Since it’s Valentine’s week and the flowers from Tuesday are slowly wilting, I’d like to give romance a shout-out. 

I love romance. Always have. I love to hear about people falling in love, getting engaged, getting married, having anniversary parties, feeding each other cake, and retelling their love stories decades later. Flash mob proposals on YouTube? Yup. Any kind of proposal on YouTube? Mmhmm.

I once went to a wedding where the vows were in Korean. My prima Marissa turned to me and said “Why are you crying? You don’t even know what they’re saying.” So what! I love it, okay?! 

I used to work with a lovely woman named Volga and she shared with our team that she and her husband met on an airplane ride to their native country. The flight was a montage of them sharing stories, laughing, and falling in love. Meet cute AF. Her husband was so romantic. He called her once just to play Stevie Wonder’s I Just Called To Say I Love You through the phone. The rest of us were like “oh em gee, we want that kind of romance – ugh, poor us.”

Volga said, “No, I don’t prefer that kind of romance.” 

Um, what? What are you even talking about, Volga? What other type of romance is there?

She said “I prefer that he makes me coffee every day after work and gives me alone time while I smoke cigarettes in the backyard. I also like that he drives because he knows I don’t like it.”

This really got me thinking. How do I define true romance? What is my version of cigarettes in the backyard?  Proposals, weddings, honeymoons, flowers on Valentine’s day, and candlelit dinners are so beautiful but so temporary.

You know I made a list, cause I love lists. 

It looked something like this: 

When he’s supportive of my goals 

When he celebrates my success and hugs me through my shortcomings

When he tries to build relationships with the people that I care about (my family and my friends) 

When he does things that he doesn’t really enjoy because he knows that I enjoy them 

When we get into a huge argument and he fights the urge to walk away because he really wants to work on it with me 

When he sends me pictures of our dog doing cute things 

When he laughs at my jokes 

When he reads my writing and makes me feel like I’m great at it 

When he hears me coughing in the middle of the night and makes me a cup of tea 

When he washes the dishes because my knuckles are bleeding from how dry they are (lol). 

When he forgives me and accepts me for not being perfect

What are cigarettes in the backyard for you? Whether from your partner or your friends – what makes you feel warm and fuzzy? And do you get enough of it? And are you giving thanks? 

Thank you to Volga for her story. 

Thank you to my husband for making my life so much better. 

Thank you to everyone in my life that gives me true romance. 


Erika =) 

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