"Romantic Things a Husband Can Do"
By Elizabeth Foss
I was recently in the electronics department of a large store.
The televisions were tuned to "Entertainment Tonight." A
tease early in the broadcast showed the interviewer asking
Demi Moore, the highest paid actress in Hollywood, what
the most romantic thing she had ever done for her husband
was. During the time that elapsed between the tease and the
actual interview broadcast, I thought about resources
available to her. They could take a cozy ski weekend in a
Colorado cabin. Too cold and snowy this time of the year?
Why not a few days in the Caribbean? To the interviewer,
Demi replied, "I pushed three babies out for him. I think
that's very romantic." I have to agree.
The commercial world, with its ads for flowers, candy and
cards, has colored our picture of romance. After doing an
informal survey of several women, I discovered that real
romance involved more thought than choosing a card in the
store and was more enduring (and less fattening) than a box
of chocolates. Women wanted their husbands to give of
themselves. Since men will never be able to duplicate the act
of sacrifice Demi Moore gave to her husband, I asked those
same women to give me some real life examples of romance.
When I first posed the question, every single lady asked for
time to think about it. No one had a ready response. Let me
hasten to add that this is not because their husbands are not
romantic. It is because the romantic things that their
husbands do are specific to each woman and might not be
considered romantic by the world at large. Only one
occurred on Valentine's Day. I am aware that the big
romance day was yesterday, but there are 365 more days
(it's leap year) and we could all use a little romance all year
long. Here is a sample:
"I have trouble getting the whole house clean at once. I
also have trouble relaxing and enjoying quiet time with my
husband when there is something remaining to be done. He
is being romantic when he gets the windex and heads for
the bathrooms. I know it's an act of service for me and that
he is doing it because he wants to spend time with me."
"When we got married, my mother-in-law told me that
there would be times when we simply could not get out by
ourselves. She said to occasionally feed the children early
and put them to bed. Then my husband and I were to eat a
special dinner alone at home, turn on the radio and dance in
the living room. It's is something romantic we do for each
other. It doesn't happen often, but when it does it's special."
"The most romantic thing my husband has ever done was
to get up in the middle of the night with a sick child. While I
took care of the linens, he cleaned her and comforted her.
He was so gentle and so tender that I was really moved by
the love he showed for our daughter. Usually middle of the
night child care is my domain, so I knew that he was
offering the sacrifice of uninterrupted sleep to me. Both my
daughter and I appreciated his loving care."
"After my first child was born, I had a difficult time
learning to nurse. My husband would get up with me at
every nighttime feeding, although there was really nothing
practical that he could do to help. He sat with me,
encouraged me and spoke on our daughter's behalf,
thanking me for the effort I was making.
"She was baptized, at two weeks old, on Valentine's Day.
We'd been up most of the night and the morning would be a
busy one. Our entire focus was on the baptism. No mention
had been made of Valentine's Day and, frankly, I didn't feel
terribly romantic. I'd just settled the baby down to sleep and
laid back myself for a few moments when my husband
appeared in doorway with that familiar pink blanket-
wrapped bundle in his arms. My stomach sank. Again? I
was exhausted. 'I'm sorry honey, I can't get her settled. Can
you try again?' He handed me the bundle and there I
discovered a dozen roses. He did remember I was a wife as
well as a mom."
"Once I was down in the laundry room, sorting another
of our endless loads of laundry. I heard the laundry chute
open above me and down came a note. It said, 'Dear sexy
laundry lady, thank you for doing my socks and underwear
and taking care of my kids.' That simple note said so much.
He had noticed what I do, acknowledged it and made me
feel loved and appreciated. I think that's pretty romantic."
Foss is a freelance writer living in Springfield.
This article appeared in the February 15, 1996 issue of "The
Arlington Catholic Herald."
Courtesy of the "Arlington Catholic Herald" diocesan
newspaper of the Arlington (VA) diocese. For subscription
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