A week or two ago, I stumbled upon a fun post by Jen over at Your Unemployed Daughter, offering advice to the single guys out there on how to treat a lady. The rules of dating - or, better yet, of basic, common, decency. Last night, on my way to meet an old friend for dinner, I ran into another friend, a couple of years younger than me, in a serious relationship and he made a comment about that post from YUD, that I had linked to on my Facebook page. And it made me think about dating - the good guys, the ones who don't need advice on that kind of thing are the guys that will read that blog and take it to heart and not realize that most of their friends are the guys that do all the things that are the wrong things.
And, since Jen gave the advice and gave it well, I don't feel the need to repeat it here, since, gentle readers, you can just pop on over and read "Fellas, Please" in its original context.
It did, however, get me thinking about romance. And the men I have known. And the men I have loved. And some of the most romantic things that they have done for me. Your MatchGirl, dear ones, will proffer the caveat that many of these lovely gestures were from the same man - and thinking of them used to make me very sad, but now just makes my heart feel a little warm.
A few lovely gestures:
Bring flowers. I had a beau when I was younger who would leave wildflowers on my doorstep, sometimes in a little yard sale bud vase. Sometimes in a Dixie cup.
Hold her hair back. I had wicked food poisoning one evening, not so long ago and though I don't have long enough hair to hold back, my gentleman friend took good care of me. Coming to my apartment when I didn't feel pretty enough to be seen, going out in the middle of the night, in the dead of winter, to get Gatorade and ginger ale and Saltines for my ailing tummy.
Send her a note. A real letter. A post card. A photo with a couple of lines scribbled in Sharpie on the back. A scrawled heart.
Make her something. My first real love, made me things. and he was quite a talent. He made me drawings, he made me origami flowers, he made me a gorgeous piece of furniture. He bought me things, too. But the things he made for me were then, and will always be, so much more special.
Hold her hand. In public. It's important. A gesture. A touch. It means more than you would think it ever could.
Make her breakfast. It doesn't need to be amazing. Toast and eggs and coffee. Remember how she takes her coffee. Bring it to her in bed. Let her sleep a little. My father gets up early every morning to make my mother coffee and bring it to her in bed, even though he is retired and she has to be up at 5:30am. He has done this for years, and, dear ones, it's one of the most simple, most beautiful gestures that I've ever seen.
Being a single girl, it's been a long time since I've gotten far enough dating anyone to really have any of these gestures made to me (a cup of coffee here and there, but not much more). But I have been thinking about these things, about relationships, as I watch some fall apart around me, and I know how easy it is to forget the little things, the small gestures that really are what romance is all about.