Advice For The Romantically Challenged
by James Snyder
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Just recently, I discovered something about myself I really didn’t know before. You live with yourself for so long and then one day n bam — you discover something you didn’t know about yourself. It’s a rather humbling experience to say the least, and the least said about this the better.
All I will say on this matter is simply: you know your puppy love has matured when you find yourself in the doghouse. And I recently found myself a resident of the proverbial doghouse.
I shouldn’t complain; many people don’t ever find themselves. I’m not sure which is worse, to find yourself in the doghouse or not to find yourself at all.
Then, there is this problem: when you find yourself what do you do with said self? Perhaps the worse thing that could ever happen to a person is to find themselves by themselves. I don’t have to say that “ourself” is much better than “myself” for obvious reasons.
What I discovered about myself is that in many regards, I fit very nicely into the category of the romantically challenged, and I didn’t know I was a competitor. Not everyone who is romantically challenged is so apprised of the situation at hand.
After 35 years of holy matrimony, not to be confused with holy macaroni (pardon my Italian), I never considered myself in this category. A recent event, however, suggested this just might be true about me.
It was around my wife’s birthday when the incident happened. Weeks before her birthday my wife kept dropping what I thought were hints she would like a ring for her birthday.
Being the astute husband I thought I was, I made several mental notes. I must confess most of those notes were mislaid somewhere, or written in invisible ink, which may account for the discrepancy associated with my action.
Knowing my wife wanted a ring on her birthday I got up early on her special day and called her on her cell phone.
I don’t have to tell you the trouble I was in with you-know-who. At the time, I thought it was a very romantic thing to do. Evidently, one person’s definition of “ring,” is different from someone else’s — namely mine. Who knew? I didn’t.
This only points out the difference between husbands and wives. For example, if a woman sees a little flame of fire she thinks of candles and romance. When a man sees the same little flame he thinks of steaks and grilling.
I suppose true romance is found somewhere between candles and grilling.
Life being what it is, husbands are usually the last to know trouble is brewing in the romantic sector. Husbands know, for example, when coffee is brewing in the morning by the aromatic essence filling the house. Trouble and coffee, for some inexplicable reason, do not share the same bouquet.
Usually, and I’m speaking from experience, the husband knows he’s in trouble but doesn’t know why he’s in trouble or how in the world he got there in the first place. It is one of those mysteries of being married — or should I say, of being a husband.
The art of husbandry is not easily mastered and happy is the husband who finally does. Of course, as soon as he does he must die.
One mistake husbands usually make is trying to find out what is wrong. Men are not genetically prepared to process this sort of information. The best he can do is simply look his wife right in the eye and say, “Honey, you are absolutely right and I apologize.” It is not important what you are apologizing for. Nothing is more irrelevant in this situation than facts or information.
In fact, if any husband chooses to complicate the situation with facts he soon discovers just how cold facts can be in such circumstances.
I have found that romance runs the gamut from the honeymoon to the honey-do. The “honey-do” period covers a lot of territory. This territory, much to the consternation of husbands, has a fluid boundary. It is impossible for the malemindset to keep up with the ebb and flow of this tide. Just when he thinks he has established the ebb, it simply flows away from him and all he is left with is sand.
Being an experienced husband, I think it’s my duty to give others the benefit of my vast knowledge. For those who might suspect they are romantically challenged, let me offer some observations.
If you both go out to dinner but not at the same restaurant or on the same night, you might be romantically challenged.
If your last romantic getaway was spent in two different cities, you might be romantically challenged.
If your wife starts coming to bed in PJs, and you don’t notice, you might be romantically challenged.
If your wife says, “Honey, we need to talk,” and you prepare for a dialogue, you might be romantically challenged.
Perhaps the best advice anybody has ever given to a husband is simply boiled down to this: “If she’s happy you’re happy.” Sometimes the only surefire way of telling if you’re in love is to ask your wife. If she doesn’t know, trust me, you ain’t.
After my little episode, I sought solace in the Bible. “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.” (Ephesians 5:31 KJV.)
Becoming “one flesh” is the most challenging part of romance.
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