My husband is a hopeless romantic (albeit an accidental one). Of course, he’s always done the stuff that hopeless romantics do. He sends me roses—just because. He writes me poetry and remembers our anniversary each November. He surprises me on my birthday, without fail, and bestows upon me sinful quantities of chocolate on Valentine’s Day—knowing full well that I’d do almost anything for a slab of milk chocolate almond bark. But, though I love him dearly for doing so, those are not the things I find especially romantic—never mind what the world at large may opine.
No doubt he’d be stunned by this news, and perhaps disappointed to think he’d been missing the mark all these years. But he hasn’t been missing the mark. He’s simply oblivious as to why I find him wholly irresistible. Indeed, he’s clueless when it comes to recognizing what he does so completely right. Hence the accidental component of the hopeless romantic equation.
That said, he unwittingly seizes the ordinary moments of life and somehow makes them special, which, to me, is deemed slightly wonderful and oh-so-romantic. More specifically, he leaves endearing little notes everywhere with nary a holiday in sight. I stumble upon them throughout my day—under my pillow, in the kitchen, thoughtfully affixed to my computer screen, where I cannot help but notice—and smile. “I love you—always,” it will read, or “I’m proud of you.” Then again, some of his messages are entirely pragmatic: “I fed the dog already. Don’t feed him again,” or mildly sarcastic: “Remember to put the fish in the fridge or we’ll all die of food poisoning.”
Either way, I’m instantly charmed.
Likewise, my Romeo is liable to warm my heart by bringing me a beef and cheddar panini from Jazzman’s—an exceedingly delicious mid-day indulgence inspired entirely by that-which-moves-good-deed-doers-to-action. What’s more, the man has texted me while perched atop the lawn mower—proclaiming his abiding love for me under the blazing sun. Or maybe it was to remind me to pick up an errant flip-flop in the lawn. I can’t remember now, but I’d like to hope it was the former.
While I was pregnant he satis ed all sorts of culinary cravings, too, whipping up a shameful quantity of raspberry milkshakes and fetching dried apricots in the dead of night. He also tied my shoes, as the swell of my freakishly large belly thwarted my every effort to reach my knees, let alone my feet.
Further, the man has no qualms whatsoever in dealing with our brood when they are beyond the point of persnickety at mealtime, obscenely tired and cranky at the close of a trying day, impossibly giddied over this or that perfectly inane thing or even while hurling profusely into a big bucket—all of which I find inordinately romantic. Strange, but true. Plus, he fixes stuff that’s broken. He ferries children hither and yon. He masterminds our every holiday feast. He cooks and shops and bears in mind what he’ll need for meals—which isn’t normal, I’m told. Not for a man. Nor is suggesting that on some lazy afternoon we should rent Doctor Zhivago—an epic love story in the truest sense. “What’s so weird about wanting to watch a movie together?” he’ll ask, puzzled by my stunned silence.
Oblivion abounds, my dear Romeo.
Lately, said oblivion has risen to a new level, giving me reason to shake my head in disbelief. Just before Valentine’s Day, following an appreciable snowfall, he got up at dark-thirty to take the dog out, which necessitated shoveling a path in the back yard so that our vertically challenged pooch might not disappear altogether in a snow drift. “How thoughtful,” I mused. Some time later, I went to the window to admire what he had done. Lo and behold, he had carved a most enormous heart there in the sparkling snow—roughly twenty feet across with an arrow piercing its center. “Whoa,” was all I could mouth, astounded by this wonderful thing he had surely done to woo me once more—as if Aphrodite herself had guided the shovel there in the grayness of dawn.
Naturally, I showered him with gratitude, wrapping my arms around him and pulling him closer to the window so we could gaze at this thing of beauty together, hand in hand. “How sweet and kind and utterly romantic of you!” I gushed.
“Romantic?” he repeated, fumbling over the word and glancing in the direction of the window.
“Yes! Romantic!” I affirmed, sure that he was merely playing dumb. “How on earth did you do such an amazing thing?!”
“What amazing thing? I shoveled a path in the snow. For the dog.”
“No, no, no. at’s not a path. that’s a heart! A ginormous heart nestled between the pines just for me—for Valentine’s Day! at was so completely romantic of you!”
Stupidly, he looked out the window and back at me with an expression that clearly conveyed the wheel is spinning, but the hamster is dead. It was the point at which he could have and should have rescued himself. A simple nod of agreement and a half-hearted smile would have sufficed. But, no. Not for my oblivion-minded Romeo. My (accidental) hopeless romantic.