Saturday, February 8, 2014

Sunday Musings: February 9 2014

Five days till Valentine’s Day. Five days to think how you’re going to romance your love. 

Romance. What is romance?

The dictionary would have us believing it’s a noun…emotional attachment, mysterious or fascinating, enthusiasm, short-lived. Or a verb…to court or woo, even to make love.

Maybe it’s warm fuzzies or devoting special attention or…honestly, I don’t know how to describe it. 

Let’s see what the Muse family muses it to be…

What is Romance? Not an easy question to answer. I suppose everyone has a different opinion.
The cynical poet, Lord Byron wrote:

Romances paint at full length people’s wooings,
But only give a bust of marriages;
For no one cares for matrimonial cooings,
There’s nothing wrong with a connubial kiss:
Think you, if Laura had been Petrarch’s wife,
He would have written sonnets all his life?

I prefer a poem written by Wiiliam Cavendish, Duke of Newcastle (17th Century)

There is no happy life
But in a wife;
The comforts are so sweet
When they do meet.

Two  figures but one coin;
So they do join,
Only they not embrace,
We face to face.

Ah, you may sigh that is romance in marriage.
But romance is much more. In the Middle Ages it was a narrative in verse or prose about the adventures of chivalrous knights, which had little in common with real life. King Arthur and The Knights of the Round Table and the tale or Lancelot and Guinevere have fascinated the romantic at heart for generations.
And then there are the songs of troubadours,  of Henry VIII’s Greensleeves, and in more recent times one of my favourites, Unchained Melody.

Before I learned what romance is, I learned what it isn’t.

Romance is not someone using threats and intimidation to make you do what they want. It is not someone calling you cold – or something far worse – because you choose not to participate in their preferred activities. And it is certainly not someone condescendingly explaining that there is a difference between sex and love, that they can sleep with lots of people and still love you.

Once I pulled myself out of the pit of self-doubt created by such a relationship, I knew that I would never again let myself go there. I was ready to stand on my own. My newfound self-confidence led to a completely different type of relationship. I finally learned what romance truly is.

Romance is that feeling I get when my husband looks at me a certain way, and I know he cherishes me just as I am. It’s everything he does to make me smile, from secretly obtaining a beloved antique ring for an anniversary surprise, to sending me an email in the middle of the work day just to let me know he’s thinking of me. Romance is taking a “honeymoon” each year – even just a quick one-night getaway – to focus on each other. A Great Romance is what I lucked into after years of feeling demeaned. And you know what? That makes me appreciate it even more.   

I like romance. To me Romance is doing something out of the ordinary. Dinner over candles is nice, some wine. Something quiet and personal. something where you can relax with the woman you love. I know, sounds cliche, but I do agree some find just cleaning the house romantic, but if that's out of the ordinary.... I do prefer to make the dinner though, so I would say that falls into the category.

Or even,, if there's children involved, may getting a babysitter for the night. Giving her a chance to just rest and maybe talk. I've done that, as well. One girl just like to get some wine and sit in the car and talk all night. about anything, about everything.

Pauline (P.M.) Griffin author of THE STAR COMMANDOS series

Romance?  That's an aspect of love, not the main part but something very nice.  I think it is best expressed in the various tradition forms performed with some ceremony, however understated.  I think it is the latter which makes the doing or giving special.

To me romance is my husband just doing something ‘nice’ without me getting all over his case.  Or yes, cleaning the bathroom out(I hate doing that!) or making dinner.  It’s the little things.

S.S. Hampton, Sr. author of  BETTER, THAN A RABBIT’S FOOT and upcoming SHARING RACHEL

 Interesting. Not to butt in, but I once read an interview of various women - and I'm not being sexist here - one woman stated that whenever she came home from work and discovered her husband had cleaned the oven, she wanted to ravish him.

True story!

I think I'll leave now...

I've always been a sucker for romance of any kind. When I was a little girl I used to love to read love comics and think of when I would meet someone who would make me feel like the characters in those comics. When I was older I read romance novels, even though I was married. So I've been married a very long time and in that span of years my husband has done many romantic things for me. He has surprised me and given me flowers. He has done something for me and most important of all, he has been there for me every time I needed him.

