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Isn’t it romantic?

Author headshot of Carol Burnside, aka Annie Rayburnby Carol Burnside (aka Annie Rayburn)

Initially, I was going to talk about Valentine’s Day which is coming up this Thursday. When I mentioned this to Miss Maggie, she paused in mid-stream pour of my cup of tea and harrumphed. I’m not sure what that meant, but I forged on. In preparation for writing this romance post, I took two online quizzes which were supposed to determine whether or not I was romantic. Now, I know I am, but answered the questions honestly, even when I suspected they weren’t on the highly romantic end of things. But during the process, I noticed a vast difference between the quizzes and it changed the slant of my post.  

On the Quizopolous  site, the questions centered on what I consider lazy romance – much like clichés in writing fiction. Songs, reading poetry to one’s partner, bubble baths, moonlit beaches, flowers, my pajama choices. I scored 4 out of 15! Me. A romance writer. The verdict was that I considered matching sweatpants romantic. At my exclamation of dismay, Miss Maggie peeked at the screen over my shoulder and shook her head. 

Then I took the Chatterbean quiz and was pronounced a ‘Hopeless Romantic!’ This quiz got a “There ya go.” comment from Miss Maggie as she carried our teacups to the sink. The questions here were more about my habits. Do I kiss with my eyes closed? Fiction or non-fic? Love stories or comedy? There were questions about my feelings on PDA and whether I thought about my partner during the day. IMO, they were focusing more on my inner romantic nature rather than outer, schmaltzy behavior.  

Perhaps it’s my age, or the fact that I was raised by practical-minded, frugal women, but there are a lot of supposedly ‘romantic’ things I find frivolous and even consider them lazy clichés. Yes, I’d be somewhat disappointed if my hubby bought me a heart box of candy and a bouquet of flowers for Valentine’s. That worked when I was 14, but now the candy would sabotage my diet. (I’ve lost 12 pounds, y’all!) The flowers? Eh, I could live with them as long as he didn’t spend a small fortune. I’d rather have a nice evening out with him or a piece of jewelry that reminds me of the occasion.  

Romance is me getting the oil changed and filling the gas tank before a trip because Hubby was out of town and it would be a mad rush for him to get those things done upon his return. It’s remembering to keep a supply of his favorite diet pudding on hand, his favorite drink stocked or picking up his business mail while I’m in town so he doesn’t have to stop at midnight after a long day of traveling. To me, those things say “I love you still, after more than three decades of marriage.” 

I’m betting our readers and my blog sisters have some definite opinions about what’s romantic and not. Please share. Name three things you find romantic or tell me how you show your love in everyday ways.

Mary Preston - February 12, 2013 - 3:12 am

Romantic for me has nothing to do with grand gestures. It’s the everyday little things that speak of respect & love.

Not having to ask for milk to be brought home or taking the garbage bins out the night before etc. Basically just doing, just because..

I would not say no to flowers or chocolates though. That would be a waste.

Maxine - February 12, 2013 - 7:10 am

I enjoyed the post, Carol. I’m more the “everyday gestures.” Watching TV, when a commercial comes on, he may tell me he loves me. Bringing me a scratch-off (I get a kick out of those) every Friday afternoon. Bringing in wood for the fire. Friday nights mean a nice dinner out. But I do want a card – and he brings that.

Linsey Lanier - February 12, 2013 - 8:05 am

I like cards on special occasions and imo, you can’t beat a box of dark chocolate. ;) But you’re right, Carol. It’s the little things that mean so much. Watching favorite TV shows together, getting my back scratched, finding a peanut butter sandwich in the fridge he made for me. I think every couple creates their own language of love. Thanks for the sighs.

