My dad is not the most romantic person in the world. In fact, I do not think he has ever done anything romantic for my mom. I have never seen him buy my mom flowers or take her on an extravagant getaway. I have, however, seen him argue about politics and take the family to the flea market.
When I was around 11 years old, my mom got food poisoning. She did not feel well so she took off work and so did my dad. I remember coming home from school that day and heard these crazy noises from the bathroom.
I ran to the bathroom and I saw my mom hunched over the toilet vomiting. I also saw my dad over her holding her hair back. I said the only thing an 11-year-old kid could say…“That is gross!”
My dad replied…“This is love.”
My dad will do anything for my mom. If she truly wanted flowers, he would get them for her. If she wanted to take a getaway, he would have tried his best to come up with a few ideas. Whenever she needed or wanted something, he would always be there for her. Is he romantic? Well, not at all. Does he love my mom? Absolutely.
I met my wife in 2000. I will tell you that within five minutes of talking to her, I knew I would spend the rest of my life with her. You hear that a lot but I had a feeling.
On our first date I tried to impress her. It was her birthday so I bought her some flowers and a couple candles. I knew that women liked candles so I really wanted to impress her. We went to a nice Italian restaurant and then to a movie.
On our second date I bought her a stuffed bear and some candy. I wanted to impress her. Was it romantic? Well, as romantic as I could be. We went to downtown Charlotte, NC and then walked around. We held hands and kissed for the first time.
On our third date we were going to a real nice restaurant. While driving, my wife did not feel well. She was trying to hold it in but could not. She screamed for me to pull the car over and she ran out and started to throw up.
I ran after her and held her hair back. She was pushing me away and was telling me to get back into the car. Well, she was kind of telling me because she was throwing up. And each time I held her hair back.
“Get back in the car!”
“No. You do not need throw up in your hair. We need to get you to the hospital.”
We went to the hospital that night. I stayed with her the whole time. I took off work the next day and made sure she was okay.
None of that was romantic. All of it was love.
Marriage is not easy. No one ever said it was. There are issues to deal with that are not just solved with hanging up the phone. There are fights over important and non-important things. There are days you are so happy and others you question everything.
This year we had our ten year anniversary. We got married in January of 2004.
We have been through a lot. We have lived in different cities and have had different jobs. We have had our financial issues and tragedies. I have been there at my wife’s worst times and she has been there for mine.
We have had the joy of two beautiful children and also getting to know each other more. Marriage is hard until you actually sit back and really think about the main reason why you got married in the first place…
We went out for dinner on our anniversary. Nothing romantic. I bought my wife flowers. She told me that she did not need flowers. I knew she didn’t need them. I knew she wanted them.
She is going to eventually get a piece of jewelry that she picked out. I do not pick out jewelry. I laugh whenever I see those Jared commercials…
“ I bought you this open heart necklace because of my love for you.”
“Awwww. Do you still have the receipt?”
I am not a romantic. I did not shock her with jewels or extravagant gifts.
I just told her that I loved her. That’s why I am sure our marriage will last for years to come.
Also by Tony: ‘Real Men’ Have Working Hearts
Originally published: The Anti-Jared.com