Romance Bites


I’m incredibly cynical on the subject of love as I wrote about the other day in the post Loved And The Lost. If you’re one of those glass is half full people, you may not want to read this.

Every grand romantic gesture I’ve ever had performed on my behalf was to mask some nefarious deed or done out of sheer crazy. I don’t trust romance. I don’t enjoy watching it in movies or reading about it in books. I’d much rather watch a kung fu movie than a romantic comedy. I’d much rather watch anything than a romance. The only kind of romances I like are the kind where everyone dies in the end.

I once woke up to a dozen roses on my bedside table. Romantic, right? Until you realize that the person who brought them broke into my house while I was sleeping to deliver them and then began a long, arduous process of stalking me until I essentially had to leave the state to escape.

I’ve been driven to a weekend getaway in a fancy hotel only to find out that the reason I was there was so that my boyfriend could have me all to himself and not have to worry about his paranoid and untrue delusions that I was flirting with other men, ALL other men. This plan was foiled by the mere presence of male waitstaff. I broke up with him then and there, but he didn’t actually go away for a long time.

I was proposed to by a man who, come to find out, was still married. He turned me into the other woman unknowingly. He and his wife were on the rocks and he was looking for her replacement. He had already been married twice at that point. A few months later, I heard he found wife number three anyway.

I’ve had little phone calls throughout the day that just said I’m thinking about you until those innocent, little phone calls escalated into, “I’m outside of your house. Let me in or I’ll break the door down.”

I’ve been told I love you in all manner of grand gestures only to end up enmeshed in someone else’s twisted, psychotic and delusional nightmare of what romance and love should be. Romance has nearly killed me so I don’t trust it. I want nothing to do with it. You can keep it. You can keep all of your chocolates, red roses, greeting cards and romantic getaways. You can take your romance and shove it where the sun don’t shine. It’s brought me nothing but trouble.

That being said, some of the most romantic gestures I’ve ever experienced were spur of the moment. A boyfriend of mine bought me a single, withered carnation from a homeless man and handed it to me with a flourish and a bow. Another made me dinner by candlelight when the power went out. One took me skinny dipping on a warm, starry night. Taking me by the hand as we walk through a crowded street or holding an umbrella for me when it’s raining are the kind of romantic overtures I appreciate. These are the gestures that mean something, not some prepackaged, corporate idea of what romance should be. Anything less than a simple act of sheer consideration is fake and valueless in my world, and only leads to drama and trauma.