PS: 12 pounds! Congratulations, though I didn’t think you needed to lose. :)

Pam Asberry - February 12, 2013 - 8:14 am

I’m a total sucker for all the hype. Give me a glittery card, a box of truffles and a dozen pink roses. But maybe that’s because I’m a single girl. A chick flick and dinner out works, too. :-)

Marilyn Baron - February 12, 2013 - 8:18 am


Congratulations on the 12 pounds. That’s great. Call me frivolous, but I love to get jewelry. I wouldn’t consider my husband “romantic” in the traditional sense, but he does do numerous things that say I love you. Going grocery shopping with me. In fact, he says if I went by myself I would just wander around the store aimlessly. And he’s right. He washes all the pots and pans that I use even if he was out of town when I used them. He takes care of everything around the house. He takes me on trips to places he doesn’t want to go. We enjoy watching TV shows together and generally agree on the same movies. Little things that people usually take for granted, which speak volumes.

Susan Carlisle - February 12, 2013 - 9:59 am

I couldn’t agree with you more. Ironing my husband’s shirts I consider an act of love. Giving him space when he comes home for awhile before I tell him of the issues that have to be handled and seeing about all the housewhole business are all acts of love. Just being there for someone in the good times and the bad is what true love is.

Elaine Calloway - February 12, 2013 - 11:54 am

Great post, Carol :)

I agree w/Marilyn – having the Hubs go grocery shopping with me is a huge way of being romantic, because it is a task that I hate doing. When we both go, it’s enjoyable :)

I’m not one for grand gestures either, it’s the little things like bringing me a cup of tea without being asked; caring for me when I’m sick, etc.

Great post and Happy Valentine’s Thursday (And I gotta say this as the only Cajun in this lot – Happy Fat Tuesday today!)

Carol Burnside - February 12, 2013 - 12:41 pm

Same here, Mary. I totally agree.

Carol Burnside - February 12, 2013 - 12:44 pm

Ah, yes, Maxine. Cards are special, aren’t they? Saying what we can’t seem to say quite as well…

Carol Burnside - February 12, 2013 - 12:46 pm

You’re welcome for the sighs, Linsey. :)

As for the weight, I’ve got 22 more to go!

Carol Burnside - February 12, 2013 - 12:47 pm

Somehow, Pam, I expected you’d like the romantic trappings. I think that does come with being single. But I’m also betting that if you had a crisis and he held your hand throughout, it would make your heart melt. There’s something about a guy who sticks in the bad times that turns us to mush.

Carol Burnside - February 12, 2013 - 12:48 pm

Agreed on the jewelry, Marilyn. Absolutely!

Carol Burnside - February 12, 2013 - 12:49 pm

I had to laugh, Susan. To me, ironing anything is a MAJOR act of love. It’s one chore I could happily never do again and the one thing I told Hubby from the onset that was not to be expected – ever. LOL

Carol Burnside - February 12, 2013 - 12:52 pm

Happy Fat Tuesday, Elaine! Speaking of little gestures, I love the warmer weather because Hubby tends to show up unexpectedly with wildflowers he’s gathered to put in the vase in my kitchen window. Now that’s even more romantic to me than a dozen long-stemmed roses.

Sandy Elzie - February 12, 2013 - 3:46 pm

Great topic, Carol. All those little things is what endears my hubby to me. You know, making the coffee, helping put clean sheets on the bed, putting the clean silverware away while I put the dishes away…..all those little gestures that say he appreciates me & doesn’t hold to that woman’s work/man’s work distribution. And, of course, I make sure to thank him. :-)

Congrats on the weight loss & Happy Valentine’s day.

(oh, and I love any and all the things he does ….candy, flowers, jewelry, dinner out or a night in a B&B of my choice. It’s all good…especially when it means extra special time with him.

Connie Gillam - February 12, 2013 - 7:44 pm

I’m with you, Carol. I go for the everyday things to say “I love you”. Picking up his favorite coffee, going to the movies to see one that has an explosion every other scene, letting him know that his favorite author (s) has a new book out, etc.

But he returns the sentiment. He goes with me to see bustle movies (aka Pride and Prejudice), but most of all he’s always there for me when I need him.

Anna Doll - February 13, 2013 - 10:51 pm

I’m not much of a romantic, although for our first Valentine’s Day together, I built a four foot tall by sixteen foot wide “card”, put it in his driveway, and called the DJ of the most popular radio station in town and had him wake Mike up!

A card is nice, but not necessary. I much prefer a dinner out, some “me” time, a back rub…after 36 years of marriage it’s more about the time together and less about the “stuff”!

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