Whatever happened to chivalry? Does it only exist in 80’s movies? I want John Cusack holding a boombox outside my window. I want to ride off on a lawnmower with Patrick Dempsey. I want Jake from Sixteen Candles waiting outside the church for me. I want Judd Nelson thrusting his fist into the air because he knows he got me. Just once I want my life to be like an 80’s movie, preferably one with a really awesome musical number for no apparent reason. But no, no, John Hughes did not direct my life. – Olive Penderghast, Easy A.
And isn’t it too bad that he didn’t? I wish that movie love scenes were real and that boys really did do these things. I also really wish my life was set to a soundtrack or had a really awesome choreographed dance scene. Music makes everything better. I mean, it can also make things sadder and nobody wants that, but it makes the good moments a little more good and the memorable ones a lot more memorable. But, back to the point, where is the romance?
Is romance the little gestures or the big ones?
Do you think planning 25 gifts for a 25th birthday, or just simply getting somebody a coffee when they are tired the real gesture? Is looking at somebody with love in your eyes worth more than a fist-fight in the street? Is having the decency to text someone back more meaningful than a cross-continent flight? Is remembering your fourth anniversary better than a private jet to Paris? You tell me. Don’t get me wrong, nobody I have ever dated could afford a private jet to Paris, but is love in the big things or the little ones?
I know that I have tried in my own guarded way to show love. Through thoughtful gifts, gestures, words, personalized breakfasts and daily hugs I have tried my best. I may not always be perfect, but goddammit, I have tried. And so have a few others along the way, even jaded old me can admit that.
I once dated a boy who lit a hallway with candles and scattered rose petals to my bed. I was hand-delivered the ultimate girl-romance moment (cue the song “Kiss Me” now), but I was only 22. The whole thing seemed a little overdone and awkward if I’m honest. I have also had the long-awaited regret email, love poetry sent by letter and most shockingly, the vacation fling turned real. And recently? I had a young man continually try to put his arm around me 50’s style while walking along a boardwalk…he took deep, satisfying sighs and stared dreamily up into the moonlight. You know what? The whole thing was annoying…and FAKE.
But, love, real love should be making a sacrifice, no matter how small. For years I begged a partner to turn to me and look at me as he sang the Proclaimers 6 simple words “…And I would walk 500 miles…” and he never would…in all our years together he never would. That small, miniscule act would have meant the John-Hughes-chivalry-loving moments of 80’s movies could come true more than any over-the-top widely inappropriate gesture ever would.
In today’s day and age a text is not enough. An e-birthday card, a facebook profile pic, a comment on a status update…these things are not romance. Romance is waiting on somebody’s porch for them to come home – not texting them at 3 am. Romance is telling somebody they look stunning, not sending a booty call message spelling “come” with only 3 letters and a “u”. Romance is buying every single lemon baked good you find because it’s somebody’s favourite, not adding them to your circles on Google+.
But, like in the movies, (even the highly realistic ones that know life is not a musical and romance is not a John Hughes movie)….it comes now and again. You still hear about beautiful proposal stories, men giving up gluten for their intolerant wives and ladies moving across the world to be with their man. Just the other day a male friend of mine admitted that once he ordered flowers from his florist girlfriend under a false name and showed up to give them to her in person. Oh, and a tiny sidenote, she lived in another country. He made me smirk, but he proved chivalry is in fact not dead. Now, I just need to work on getting him to follow me around with a boombox and start flash mobs often…totally not kidding.
At least that girl got what most of us movie-loving wannabes can only dream about. But, let’s just say it does give me a reason to still dream. I don’t expect my life or my love to be perfect. I don’t expect in today’s busy day and age that I will be on somebody’s mind at all times, but at least a story or two (even sometimes my own) make me realize I can still dream for Prince Charming, even if he is only Charming for a Moment.
The Ginga Ninja