Thursday, July 1, 2010

Follow the Script!

Despite getting older, I never tire of things romantic or a good love story. You'd think as women age and lose their "blossom" they would tire of all the lovey dovey stuff, but I'm telling you it just doesn't go away. There is something magnetic about witnessing young love unfolding or watching (and rewatching) a good romantic movie. Even this portrait entitiled "The Kiss" (painted by Italian painter Francesco Hayez) captures my attention and conjures up dreamy thoughts of heartfelt bliss. I keep wondering if I'll still be as captivated when I'm 80. I'll let you know.

I've never been one to read romance novels, but I do enjoy a movie where romance is depicted in a chaste and noble fashion. As I write this, there are scores of young ladies (and some not so young ladies) hitting the theaters to see the new Twilight movie. I, for one, am not one of them. Edward and Jacob are too pale and melancholy for my taste and their lines don't send my heart in a tailspin as they do some. I'm more of a Tom Hanks, Harrison Ford, Richard Geer, and Colin Firth kind of girl. Tom is every man, Harrison is just macho enough but still human, Geer is dignified and has that cute smile, and Firth is Mr. Darcy (nuff said). You know, it's really not a lust thing for us ladies. Tom is not really that handsome and neither is Colin. Harrison Ford is an old man. Richard Geer.....okay, maybe he's kind of cute.

The thing is we just love it when a man knows the perfect thing to say to a woman at just the right time, even if he is saying it to someone else instead of us. One thing to note though is that there is one huge difference between these actors and my husband. Those actors have the benefit of good script writers. They know what to say at just the right moment because someone else told them what would work. That is cheating and not true romance. Therefore, it is very unfair to compare such pretenders to my husband, a good man who doesn't have the benefit of a skilled script writer.

To my husband's credit, he has mostly figured out what NOT to say in most instances. However, from time to time I do wish he had a really good line from a script when I am hoping for a romantic tidbit rather than a totally male response to a situation.

An incident that happened the other day is a classic example of not exactly getting the response I'd hoped for.

Our current bishop from church dropped by Sunday afternoon and handed me an envelope our former bishop's wife found in her husband's office when she was cleaning out some of his things. That man was our bishop when we first married, but unfortunately he passed away a couple of years ago. In the envelope was the first tithing my husband and I had paid after getting married almost 28 years ago! Apparently our original bishop had mistakenly taken the envelope home in his coat pocket and it never made it back to the church to be recorded and deposited. Therefore, inside the envelope was $24.25 in cash with the tithing slip filled out in my husband's handwriting and dated Oct 31, 1982.

My husband was not home at the time and I could not wait for him to return. I just knew he would really enjoy this little surprise. I could not help but think about how simply our lives began as husband and wife. I was working full time but he had been laid off of his job for months. He was doing some work in a friend's business as well as participating in medical research studies at the teaching hospital in order to make a little extra money. This envelope of money represented our commitment to God and to each other as we began our marriage. How sentimental! Even the original bishop's last name was LOVE! How cool is that. This is the actual money we touched and placed in an envelope a little over a month after we married. I could not help but remember how young we were and how far we had come in our years together. This was something special indeed! I imagined that he would hold the envelope of money in his hand and get a little smile on his face as he looked into my eyes and told me about his memory of the young girl he married and maybe even say something about me still being beautiful or something cool like that. This was gonna be good!


When I handed him the envelope he grew a furrowed brow of confusion on his face as he reached for my glasses so he could read the piece of paper. "What!" he said with a tightly wrinkled and bespeckled nose, saying "Huh!" as he cocked his head mechanically to the side.

Not romantic.

I explained the whole thing to him and waited for his tenseness to ease as recognition and understanding finally crossed his loving and adoring face.

Instead he tossed the envelope forward out of his hands as if it were a HOT potato straight from the oven! He could not understand why I would have kept it and not shoved it back into the bishop's hands immediately! Lord's money! Not ours!

Even when I told him I planned to keep this "special" money but write a check for the $24.25 next Sunday, he still did not have the reaction that I had scripted in my head. I asked him if there was even a tiny piece or speck of him that thought this was just a little sweet, and he responded with a statement about the whole thing being disturbing.

You know, you just have to laugh at this stuff (and my daughter who witnessed the entire thing did just that). I totally get his reaction because I have lived with this man for 28 years and know how important commitment and duty are to him. That was all he saw in that envelope. Duty to God that had not been taken care of properly.

The label "Italian" comes with many expectations. From the days of Casanova, those Italians have had a reputation for charming women the world over. I've heard it said that an "Italian man flirts like other men breathe -- regularly and naturally." I wonder where they learn that stuff?!

Even though I sometimes imagine my husband caressing my cheek or playfully twisting my hair as we relax on the beach (he hates the beach), I mostly know that I am loved and cared for very well. We laugh a lot and get along quite nicely. He rubs my feet at night and runs to the store for an Icee anytime I mention I'd like one. There are plenty of ways love is expressed and I have been married to a man for 28 years that is 100% devoted to me. Some of the most romantic words that have spilled from his lips are these...

"Is there anything I can do for you today, dear?"

Now who can complain about that?

The Italy fund just got $24.25 richer. I think spending that money together in a romantic place like Italy would be just the perfect thing.

I'll bet those professional script writers could not come up with a better idea.


  1. Awww, the tithing is so romantic...well, almost haha! I can totally picture the whole thing! Too funny!!! I always have these big ideas of romance, but alas, Nathan doesn't have a script writer either. He does manage to catch me off guard every now and then with his sweetness though :)

  2. Oh my goodness...I am so glad that you saved this experience for the blog. It's much funnier reading it and picturing dad's reaction in my mind. I especially like that I knew what his reaction to the tithing money would be!

  3. Oh goodness. One more reason to LOVE Robert Dunaway. He truly is a man who would do anything for anyone especially his own wife. It makes me love you both more.