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Read Letter

Rekindling Romance

My dear Jack, it is important you have romance in your marriage; otherwise it will taste like dry bread. It’s bread alright, and will satisfy certain nutritional requirements; but it will be lacking in aesthetic flavour. And that aesthetic flavour is what makes marriage enjoyable and amiable. Without romance marriage becomes functional, even utilitarian. It becomes focused on the meeting of the quotidian standards of society, with the raising of a brood as justification. You and your wife will keep marking the marital calendar in dreariness. And since abject notching of days on a marital calendar has no celebratory value, you can’t celebrate your anniversary. A wedding anniversary is a celebration of love not the passing of days. Without love there’s nothing to celebrate. Without romance a relationship becomes so humdrum, even dressing will be affected.

There’s a reason we have spices. Spices flavour food, making them desirable to taste buds. The spice of marriage is romance. And the state of romance in a marriage is the state of relationship between a husband and wife. Your challenge as a husband is the rekindling of romance, transporting the marriage back in time, to when lightning struck. Your challenge is to recreate memories of that moment, when the systolic flush of the heart made it flutter. Romance is a softener of the harsh realities of this business we call life. It’s some sort of expression of appreciation for that wonderful woman despite all life has thrown at you. Romance looks at that woman and expresses deep appreciation in the unspoken language of the heart. There are all those grand romantic specials we plan, but romance need not be momentous.

Romance is waking up in the morning and just snuggling together. Romance is the loving ritual between a husband and a wife – the good morning kiss, the mock berating. Romance is the affirming of your wife each day and each morning. Romance is the appreciation of her dressing – her deft of little touches and dashes of fashion intelligence. Romance is the wrapping of your hands around her waist, telling her what a lucky man you are. Romance is the appreciation of that new hairstyle she has, the one that took many incomprehensible hours. Romance is the noticing of that new colour of nail polish, and the new lipstick, and the new colour gradient of the hair. Romance is the mock shaking of the head in appreciative tolerance of things lost, and now found!

Romance is the text in the middle of the day, telling her you love her. Romance is the bearing of shopping with her, despite the “horror” of such an exercise. Romance is the braving of a visit to an intimate fashion store, to buy her something nice and full of surprise. Romance is helping her zip up her dress, despite knowledge of her self-sufficiency for such exercise. Romance is the ritual of assistance in the clasping of her bangle, and the clicking of that difficult necklace. Romance is buying of that umpteenth red bag, the one whose reddishness somehow matches Esau’s shade of hair. Romance is the acquisition of the vocabulary of the moment; the colour blocking of human language. Romance is that assurance given; the communication of eternal exclusiveness and protectiveness. Romance is the touching of her brow in a mock temperature check upon complaint of a “slight headache”. Romance is the massage of the feet from the punishment of yet another nine-inch shoe.

Romance is the eating of the greens at the loving command of her imperial majesty, the obeisance to a schoolteacher. Romance is doing that exercise she commands to reduce the size of the distending tummy competing with pregnancy. Romance is that lovely gift on Valentine’s Day, the honesty of wording in those cards. Romance is making her feel special before her peers – an announcement made in words and gestures. Romance is the complimenting of her culinary output, even when the effort is mismatched with the taste. Romance is those delicate moments you share together, as the dawn pares the curtain in the window of the sky. Romance is that surprise necklace, that surprise dress, that surprise bag, that surprise surprise!

Romance is the romantic getaway for the weekend, the leaving all behind because life will never stop making demands. Romance is the barricading of the door against the noises of the children, the spending of “we” time. Romance is the caring and the giving, the intimate exchange of affection, and kind words. Romance is hand-in-hand stroll in the cool of the day, through a virtual garden in life’s urban jungle. Romance is helping her resolve one or two challenges from work, in gentleness, and the paying of attention. Romance is the resolve not to quarrel, to always be in amity, seeking understanding and the elusive middle ground. Romance is saying, I’m sorry Darling, Thank you Sweetheart, Baby I appreciate this. Romance is that talented display of poor penmanship of a poem from the heart – the type that must be forgiven. Romance is the sending of flowers to her in the office, with that little note from You Know Who. Romance is going to the movies together, the sharing of popcorn as you endure yet another of her romcoms.

So you see, romance is not something extraordinary. It is those little things and those little moments. It is an expression of faith in the future, the exposure of the innards of the heart. At the end of the day romance is the giving of the heart from the heart. It is the giving of the soul from the soul. It is putting each other first, being kind and considerate of one another. Romance is we. Romance is us. Romance is never me.

Your mentor, LA

© Leke Alder |

Tags : Romance, Marriage

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