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Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Key to a (Wo)Man's Heart...

You know that old saying about how the key to a man's heart is through his stomach? I think that was a principle that went along with "boys don't make passes at girls who wear glasses" and other brilliant falling-in-love-isms of the 1950s. Still, in an idle moment, I couldn't help but wonder if there was an equivalent for women.

The key to a woman's heart is through... I thought about it, and I finally concluded that, if she has kids, the answer is:

...her chores.

It doesn't sound romantic, I realize. But here's the thing: when you are married, the wooing is less about being swept off one's feet and more about doing those small, daily, considerate things that make each other's lives better.

In my house, the keys to a woman's heart involve:

making the bed while she's making the breakfast;

cooking pancakes while she goes out for a run on a Sunday morning;

bringing her flowers to celebrate a big work success;

taking the kids out to play football in the yard after dinner, even helping the little one to score touchdowns in her Tinkerbell nightgown;

uncomplainingly taking the ailing dog out first thing in the morning and last thing at night;

starting dinner while she's picking up the kids, and then suggesting that there's just enough time for her to sneak in a run before dinner because you noticed that she "sounded really sad" when you talked to her earlier on the phone and she told you that she didn't get her run today;

spiriting the kids upstairs to start the bedtime routine, so that on her "staying home days," she can have five minutes to rejuvenate and check email before story time begins.

There are many other things I could list, but this captures the ones that I have most appreciated lately.  (Obviously, those lovely making-time-for-me-to-go running ones happened before the Great Broken Toe Debacle.)

(And if I'm fessing up, I started this list as a Father's Day post, a tribute to the thoughtful man I married, but then we had to put our dog to sleep, and things got busy with my summer class, and now here I am 5 weeks later, finally finishing this post and posting it.)

(But it doesn't mean I love him any less, only that I told him so in person rather than on the internet because I didn't have time to finish writing anything.)

And despite all those parenthetical qualifications and disclaimers, I still want to know: what would be on your list?


Twenty Four At Heart said...

I hate folding laundry. Sometimes on weekends my husband will do it while he's watching ESPN. It makes my day! : )

Tara R. said...

Each year around Mother's Day, when asked what I'd like, I almost always ask for a day off.

Lately my husband has been cleaning the kitchen after dinner. It's nice being able to finish a meal without worrying about having to do the dishes.

Tracey - Just Another Mommy Blog said...

Definitely chores. Cleaning the kitchen. Putting away laundry. Doing chores without being asked (or even after being asked only ONCE).

Kate Coveny Hood said...

I was just talking about this with my husband. A friend was telling me about a book she read on the different ways people express and expect love - and this is one of them: "acts of service." I do think that the way our culture has evolved, men take acts of service for granted. But for women - it's the opposite. Based on historical roles, a man taking on household chores and childcare to give his wife a break is a grand gesture.

I love your list. My big one today was taking a nap with my youngest son while my husband kept the other two busy and OUT of my room (tried to keep George out too - but when it became apparent that he would sleep too, he was allowed to stay). Hedonism.

Melanie said...

1. Giving my youngest a bath every other night.

2. Make dinner once in a while.


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