When growing up in the working-class suburbs of Philadelphia, I was never really wooed or romanced. The guys I grew up with and dated were a blast to hang out with, could make everyone laugh, but romance was not on their radar. Part of the problem might have been that we girls, did not take romantic gestures well. If one of the guys we hung out with gave me flowers, I probably would have responded with “Whattiya, goin' to a funeral?” It was a good defense mechanism because vulnerability was not a good thing to show since it could then be exploited.
After getting together with my husband, that changed. We were a little older and wiser. He was not sappy sweet, but was and still is - what I consider - romantic. The Hub has shown me romance many ways over the years.
A time that stands out is one particular romantic get away. This was before kids and before marriage. We took the train to a romantic B&B in Mystic, Connecticut. We had a beautiful room with a private bathroom and a fireplace. We went out to dinner at a quaint 250-year-old building. We shared a delicious candlelit dinner. After dinner, we walked downstairs to the restaurant's Pub. It was one of the coziest pubs you could ever walk into. It was small with low, beamed ceilings and the large fireplace kept it very warm. We sat at one of the rickety old table and chairs and had a few pints. We talked for a bit, but I wanted to get back to the room so that we could get out early the next day and see some sights. I was so uptight then, and possibly still am to an extent, totally. I have to work on that. We get so few times together that I need to just let loose and not worry so much. But NOT TOO MUCH, cause I can’t handle myself (as seen here.) Anyway, If I could go back to that little pub with The Hub and sit for 3 more hours I would.
We went back to the room and I decided that I was going to take a bath in the neat, claw foot tub. There was no question that we were having sex that night, because, well we were not married and did not have any kids. So while I was taking a bath, The Hub (who wasn’t technically ‘The Hub,’ yet) started a fire, opened and continued to drink a bottle of wine.
After my bath, I put on something slinky. As I opened the bathroom door, my eyes started to tear. No, I was not overcome with emotion. I stepped into the room to barely see The Hub, looking suave, sitting next to the fireplace with a drink in his hand. He was smiling with a come-hither look. He was also as lit as the fireplace. He had turned the lights off but I could still see the smoke hovering around the wainscoting of the room.
My calm response was “What the fuck, dude? Is the flue open?” He looked at me and said, “Well yea, of course the flue is open. Whattiya think I’m an idiot?” Coughing, I ran to the fireplace and said, “If the flue is open, something is wrong.” Then he started getting pissed. His romantic plans had been ruined by my nagging need to breathe oxygen. I was getting nervous and he was annoyed that I was not sufficiently wooed. He was trying to stifle his choking, as I reached into the fireplace and pushed the iron bar that opened the flu. It was like a vacuum the way the smoke was sucked out of that room. I turned on the lights to see if there was smoke damage to the beautiful canopy bed or the antique furniture. It was all good. But to be safe, we started to open the windows to make sure we could maximize the clearing of the room.
It was February, in Mystic, Connecticut and really, really cold. The room temp dropped quickly. The slinky lingerie came off quickly and I was under the covers with sweat pants, a sweat shirt, a hat, and gloves. There was no sex. His romantic gesture was foiled. The Hub was pissed. He refused to even admit it was cold in the room. He continued to sit in the chair by the fireplace and polish off that bottle and possibly another. Somehow in his mind, this was my fault. I, on the other hand, was not mad. OK, maybe a little mad but I was madder that he was mad.
I do remember laying in that bed, as the smoke billowed out of the windows, thinking how nice it was to have someone in my life that actually wanted to be romantic with me. I remember smiling and trying not to laugh, until the next day when we both laughed quite a bit.
I was really uptight back then. I still need to work on that but I think if the scenario played out now, we would have started laughing even before I opened the flu. Then we would have definitely had sex - if we weren’t too tired.The Hub has my heart. We laugh a lot and he still shows me romance in so many ways:
When we are talking and he will mindlessly play with my hair.
When he makes sure the garage light is on, if I am coming home in the dark.
When he starts my car on cold mornings so that it is warm when I get in.
When he knows that I am upset, before I do and checks me with a “Yo, ya aight?”
When we are driving together and he reaches for my hand.
When he envelopes me in a huge bear hug and we both simultaneously take deep breaths.
When he says, “You look pretty!” even when I am not feeling pretty.
When I am sick and he says, “Wow, you look like shit!, why don’t I take the boys out for the day and you get some rest?”
When he asks me not to kiss him, because I may start “the launch sequence.”
When we watch a movie and he asks me to pause it several times to tell him what is going on.
When he asks my opinion about work issues.
When he eats a meal that I make and sits back and says, “Good God, woman! That was awesome!”
When we quote movies together.
When he reads my writing.
When he compliments me on how much I read.
When he says, “You are such a good Mommy.”
There are countless ways The Hub is a romantic. There are countless ways I am thankful for him. I am truly grateful for my romantic husband, who shows me love, every day. So this post ends on the sappy side, and I am not going to respond with a snarky, cocky comment. But if you have one, feel free!
Happy Valentine’s Day.