Mother: How come you didn’t call me on Valentine’s Day?
Son: Are you my sweetie?
Yes, this actually happened! And he wasn’t joking! I hope that you are as incredulous as I was. I hope.
Let’s begin with the standard definition of romance as defined by Merriam-Webster. (Read that? Good. Now, let’s move on.)
I don’t know about you, but I’ve found too many dictionary definitions to be circular — unclear; too layered — too many disjointed meanings; or incomplete — not nuanced enough or too shallow.
For me, romance is one of those words desperately crying out for an added layer of meaning.
At this point, if you’ve read my earlier posts for this month, it is no secret that I am a huge, huge fan of romantic love as it is often imagined between lovers. To me, it is, well, supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. Really, it is fantastic!
But, sadly, most of us aren’t gonna to win the romantic love lottery in this lifetime; and even if we do, it is often fleeting, fraught with disappointment and/or oh so bittersweet. Let’s face it, romantic love may as well be a pipe dream buried deep under all the other realities of life: eating, sleeping, working, pretending, … eating, sleeping, working, pretending… dying.
It is rare and it is tenuous! In other words, its track record: SUCKS! But just because that is true does not mean we cannot choose to infuse our lives with romance.
Little acts of romance can happen every day if we expand the definition by making it more inclusive of all the people we love, and then finding tiny ways to weave it through the everyday fabric of our lives and the lives of our beloveds. For example:
- Maybe you present your mum with the most showy or simple bouquet of her favorite flowers on YOUR birthday;
- Maybe you send the cutest cards, each carefully chosen, to your best friend forever (BFF) every week for months, because you know she’s struggling;
- Maybe you call your elderly father every morning and every evening without fail, so he knows that someone still cares;
- Maybe you write the sweetest love poem to your BFF on her birthday because you really love that girl or guy; and
- Maybe, heaven forbid, you even call your loving mum on Valentine’s Day, because she IS your sweetie.
Make no mistake. These are romantic gestures too. No, the recipients aren’t lovers, but we love them, right?! And at the very heart of romance is the desire to express love and deep affection for someone.
Plus, these acts of romance are for the people who are likely to always be there for you. In fact, these people are the very ones that prop you up when romantic love abandons you again! So why would you want to starve them of a little romance?!
For goodness sake, I cannot. I will not. I do not accept that big love is limited to just lovers.
After all, if our lives and all of our relationships are not infused with romance, all we have is just so much bookkeeping.
So to the son mentioned in the opening lines: Yes. Yes. Yes. She is your sweetie — your very first.
Call to action: Am I cuckoo? If you think so, tell me why in the comments below. And if you see it my way, please share how you infuse your life with romance.