At least, it rained all morning long. Having just turned 67, I can be philosophical about rain on my birthday, but we had a lot of errand running to do, and the heavy rain made it inconvenient. We were going to go pick up my birthday cake and a few odds and ends at Whole Foods, and then go see Maleficent, at my request.
John thought there was an early showing of Maleficent, but it turned out that that was for Saturday only, as I found out after he dropped me as closely as he could to the theater before going to park the car.
He always does that. When it’s raining, he drops me off as close as he can to wherever we are going, parks the car, then braves the rain on his own. When we are done, he goes to get the car while I wait until again, he gets as close as he can to pick me up. He has done that for as long as we’ve been together.
So we decided to go see if the cake is ready early. As I waited inside the door for John to finish parking the car, I saw the fresh flower display. I picked out a combination to make myself a bouquet with, and when my husband found me there, I announced that we were buying me flowers. He didn’t argue over that, or the bag of mix and match cookies that I added to the cake, milk, and rosewater that we went there for originally.
The reason I am dwelling on the cookies, the flowers, and the rain is because ever since DWTS ended, I have had romance on my mind. Well, not so much on my mind, but it’s been on the minds of the young fangirls I hang out with on Tumblr, as they review every look, gesture, hug, and sentence that occurred between “Mavis” and “Mikhael” throughout the season. I frequently see things like, “I want someone who holds me like that” or “I want someone to tell me, ‘I don’t need you to be better. I need you to be you and I’ll do better.’ ” Sometimes it’s, “I won’t settle for anyone who doesn’t look at me like that.”
I appear to be the only one who gets an entirely different lesson from these last several weeks, the lesson that goes, “It has never occured to me to tell my husband ‘I don’t need you to be better. I need you to be you[rself] and I’ll do better.’ I bet he’d love to hear that.”
I’m not sure about the lovestruck gaze. I think if he caught me gazing at him like that, he’d assume I was having a neurological event and rush me to the emergency ward. But he might like it if I could at least refrain from rolling my eyes when he launches into another story about his latest day of dam inspections.
Of course, I have been on the other side of this situation: accepting crumbs and trying to convince myself that they were true love. I understand the younger ladies of my internet acquaintance who are shaping their views of what it is possible and reasonable to expect in a relationship. I’m glad they are determined not to sell themselves short just to have a man* in their lives.
I hope though, that life will broaden their views of what constitutes not selling themselves short. I may have to pick out my own birthday flowers at the grocery store, but I don’t have to wade through a rainy parking lot to get the car. My husband may not send moony-eyed looks in my direction, but he will do battle with my problems with only a plastic teaspoon, if need be.
So maybe I don’t need him to be better. Maybe I just need him to be himself, and I’ll be better.
Or maybe we could both just be ourselves, because we seem to like each other that way.
*or woman, but I associate the kind of “you need one, so do what it takes to get one” thinking with advice pressed on heterosexual women. I could be wrong about that.