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True Romance Stinks

“I’d give it five minutes if I were you darling. “Scent of a woman” and all that.”

Right, I’m going to cut to the chase here people. A lot of nonsense is talked when it comes to the notion of romance and with the aid of Julia Roberts and Meg Ryan, people have come to set some rather outlandish, utterly unrealistic standards when it comes to showing just how “romantic” you can be. As with most things, I have an opinion and I’m not afraid to use it.

Ask most women for the key qualities that they’re looking for in a man and they will reel off a list of completely reasonable demands (tall of stature, firm of buttock, bulging of wallet) and then they throw in something utterly unreasonable; he must be romantic. I’m not saying that it is unreasonable to hope for romance in a lover, but I am saying that far too much emphasis is placed on romance being something you buy from The Grand Gestures Store, located on Terrible Movie Cliché Street and therefore, not exactly attainable. Listen up people, listen up good and hard. Romance isn’t fine dining, it isn’t little green boxes from Tiffany and it isn’t a private jet to the opera, it’s something so much more. Well, actually, it’s so much less.

Romance, like the contents of an Oompa Loompa’s pants, is the little things. It’s buying her flowers for no reason, it’s washing her dishes for her while she’s working late, it’s standing in the rain talking to her on the phone for an hour when she’s scared at home alone, it’s meeting her at the airport with a can of Diet Coke, it’s lending her your jacket even though you end up with nipples that could cut glass, it’s remembering the names of her tediously dull friends and asking about their tediously dull lives, it’s buttering her toast right to the edges, just because she’s slightly mental about symmetrically spread bread. Sure, it’s all these amazingly wonderful small gestures (trust me, any one of these will be a sure fire way to get yourself some serious brownie points, and by brownie points, I mean the sort of points that can only be redeemed in the bedroom) but actually, I think true romance is far more gritty and far less likely to be seen gracing the front of a Hallmark greeting card.

Romance, in my eyes, and the true measure of a man’s love, compassion and graciousness, can only be truly tested when a woman farts. You read that right – when she farts. Women, for those of you still in denial about the harsh facts of human biology, fart, and it’s only once that happens do we get to see the full glorious beauty that is romance.

Picture it now. She glides seductively across the room to meet him, their eyes playfully meet, they kiss, she lets one rip. He, being the romantic type, pretends he never heard. She stifles a nervous laugh, he stifles a gag reflex as the egg sandwiches she had for lunch flood his nostrils and a magical moment of romance is born. She may have other suitors who shower her with diamond encrusted race horses but if they can’t leave her with an air of mystique and dignity after she leaves them with an air of egg and pestilence, they may as well send those sparkly nags straight to the glue factory.

More than just keeping a poker face while their beloved makes musical methane, the romantic man will maintain a loving gaze while she throws up everything she ate since last November, due to having imbibed one Vino Collapso too many on a Saturday night. Not only will he tell her he still loves her and that she looks beautiful while she transforms into a vomiting version of a Picasso painting (a set of false eyelashes sliding down one cheek, her lipstick sliding up the other), he will absolutely never mention the incident to her, or anyone else, the next day. He held her hair back the night before and now he’s holding his tongue. You can keep your Michelin star restaurant dinner, the true romance is in rubbing a girl’s back while she makes pavement pizza.

Any man can go to the shops and return with a pricy trinket or a mass-produced cuddly toy for his lady-love, but only the truly romantic chap will return from the shops bearing tampons or anti-diarrhoea tablets for his sweetheart, when nature, emergency and a distraught woman dictate. Nothing says “I love you” like a hastily purchased pack of Imodium and trust me, you can’t use a designer watch in situations like that. Well, you can but they’re really not as absorbent as they seem. And it takes a real man to march into the feminine hygiene section of the chemist, unaided, unattended and unarmed. He may return red faced and ruffled of feather but he also returns a romantic hero.

Above all the overpriced presents, above the grand over-complicated plans and above the finance focused labours of love, the romantic gesture I hold most dear, the one that lets me know he’s a keeper and a deeply sensitive, loving man who will stand by my side through thick and through thin, the romantic gesture above all romantic gestures that earns my undying adoration, is his willingness to pretend that even in the smallest of flats, he can’t hear me in the bathroom and that there is nothing but the faint waft of my Chanel No. 5 hanging in the air when I exit.

So, the next time you’re compiling a list of the qualities you want in a lover and are tempted to look to the plot of a Meg Ryan movie for inspiration, don’t. I truly believe that the most romantic thing a man can do, is to pretend that it’s love in the air, not last night’s curry.

About prettyfeetpoptoe

I live in London and have both my own legs so I am fortunate enough to get out and about on occasion. I form many views on the things that I see and do and love nothing better than a session of linguistic gymnastics in order to share these views.

52 responses »

  1. I must be a romantic having dealt with most of those things you mentioned. Not mentioning floaters is also a sign of true love.

