Life has a way of ruining just about everything you imagined it would be. Instead, I married someone who didn't have a romantic or charming bone in his body. I settled for having a justice of the peace wedding and catered my own reception. I was not told I was beautiful or given compliments. And, when I caught a cold or flu, he threw his arms into the air and grumbled, "Oh great! Now I'm going to get sick!"
It should have broken me and made me bitter. Instead, it left a hunger in me. A hunger for the tiniest gesture of kindness and caring; not because of obligation, duty and chore, but because I somehow evoked tenderness in a man.
It was only this year that I had the single most romantic moment of all the moments of my entire life combined. For anyone else, it would make no sense why it was utterly captivating, but after a lifetime of being ignored and not nurtured with loving gestures, the tight knot in my belly loosened, my defenses dropped, and I felt a little sob of relief deep within as if the universe finally heard my deepest desire, to provoke a loving gesture from a man in an unguarded moment.
What was this romantic gesture? It wasn't a compliment or flattery. It wasn't flowers or candies.
I was cooking supper, getting it onto the plates when he reached over and brushed the hair from my face in a gesture that was so natural and unguarded that it showed caring on his subconscious level. It was no flirty pat on the butt or compliment about how good the meal smelled. No, it was affection. True affection. Something I had never received. And, the single happiest moment with a man that I can ever recall.
Yes, men, it might seem that women expect so much from you; put the seat back down, pick up your dirty clothes, quit buying video games, and take me out for supper now and then, but it still boils down to this - we're really just feeling hurt for a lack of nurturing.
Women are caretakers from the moment we first bundle up a baby doll. Men grow up, marry and end up being treated like they are still with their mommy. Women don't have mommies when we grow up. We are the mommies. Sometimes, when we have had about enough of responsibilities and everyone else coming first, one tiny little gesture of mothering can make our hearts melt and replenish us.
I know you're going to ask me about the man. No, we are not an item. But, he will always be in my heart for giving me something I dreamed about since I was a girl approaching womanhood. For that, he is a romantic hero and a very fine man. And, I dare to dream again.