Another Boring Romantic, That’s Me


It’s the little things. Like the way I have a nice hot cup of tea waiting for her after she shovels the driveway. Or the way I hold the door open for her when she brings a carload of groceries into the house. Who says I’m not romantic? I got romance up the wazoo.

As mandated by the Husbandry Obligation Bill of 1933 (aka the Brachs-Hallmark bill), Valentine’s Day was created for the ladies. It’s the one day of the year when we men are required to shower our significant other with gifts and affection, not to mention tenderness and preferential treatment.

It seems a tad redundant. I mean, don’t they already have a birthday? Besides, Mrs. Wire knows how I feel about her. I’m crazy about her. She tells me that all the time. Okay, she usually leaves off the “about her” part, but I think you smell what I’m laying down.

It’s the obligatory nature of Valentine’s Day that frosts my grapes. I don’t like forced romanticism. Hell, I don’t like forced anything. I like spontaneity and serendipity. In fact, that would have been our kids’ names if Barb had not wisely intervened.


Hey, Bob, why don’t you play your new song?” “Okay, Chip. Goes like this: ‘It’s Valentine’s Day and I’m wild about you, honey. So I wrote you this here love song ‘cause I ain’t got no money. Photo: Pumpernickel Stewart.

So I play along. But I am no paint-by-numbers schmuck who goes the flowers and chocolates route. That stuff is expensive. I try to come up with unique ways of showing the love of my life that I care for her in ways that can’t be expressed by a sugary mass-printed poem dripping with goopy sentimentality that would give me a case of the diabetes just by licking the flap on the red envelope.

Take last night, for example. When she came to bed, there on her pillow she found “I Luv U” spelled out neatly with my toenail clippings. Nothing like a scattering of my DNA to broadcast my feelings. I also promised her that when I got up at 2:30 a.m. to use the bathroom, I would not only leave the seat down, but I’d wipe it off after I peed all over it. “I’ll even use the back of the bowl,” I said, fluttering my eyes in a seductive manner.

Let’s talk about bathrooms and romance, shall we? When it comes to bathrooms, it’s different when you’re married. There’s no room for romance in the bathroom. Unless you’re showering together (“What are you going to do with that loofah? Ouch!”)

Single people still have secrets. They tend to be shy about certain personal habits, and they try to avoid offending this person who may someday wind up becoming their spouse. But once you’re married, I won’t say that all privacy and decorum goes out the window, but it certainly starts sifting its way through the screen door.

The connubial bathroom is where the biggest change in behavior takes place. When you’re newly married, and you have to take a growler, you wait until your partner is finished in there so you can shut the door and have some privacy. You turn on the exhaust fan. Not so much for the smell, but to cover the noise. You give it a courtesy flush. You spray Lysol or light a candle.

After a few years of cohabitation you become comfortable enough with your partner to leave the door open. Then you find yourself dropping a deuce while she brushes her teeth. It’s just a matter of time before you’re standing at the toilet, marveling at your efforts: “Honey, check out the size of this thing! Is that kale?”

We grow comfortable with each other the longer we’re married, but that doesn’t mean that all romance must be abandoned. With kids in the house all the time, it’s difficult to find opportunities for intimacy. We never know when they’ll remove their earbuds, step away from their computers, and come bursting into our bedroom without knocking, demanding to know why we can’t get a faster wireless router.

So Barb and I find romance where we can. Holding hands while walking down the baking aisle at the grocery story. Dancing in the kitchen when a kd lang song comes on the radio. Wrapping up in each other’s arms in bed in the morning, taking turns slapping at the snooze button.

I’m lucky enough to have a partner in my life, a woman I trust and love like no other. I’m certainly not going to flout the law by not being extra kind to her on Valentine’s Day. I’ll wait ’til tomorrow to give her the Dutch Oven.


One of my favorite Steve Earle songs is “Valentine’s Day.” Here’s a very interesting cover of that song:

   Check out all of Bob Wire’s posts in his blog archive.


Have an off-white Christmas with Bob Wire.Think of it as Gonzo meets Hee Haw: Missoula honky tonker Bob Wire holds forth on a unique life filled with music, parenthood, drinking, sports, working, marriage, drinking, and just navigating the twisted wreckage of American culture. Plus occasional grooming tips. Like the best humor, it’s not for everyone. Sometimes silly, sometimes surreal, sometimes savage, Bob Wire demands that you possess a good sense of humor and an open mind.

Bob Wire has written more than 500 humor columns for a regional website over the last five years, and his writing has appeared in the Missoulian, the Missoula Independent, Montana Magazine, and his own Bob Wire Has a Point Blog. He is a prolific songwriter, and has recorded three CDs of original material with his Montana band, the Magnificent Bastards. His previous band, the Fencemenders, was a popular fixture at area clubs. They were voted Best Local Band twice by the Missoula Independent readers poll. Bob was voted the Trail 103.3/Missoulian Entertainer of the Year in 2007.

You can hear his music on his website, or download it at iTunes, Amazon, and other online music providers. Follow @Bob_Wire on Twitter.


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