My husband isn’t a flower man. He’s much too practical to buy something that will die in a week. In fact, I can count on one hand the number of times in our 17-year relationship that he’s given me flowers.
There was my birthday two months after we started dating and a few times when he was working as a bike courier. (Let me tell you, a bleached blond, tan, fit bike courier bringing you flowers on a Friday evening is hot—even if it is your husband!). And there was last year right after a wonderful weekend in Moab at a friend’s wedding—for days after that incident, I wondered what the hell had gotten into him.
Our first years together, it bothered me that he rarely got me flowers, that he didn’t want to go to the movies, that we rarely held hands in public (we’re Midwestern, we keep that PDA stuff to a minimum, so this blog post is likely to drive him nuts!). Yet, I’ve learned with time that when you’ve been together long enough, your definition of romance changes.
For example, my husband likes to cop a feel at inappropriate times such as while I’m making dinner. I’m likely to be holding a sharp knife, so it seems like a foolish time to grab a boob, but he does it anyway. For years, this annoyed me and I usually pushed him away in exasperation.
Until there was a period of months when he was finishing his graduate thesis and stressed to the max and the sexual harassment stopped. And, gasp, I missed it.
About that time I read about “reframing” in The Happiness Project, where you purposely change your perspective on something annoying so that it brings you joy. When I reframed the boob grab, I realized that my husband still thinks I’m hot.
He’s watched me push a nearly 8-pound baby out of my body, witnessed my unshowered body hooked up to a breast pump like I was some kind of bovine, dealt with my temper tantrums, pretended not to see the cellulite and wrinkles that increase on a near daily basis, and he still thinks I’m hot! A cynic might say I’m just an easy target since I’m crawling into bed with him every night, but I’m going with the I’m-still-hot perspective.
So last weekend, when my husband grabbed my ass during a fundraiser for our daughter’s school, I shot him the requisite dirty look to let him know it was inappropriate. But inside, I was smiling.
You see any guy can give you flowers, but when the man you’ve been with for more than 17 years cops a feel for no reason, well, that’s just plain romantic.