Last night Gabe and I were watching This Is Us and there was a scene where Jack, the husband, rents out the couples’ old, first apartment for a night. He stages it with twinkle lights and champagne. It’s a grand, romantic gesture aimed at keeping their love alive in the wake of a friend’s divorce.
“I hate this show,” Gabe said after the scene aired.
“Because it makes me feel bad. We never do stuff like that.”
It’s true. We don’t. There are no grand romantic gestures in our lives. Or even small ones. Our days are so busy we can barely keep up with what needs to be done, forget about romance.
“I know,” I said. “We suck.”
But then I got to thinking. Sure, we don’t rent out old apartments and we only pull out the twinkle lights on Christmas. But that doesn’t mean the romance is dead. It’s just different.
These days a romantic gesture is getting up with the kids in the morning so your spouse can sleep in. It’s doing the dishes because you know your partner is exhausted. It’s putting the kids down because your wife is over it after 14 hours in the trenches. It’s making your husband’s favorite dinner because he worked all day and skipped lunch. It’s supporting your wife’s passion so she can reclaim that tiny slice of herself not dedicated to the kids. It’s watching This Is Us when you’d rather be watching basketball. It’s taking out the trash. It’s folding the laundry. It’s sharing the burden.
That’s what romance looks like in this house.
And yes, our version of romance might be the least romantic thing on earth. It might consist of chores and mundane things that most people take for granted. But it works for us. And honestly, I’d take a morning sleeping in over roses and twinkle lights any day.