Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Defining Romantic

Some people would like you to believe that once you have children romance is dead and that spontaneity is out the window. Don’t believe them. While it is likely you will have to repress a few impulsive urges, that does not mean that you can never enjoy an impromptu romantic afternoon or evening. Babies take naps, so do toddlers, older kids have music class and sleepovers, and they all thankfully have a bedtime. In fact, allowing for romance post child requires that you embrace spontaneity with a fervor like never before. It requires a whole new level of ingenuity, ardor, dedication, and lets face it, a few hours of lost sleep.

I have never been a fan of The ‘Romantic’ dinner. The candlelight, the soft music, the strawberry shortcake for two, the whole thing just seems absurdly premeditated. As if romance were something calculated. I happen to know that Fancy Valentine’s Day prefixes are the antithesis of romance. Nothing can ruin the wild nature of prospective love more then sitting in a room full of other hopefuls trying to approximate the very same thing. While you can aspire for romance, you can’t plan for it, and you certainly can’t buy it for $85 a head with a complimentary glass of Prosecco. Romance is organic, uncultivated; it grows out of adoration; respect, and desire, spontaneity is what sets it aglow. Sure, strawberries and Champagne with a loved one is special, but I’ll take getting caught in a rainstorm then warming up with a hot toddy with them any day.

For Ben and I, a romantic dinner usually includes cooking together, though sometimes we cook meals for one another. Much of the time it involves us geeking-out on how the food turned out, what we would do differently next time, and waxing about future cooking challenges. Sometimes we will choose a bottle of wine to go with the meal or make a cocktail and other times not. We never plan these romantic dinners, so it hard to say what they will involve and its hard to define what exactly makes them romantic. They pretty much just come about on their own, Hannah goes to sleep easily, the meal just comes together, we are both ready and willing to un-wind. What I can say, it that, now that we have Hannah, there is one ingredient that we can pretty much count on in order for us to have a romantic dinner, and that’s a baby monitor.