Dawn & I catch a lot of flak from people because we’re not shy about expressing our love for each other. Earlier today I posted a little something on Dawn’s Facebook page that stirred the masses and got me thinking. This post is the result.
There aren’t many things I’ll admit to being good at, but I can guarantee you that there is not another man on the earth who can love Dawn Krempa as much as I do, or better than I do.
It’s not possible.
I decided a long time ago that my wife will never look at another man and wish I was more like him. I spent the past 20 years refining my skills and learning what makes Dawn feel loved. I’ve worked at it. I’ve trained. I’ve tweaked my approaches and thrown others out altogether. I’ve studied her. I’ve solicited feedback. I’ve done things other people think are extreme or ridiculous (but that’s because other people don’t know her like I do).
If you think you can steal her from me – I dare you to try. [But make sure your ego can handle rejection, Chump, because your efforts are in vain and you're going to look foolish in the end.]
If there’s a “Dawn Krempa Expert” on this planet … it’s ME.
Mind you, I’ve still got a lot to learn! Loving another person is a very complex process, after all. What worked 10 years ago (or 10 months ago!) may not work today because things have changed.
Life insists on change.
I can NEVER assume that I’ve perfected it & I can NEVER assume I’ve said or done enough already. I can NEVER assume it’s time to coast through the rest of our marriage. That’s a formula for disaster!
If that’s where you’re at right now, you need my help. Here are a few things you’ll need to know to get you started:
1. YOU sir are the ONLY LEGITIMATE SOURCE of romantic love for your wife. If you won’t supply it, then some other joker will. It’s not cool or manly to neglect your wife – they call it roMANce for a reason. You need to be in the center of the action. [Hint: If your wife is hooked on romance novels, that's what we call a "clue."] Get it?
2. If it’s PRACTICAL — it isn’t romantic. Yes, your wife has been wanting a new vacuum cleaner for months, but no matter how pretty the wrapping paper is, I promise you it isn’t romantic. Other non-romantic gift ideas include: a gym membership (don’t even think about it!), any electronic gadget that you intend to commandeer each evening, or season tickets to your favorite sporting event (except in rare circumstances when it happens to be her favorite, too).
3. If it’s PREDICTABLE — it isn’t romantic. If she already has it on layaway or has been dropping hints for the past 6 months, you should probably go ahead and buy it for her. I’m sure she’ll be thrilled — but that doesn’t make it romantic. If, however, you follow-up the predictable gift with something she didn’t see coming, she’ll start bragging about you on Facebook and her friends will start saying things like, “He’s so roMANtic…!” Try it and see for yourself.
4. If it’s PLAGIARIZED — it might be romantic, but I’m going to downgrade it to Romantic Light (kind of like MGD 64 – it’s a watered-down-version of the classic). It’s much better if you actually put your original thoughts into it. You may not get a job working for Hallmark but at least she’ll actually read a card you wrote from your heart.
5. If it’s ROUTINE — it isn’t romantic. Bringing flowers to your wife at lunchtime is romantic. Bringing flowers to your wife at lunchtime every day for 2 years isn’t romantic — it’s routine. [Disclaimer: In extreme circumstances, romantic gestures that become routine can once again become romantic if you maintain them for obscene periods of time. For example, if you bring your wife flowers every day for 40 years, that might be considered romantic BUT you only get ONE big romance point for it - not 14,600 little ones. Sorry, that's just the way it works.]
Well, that should get you started. If you suddenly feel like Forrest Gump on prom night & you don’t have a clue where to begin, please allow me to give you one final piece of advice: Ask your wife what she thinks. As soon as she regains consciousness, I’m sure she’ll be happy to tell you what she thinks is romantic.
And for the record, her advice trumps mine.