...what romantic gesture have you made in the past week that was not based on a birthday or anniversary and was a surprise to your partner?
So I thought I'd look in and see what people answered (and what with him being a famous 'toonist he gets lots of answers). I was hoping to get a few unique ideas which I could steal and pass off as all my own work. The trouble was that I was appalled by most of the replies. I immediately put fingers to qwerty and pecked off a mini diatribe.
Scott, it turns out that a large number of your male readers have no idea what romance is but luckily for them your female readers have very low standards.
The most common 'romantic' gesture most of the men are claiming they made is housework and sadly it seems most of them are not using irony when they say this.
"I cleaned up, before I started off to get my own stuff done"
What? So you don't live there, it wasn't any of your crap, all the dishes in the sink were hers and all the washing in the laundry was bras and frocks? You live there too buddy, cleaning up IS getting your own stuff done.
And the same is true of so many. "I did the dishes" "I made dinner" So you're a breatharian and as such wouldn't have been eating or using plates if it wasn't for her?
See, romance is the guy who said "I gave my wife a dozen roses for no particular reason" nice work. But it doesn't count if you still have a pair of your dirty socks dropped on the floor in every room in the house. It's like putting whipped cream and strawberries on top of a cowpat. To quote a female perspective "I really don't give a flying crap about some flowers. Do the DAMNED dishes".
The same for "I told my wife to stay in bed while I cleaned up my daughter's puke" Here's the clue to look for in that, whose daughter was it? MY daughter, so buddy if you want an equal share in the daughter then you get an equal share in the puke.
So, onto the women whose standards are so low as to accept this crap. "My husband cleared the pile of clothes he always has on the floor" For the sake of all that is holy woman, (and think about this men) this is NOT romance. What this is, is temporarily being less of a slob. They are his fucking clothes, you might as well say "My husband took a piss and got most of it in the toilet" or "My husband took a dump and wiped his own arse". We are talking about adult men here, not children. With children you can accept having to pretend they are doing a good job, grown men, not so much.
I do remember a friend complaining to me that he'd done the laundry and his wife hadn't thanked him for it. Now these were two people, no kids, they both worked and 51 weeks that year she had done the laundry. Once he put stuff into the machine and hung it out, he didn't iron it, fold it or put it away and yet he thinks he deserves either a medal or a blowjob. Was I surprised when she left him? Hell no.
So, if he washes the dishes it may be a surprise but perhaps a better word would be a shock. It certainly isn't romance.
For myself. Often enough I am as useless as some of the men I've been tearing strips off, but at least I'm not delusional about it. I know that after thirteen years of marriage there is a real risk of me taking her for granted and I'm working on making sure I make more than an occasional token effort. Firstly in ensuring that I pull my own weight at home and secondly once I've done that in making romantic gestures. Not just flowers or chocolates, there is no personal touch in that.
But on the plus side Scott, the reader who sent in the story of the icicle, well that's a guy who understands the thinking about her part of romance (I just hope his dirty jocks aren't sitting on the bathroom floor).