. Will the hotel be decent or did your love bug use Courtyard Marriott points?

   The absolute worst is date night. What demented cupid thought of this idea? My best guess is the restaurant industry. Date night is a fraud and exhausting. If you’re a mom it all falls on your shoulders. You’ve got to get a baby sitter, do meal prep for the kids, tidy up your house a bit so the baby sitter isn’t scared to come over, engage in a turbo groom up to and including shaving your legs and looking for the random nostril hair.

   If your kids are older it’s still a sham because getting glammed up is a lot of work when all you really want to do is put on your sweats (side bar I got some velvet sweats for Christmas #lifechanging) and watch a double feature of "The Crown" and "Victoria."

   You know what I think is romantic? A guy who gets me a McDonald’s Diet Coke in the morning, puts windshield wiper fluid in my car and drives my daughter to dance at 6:45 on a Saturday morning in the snow so I can “stay safe.” Also romantic is a man who watches a YouTube video so he can fix the toilet in the half bath and then folds laundry.

   Yep, I wouldn't trade a cruise ship full of grand romantic gestures for the day-to-day consistency of a quality human who’s always there for you.

   Consider that another relationship tip.