When it comes to romantic gestures, my husband doesn’t disappoint. There were the dozen roses on the Valentine’s Day before he deployed. The cupcakes on my birthday when he was gone. The little notes and letters and emails that made their way to me when I was least expecting it.
But perhaps the most romantic gesture of all was the time I came back home from being away. I was jet-lagged and tired. The flight had been late and then we had been held on the plane for an hour. I went to bed. When I woke up, John had already left for work. I grabbed a bowl of cereal, opened the curtains to our balcony and
OH MY GAWD.
The ten-foot long, bright yellow kayak that had taken up our entire balcony –the only piece of “outdoors” we have attached onto our apartment – was gone. In its place was a planter with actual plants in it, our two bikes and a deck chair.
And there was a Post-it note on our sliding glass window. “Enjoy the view,” it said in John’s scratchy handwriting.
Of course, I panicked. I was sure he had sold the kayak, which I had unmercifully teased him about for more than a year. I called us the Beverly Hillbillies – you could see the kayak and our bikes and our chairs on our balcony from the street. I called him in a tizzy.
“You didn’t sell it, did you?” I said.
No, he hadn’t. Instead, he had moved it to a friend’s place for storage. He had wanted to give me a place for the summer to write in the fresh air – somewhere I could enjoy and not feel so cluttered and claustrophobic.
It might sound silly to an outsider, but to me, it was so absolutely romantic.
I had never asked him to move his kayak. I had never gotten upset about it being on the porch and obstructing any possibility for a person to sit out there and enjoy the balcony.
He just knew that it would make me happy. And it did.
I’d like to say I reciprocate with even better shows of love…but he outdoes me every time. I’ll stick a note in his lunch box and he’ll surprise me with a letter in my laptop. I’ll grab him some guacamole mix in the grocery store and he’ll bring home my favorite Firehouse Subs sandwich. Dude. I can’t win.
But the fun is in trying to surprise him with little moments of happiness and romance. It keeps us connected even when life is busy and we’re both working 12 hour days. And it’s just plain fun.
This week is the week that you plan and execute one random act of romance as part of NextGen MilSpouse’s You Got This: 52 Challenges to Make 2016 Your Bitch.
Week 13 Challenge: Random Act of Romance
Challenge Details: Spend some time this week planning and pulling off a random act of romance for your partner. You can tape a note to the bathroom mirror, buy a present, give a back rub or do something else for them. All that matters is that it’s unconnected to a holiday, birthday or other celebration. Remember, it’s a random act.
Your Deadline: April 4
Bonus points if you post a picture of your random act of romance on Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #2016IsMyBitch.
Not sure where to start? Here are a few resources that can help get your creative juices flowing:
This website is all about keeping the romance alive. If you’re on Pinterest, you’ve probably seen their posts plastered everywhere. And there’s a reason why they’re so popular. They have a ton of free printables and ideas that can spark your creativity.
This site is a straight flashback to Geocities and 1997, but it does have a fun random generator for romantic ideas. Keep clicking “generate” until you find one that works for you.
I didn’t think I’d ever use the phrases “Reader’s Digest” and “romantic” in the same sentence, but there you go. This is a list of romantic ideas – some of which were probably never executed – but they’re fun nevertheless.
Watch out for some of their more cringe-worthy suggestions (like attaching $100 to a Victoria’s Secret catalog or kidnapping your partner) to completely outrageous ones (like a random, surprise 2-week trip to Paris). Personally, I want to have the suggested his and hers Porsches. Make it so, Reader’s Digest.
Don’t have thousands of dollars to drop on a random act of romance Porsche? Just think of something that would make your partner happy or surprised. It doesn’t have to be material. It doesn’t have to cost a thing. But it does need to have some thought from you behind it.
That’s what matters the most.