Romance does not have to cost an arm and a tuxedo-outfiited leg. Every kiss does not have to start at Kay’s jewelers. You don’t have to put love on a credit card and pay 20 percent interest to some rich banker singing “Kum-Buy-Ya” in the distant suburbs.
Romance, however, does take due diligence. A creative mind. An enterprising soul.
The other evening, for instance, I looked on the nightstand only to discover something amiss. My favorite book was no longer on the top of the pile. Instead, what should I discover but a note from Wonder Woman (my wife of two years), scribbled on scratch paper, encouraging me to make it a good week.
Did I say we work 85 miles apart, with the Blue Mountains in between, and during the work week live in homes 90 miles apart? It’s the economy. We need our jobs. We don’t have government retirement pensions or health care coverage like a Senator. We have bills to pay, mountains of them, and don’t want to go into retirement (10 years from now?) owing our soul to the banker singing “Kum-Buy-Ya” in the shower.
Such love notes can’t be bought at the grocery store. They come from the significant other’s heart, not from the pen of some anonymous wordsmith sitting in the air-conditioned comfort of Hallmark’s world headquarters.
The notes cost nothing but an attention to detail that has become as rare these days as salmon floating down river on innertubes.
Admittedly, the Wonder Woman sets the romance bar high. Sometimes I remember to leave her notes. Often, I don’t. Fortunately, she shows me unconditional love, for better or worse.
Her notes don’t always rhyme. They never contain pictures of a bride and groom groping each other on top of a wedding cake.
The notes don’t cost $3 to buy at the grocery store and 50 cents to mail, and they never get sent to Buffalo by accident.
The Wonder Woman knows how to keep love alive without darkening the doors of Jarred’s Galleria of Jewelry. She can whip love into a frenzy by just dropping a few chosen words on a bit of scratch paper.
We’re not rich. Far from it. But we are wealthy in the ways that matter. Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, but notes on scratch paper are rarer, and if they keep the banker from ki-yi-ing, all the better.
I’m not cheap. I’ll give the Wonder Woman diamonds when I can. Most often, however, I will find more unconventional ways, ones that don’t break the bank, to show my love.