Romantic Things a Husband Can Do

Author: Elizabeth Foss

"Romantic Things a Husband Can Do"

By Elizabeth Foss

I was recently in the electronics department of a large store. The televisions were tuned to "Entertainment Tonight." A tease early in the broadcast showed the interviewer asking Demi Moore, the highest paid actress in Hollywood, what the most romantic thing she had ever done for her husband was. During the time that elapsed between the tease and the actual interview broadcast, I thought about resources available to her. They could take a cozy ski weekend in a Colorado cabin. Too cold and snowy this time of the year? Why not a few days in the Caribbean? To the interviewer, Demi replied, "I pushed three babies out for him. I think that's very romantic." I have to agree.

The commercial world, with its ads for flowers, candy and cards, has colored our picture of romance. After doing an informal survey of several women, I discovered that real romance involved more thought than choosing a card in the store and was more enduring (and less fattening) than a box of chocolates. Women wanted their husbands to give of themselves. Since men will never be able to duplicate the act of sacrifice Demi Moore gave to her husband, I asked those same women to give me some real life examples of romance.

When I first posed the question, every single lady asked for time to think about it. No one had a ready response. Let me hasten to add that this is not because their husbands are not romantic. It is because the romantic things that their husbands do are specific to each woman and might not be considered romantic by the world at large. Only one occurred on Valentine's Day. I am aware that the big romance day was yesterday, but there are 365 more days (it's leap year) and we could all use a little romance all year long. Here is a sample:

"I have trouble getting the whole house clean at once. I also have trouble relaxing and enjoying quiet time with my husband when there is something remaining to be done. He is being romantic when he gets the windex and heads for the bathrooms. I know it's an act of service for me and that he is doing it because he wants to spend time with me."

"When we got married, my mother-in-law told me that there would be times when we simply could not get out by ourselves. She said to occasionally feed the children early and put them to bed. Then my husband and I were to eat a special dinner alone at home, turn on the radio and dance in the living room. It's is something romantic we do for each other. It doesn't happen often, but when it does it's special."

"The most romantic thing my husband has ever done was to get up in the middle of the night with a sick child. While I took care of the linens, he cleaned her and comforted her. He was so gentle and so tender that I was really moved by the love he showed for our daughter. Usually middle of the night child care is my domain, so I knew that he was offering the sacrifice of uninterrupted sleep to me. Both my daughter and I appreciated his loving care."

"After my first child was born, I had a difficult time learning to nurse. My husband would get up with me at every nighttime feeding, although there was really nothing practical that he could do to help. He sat with me, encouraged me and spoke on our daughter's behalf, thanking me for the effort I was making.

"She was baptized, at two weeks old, on Valentine's Day. We'd been up most of the night and the morning would be a busy one. Our entire focus was on the baptism. No mention had been made of Valentine's Day and, frankly, I didn't feel terribly romantic. I'd just settled the baby down to sleep and laid back myself for a few moments when my husband appeared in doorway with that familiar pink blanket- wrapped bundle in his arms. My stomach sank. Again? I was exhausted. 'I'm sorry honey, I can't get her settled. Can you try again?' He handed me the bundle and there I discovered a dozen roses. He did remember I was a wife as well as a mom."

"Once I was down in the laundry room, sorting another of our endless loads of laundry. I heard the laundry chute open above me and down came a note. It said, 'Dear sexy laundry lady, thank you for doing my socks and underwear and taking care of my kids.' That simple note said so much. He had noticed what I do, acknowledged it and made me feel loved and appreciated. I think that's pretty romantic." Me too.

Foss is a freelance writer living in Springfield.

This article appeared in the February 15, 1996 issue of "The Arlington Catholic Herald."

Courtesy of the "Arlington Catholic Herald" diocesan newspaper of the Arlington (VA) diocese. For subscription information, call 1-800-377-0511 or write 200 North Glebe Road, Suite 607 Arlington, VA 22203.