By Hallie Bandy
If your new year’s resolution was to rekindle some romance, maybe it’s time to rethink your love language. And your budget.
Because, you know, adult life happens.
There once was a young, hopeful ‘Me’, enamored with romantic notions of husbands who came home with flowers and sparkly keepsakes for special occasions. Mature ‘Me’ has come to terms with reality, and it involves budgets and necessities.
Instead of flowers and jewelry, there are vacuums. And yard tools. And new tires for the car. And the occasional sick pet.
I certainly don’t mind when my husband shows up with superfluous tokens of affection, but I’m here to tell you: there is some true romance involved in the nitty gritty of every day life.
A wise friend warned me, once you set up housekeeping; you see departments in Sears you never knew existed. That friend was right. And the crazy thing is, my husband and I find ourselves walking hand-in-hand into these places, listening intently to customer associates explain the difference between the base and deluxe models of a power tool, or show us the features of newer appliances.
Here’s the thing—in grown-up love language, buying the deluxe power tools screams, "I love you." And let me ask: Is there anything more attractive than a man who just got a great deal on a new kitchen appliance?
Our marriage works well because we own our portions of the reality bargain. It is quite romantic in a mature sort of way.
Home improvement speaks to me, which means my husband never has to purchase sheets or towels, or select paint colors. Our marriage survived a joint effort at wallpaper installation very early on, which led to an immediate "never again" resolution. (There are some things we bear alone as an expression of love. Wallpaper is certainly one.)
And here is the best part for me—nothing speaks to my husband quite like a trip to a warehouse store.
Because there is no place I would rather NOT be. The massiveness of such places overwhelms my introverted self, but his inner shopper shines bright.
He loves that it’s big. The store is big. The products are big. The shopping carts are big. And sometimes he needs two of those big shopping carts to stock our home with the necessities. He combs the aisles for big savings.
And I love that he goes. I love that we have a six-month supply of toilet paper. I love that we have enough zip-lock bags to pack all our belongings should we suddenly need to move. I love that I didn’t have to push a 200-pound cart full of 124-ounce cans of tomatoes through the mile-long maze that is the warehouse superstore.
And when he comes home and unloads all those great big packages, I love him!
Now, if we can just figure out who speaks the language of cleaning up after pets, I think we can live happily ever after.