When I was young I thought a “romantic” man was one who would shower me with flowers, candy, candles, lobster, and diamonds. He would tell me all manner of wonderful things, such as how beautiful I was, how much I inspired him and how he lived to please me. I would receive all these kindnesses by fluttering my long dark eyelashes and pursing my plump lips – nothing more.
Does any of this sound at all familiar? I think we have all been brainwashed by a victorian concept of romance. As great as it all may seem, after years of marriage, children, and grandchildren, I have had to search for a more realistic version of romance in other areas – sidewalks for instance.
We are moving and have begun to look for a new house. We have many wants and needs on our list of things to look for in that house. One thing high on my list of wants is sidewalks. We currently have none as we live on 2 acres in a more rural area. I read that a neighborhood with sidewalks is much less likely to experience crime, robbery, home invasions etc. Since reading that, I really want sidewalks. I really have the need to be in a more stable area with friendly neighbors and sidewalks. It has to have sidewalks.
I know this sounds like a small thing that I’m making into a big thing. I felt a bit embarrassed to make this known to Gramps because when the words came out, they sounded a bit petty. I did however, quietly mention the study concerning the effect of sidewalks on a neighborhood. No big deal – just said it matter-of-factly.
Tonight Gramps and I were driving back from GS #2’s basketball game and of course, the subject turned to the move and the new house. Gramps said with determination, “What we really need is a good neighborhood, one with friendly neighbors and especially sidewalks.”
I don’t think I actually teared up, but my heart was so touched, I couldn’t speak. Finally, I was able to whisper, “How did you know I wanted sidewalks?”
Gramps replied in his matter-of-fact engineer’s voice, “You told me about the study. I knew then how important it was to you. And if you want a neighborhood with sidewalks, then that’s what we’ll find – sidewalks.
Let’s be honest, anyone can draw a bubble bath. And a walk on the beach is well . . . . . a walk on the beach. But it takes some deliberate honey-doing to not only listen to what I said but hear what I meant. Then to put my wants at the top of the list and finally to embrace those wants as his own. One would have thought it was his idea to begin with. THAT, my Sweeties, is true ROMANCE.
THAT is the true giving and receiving of love. THAT is wanting the best for the other person. THAT is going out of one’s way to make it happen. And THAT, my Sweeties, is TRUE ROMANCE!