Sunday, February 12, 2012

getting real about romance

foxontherunbridevia foxontherunbride.tumblr

Last night I was telling Mr. Moss about the latest topic for my blog. It was at the end of the night but it was the only time we had. And unfortunately, we both had to get up really early.

This is one of the kindest things about my hubby. He really listens, even when he’s tired.

In fact, after twenty four years of marriage I think this qualifies as a romantic moment, one of those spontaneous acts of thoughtfulness that are worth their weight in gold because they happen at the end of a long, tired day. Deep listening is an act of romance without the exotic beach or the expensive date-night and glossy Hallmark card, but I think it’s the best kind of romance. Especially when it happens in an ordinary day.

Don’t misunderstand, I think Valentine’s Day is nice, but I think it’s the other 364 days of the year that really matter. What do you think?

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For example, I think that light, funny banter can be as important as lingerie. And that deep, engrossing conversations where you lose touch with time over a bottle of wine, can be as intimate as sex. And after twenty-four years of marriage, I think these exchanges are better than any fleeting bar-stool flirtations because of the heated history that bonds us; and the war-chest of shared memories that gives us that mysterious sensation of holding hands with our minds; so that in that in one swift moment it feels like we’re  seeing life through the same lens and that our years together have melded us into one.

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I call it a deeper shade of red-hot passion. It’s that warm, steely bond that happens when you’re not looking. And instead, you’re busy being parents, and dealing with all the turbulent late night discussions and questions and worries that accompany the joys of your children. It happens when you’re busy with your extended family, and making time with aging parents and friends, and coping with illnesses and death. And while all this is going on, you’re still managing bills and juggling retirement and the cost of college.

So you might not notice that something transformative is happening at the core of your relationship.

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But there are curious signs.

For instance, I’ll be in the middle of describing something to Mr. Moss, and I’ll be searching my mind for a certain word or a memory that will help him know my experience, only my mind is blank. And right at that very moment, while my mouth is still open and nothing is coming out,  Mr. Moss will blurt out the exact word I was looking for, or he’ll produce my missing memory, because he was there too and he remembers it.

Or else this happens. I’ll be gazing at a politician on the television and I’ll be having this perturbed reaction when suddenly, from across the room, Mr. Moss who is also watching will share his opinion. And without me having spoken  a word, he will have identified the exact thing that was irritating me. We both were thinking the same thing.

I always heard about those couples that finish each other’s sentences. Only I didn’t want to be one. I immediately assumed that quality was a sign of a boring, tedious complacency. But I was wrong.

I was reminded of this last night.

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I was talking about a possible blog post, and I asked my husband to give me his top romantic scenes from the movies. Not romantic movies, because that seems too ….easy. It’s the romantic scenes that matter. And we were both going through a stream of movie scenes out loud, and we were agreeing and disagreeing and at one point it goes something like this. Because it’s so easy with him.

Me:  “What about Tom Hanks? And that movie he made with Meg-oh-what’s-her-last-name?”

Mr. Moss:  “…you’re talking about Sleepless in Seattle.”

Me:  “Oh, and that other one when she’s in the bookstore...”

Mr. Moss:  “Yeah, that was, You’ve got Mail.”

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Me: “I think those are too cutesy, don’t you? Where were the passionate moments? Too contrived. I like that other Tom Hanks movie. You remember. About his father?”

Mr. Moss: Oh, you always liked that movie, the one with Jackie Gleason. You’re thinking of Nothing in Common.

Me: Yes! And that one scene…

Mr. Moss: I know…when he’s at the window with the other woman and she goes by on her bike..

Me: Yes, and the way that the camera lingers on his eyes and pans over at her and we could see his feelings right in that camera shot, even though she was with that other guy, we knew that she was still the ONE for him ?..”

Mr. Moss: “Yeah, that window always reminded me of The Old World Restaurant in Westwood Village. That was the same feeling you got when you looked out on that street…”

Me: Yes, I remember…”

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And suddenly we were back in time in Westwood Village in LA in the eighties, to a time when we were living in a tiny, one bedroom apartment with avocado green and orange tile in the bathroom and the screen-less window over our bed that we kept open at night, so the breeze from Venice Beach would drift over us while we slept. A carefree, happy time when it was just us.

And right then, on a mundane Thursday night when we both had to get up early in the morning and deal with the realties of work and life, there we were…

finishing each other’s sentences and laughing and feeling like our past and present had merged into one lovely place in our minds as we drifted off to sleep.

We weren’t on some extravagant romantic getaway, we were someplace better. We were at that cozy, familiar place where two old minds meet up together.

And after all these years. I happen to think that’s romantic.


What do you think?

Do you think Valentine’s Day can distort our image of romance? Does it create unrealistic expectations?

Email me at or leave a comment below…. I love hearing your opinions!

And thanks for stopping by,



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