My wife and I are very different when it comes to romance. I am sentimental. I love surprises. My wife does not like romantic gestures. Although she likes flowers and likes being taken to nice places, she does not like cheesy romantic gestures. In light of Valentine’s Day I would like to share three stories (one each day) of how these differences have led to some really awkward moments in our relationship.
12 years ago I wrote my wife (who was my girlfriend at the time) a song. I had never written a song before even though I tried several times. They all ended up having the exact melody of a song already written with different lyrics. This one was different. It was original and in my opinion conceptually very strong. The song was called “Five Foot Two”. The gist of the song…the verses focused on the irony that I was so scared, nervous, and insecure as a 6’2″ man when confronted with a woman who was a mere 5’2″. The chorus focused on the theme that my love though small (like a seed) blossomed and grew to become 5’2″.
Conceptually strong right? No? Whatever. So for a special date I took her to Rose Hills where my grandmother was buried. Those of you who are from the east coast…west coast graves are totally different than the east coast horror movie upright tombstone graveyards. In Los Angeles graves are beautiful rolling green hills where the tombstone lies flat on the ground. Anyways, my grandmother and I were really really close. She repeatedly told my mom that she doesn’t care when she dies as long as she could meet my wife. Well, my grandmother passed when I was 15 so her wish went unfulfilled. I wanted to take my wife there as a sentimental gesture to connect my wife with my grandmother. They seriously would have loved each other.
So I prepare a picnic and then bust out my guitar to sing the greatest love song of all time. I poured out my heart in this song. It was a little awkward so I just closed my eyes to concentrate on delivering the song with my soul. I finish. My wife starts to look around at the sky and the scenery. No comment. Just really really awkward silence. I put the guitar down and ask, “So what did you think?”
She replied, “Yeah…well…I don’t know what to say.”
I respond, “Well did you like it?”
She said, “I mean…yeah…wow…I have no idea how to respond to that.”
At this point I am curled up in fetal position ready to bury myself 12 feet underground. There are two things in my life I have done once and have vowed to never ever do again in public: sing a song I wrote and dance. My freshman year in college my roommate and I went to freshman orientation. There was a dance afterwards. A couple of girls come up and wanna dance. I never danced in public before but I had been secretly practicing since I was 5. So I was ready. I proceed with what I thought was the “Roger Rabbit”, transitioned seamlessly into the “Kid N Play”, moving on to the “Running Man”. I even attempted to combine the “Kid N Play” with the “Running Man”. I closed out my combination of moves by trying to freak the taller of the two girls. They covered their mouthes and and walked away.
The feeling I had at that moment is how I felt after singing my song. My wife and I joke about that moment every year without fail. She smiles and shakes her head while I my soul grieves. We laugh, I cry.
Btw…in my wife’s defense I shared that song with a friend 7 years later. He said, “Dude, that sounds like an Adam Sandler song.”