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Romance in Reality


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Romance is a literary created facet of love, that has been made essential by women searching for their perfect match, and even men who refer to themselves as desirable “Romantics”(such as my father). Romance however, has been made impossible to achieve thanks to Hollywood. With movies such as “The Notebook”, “The Titanic”, “Moulin Rouge”, and “Pearl Harbor”, how can any decent man begin to woo a woman without it being cliché and overplayed. For men like myself, who strive in pleasing the mental and emotional needs of women, it seems like every gesture of passion and sentiment go unnoticed because they do not quite meet the romantic standards of certain Hollywood films.

On a one-month anniversary, my then girlfriend and I went to New York City for a night out on the town. I thought it was very well planned, we first went to see the Rockefeller tree and ice skated, then took a walk in central park, and finally we had a very late dinner at the B.B King’s restaurant on Broadway. During a recent phone conversation we had had, that specific date was brought up as we reminisced on our past relationship. I was shock and appalled by what I had heard her say, “It wasn’t that great, we basically walked around then ate food”. I questioned her statement, denying her every whim that the date was tedious and thoughtless. I couldn’t picture anything more romantic than being in “The Big Apple” doing the activities I had designed for us. I mean sure it wasn’t anything as romantic as the scene in “Sleepless in Settle”, where Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks skate at the very same rink might I add, after finally meeting face to face at the end of the movie, but it sure was close, skating there under the bright lights of the “City that Never Sleeps”. She did not appreciate that moment as I did, and she brushed it off by saying, “well, I saw a similar thing in movie, after watching one, you can’t really find the same thing romantic. It’s just not original. Are you sure, you didn’t get that from a movie.”

That struck a nerve, how can anyone have the audacity to question my creative and romantic mind? It’s because of the cinema, that men around the world, who conjure up plans to do something particularly special for the person they care about most, are trumped and thought of as some kind of copy. It’s because of Hollywood entertainment that my plans went unappreciated. However this is only the tip of the iceberg. From my experiences with women, it seems as if everything has to be extravagant, over the top, and most of all original.

On the past Christmas Eve, I brought my girlfriend home to show my family. I introduced her to my parents, my aunts, and my cousins. We awaited the stroke of midnight as we did every year, to attend mass and afterwards open the gifts that we had for each other. As we returned I was excited to open my present for I knew it was one of the things I told her that I wanted most for that particular occasion. I opened mine, and of course I was awestruck of how marvelously useful and thoughtful the gift she got for me was. Though I practically told her the exact name and price of the football game and pretty much did everything besides buy the game myself, it did not take away from my moment. I loved the gift I was grateful, and in no particular way did I question whether she gave some thought of what she was getting me. I just appreciated it.

Now it was time for her eyes to meet the small, horribly wrapped box that was MY present. Yes, I hadn’t spent as much time wrapping it as I could have but to me, what counted was what was inside. She quickly ripped the silver-shining wrapping paper, and her eyes grew as she saw a peak of the color of the box. I watched her awaiting the shriek that I thought would follow once the box was completely revealed.

Light blue, was the signal for this shriek. She carefully untied the silver bow that the worker at Tiffany’s so elegantly wrapped. She opened the box and inside was a tiny blue sack that looked suited for playing marbles. She reached in and saw the silver bracelet. That’s when I expected my hug or even perhaps a kiss on the cheek, however that’s not what I got. She looked at me with a hint of disappointment, as though she was unhappy with the gift I got her. She said, “thank you so much, I love it” without a hint of glee in her voice. I knew I failed.

The next night I asked her on what level from 1-10 did she like my gift, and asked her to be as honest as she possibly could. “A 5,” she answered with a calm voice. I asked her why and what she said I don’t think I will ever forget. “Anyone could just get a girl jewelry, it’s not romantic anymore. The presentation matters now, it might even matter more than the gift itself. You didn’t have to get me something as expensive as this. I would’ve been happy with a simple card that explained how you feel about me. You don’t get it you’re a guy.”

What could have possibly provoked this thought of hers? Sure it wasn’t as romantic as the presentation in the opening scene of “Sweet Home Alabama,” where Reese Withersoop’s rich fiancé actually shuts down Tiffany’s so she could pick her own engagement ring. But even though her opinion differed from mine, I still believed that my gift was more romantic than she gave it credit for. I mean though it probably wasn’t nearly as expensive, MY necklace was funded by MY own hard work and the credit for buying it and picking it out was mine alone, it did not entail barrowing funds from my parents nor did it take taking out a loan from the bank. I worked for 2 weeks for a total of 60 hours to afford that necklace -- now that to me -- is romance.

Nowadays it’s become so complicated. Romance seems to be the most essential but devoid factor in relationships today. It’s not as simple as those long walks on the beach anymore, now it has to be those long weekends in Cabo. It’s not enough to buy you’re significant other a pair of earings, unless of course they’re from Tiffany’s. Vacations to the shore are out the window, now it’s cruises and trips to Paris. You can’t even put you’re emotions into the simple art that is the love letter anymore because most of your material, she’s seen in movies. I don’t want to say that romance is dead, but it sure took an extravagant turn into unattainable territories.




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AliMotamedi said...
May 14, 2013 at 11:01 am:
to be honest with you, you haven't had the best luck with women. just give it some time. but then again who am i to tell you, i'm the guy who crushes over a girl in school then watches her from a distance for 2 terms untill she has boyfriend of her own. then again don't loose hope! ;]
 
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hmm said...
Dec. 30, 2008 at 3:50 pm:
Sounds to me like you're more disappointed in one particular relationship than anything else. Just because things aren't working out with one person doesn't mean that romance is dead. When people really love each other, they see things in a positive light, not the overly critical light in which you and your girlfriend seem to see each other.
 
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TrulyCurious said...
Dec. 25, 2008 at 9:34 pm:
Wow this is such a masculine piece us girls do appreciate it i think it is just those girls you have for a girlfriend. very well written though and i applaud you for your creativity and the interesting read.
 
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