Which defines your typical meal?
A. Grab a plate out of the cabinet; dish up your food (hot dish? Skillet something or other?) in the kitchen, and then plop down somewhere convenient while watching television.
B. Rip open the delivered box of pizza with your teeth because it smells Oh. So. Good. Pop the top off a bottle of beer, and let your stretch pants earn their keep.
C. Set the table with tablecloth purchased in Europe, and then add vintage plates, silverware, and glassware. Turn on soft jazz music. Dim the lights so the candlesâ€“ that are scattered in just the right placesâ€“ will put a sparkle in your loveâ€™s eyes. Go to the kitchen and retrieve the pasta, and the pasta sauce that has been slowly simmering for three hours. Serve in a beautiful large, shallow, bowl that allows the sensual colors, scents, and flavors to be fully appreciated. Pass the homemade bread, pour the aerated red wine, and play footsie with your paramour under the table.
In full disclosure, my husband and I pretty much fall into choice â€œA,â€ and choice â€œBâ€ minus the ripping the box with teeth because heâ€™s a dentist. Â Itâ€™s a comfortable lifestyle, albeit one that lacks, um, excitement and mystery. Itâ€™s hard to feel a tingle in the nether-regions when the only thing reflected in my loverâ€™s eyes is the nightly news, or the words â€œPapa Murphyâ€™sâ€. Donâ€™t get me wrongâ€¦we have oodles of other ways to keep our romance fired upâ€¦but weâ€™ve also let a lot slide into the realm known as â€œevery day.
I have a friend, however, who mostly lives description â€œC.â€ Really. She and her husband have made the conscious decision to make their relationship not only a priority but also an enviable romantic way of being. Everyday.
Last Saturday we were invited to their home for dinner. From the moment we arrived until the moment we waddled back to our car, the evening filled our senses. Bouquets of long-limbed roses and lilies lounged in sensual vases. The aromas coming from the kitchen intoxicated long before the wine started to flowâ€¦which it did in generous and frequent servings. The table glistened in a textural feast for the eyes, hands, and soul. And the conversations? They lingered on the ear like whispered satin and lace.
Sure, you may be thinking, you were company and they were going all out. Mmmm, I donâ€™t think so.
Iâ€™ve been over to their home at all times of the day and night. They have breakfast in an intimate nook on their porchâ€¦with antique dishware and flowers. They look at each other with a ravenousness that spills over into the minutia of routines. In other words, they choose to live a beautiful life every day. Not just on weekends, not just when company comes over, and not just on birthdays or anniversaries. They live almost as if in a bygone era, a place of respect, a slow pace, and eloquence.
When I visit my friend I feel a sense of happiness and of awe. I wonder if I should invite more romance into my life as well because it is freakâ€™n cool to be in that environment. Why canâ€™t I create the life I imagine too? I love my husband; I want romance and the sense of giving and receiving raw desire. So where am I going wrong?
I pulled on my stretchy pants tonight and we ate in front of the television. Again. But throughout the evening we snuck kisses from each other, waggled eyebrows in suggestive ways, and laughed in companionable and evil ways. My husband even said he liked the way my butt looked as our dog dragged me down the road.
Maybe romance is a compromise. Thereâ€™s time for the heaving breasts and passion, and thereâ€™s time for the smudgy â€œI love Uâ€ written on the bathroom mirror in soap. Thereâ€™s time for a gentle hug at the end of a bad day, and time for a quickie because nothing else will do. And tomorrow, just to really go wild, I might skip the stretchy pants when he comes home. Completely.
My friend is a lovely reminder of what a beautiful life can be, but our life in its worn, pizza stained, comfortable tempo is pretty darn good too.