Friday, October 1, 2010

Bad Romance

I'm not the most romantic girl in the world, but there are definitely some things that get me going. Conversely, there are some "classic" romantic moves that make me feel like I just gagged on about two feet of Spam. One ex of mine made me melt every time he called me "Babygirl," while another drove me away with his constant holding of my knee while he drove MY car. To this day, if you touch my knee while I'm in the passenger seat, you can watch my skin crawl. Moral of the story: I am, possibly, one of the most quirky people you may ever meet. (Which is why I think a large majority of the men I have relationships with go on to date extremely normal, sometimes borderline boring girls after me. I acknowledge that I can be exhausting.) But what works for one girl may not work for another. Same goes for men. Some like their facial hair being stroked, and some have such thick hair follicles that it hurts. Make educated moves. Though most of these are angled as romantic moves for men to make, there are certainly some that can swing both ways, so ladies, sit up and pay attention. I'm talkin' to YOU. If he's squirming (in an unpleasant way,) while you're trying to grab ass in public, it may be time to stop. There's romantic, and then there's creepy.

Romantic: Home-cooked meals.

Creepy: That thing where you leave a trail of rose petals that leads to somewhere. Maybe I'm just jaded in that I've seen too many thrillers and TV shows about abduction and murder that start that way. But if I came home to a trail like that, I'd pick up the closest long, blunt object and run out the door again, screaming.

Romantic: Playing an instrument and/or singing to someone.
Creepy: Staring intensely into their eyes while doing it.

Romantic: Getting an animal together. (If, you know, you're in a long-term, committed relationship together that involves at least significant cohabitation. Otherwise, get a fish.)
Creepy: Training it to recognize your significant other as "Daddy" or "Mommy." I had an ex who trained his beagle to run to me when he told him to "Go to Mommy!" I liked the dog more than the man.

Romantic: Cleaning. I hate cleaning. I consider it very sexy when a man cleans. And if you know what bleach, is-- WHELP, get ready for some lovin'.
Creepy: Cleaning in a French Maid outfit. If you're a man.

Romantic: Calling "just to check in."
Creepy: Calling "just to check in." 3 times a day.

Romantic: Holding hands.

Creepy: Pet-names so nauseating that they would make the Pillsbury Doughboy swear off ever eating sweets again. Stick to the classics: Babe, Baby, Baby Boy, Baby Girl, Honey, Hun, Sweetheart, Love, Cupcake, etc. No "Schnookie-wookie Lovie-kins." Jesus.

Romantic: Choosing "your" song. Together. No executive decisions, here.

Creepy: Giving jewelry before you hit 6 months together.

Romantic: Being a little public about your relationships. Not as in mad PDAs, but periodically standing or sitting next to each other, or doing some light petting: a hand on a lower back, arm, or shoulder, or leaning on each other.
Creepy: Having to be touching at ALL TIMES. Touching something. Anything. Even things not rated PG-13 in public.

Romantic: Showing up unexpectedly (or, I guess, expectedly,) with something small: a six-pack, a single specimen of their favorite flower (mine, coincidentally, happens to be hot pink Gerber daisies, if you were so wondering), a McDouble from McDonald's ($1! And no onions, thanks), or a movie, CD, or book. (This is also a good gesture to make with friends, too. Everyone likes feeling special and thought of.)

Creepy: Stalking. I shouldn't have to go into detail. If you're wondering about it, you're stalking. (But no, Facebook does not count.)

Romantic: Fact-- nibbling on some body parts, like earlobes, jaw lines, etc., feels good.
Creepy: Coming up from behind someone. And biting them. (You've been watching too much True Blood.
I've been watching too much True Blood.)

Romantic: Doing things you both enjoy together, or inviting the other to something if you know they'd be interested. Cases in point: Hikes, concerts, trips to new restaurants, parties, game nights, TV events (read: football), local festivals or events.

Creepy: Leaving things around the apartment of someone you're not actually seeing, unless you're an extremely frequent house-guest.

Romantic: Surprising someone when they get home by being waiting there for them.
Creepy: Surprising someone when they get home by being waiting there for them.
It really depends on who it is doing the waiting.

And I'll amend this one from my past thoughts:
Romantic: Cuddling all night long in the winter. (Maybe that's just more self-serving for me, but yes, I do enjoy body heat.)
Creepy: Cuddling all night long. During the hottest days of summer. With no air conditioning.


Editor's Note to Men: If you're wondering what the lady in your life considers "romantic," I have to level with you-- a lot of the time, she'll have already told you. Maybe not in so many words, but women drop hints like the Air Force drops bombs. (Equally devastating.) I know that while intuitive listening and remembering seemingly small and insignificant details may not be your thing, it'll really get you far. And if you'd enjoy getting laid "just because," I'd listen in a little more. (Yeah, that is how we reward. True story.) As for you guys, I know the majority of men I've been with come right out and say when they either dig or really don't dig something, so thanks for being easier and more up-front with that. I guess women just prefer to be "surprised" by these kinds of things.

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