  2. charmedbylove

    is the reverse true with regards to the fart? @.@

  3. My definition of true love includes overlooking incidents where one’s beloved gets so drunk at a party that by 2 am, she is telling random strangers that Jennifer Lopez is a gift from God for legitimizing the booty, then demonstrating to the other, far soberer guests that you can in fact get your groove on and dance very well without raising feet from floor. Despite the fact that everyone at the party is feeling sorry for the poor bastard who’s married to that drunk chick with the fat ass, he says it was “cute.” Hypothetically speaking.

  4. I love this pop toe. Does romance also cover scraping baby shit off of the high chair straps because I’m in bed ill? I think so.
    Andy is the height of romance, flowers for no reason, small stupid gifts he finds in little trinket shops, and oh, did I mention the shit?
    And I had better not be the boring one that he has to try to remember. Walkers mystery flavor A is top of the pack!

    • Without revealing too many of the disgusting things I know about you, the fact he attended to gardening duties while you were heavily with child seals the deal for me. Move over Mills & Boon!

  5. I love this list!

  6. missy amber

    I snorted out loud several times while reading this. He didn’t even raise an eyebrow at my unladylike Red Rum impression. He got over the excessive flatulence years ago. Must be love.

  7. Well, what do you know – I am romantic!
    (I also added this post to my page “Very Intriguing Posts I have Found” I hope that’s ok).

  8. In selecting new products for a manufacturing company, we used to have a process whereby we used to float new ideas, and them brainstorm them to eliminate them down to the last two or three, with the thought in mind that the earlier we eliminated them, the less money would be wasted on them, since they were doomed to failure anyway. This idea of yours seems to parallel that one. If even the most imperceptible fart could be a deal-breaker, why not deal with it first. Then, if it survives, then other, less serious criteria could be given consideration. I think you’re wise beyond your years. Bravo!

    • It really is the best way to weed out the weaker chumps. Give them a healthy dose of your most disgusting gut-turner and see which one comes out fighting. Almost Darwinian, isn’t it?

      In a way, we both “float” ideas. 😉

  9. I blame my Dad for making me believe in romantic fairy tales. He used to read them all to me when I was a little girl, but then he would do some other Prince Uncharming stuff to Mom. Obviously I grew up very confused. Thanks for clearing it all up!

  10. lostbythesea

    You made me at
    first fart!! Thanks for the laughter and healthy helping of truth. :))

  11. Funny because it’s so, so true. Flowers die. Diamonds are too ethically dubious for words. Chocolate makes you fat. But someone who doesn’t bat an eyelid when you blow a “romantic” evening by hastily drinking half a bottle of gin then weeping over “sliding doors’ for a bit before passing out, fully clothed.

  12. Scatological chivalry! Who needs a sword and mighty steed when the TRUE hero uses a toilet plunger and rides the Wind!

    • “Scatalogical chivalry” is what I shall now have at the top of my Ideal Man wish list. Much catchier than the “must put up with my botty-coughs and log-drops” that I was running with. Thanks!

  13. “Romance, like the contents of an Oompa Loompa’s pants, is the little things.” <—-Well said, my dear. Well said.

  14. You are so brave for stating the obvious. Usually I’m the one that is accused of that (generally by people who hate what I just said). I’m thinking I should share this one on Facebook…… do you mind?

    • Bravery only born of the knowledge I have a sweatheart who can still look lovingly at me after a night on the chilli.

      Sharing is caring, post away dear heart, post away!

  15. As a guy, you make romance sound like a giant pain in the ass.. Nevertheless, great post!

    • A pain in the arse? You mean you’d rather go out foraging for stuffed toys bearing rare jewels and racehorses called “Forever Mine” instead of tolerating a little lady trump?

      No accounting for taste. 😉

  16. deltaginger

    Reblogged this on deltaginger and commented:
    I adore this post. It is not exactly what I would call “romantic”, but hey, to each her own. For me, romance is waking up in the early morning and not having to say a word. All you have to do is look into his eyes…

  17. AWESOME post! I was giggling the entire way through! 😀

  18. Pop culture (movies, etc) gets us to pay time, money and attention by portraying (selling) us the things that are the most unattainable. The more pop culture flogs something (like in song lyrics) the more you can be sure the reality is people are experiencing the opposite — like the covers of magazines.

    For example, the more women are portrayed as seductive, available and willing on men’s mag covers it’s a sure sign real women in real men’s lives are the opposite — flinty, over committed and unavailable and aversive to sex – and relationships.

    The more pop songs sing about love — the more impossible it is to find. The more popular porn is — the less sex anyone is getting. Our minds naturally idealize the impossible. Same in politics which is just pop culture.

  19. Diego Serrano

    Farting? Beginner stuff!
    It’s when she queefs ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’…. that’s the moment you both know love is no longer a fantasy.

  20. Oh God, I laughed so hard that I very nearly emptied my bowels on the sofa. It’s happened before, and the boything looks at me with only a slight amount of contempt. Now THAT’S love!

  21. I’m happy for you man 🙂 …… a little weirded out but happy nonetheless 😉 .

  22. you really hit the nail on the head.

  23. Love your writing style poptoe!!! Movie romances are sooo overrated, couldn’t agree less!


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