So in my dream, I am the Julia Roberts character from Pretty Woman. It’s the scene where I am getting ready to go to the opera, and Scott presents me with the velvet box, he opens it, I get a little glimpse, unsure of its contents, then he closes the box on my hand. I laugh with excitement and anticipation. He opens it, and inside, I stare, inside is a dry cleaning ticket, and Scott says, “My shirts have been ready since last Thursday. Can you get them? I have nothing to wear to work.”
Now I looooved the movie Pretty Woman in college. Even owned a copy! I was eighteen, and believed that a gorgeous businessman could fall in love with a small town girl now prostitute with poreless skin, perfect teeth, and toned body, (do prostitutes go to Pilates?) and that he would shower her with romantic gestures and gifts, and they would live happily ever after.
I was eighteen. I am now forty. Truth is, I have never wanted the grand romantic moments. I don’t crave long walks on the beach with Scott, we would both rather pass out on the sand while reading a book, using a towel to wipe off the eventual drool from our nap. No beach horseback rides either. Too scared they will throw me off and I will land in their shit. I don’t even crave the John Cusack Say Anything moment I speak about so much where he stands outside the bedroom window with the boom box over his head playing Peter Gabriel. All Scott plays is Pearl Jam, and Eddie Vedder has a lot of angst.
So what romance do I want? What do I need? I listen to talk radio in the car. I am either listening to Howard Stern whose idea of romance includes a ride on the siobhan. (won’t explain this). Or I listen to women talking about how their husband never does anything romantic for them and things are getting so boring.
I think I need something in between. I am married for a long time already, and I need to pay attention to the little gestures and add those up. And I know I need to do my part too. Romance for me is Scott going grocery shopping because I hate it that much. And when he goes he comes home with my magazines or a bag of Twizzlers. Romance could be a glass of wine together sitting outside for ten minutes. For Scott, it could be me ordering him wings and letting him eat them on the couch for six hours of football.
I am over telling Scott to meet me at the top of Empire State Building. I don’t even get mad anymore if there is no cuddling after the deed. I find it romantic when Scott picks food out of my teeth because he doesn’t want me to be embarrassed. Really, romance when you are married is defined by you.
And sometimes, it’s just remembering to spray after we use the bathroom.
Disclaimer to Scott: Honey, if you are reading this, I do want a Velvet Box moment.