As a romance author, I’ve often used the “grand gesture” in my novels. It’s that pivotal moment when the hero sweeps the heroine off of her feet in a big way. Normally, this is accomplished by a jubilant display of fanfare and some sort of larger-than-life demonstration of his love. It can be an effective tool to convey to readers the depth of one person’s love for another, and when we read about these fantastic demonstrations, we can almost feel the characters’ emotions.
This desire for the grand gesture often carries over into our real life relationships as well. We sometimes believe that in order to show a person how we feel, we must do it on a large scale. My husband has mastered the grand gesture. He’s all about making a splash, and if he’s going to do something, he’s going to exceed all expectation. For instance, on the night of our very first “official” date I was working late. He was traveling to see me, and it was going to take him a couple of hours to get there. Not sure whether or not he would run into traffic, he allowed himself plenty of time for the drive. He arrived much earlier than he was supposed to, showing up at the place where I worked three hours before my shift ended. Needless to say, I was surprised to see him so soon.
I explained that I couldn’t leave for three more hours, and I apologized, but there was little else that I could do. So he turned to my co-worker, who was just about to clock out and go home, and asked her if she would cover my shift. Then he sweetened the deal by offering her $100 to do so. Obviously she was getting a pretty good deal by working the remaining three hours of my shift, so she agreed. As far as first date impressions go, that one basically won me over. I was shocked that a man would go to such lengths just to spend a little extra time with me. I’d never experienced anything like that before, and it showed me right from the start what kind of person he was.
Throughout our years together, he’s managed to pull off a few more of these grand gestures. There was the time that he gave me concert tickets for a band that I’d always wanted to see when I was a teenager. It meant more to me as an adult than it ever would have when I was thirteen. Another time, he surprised me with a completely planned vacation to take with my best friend. Even though it was something I wouldn’t have planned for myself, he knew I would enjoy it. Perhaps the one that stands out the most in my mind was the day that he went to “run errands” and came home driving a brand new vehicle that he’d purchased for my birthday because I “deserved a better car.” These larger-than-life gestures endeared him to me from the very beginning, and they continue to do so even after all of these years.
For me, though, it’s not so much the grand gestures, but the small, seemingly unromantic things he does for me on a daily basis that continue to win my heart. These tiny things show me how much he cares. For instance, he takes my vehicle through the car wash because he knows I have a fear of getting stuck inside of the machine. It’s the way that he plants our vegetable garden and cares for it all summer, knowing that I want fresh vegetables but I can’t stand the heat or the sun. Sometimes he can tell that I’m overwhelmed and what I really need is a little downtime, so he brings me Chinese takeout and I eat it in my pajamas. It’s the way that he leads me into a crowded room with his hand on the small of my back because he knows how my anxiety kicks in when I’m around too many people. When we have to go to social events, he always carries the conversation, knowing how awkward I am around folks I don’t know. My husband “gets me” in so many different ways, and I appreciate him for understanding how I am. He knows my quirks, he’s aware of my fears, he’s learned the things that I dislike, and he does his best to make life better for me in a thousand tiny ways.
In his mind, I’m quite certain that these little things don’t mean all that much, because like I said, he’s all about the sweeping gestures. But to me, they add up exponentially. Although they are small, unimportant, mundane tasks, I view them as the greatest moments of all. You see, love isn’t always about fanfare, or pomp and circumstance, and although my husband’s grand gestures are amazing, and I’m so glad that they are part of our story, there’s much more to love than big surprises.
Sometimes it’s the quiet, seemingly unnoticeable things that make the biggest impact on a heart. It’s in these everyday moments that I know he really sees me, the real me, and he reminds me in a thousand tiny ways why I fell in love with him in the first place. In my mind, these are the grandest gestures of all, and these little things move my heart in a big way.