My Dad is a Man’s Man. He’s not given to poetic, lovey-dovey speeches like actors in Hollywood films. He is direct, says what he means, and does what he says. He is not perfect, but his actions show that he loves his wife and family more than anything else in the world.
I noticed this recently while with my family on a day trip to the seaport. It was a windy afternoon, but sunny, and my Mom had tied her favorite jacket around her waist as the afternoon grew warmer. As we stood on a dock high above the harbor, a huge gust of wind blew Mom’s jacket right off her hips and into murky water 30 feet below. “Oh noooooo!” she exclaimed, not sure whether to laugh or cry.
Without a word, my Dad immediately went down to the (private) dock to jump into a (stranger’s) rowboat and collect Mom’s favorite jacket. He’s a man like that.
My Dad hates being the center of attention. In fact, he’s probably embarrassed that this post is on the internet right now. Even so, he ignored a small crowd of onlookers, got into a rowboat, searched for and finally found his wife’s beloved jacket tangled in the seaweed. He grabbed it, tied up the boat and bounded up the dock to cheers—my Mom cheering loudest of all.
It was so romantic to watch. My parents have been married for almost 30 years, and his actions showed that he is still her knight in shining armor. It really inspired me to see him want to take care of her like that, even though they are no longer in the flush of early love.
It also showed me a side of my Dad that maybe before I had taken for granted. I didn’t usually consider him a romantic kind of person. A good person, a loving person, but not a romantic one.
However, his actions that afternoon showed me that he is, in fact, a romantic— even if he doesn’t dish out mushy compliments or sing love songs or dance with my Mom in the kitchen.
He is romantic because of his willingness to do the things that make my Mom feel protected and secure.
He is romantic because he takes initiative to show that he cares, and always follows through.
Many people wouldn’t bother taking an hour out of their day to find a boat and dig in murky water just so their lady would get her favorite hoodie back. Other men might want to do it, might want to help—but would be afraid of looking silly, and stop themselves.
My Dad just went and did it, without even thinking.
It was one of the many, many things I’ve seen him do over the years, without thinking twice. Working hard to provide for his family and never quitting, even when his job has been stressful or unfulfilling. Making breakfast for my Mom every morning so her eggs are ready—just the way she likes them—before she wakes up. Dealing with difficult people on the phone at the insurance company so she won’t have to. Always taking out the trash and recycling, always. Offering to drive her anywhere she needs to be any hour of day or night. Never expecting thanks for any of these things and never threatening to stop, or to leave.
A man does not have to write love poems to be a true romantic, a knight in shining armor. Romance is shown in your service to the ones you love—in immediately meeting their need before you think of yourself. In doing that every day, for 30 years and counting.