potato of love
Ah, romance. We all want more of it. Even if you’re married, like me. ESPECIALLY if you’re married, like me. Sometimes I tell Tom that he could be more romantic. Flowers. A handwritten note. A surprise gift. After twelve years of marriage, the surprises can feel few and far between.
I’m equally to blame. Last Friday, Tom grabbed me in an impromptu embrace and tried to wrestle me onto the bed. In full daylight, with the kids only a floor away! What could be hotter? But the housekeepers had just visited. And our bed had just been made, to perfection. “TOM!! NOOOOOO!!,” I screamed, as he pushed me backwards onto the mattress. Tom sighed, his mood deflated, and then walked off to check scores. I smoothed out the duvet, assuring myself that all was pristine.
Or a couple weeks before that, when Tom tried to corner me in my closet. That time it was the overhead lights. All I could think about was how much my face looks like Alice Cooper’s under those lights. I don’t feel sexy when I feel ugly. I shoved Tom off of me and ran to pat some retinol on my face.
The more I thought about the romance thing, the worse I felt. If I wanted more romance, I shouldn’t just sit around waiting for it to be visited upon me. I would try a spontaneous gesture on Tom, in hopes of receiving spontaneous and expensive gestures in return.
At the mall, I moseyed into a See’s Candies to eat some samples, and saw a potato made out of chocolate.
It was boxed in green and dusted with cocoa powder and it had little things stuck in it that made the potato look like it had eyes. All in all, I was charmed by the verisimilitude of the thing. It was so funny. A chocolate potato. For St. Patrick’s Day! SO spontaneous. Tom would love it. I bought one and rushed home, eager to begin the romance.
At home, I changed into my pajamas and placed the box on his pillow. And then I waited for him to come to bed. But then, I fell asleep. The next morning, Tom didn’t say a thing about the potato. I tried to be gracious about it, but I was annoyed.
“Did you see the thing I left you on your pillow?” Tom looked up from brushing his teeth. He rinsed, and then smiled. “Oh yeah! The potato. Super funny. Thanks babe.”
Thanks babe? That was it? Couldn’t he see that I was trying to be romantic? Getting dressed, I saw that he had left the potato on a shelf in the closet. I moved it to the bathroom, and placed it between our sinks.
And there it sat, for two weeks. After the first few days, I was mystified. Tom can eat a pound of Sour Patch Kids in one sitting. I’ve seen him cram an entire chocolate bar into his mouth. I know my man. He likes candy. So why wasn’t he eating the potato? I opened the box and took a small nibble. It was totally delicious. I closed the box back up and pushed the potato closer to his sink, right next to his shaving cream.
Every day the potato sat there, I felt rejected. And then one day, the potato was gone. Where was the GD potato? I sent Tom an email, and waited impatiently for his response.
A wholly inadequate response, I felt. I’d given Tom a bouquet of flowers and he’d hit me in the face with them. He made it ten times worse when I confronted him by phone. “Babe. I’m sorry,” he stammered. “I had no idea it was that important to you. It just looked…gross. I mean, why would anyone want to eat a chocolate potato?” I sat there, speechless. I mean, he ate bags full of gummy candies that looked like little children. But Tom wasn’t done. He had some salt he wanted to rub into my wounds. “I mean, a part of it was already eaten and that made it even more gross, like a…like a RAT ate part of it or something.”
Anyway. Even though he rejected me and my romantic gift, it felt good to think about Tom, and to think about doing something nice for him. I feel like I’m flexing a muscle that’s rusty from disuse.
I’m already plotting my next act of romance.