Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Wife Rule #14: Romance is Always in Style

Butterfly collars. Sequined jumpsuits. Orange shag carpet. Disco music. Lime-green corduroy bell-bottoms. Bob Ross. The Seventies must have been one big decade-long hangover from the chemically-induced highs of the Sixties. I have no idea how it's possible that so many obviously bad choices in taste could all become fashionable at once. It was the cosmic misalignment of the stars, like the Universe slipped a disk and was cringing from back pain for ten years.

Thankfully, we enjoyed several decades of sanity following the Seventies. Unfortunately, today many of these abominations seem to be making a comeback with The Younger Generation, the same generation who would probably host parties for the express purpose of eating Styrofoam peanuts if they knew it would drive The Older Generation crazy. Which just goes to show that styles come, and styles also go (thank goodness).

Why do I mention the Seventies? I would think it would be obvious by now: unfortunately, in many relationships, Romance also ebbs and flows like the styles of the Seventies. See the connection? Sequins + Jumpsuit = Infatuation Gone Sour.

Never mind. I think I overblew that point. Let's try again.

If a marriage is to thrive, Romance had better survive. And if Romance is to survive, it had better be a whole lot more than just basic attraction; you know, the kind that causes dirt particles to stick to shag carpet. Romance had better be more than a whim, subject to "getting old" and going out of style.

My wife and I attended a marriage workshop last night in which the teacher asked us to share a word that described our thoughts the first time we met our spouse. "Whoa!" I offered. I meant it. There is no other word that better describes both the adrenaline, and the incredible restraint which was exercised on the Stallion Within in order to avoid full-blown whinnying noises. For me, that was the beginning of our romance.

The romance quickly blossomed like the proverbial Blossoming of Romance. Soon we were two, lovesick children who endured Unbearable Agony if we were separated for even a few of our waking hours.

"Must you take leave of me for university instruction?" I would implore.

"Alas, I must," she would reply, "But fear not! For the cruel hours of Chemistry class separating us from yonder Horizon of Happiness shall soon flee; and presently we shall frolic about like young roes on a grassy knoll."

Then naturally, I would respond, "If 'tis Chemistry you must seek, then let my salty tears of parting, a solution of sodium-chloride ions, serve as a symbol of our destined bond, to summon thee as through an electrostatic attraction of oppositely charged particles." And thus our romance flourished.

Over ten years later, it might be safe to say that the effortless aspect of our romantic attraction has lessened somewhat. In this stage of our romance we are more likely to find ourselves sitting together in a marriage workshop, than frolicking on a grassy knoll. But that's not a bad thing. Just because the infatuation of youth has given way to the realities of married life, doesn't mean that our feelings for each other are any less. In fact, our love runs much deeper today than it ever has; it just requires some conscious effort. So spending an evening together, holding hands in a marriage workshop, is just what the Love Doctor ordered. And unlike orange shag carpet, our brand of romance is always in style.

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