I used to think romance was like the Cinderella story. You met someone you loved and you married him and lived happily ever after. Hah!!! It's making the happily ever after be tolerable. That's the reason for romance. Sometimes you just need to shut the door and spend some time together. I know we did that when things became too complicated. Or else we went out and left our kids to a babysitter. Couples need to keep romance in their lives and I know if we hadn't done that things just get out of hand. Now of course, romance is a little different for us. With my husband now in a rehab center after his hospitalization for pneumonia, he tells me he loves me every time I see him and he holds my hand and this is romantic for me.:)

Romance is how you perceive the situation. Yes, having a man take out the garbage can be romantic. Or maybe choosing to watch the movie you love rather than a big adventure is romantic. It's all in how you make it. You are the character in your own novel and it's up to you to make your life as romantic as you want it to be.:) Of course, when I write I always put in romance. I don't think anyone should be without romance in their life.

Dawn Knox author of the upcoming: DAFFODIL AND THE THIN PLACE

A life full of romance sounds rather wonderful but I think it might get a bit wearing. Rather like chewing gum. Pleasurable in small doses - but chew it for too long and it loses its flavour, leave it for a while and it goes hard or even worse, you might even find it stuck to your shoe.

Imagine someone outside your window serenading you all night. By the time morning came, I bet you'd  want to throttle the minstrel.

Or how about a romantic evening spent with your loved one in front of a roaring log fire? Fine for a while until the fire begins to die and someone needs to get some more logs. And eventually someone has to wash up the wine glasses and clean the grate. I could happily bypass all the hearts and flowers in favour of time spent together laughing.

A shared joke, an evening spent together giggling and laughing means far more to me than a bunch of roses or a box of chocolates.
When I first met my husband, I was immediately drawn to him because of his sense of humour. Forty years later, its one of the things I still love about him most.

Kenneth Hicks and Anne Rothman-Hicks, Coming Soon: THINGS ARE NOT WHAT THEY SEEM

"Ken, I’m guessing you think that this week's Sunday musing question is kind of mushy.” 

I know better than to address these questions head on. 

 “Let’s just say I put my boots on for this discussion,” I replied.

Anne continued.  I knew she would.  

“It's hard enough to talk about love.  But romance?  It’s so vague, so totally abstract.”

“C’mon, Anne.  It’s very simple.  It’s what the guy does to get the girl in the mood.”

Anne sighed.  But it was not the kind of sigh she uses when she’s thinking I’m a numbskull.  It was kind of a sweet sigh.

“Remember when you used to get me a dozen roses every year for Valentine’s Day?” she asked.

“Sure.  You used to get a headache and sneeze and have watery eyes until we figured out you were allergic.”

“Yeah,” she continued dreamily, in a zone of her own.  “And then you started getting me chocolates – Godiva chocolates no less.  That was very nice.”

“Seems to me they gave you hives, Anne.   Not good for the mood, let me tell you.”

Anne was ignoring me big-time by this point.  She was on a roll!

“But the very most romantic thing you ever did was when I was still in college at Bryn Mawr and you made a simple little heart out of plaster in the art lab at Haverford and painted it red and scratched into the back, ‘I love Anne.’”

“Hmmmm.  I remember that.  No hives.  No watery eyes.”

“I still have that heart, Ken, after 44 years.  In fact I took a picture and I’m posting it on your Facebook page on February 14.  It defines romance for me.”

I looked at her.  She was smiling.  She has a great smile.

“You define romance for me, Anne.’

“Mush!’ she said.

 Enjoy your Sunday…go have some fun, maybe a little romance.

Mush? Yeah, I can do that one. 

If you have a question or comment you’d like us to muse upon, do not hesitate to contact me Christine Steeves-Speakman  at


Anonymous said...

A lovely and thought-provoking post. Thanks, everyone, for sharing your musings

Susan Bernhardt said...

I enjoyed everyone's posts! Very heartfelt!

Curl up with a killer – Cozy Mysteries
The Ginseng Conspiracy by Susan Bernhardt

Jan said...

My grandparents were married for 64 years and one of the wisest things my grandmother ever told me: "Marriage isn't based on love; it's based on how many of each other's faults you can tolerate." She was so right. We humans are so imperfect I'm amazed that anyone ever finds love.