Scott once told me I don’t have a romantic bone in my body.
I’m actually very proud of that.
I have no idea how to explain that, except that ‘romance’ seems so cliche and sort of scheduled to me that I get the giggles and make fun of just about everything about it.
I’ve never been caught up in a romantic moment, but I think that might be more that I haven’t been swept away in my emotional whims in a culturally defined way. Honestly, I see romance very differently than champagne and roses, walks in the park, kisses in the rain, holding hands on the beach, whatever. Cliche.
Romance is the sweetness of having been friends through it all. Romance is the aching wait together through thick and thin while you wait for something scary like test results. Romance is loving someone so much that you’ll hold hands through a really bad terrible day, or month, or year, or even a decade, and still giggle about how stupid some of it was.
Of course, I think his idea of romance was pretty weird, too. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a really sweet guy and always there in a pinch and has never let me down, but… He once saved money buying armloads of carnations about to be pitched out the back door of a flower shop, so I stood at the sink with a fever going through two bales of nasty decaying carnations so I could put a few in a vase. I think the flower lady ripped him off. But not to worry, I’ve also gotten some very excellent flowers. It’s just that he comes up with these weird surprises sometimes, and he really means well, so his feelings get kinda hurt if I make fun of them. And I’m aspie, I can’t tell you how hard it is not to laugh…………
Here is my very favorite story from our whole marriage, which will be 15 years in August.
It had been a rough week, I felt yucky, the kids were underfoot (gradeschool and middle school), work was dumb for both of us, whatever we were snappy about wasn’t making sense, and without thinking I shot off “Why don’t you ever call me a term of endearment? You’ve never called me honey or dear or darling or anything like that.” He asked me what I’d like to be called, which, as you ladies know, is ~bad~. I huffed off and completely forgot all about it. (I’d like to say to the people reading this who HAVEN’T been married five or ten years with kids, this is completely normal and sane behavior on both sides.)
About a week later, it’s dark, the kids are in bed, he’s busy on me, and suddenly everything stops, I feel his mouth on my ear, and he whispers “Cupcake.” Then he got busy again.
Cupcake? Why did he say cupcake? Did he *want* a cupcake? Was I supposed to make him some cupcakes? I know he ~likes~ cupcakes. Is he hungry?
You’ll have to bless my little aspie heart, all this is flashing through my mind like a big puzzle and he has no idea I’m no longer in the moment, when it hit me– THAT
was the term of endearment! And before I could stop myself I was stifling giggles at how unromantic and weird that was, and every time ‘cupcake’ went back through my head I was suffocating myself more and more trying not to laugh, but it crescendoed until I had to gasp, and next thing you know I’m laughing and laughing….
Poor Scott. He’s in the middle of it, I’m laughing hysterically, and I can’t even tell him why because I can barely breathe. He stopped, turned on the light, and huffed off into the bathroom. I gasped in after him, still doubled over in gales of laughter, wiping tears from my eyes, and he’s so hurt he won’t look at me or speak to me. He avoided me for three days. And he never, *ever* called me cupcake again.
Years later, that memory still sends me into fits of giggles, no matter where I am or what I’m doing. Scott knows the whole story now, he understands me. He’s probably not exactly ok with it, but it’s such a little thing to him that he completely forgets all about it. For me, however, that is a precious memory. Two completely different minds meeting in a world of love. That story is a very good picture of our whole marriage, all the crazy misunderstandings and goofy stumbling around that two people go through in a friendship that lasts for years. I have Asperger’s, he has Attention Deficit Disorder. I cannot think of a more romantic memory than looking back over the years at how we learned how to laugh together over everything dumb between us. Some day, if he goes first, people will wonder why I have to stifle a little giggle while I wipe my tears.
It takes a brave man to keep making love in the face of a woman laughing. Scott would really miss me laughing if I stopped and got all gooey and romantic on him. I think we have more fun just laughing than any other couple I’ve met. I can’t help it, sex is just so weird, and stupid things pop into my head like how dumb frogs look doing it and stuff.
Valentine’s Day is funny because I don’t get the least bit gooey, but Scott gets all sappy about his favorite candy and sits there lovingly eating those little hearts while he watches tv. He’ll buy himself candy and forget all about me. Cracks me up. I love watching him be himself. I think some people miss seeing the unique stuff when they insist on romance.