Top Five Most Romantic Souvenirs Brought Back From a Business Trip (Not Herpes)

in the movie “high fidelity,” one of robb and my desert-island all-time top 5 favorite films, the john cusack character says about relationships that connection is about WHAT you like, not what YOU’RE like. the interests you share matter.

thirteen years into marriage, with two small kids, a mortgage, jobs, and recently a lot of time away from each other for job travel,  i would say that this truth is even more truthy.
i mean, how rare is it to be able to have a good conversation on something you’re really into? it shouldn’t be, i know, but at this point in adult life, there’s so much zombie-walking through the processes of the day that we don’t often get (take?) the chance to talk passionately about things that spark our imagination and tease our brain. it’s like good candy. conversation candy.
robb was gone for a week with one business venture and when he came home, he had finished reading a book that i had just read (‘franny and zoe’ by j.d salinger). so we got to talk about it. and it was especially awesome because it’s a thought-provoking book, but no one i knew had read it recently enough to be able to really discuss it in any depth, so i was stuck talking to wikipedia and book reviewers about it. and they don’t care what i think at all. so that he could share that with me was this huge surprise gift. it felt like these really personal flowers, opened just to what was on my mind.
and THEN after being home for about 24 hours, he left for a second week for his other job…and when he got back from that trip, he had finished reading ‘the great gatsby by f. scott fitzgerald,’ a book with which i have been in a relationship for many years. we recently watched the baz luhrmann version of the movie, which i also enjoy. he wanted to compare and contrast the representation of the characters and the plot in the movie and the book. i almost pooped myself with joy.
this might sound simple, but it shouldn’t. i cannot emphasize enough how romanced i felt by him getting interested in the things that i’m into and wanting to talk about things other than the minutiae of running our house and businesses and trying not to get run over by our kids. he didn’t necessarily do it for me, but the fact that our pleasurable/intellectual pursuits are crossing and creating lively, fun conversation- it feels like old times. good times. it feels like romance.
when you’re partners in life, you have all sorts of things ‘in common,’ right? i mean you have exactly the same children and debt and neighbor issues and house messes in common. and you talk about those things, but it’s the new discoveries, the creative braining that is often lost after dating has stopped. it’s flattering and shocking to have him show genuine interest in my ideas.
we’re also watching classic movies together. and talking about them. jimmy stewart and grace kelly in ‘rear window’ is on tonight (“wives don’t nag anymore. they ‘discuss’ “)
gotta go. i’m on a date. with my husband.

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