Someone once asked me if I believe in or appreciate romance. The answer is yes, but I suspect it’s probably my very own brand of romance. As in, if my husband forgets my birthday or our anniversary or Valentine’s Day or whatever –- I could give a fat rat’s ass. Fuck off. Unless you’re 16 years old, all that dire, forced, commercialized horseshit drivel drives me insane with disgust, anyway.
For me, romance is belly laughing and traveling together and eating yummy grub and watching awesome movies and having amazing discussions and just enjoying the living shit out of each other’s every goddamned breath.
Romance is setting off on great adventures together — even if that adventure is just to Trader Joe’s in Eagle Rock for stevia and gorgonzola cheese.
Romance is being there for someone — even when all others betray or abandon them. It is being both bold enough and devoted enough to stand alone with them against the onslaught of those who would disparage, subdue, or attempt to destroy them.
Romance is encouraging the other person to seek their heart’s desire — whatever and wherever that might be.
Romance is encouraging them to be exactly, precisely who they are every minute of every day — and celebrating that freedom.
Romance is looking at the other person and knowing, to your marrow, that no matter how much time you will have together in this life, it will never be enough.
Romance had nothing at all to do with this shot I stealthily fired off at the grocery store at 5:30 pm on Valentine’s Day a coupla years ago. Despite the Brooks Brothers shirt, the cashmere vest, the $400 Italian loafers, and the top-of-the-line black Mercedes S-Class parked right outside, homeboy looked fucking terrified:
Romance also had nothing to do with this shot taken at See’s Candy a few minutes later. Along with the smell of marzipan and milk chocolate, dread and fear hung in the air like an unholy mist. You could just sense the many anuses puckering in desperate terror all around you:
This poor sap looked like he was waiting in line for a prostate exam:
Those pictures don’t show me romance; those pictures show me obligation, submission, and perhaps even a little annoyance.
Now, for me, this is romance; someone patiently sitting vigil at your hospital bedside for days and days whilst you emerge from major surgery and face the uncertain possibility of the dread cancer; and then that same someone consequently frolicking about with you like a giddy jackass on amyl when your oncologist tells you, this house is clean:
As for me, I subscribe to the David Sedaris definition of true love. It’s not always what you do that shows how much you love someone; it’s often what you don’t do:
“I was reminded of just how lucky I truly am. Movie characters might chase each other through the fog or race down the stairs of burning buildings, but that’s for beginners. Real love amounts to withholding the truth, even when you’re offered the perfect opportunity to hurt someone’s feelings.”
I am the luckiest girl in the world.