So, what’s the most romantic thing you’ve ever done?
We’ve probably all got a cupboard full of skeletons that we only let out at 3am when sleep won’t come, but I’m not even going to think about those deeply embarrassing bits today. The theme of this blog is the other times – the ones when we got it absolutely right; the Butterfly Moments, if you like. You know the ones I mean. When you were trying to be really romantic and it worked? When you wanted to make someone very happy and it happened without any banana skins, unexpected gurgles in the stomach region (or worse) or red faces?
Cast your minds back to a time when the world suddenly became a simpler place and you gave yourself – if only briefly – full marks for an impulsive romantic gesture, a perfectly organised outing, a significant and suitable present well received or a cunning plan that came off.
These moments are precious if only to remind us that life can, sometimes, be a bowl of cherries. I know we use our depressing and cringe-worthy experiences to bring our writing to life but just for a few minutes, let yourself wallow in smug self-satisfaction as you remember something that deserves its own Westlife (subsitute own cheesy music choice here) soundtrack and fuzzy lighting. Go on, tell all…
Celia: Mine was when my newly discovered and already much-loved bloke announced that he was going away shortly for nearly two weeks on a railway journey that was going to touch on a whole bunch of major European cities. After I had finished hitting him with a stick and the bitter jealousy had subsided, I realised I was going to miss him. A lot. Unfortunately, this man was a texting novice at the time and thought that the mobile telephone was a scheme of the devil to waste our valuable reading time. I wanted to make sure he didn’t forget about me, but constantly ringing him to mutter sweet nothings was only going to make him remember how annoying I could be (which, incidentally, is pretty annoying).
For this man, who I was beginning to suspect had a secret romantic streak, the only way forwards was on paper. I shopped furiously for small and quirky cards and dug out my dusty collection of poetry books. Then I got a copy of his holiday itinerary and wrote a letter, complete with a poetic quote, for every day, labelled neatly with the place and date. I can sense your incredulity here – was this woman totally off her rocker? Surely this must have taken hours – time that could have been better spent eating cake, drinking copious amounts of wine and watching back to back episodes of Friends? The answer is, yes it bloody did. But it was worth it because he loved them and still has them stashed away where he thinks I can’t see them. Ha!
Catherine: I’m not sure I can be classed as romantic, but I do my best to be thoughtful when I can and not just for the man in my life. Later this year it’s my Mum’s 60th Birthday. Old Ma Mo (I never came up with that nickname) has stated she doesn’t want a fuss, and no parties. Well, I’m very good at ignoring my Mum and at knowing when she means what she says… hence, I have plans. Secret plans which I cannot reveal even among friends. I will tell you about her 50th though. Since she was at school, my Mum has had a pen pal over in Texas. Twice her pen pal had been over here, but Mum couldn’t afford to go on the return journey. So I got in contact with her pen pal and started making secret plans with her and my grandparents. Sue (Mum’s pen pal) was able to be very generous and paid for Mum to go over with air miles and the savings went towards me going with Mum as she didn’t want to travel alone. We didn’t keep it a secret until she was going, we told her about a month beforehand. Here we are in a rather fuzzy photo in San Antonio. Now to live up to it for her 60th! And Mum, if you are reading this, as we’ll have 3 month old twins, they’ll be no flights involved this time!
Jan: This Butterfly Moment couldn’t strictly be labelled ‘romantic’, but Mr B was certainly happy. He’s a keen golfer and his trusty ‘old’ golf bag had long been the butt of much banter on the fairways. It was so ancient that, during a round one weekend, his clubs were dragging along the grass where the masking tape holding the bottom of said bag together (I kid you not!) had worked loose. A-ha! I thought at the time… I know what to get him for his next birthday. Trouble was, that birthday was six months away and, in the meantime, he was invited to attend a golf day at this really posh club with about twenty other guys. Now, Mr B hasn’t a snobby bone in his body, but I suspected that, deep down, he must be a tiny bit concerned about how dinosaur bag would be received come tee-off time, not to mention its survival chances over 18 holes. So, I went out and bought him a shiny, new one which I presented to him the day before the big event. A pre-birthday gift for one pleased-as-punch golfer!
So, what we really want to know is what was your perfect, romantic moment? Or maybe, you’re planning one right now…You can tell us.