my favorite romance

By Brenda Tadych
Woman Newspapers

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. Where there is love, there is life. You complete me. Hugs and kisses, hearts and flowers, love notes in lunch boxes…I’m a hopeless romantic!

The man of my dreams, my perfect Valentine, would have as much brawn as brains.  He could build me a spice rack and fix any appliance in the house. He would have the kind and generous qualities of Mister Darcy and the old-fashioned gentlemanliness of Sam Elliott. He’d keep an eye on the air pressure in my car tires, open stubborn bottle lids, and kill any spider for me. He’d be a hard worker with the rough-skinned hands that could just as easily swing a sledgehammer as rub my neck.

I know he sounds too good to be true, but I assure you, he’s my real-life Valentine right down to those scratchy hands that snag my clothes but give a fantastic scalp massage.

Ours was a mere bud of love when we first met on a hot summer day in 1991. He was wearing cutoff jean shorts and had long, curly hair and because he was working on concrete around a pool, his shirt was off and his sweat was glistening in the sunlight.  We met and, well, the rest is history.

It isn’t all flowers and sunshine. We have our disagreements, but he usually makes me laugh even when I want to be mad. If I really dig my heels in, he’ll ruin my whole bad temper mimicking everything I say in a Donald Duck voice.  (He thinks he’s soooo funny.)

Ours is give-and-take like any romantic relationship. I watch his science fiction; he suffers through my Hallmark movies. I like rafting; he jumps out of airplanes.

We’ve learned to balance our time together without being smothering or too distant. We’re respectful of doing our own thing and accept time apart from each other. One person gets their friends-time while the other gets their alone-time. We don’t find it necessary to spend every minute of free time with each other. A little space makes our together-time that much more enjoyable.

We’ve now spent half of our lives together and we practically know what the other is about to say before we say it.  If one of us gets a hunch to pick something up at the store we’ll find out it was something the other needed. We appreciate the serendipity of it.

We go together like Heathcliff and Cathy in Wuthering Heights.  Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine, are the same and there’s no one else I’d rather have for my Valentine.