When you’re young and in love, nothing seems too silly or cheesy. No token of affection or sign of commitment goes ungifted or unexpressed.
Yet I would say that I am far more romantic than the smitten teenager who showers his girlfriend with flowers, lockets and perfume. That’s easy. What’s hard is being there for your beloved through all the struggles of life. That, in my view, is true romance.
When she’s suffering from the flu and lying in bed in agony, the true romantic will be there by her side providing her tender loving care. He’ll rub her back, massage her neck and bring her chicken soup. That, my friend, is true love and that is what I call romantic.
Gifts, flowers and wining and dining are fine, I suppose. But, despite what some might say, the most important part of love is being willing to say you’re sorry 24/7. Whether you’re right or wrong is not the point; your job is to say “I’m sorry” whenever your partner accuses you of anything. Even when you have videotaped evidence that she slept with your best friend and emptied the family savings account, it’s up to you to take the high road and the blame. That spells true love.
A ring or a necklace may be a nice romantic present but it pales in comparison to providing support to your beloved. After she’s been on a three-day bender and has just about reached bottom, jewelry simply isn’t going to do the trick. Love means kneeling beside her next to the toilet holding her hair back to avoid the mess. Romance means ignoring her insults and bringing her a little hair of the dog in the morning to help her make it through the next day.
Gifts are easy; life is hard. A stuffed toy or a cute tee-shirt won’t do much good when your loved one is into her second day of heroin withdrawal. She won’t be asking you to whisper sweet nothings in her ear; she’ll be screaming that she needs a fix…NOW! You can pat her hand and tell her that you love her. But if you really care, you’ll track down her dealer, buy her a dime bag and make sure she’s got a clean needle. That, my friend, is true love.
Love isn’t all roses and fluffy white clouds. Love is hard work. After all, when your better half has robbed a bank, killed two innocent bystanders in a shootout with the police and ended up in prison on death row, a Hallmark card is not going to do her a whole lot of good.
That’s when your love will really be tested. Are you man enough to do whatever it takes to help her break out of prison? Do you care enough to smuggle in a file and then round up a van and a few friends to meet her outside the prison wall? If you do, then that’s what I call love.
Maybe you think you’re a loving husband because you help with the household chores and share your feelings. That’s fine, but love means more than that. Love means feeding your special woman ammo for her automatic weapon while she’s barricaded in the White House looking to “pop a cap” in the President’s ass. It also means not crying when she’s shouting that you’re a no-good, stupid sonofabitch for forgetting to bring an extra weapon.
Will you be there by her side when the Secret Service calls in an all-out attack on the East Wing? Can you suck it up and carry on for the sake of the kids even while she’s threatening to “cut you into pieces” and screaming in your face that she was an idiot for marrying you?
No, I didn’t think so. And neither could I. But that still doesn’t mean I’m not romantic.