Let’s Define Romantic, Shall We?

You have GOT to be kidding me, right? Or do I just live in some warped universe where my husband doesn’t think twice about helping out around the house? I could take all the credit for training him boot camp style during our newlywed days…”FORKS TO THE LEFT! TRASH OUT! IRON IT AGAIN UNTIL IT STANDS ON ITS OWN!” But I’d be lying. I have to credit his mother for making sure the man knew how to iron his own shirts, cook a meal and empty the dishwasher. Which he does every morning before he leaves for work.

Now don’t get me wrong. I can and do still find plenty of things to complain about when it comes to my husband and how he does or doesn’t operate around the house. But after reading an article about what wives consider “romantic”…well, I kinda wanted to throw up just a little. After that, I felt a great wave of pity. Then confusion. And back to the nausea. Maybe I’m just at “that age”, but the last thing I’d tag romantic is my husband emptying the dishwasher. He used those dishes too! It’s a stinking household appliance. It has a motor and contributes to the monthly utility bills. Why wouldn’t he share in the use of it?

Then there’s the “I think it’s soooo romantic when he plays with our kids!” Hello And Double Duh On Toasted Rye. I’ve never understood this line of reasoning and now that our kids are 19 and 16, I still don’t. My husband helped make these children. Children who make screaming noises that need soothing. Children who make horribly poopy diapers that need changing. Children who make mistakes that need correcting. Children who make low scores that need lifting. Children who make messes that need cleaning. No wait, they can do that themselves.

But really? Playing with his children? Do I love seeing my husband and children playing and having fun together? Or cleaning the kitchen together? Or doing complicated math homework together? Of course! Does it necessarily fall into my, “Ooooh, Be Still My Heart That is SO Romantic” Category? Eh, no.

I met my husband 23 years ago yesterday. Over plates of potluck dinner balanced on our laps. With a bunch of other singles from church. Today, to me, that’s romantic. So was a nondescript weeknight several months ago when Scott came home with flowers and as I stood muddy and sweaty swatting mosquitoes in the garden, announced, “I know I gave you the wrong answer on the phone today. I don’t know the right one. But I know I gave the wrong one. I’m sorry.”

Now, I never did get around to asking his dad why he didn’t teach his son to open the stinking car door for a woman…but oh well. I’ll get my own door. I’d rather wake up and find an empty dishwasher any day.

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