Romancing a man
Christmas is the perfect season to write about romantic love. I know. It doesn’t sound exactly right, does it? But we DO get bogged down and busy this time of year. Maybe a little “romance reminder” is in order.
Many of you have read the forwarded e-mails and have heard people laughing about the marriage advice given to women in a Home Economics textbook written in the 1950s. Greet your husband at the door. Make a nice meal. Try to look your best. Why are these things so offensive in our current culture? Do we think we’re too intelligent to live a life of service to others? If we do, the outcome could be devastating to our society. A lot of us can get caught up in serving the people outside our homes, forgetting that the people who live inside our homes are our first priority. Maybe there are some valuable things to be gleaned from that Home Economics textbook. Perhaps in our effort to move forward, we have lost some valuable ground.
If you’re happy with the way things are going in your marriage, I’m not trying to stir up trouble. But for the rest of you, I’ve composed a little list of practical things to try if you’re interested in rekindling the romance in your marriage. No, I don’t have a PhD. No, I’m not a marriage counselor. The only qualification I have is that I’ve been happily married for almost 20 years.
1. Greet your husband with a hug, a kiss and a positive attitude when he comes through the door. Many women show more enthusiasm when the UPS man comes than when their husband walks through the door. (That’s a whole other column.)
2. Look presentable. What’s wrong with looking your very best for the person you care the most about? (I know. That doesn’t seem like rocket science to me either.)
3. Tell the kids you need a few minutes alone with dad. (My husband returned from a business trip in Albuquerque last night. We were all so excited to see him, but we had to remind the boys that the first few minutes were for us.)
4. Cook meals and sit around the table together. Cooking a delicious meal and setting the table doesn’t mean you are not an intelligent woman. I’ve noticed that some women on TV are now proud of the fact that they “can’t cook.” Sometimes it almost comes off like, “I’m so brilliant in important areas of life that I don’t have time to learn how to cook a turkey.” I’m glad that my highly educated mother didn’t think that serving the family was beneath her dignity. (And incidentally, cooking a turkey is not hard. Even people who are not “brilliant” manage to do it.)
5. Speak words of kindness and respect. If you want to truly romance a man, speak words of respect. Praise his capabilities and his ideas. Surely you can find at least a few positive things to say. Stop focusing on the negative. And if you want to absolutely KILL romance in a man’s heart, just publicly speak ill of his intelligence or abilities. Incidentally, most men would rather hear the words, “I respect and admire you” than “I love you.” It’s true. (Don’t kill me. I’m just the messenger.)
And by the way, there is one more very important aspect of romancing a husband. Unfortunately, it can’t be discussed in the newspaper. But I trust that the intelligent women who read this column can figure that one out on their own.
Editor’s note: Lisa Smartt’s column appears each Wednesday in the Friends and Neighbors section of The Messenger. Mrs. Smartt is the wife of Philip Smartt, the University of Tennessee at Martin parks and recreation and forestry professor, and is mother to two boys, Stephen and Jonathan. She is a freelance writer and speaker. Her book “The Smartt View: Life, Love, and Cluttered Closets” is available at The Messenger, The University of Tennessee at Martin bookstore or by mail for $10, plus $2 shipping. Send checks to Lisa Smartt, 300 Parrott Road, Dresden TN 38225. She can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.
Published in The Messenger on 12.05.07