Saturday, February 13, 2010

Wooing...Some thoughts about love

Last night, I watched the movie "I Hate Valentine's Day" with Nia Vardalos and John Corbett. I'm not sure if what I did can really count as watching the whole movie though because I fast forwarded through over half the movie. But, I watched the last quarter in full. The first 3/4 is completely predictable and I actually was irritated by Vardalos' character, so I just fast forwarded to see what would happen. There was some wisdom in the last 1/4 that I wanted to write about. (*Please note that this entry is full of spoilers about the movie)

The main character, Genevieve, has always thought that romance is love. Her dad cheated on her mom after 25 years and when her mom found out, she cried and he chose to leave her. The dad calls his daughter periodically and leaves messages for her. Towards the end, she finally confronts her dad and tells him that he should have done what he did--he shouldn't have had an affair. You can tell he has no remorse and he replies that she doesn't have the right to say anything because it doesn't have anything to do with her and because it doesn't affect her. She tells him that yes, it does. Because of him, she has never gone on more than 5 dates with someone because she refuses to let herself get hurt the way her mom did by her dad. Her father is unrepentant and looks like a deer caught in the headlights.

That scene was very real to me. I have a friend who's husband has said the same thing in many different ways since the day he left his wife of almost 20 years. He thinks that his actions are only about him--that he has the right to be happy and that those actions don't affect his children. That's just not true.

Genevieve realizes that she had gotten all the wrong ideas about what love is. She faced her dad and then began to face her life. Her delivery man for her floral shop comes in and she asks him if that is what love is--the regular living stuff--going through life together. He is puzzled and then explains how crazy his home is but that he wrote Happy VDay on her plate in syrup when his wife wasn't looking and she cried. He admitted that he likes to go home. It's where he wants to be.

By this point, she had lost the man she loved, Greg, because of her 5 dates rules (you only go on 5 dates with someone because after 5 dates, the romance fades and love is gone), but she still loved him. Her friends tell her that she needs to "woo" him.

She becomes a bundle of nerves and stresses out trying to think of what to do. First, she makes him some muffins and then sends him 2 or 3 gifts. He sends her a thank you note, but no phone call. Then, it's Valentine's Day and he's bitter, she's bitter and a man gives Greg the advice that he just needs to do something stupid to show her that he loves her. So, he does and of course the last scene is them telling each other they love the other. It's quite sweet.

But, it got me to thinking. I've been married almost 9 years and my husband and I do most of the same things when we have time. I'm still bad about keeping secrets and surprising him. But, I try. I don't know if I'm very creative in wooing him. As women, we want to be wooed. But, I think as wives, it's good to woo our husbands and show them that we love them. We are wives first and moms second. It's so easy to lose sight of that amidst little feet running through the house and children's voices.

I started trying to think when I woke up in the middle of the night about what I could do. And I've only come up with one thing so far. I'm going to try and write him at least part of our story. He is a reader and that's what he loves to do. I don't know that I'm a very good writer, but I think it's a start. In case, he actually does happen to read my blog--I won't post any more ideas I've decided upon. But, if you have any for me, I'd love to hear them!

The love in our marriages is in the day to day choices we make. But, much of the romance is in the wooing--or at least that's something I think this morning. And I would agree with Genevieve, this wooing business is hard. It's hard, but I think it will be worth it.

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