My husband is neither the most romantic man, nor is he the most physically affectionate man. I understood and accepted this well-before I married him, but decided that locking him down was a better alternative than continually searching for that person who would decorate my house with paper hearts on valentines day (ie, my next-door-neighbors). Sure, I have the occasional fantasy of him coming home with flowers and expensive jewelry, sweeping me into his arms, and crooning love songs to me, but, well, chances are there would be a baby hanging on me when he attempted to do so, or a dog pawing to be loved by his master (Dugan lives for the first pat from JMahl upon his return home), and we'd all wind up in a rather painful pile on the floor while the jewelry got eaten by the baby and the flowers got eaten by the dog.
But please don't think that JMahl is never romantic-- he does have his moments. For example, when he proposed to me, he made certain that Al Green's "Let's Stay Together" was playing in the background... a song that I had mentioned months earlier as being, what I considered, the most romantic song ever. That's romantic-- if you can overlook the fact that I was wearing a ratty old hand-me down nightgown (nope, he couldn't at least let me be in sexy lingerie for it) and that it was early on a Sunday morning and I had neither brushed my teeth (or hair) or washed my face. I was, actually, quite nasty. If you look at it from another perspective, the fact that he proposed to me when I was at my most unattractive must prove that he really did love me and want to marry me.
And, of course, he's romantic enough to know that when I'm mad at him, wine goes further than flowers. Depending on how angry I am, I may ignore the flowers, but I will always drink the wine.
And sure, sometimes it bothers me that he likes his quiet time. His alone time. (Although I saw a movie where they referred to it once as "Gentleman's time", but I think (hope) something a little different was going on in that movie than what goes on in JMahl's basement.) But it's not his fault that he wasn't raised sharing a room with three younger siblings. If he had been, I'm sure he'd be quite content to come home after a hard day's work and spend the next few hours being swarmed, suffocated, and deafened by the children (and his wife. Yes, I admit I can (maybe) be a little suffocating at times.) So over the years I've come to accept that he may sometimes need a break from it all.
And while he's never been one much for PDA (he didn't have the luxury of watching his father sweep his mother into an Oklahoma HELLO after work every day (watch the movie if you are curious)... or the complete and utter joy (sarcasm!) of overhearing your parents' giggles late at night because the closet in his bedroom opened into the closet in his parents room, providing a great hiding place/ escape from siblings, but not a great sound barrier from his parents' nocturnal activities), but he has come around quite a bit, perhaps due to my insistence that constant touching confirms constant love. And, when we're not desperately grabbing a child to keep them from getting run over by a car, he'll actually hold my hand in public now... so we're getting somewhere. And yes, I appreciate each little baby step that we take.
But regardless, we haven't come so far that I wasn't just a little bit taken off guard the other night when, as I was cleaning the kitchen counter and yelling to him in the other room "do you want to open a bottle of wine for me?", he came into the kitchen, snuggled up behind me, wrapped his arms around my waist, pressed against me, and nuzzled my neck. Surprised, but appreciative. And then, my husband whispered in my ear in his most seductive, deep, vibrating, this-is-why-I-have-four-children voice: "oh, honey. I love you so much. Even if you are a wino."
Way to ruin the mood, JMahl. Way to ruin the mood. Now get me a glass of wine.
And the most romantic part? He did.