My friend Dave once proclaimed that his ideal woman would be good at math and smell like burritos.
I’ve always liked this description, and I started thinking about it again this weekend, when, for some reason, I was forced to defend my love of “The Notebook” on three separate occasions. Apparently, no one in Bethesda, MD has a soul.
One such conversation revolved around this anecdote, that a woman dumped her fiancee because he said he wouldn’t build her a house a la Noah and Allie in Nicolas Sparks’ finely crafted masterpiece. I sided with the woman, proclaiming to a handsome gentleman I had just met that I would expect my fiancee to build me a house to prove his love; yes, it’s that kind of crazy that has felled so many, many men over the years.
Of course, I was kidding about the house. It’s romantic to watch Ryan Gosling hammer nails for love, but in reality, all I can imagine is a lifetime of my asking him to take out the garbage and him whining “I built this whole house with my bare hands, and you can’t carry a trash bag five feet to the can?” But it is fun to think about what romantic gestures I’d actually want to see from a significant other. Assuming all the basics — kindness, a sense of humor, similar values, height to make up for my lackthereof, here is what I’ve come up with:
- Willing to watch “The Notebook” with me. And find my endless stream of tears and choked “Awws” charming. Repeat for basically any other chick flick and most episodes of “Friday Night Lights.”
- Does whatever he has to to make sure that nary a sprig of cilantro ever crosses my path.
- Does not automatically poke me in the spine the second I tell him I hate having my spine touched. For the record, every single guy I’ve dated has failed on this count, and one even got punched in the face for it (it was an involuntary reflex…I swear).
- Automatically picks up my bag and puts it in the overhead bin without asking if I need help.
- After the bag is stowed and the plane starts to taxi, takes my hand before I grab his. DOES NOT look at the wing and say “Oh my God, is that piece supposed to be that loose?” and then laugh maniacally when I panic.
- When we’re riding on public transportation, always moves to the door a few minutes before the actual stop, because he also has a chronic fear of not getting through the crowd of people fast enough to make the timed doors and then having the vehicle pull away with everyone knowing that you were supposed to get off at that stop but couldn’t because you were too slow.
I don’t think I’m asking for a unicorn here, right?
Please, tell me about your metaphorical hand-built houses!