ROMANCE IS IN THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER

ROMANCE IS IN THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER

From Chicken Soup for the Romantic Soul

Romance Is in the Eye of the Beholder

The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved.

Victor Hugo

Life is so very busy. I think at times we all get so lost in the hustle and bustle of everyday life that we forget what it was that made us fall in love with our spouse or our significant other. Thankfully, I remembered.

My husband works hard. Many times his hours are long and his employment usually takes him away from the homefront about one quarter of the year. I’m not complaining, mind you, because that was the same job that enabled me to be a stay-at-home mom and pursue my dream of writing. Yes, I’m a mother of three active boys and a published romance author. Naturally you’d think my life is full of romance. It is. My days consist of plotting and arranging the romantic lives of my characters so that the outcome is the proverbial “happily ever after.” I love happily ever afters. This story is one of those.

I’ve never considered my husband of nineteen years to really be the romantic type. Sweet as he is, he isn’t one to make dinner reservations at an exclusive restaurant, or buy me a mushy, lovey-dovey card “just because.” I do get flowers for all the proper occasions and the cards do come then, but is that really romantic? I never considered it to be, especially when the vast majority of the female population was getting them, too. I had always wished for a little more. . . .

One day while I was working, several strange “incidences,” for lack of a better word, crept into my mind. I was trying to concentrate on my current work-in-progress but “they” wouldn’t leave me alone. “They” weren’t any huge revelation or any spectacular plot points I could use for the rancher hero I was working on at the time, either. They didn’t have to do with the elusive heroine I was still trying to get a grasp on. No. These were different. Very different. They were about my husband. For some strange reason I couldn’t get out of my head the last business trip he went on. He brought me back a pound of Ghirardelli malt balls and the romance novel I’d been meaning to buy. Then there was that fax I received that simply said, “I love you.” Could those two things fall under the romantic category? I decided they could. They most certainly should. Other special moments flooded my mind as if a little keeper in my head had opened some “dam of memories.” I remembered, vividly, the time my husband got the kids to bed early. No small feat, let me tell you! I was in the basement scrubbing a baseball uniform, wondering what made me angrier, those coaches who encouraged kids to slide when it was raining and muddy, or the league who purchased the white pants. When I came up from finishing the chore, a scented bubble bath had been drawn, wine poured and candles lit. Has anyone ever been bathed by their spouse or significant other in an atmosphere like that? I can tell you firsthand that that was romantic! Those white baseball pants were soon forgotten and the coaches all forgiven. Then I fondly remembered another time, when the kids were at Grandma’s. My so-called unromantic hubby packed us both sandwiches and we rode bikes to the covered bridge in our town. We sat there, holding hands, eating and watching the geese and ducks. Just the two of us, just “being.”

It hit me, then, as I stared at my computer monitor, the words “Ray loves Tina” endlessly floating across the screen— the screen saver was something else my sneaky husband had changed once before going out of town—how unfair I’d always been in my thinking. Was my husband romantic? Heavens, yes! I realized I could go on and on with those special moments, all the way back to when we first got married. You may not think it’s romantic for a man to travel on business with a container of deodorant that has his wife’s picture taped to the front, or finding Hershey Hugs and Kisses that had been strategically hidden all over the house because he wants you to know he misses you and is thinking about you while he’s gone, but I sure do.

I know it’s been said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but I think the same goes for romance. We all need to look for those special moments—and cherish them! I’m just thankful this romance author finally reflected and realized, again, what a hero she’s married to!

Tina Runge

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