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MC’s Friday morning musing on romance

I’ve been around too long to believe anymore that a kiss, or that initial first flush of attraction, no matter how much it knocks your socks off, is an indicator of long-term compatibility. I’m old-fashioned enough to believe that attraction – whether short-term lust or long-term love – has to be grounded in shared intellectual, emotional, and social mores. Too driven by logic, I often cast a gimlet eye at what is commonly called romance. And yet … .

I’m a closet romantic.

I’m a sucker for romantic comedies like When Harry Met Sally or You’ve Got Mail (do you see a Hanks/Ryan trend here?). But I’m not a sucker for the jewelry and candy and pick-you-up-in-a-limo kind of romance.

I don’t need fine wining and dining, but give me a guy who confidently orders a drink for me, even in a dive bar — because he knows me well, can guess my mood, or better yet, he already asked me what I would like to drink so he could order for me – yes, I admit, I’m a sucker for that kind of old-world romantic gesture. That kind of gesture that just fuels intimacy and a little bit of heat between a man and a woman. It’s the same kind of feeling you get when a guy shows up for a date bearing an article about Mockingbirds pulled from his local paper (because he knows you love birds) – rather than bringing you yet another splashy bouquet of flowers.

Of course, romance is also found in a guy who isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty fixing a broken lawn mower, can shake a mean martini, and loves his work so much that he’s excited to tell you about it over dinner. It’s also romantic if that same guys still finds his woman sexy after the thousandth time he’s made love to her, and, and… this is important … doesn’t mind a few felines milling about on sleepy Sunday mornings.

But romance, schlomance, I’m no naïve girl. I’ve given up almost every vestige of believing in romance just for the sake of believing. I’ve, um, matured, shall we say, into a woman who waits for proof – proof of reliability, proof of truthfulness, proof of intelligence, proof of savoir-faire — before I start throwing the R word around, much less the L word (and no, that’s not a reference to Showtime’s too-hot-for-primetime ode to lesbianism).

It’s so easy to be so burned by previous relationships gone-bad that you keep your heart behind a firmly closed iron gate. You end up dancing with one foot on the dance floor. I’ve learned the hard way — when cynicism overtakes healthy realism, however, you end up shooting that two-person game of horse all by your lonesome.

But, c’mon, it’s kind of hard to believe in love after a certain point, isn’t it? So much about love – romantic love, I’m talking – requires a kind of suspension of disbelief in favor of belief; taking things on faith rather than fact. That’s not exactly my strong suit.

Oh, sure, that suspension comes almost too easily when lovers first meet and begin that intoxicating slip-slide into romance. It’s crazy-easy for one’s red-flag-radar to get turned off in favor of getting turned on by those delicious first hundred kisses that turn a couple’s world from black and white to Technicolor.
Once you get used to the kisses, though, once you settle in a bit into a relationship, that’s when those rose-colored glasses start losing their bloom.

The one sure thing about romance is that its life span is never a sure thing. To keep a relationship romantic, geez, you have to put in more effort, not less, as time goes by … and, um, where exactly is the romance in that!?

Posted on May 22nd, 2009Comments RSS Feed
One Response to MC’s Friday morning musing on romance
  1. John W. Perkins
    May 25, 2009 at 10:45 am

    I’m still just a hopeless romantic.. sigh.

    Besides, when it comes to women, throw logic out the window and go with the flow.


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