Perhaps I was a bit harsh on romance in my last post, but I can’t help that cheesy love gestures don’t exactly knock my socks off. But as I’ve said, romance isn’t dead … yet.
5 Attempts at Romance that I can really get behind.
1. Holding my hair back when I puke
This is romance for you. Show me a guy who’s not afraid to pull my bangs back when I’m ear-deep in the toilet, and I’ll show you a stellar boyfriend. Now I know what you’re thinking, “But, MNM, how can there be anything romantic about puking and toilets?” Here’s a piece of advice I once heard from a Catholic Priest – “Going to mass anytime is wonderful, but it really counts when it’s a sacrifice.” It’s a “chips-down” argument – who’s there for you when the chips are down? Any guy can carry bags, any guy can open doors, but romance really counts when it’s a sacrifice. There are few more compromising positions than having your face inches away from an object that most people won’t even clean without gloves. So when you’re there, you better hope you’ve picked the right person to kneel beside you and fix you up afterward. Remember – nothing says “I love you” like a clean washcloth and some mouthwash.
2. Chocolates and/or stuffed animals
Honestly, these are probably the two best gifts on the planet and the easiest – I don’t see how guys strike out here so often! I realize that chocolates are overdone, stuffed toys are for children, and flowers are supposedly the gift for “mature” and “serious” couples. But let me be real for a second – really real. Flowers wilt; flowers die; flowers require care. But chocolate and stuffed animals? Instant gratification presents – and you can’t go wrong. First of all, stuffed animals are so cute you can’t help but love them, no matter what they are. One of my friends owns a stuffed-toy uterus. It’s totally odd, but damnit if the thing isn’t cute as a button! (She got it from her [female] best friend as a joke. Don’t buy me a stuffed toy uterus. It’s an awkward guy-to-girl gift.) And chocolate is just a no-brainer. Nobody loves chocolate more than a girl … Except maybe a girl who’s PMSing, but you better give her a double dose.
3. Cooking for me
Forget the candles, forget the red tablecloth, forget the wine. Ok, put the wine back in. But substitute those crystal glasses for some $1.50 tumblers that you bought at IKEA. “But, MNM, how can you have a romantic dinner with no red tablecloth and no candles and $1.50 tumblers that you bought at IKEA?” Well, because I HATE to cook. I’m lazy, and I’m terrible at it, and I don’t see where the “fun” comes in. I watch Food Network shows with happy, rotund women telling me all about how “fun” it is to cook their favorite dish. The last time I tried to cook a dish, the cap came off the salt container right overtop said dish, and I sat down and cried. They never show those Food Network women crying. But being cooked for is much nicer than all that. Even if I have to help, cooking is a romantic gesture I can totally get behind. Cooking can be very sweet, as long as we’re not making heart-shaped pies or wearing matching aprons. If you want me to do something like that, then you’ll get dinner with a side of vom.
4. Hanging out with my family
What I like about a guy who hangs out with my family is that he’s not afraid to take one for the team. Truth: Family can be awkward for an outsider. And I get that going to my brother’s 26th birthday party with 14 people you’ve never met might not be your idea of a scintillating afternoon. But when does love really count? When it’s a sacrifice! And trust me – it will probably be a sacrifice – something like baptism by fire. My family is loud and overwhelming and some of us are a little weird. We have birthday parties for 25-year-olds, some of us wear socks to the beach, and around Christmastime we brew up regular coffee and call it the “3 Kings’ Blend.” With all this going on, though, you can bet we’re a hoot and a half once you get used to us. But if you hang out with my family (and you do it properly – meaning you 1 – don’t touch me; 2 – don’t say anything inappropriate; and 3 – don’t make me babysit you) and you want to come back to get to know us better, then out with the flowers and in with the sacrifice! Romance is back!
5. Telling me I’m beautiful
Now you might be shaking your head in disappointment right now thinking “Gosh, MNM, a guy telling a girl she’s beautiful is about as tired and cliché as holding hands, watching a sunset, kissing in the moonlight or the facial caress. What gives?” And you may be right. After all, this can be a real cheese-fest if done improperly. Improper decorum when giving this compliment includes: saying it every day, amending it to say “most beautiful girl in the world” (we both know this is false), saying it when we’re fighting, saying it on Facebook, using is as a nickname. You see, this is a very finicky compliment, because it can so easily be cheesy and so easily end up with me laughing hysterically at you. However, I think this is a compliment that can be delivered well. And, despite all my cynicism, I think it’s something that every girl deserves to hear once in her lifetime. That said, I can’t promise I won’t laugh at you if you say it…it’s a very finicky compliment.