This isn’t how to get more nookie. Romance doesn’t always mean sex. The definition of romance is an idealistic feeling, a desire for adventure, chivalry, and love. Larry bought me two bunches of daffodils yesterday at Trader Joes. He knows I particularly love them because I get to watch them bloom. That’s romantic.
Valentine’s Day DEMANDS the world think romance. It can be a huge stress trying to figure out what would make the other person happy on this singular day. A tall order. Dinner out with Larry and the red heart box of chocolates from my dad are both greatly appreciated. But those daffodils are the epitome of romantic – he heard me.
I want a romantic, adventurous life – every day. These are some of my ways.
- Sometimes, I make sandwiches open-faced and bite-sized. Like party appetizers, just on an ordinary day. Larry doesn’t complain – a BIG guy actually likes something he can pick up with fingers to eat, as long as there’s enough on the plate.
- I’ve grown wisteria on the house. We sold our Westwood home last September, along with its glorious mature vine, so I plan to do that again when we buy our next place. Right now, in a rental, no wisteria for me.
- When we dine, we sit facing each other. The first 10 years of our marriage, we fell into the trap of eating in front of the TV. Then, while at a food conference, I had a lightning bolt in one of the sessions… we don’t talk over dinner! From that point forward, we sit at the table across from each other. Dinner means no reading the paper, no answering the phone. Just eating and communicating.
- We buy See’s candy occasionally for no reason. Larry and I grew up in LA, and See’s was a part of that culture. Their Bridge Mix is comprised of teeny bites of both dark and milk chocolate over nuts and chews. It makes us happy.
- I own – and use – little flower vases. Our previous home – and the next one – had a garden with romantic old fashioned flowers (roses, lavender, hydrangeas) to clip and have around the house. My vases each were purchased with a sweet memory attached.
- Use the sterling in everyday ways. Silver is organically romantic; it has patina. LIFE needs more patina, but it is usually messy and casual. When we were packing to move, I brought ALL the sterling to the rental, not the storage unit. Larry asked why bother? OBVIOUS – renting can be a bummer. Silver is uplifting.
- No matter how long we’ve been married (soon to be 35 years), we go on dates, often. Dinner and a movie. Picnic in the park. Concerts. Theater. Seminars. Road trips. We call them all dates.
- Take up a new sport or physical activity. Now that we’re on flat land, we ride bikes to the beach. Together, or sometimes alone. A romantic life needs quietude.
- Paper note cards with real postage stamps are sweet to write, and delightful to receive. I like seeing mail go out the door; it means something can happen at the other end (the old PR person in me always felt that way when we snail mailed press releases). Mail is Old School, tactile — I can touch it. Get a box of cards from Crane, the classic. I also mail paper birthday and anniversary cards.
- Cloth napkins at every meal. We have plenty, toss in the washer after each use — they get softer. These Hen House napkins are really sweet. Paper napkins are for tailgating, road trips, potlucks in my opinion.
- Take vacations to exotic locations. I love channeling my inner Kristen Scott Thomas (as in, “English Patient”) and/or Meryl Streep (“Out of Africa”). Go to India. Gorilla trek in Rwanda. You’ll thank me.
- Paint the front door Chanel red. Both our Studio City and Westwood homes had gloss paint red doors — they made me happy, the ultimate goal of a romantic life.