Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Crimes to the Third Degree.

“What’s the most romantic thing a man can give a woman?” one of the married men in my office asks, contemplating a major upcoming anniversary in his homelife. “Flowers? Candy? Dinner out?”

Flying By Night novelNone of the above, I think.

For some reason, my mind flashes back to a boy in college when I was about 17. He would look at me for hours and talk about how he wanted to draw me while I wrote my poetry and novels. He wanted to capture the spark in my eye as I created. He never did draw me.

He also spoke of wanting to write a song for me on his guitar—he was a musician and I’ve always appreciated musicians, and he had played back-up for a number of well-known recording artists in the late 70’s and had lots of stories to tell about the “stars” and their bad habits. He never did write that song for me, though he listened to me suffer through a few guitar chords for my own lyrics and melodies.

Those were promises unfulfilled on his part, but I found them incredibly romantic and still find the prospect of a man drawing a woman or writing a song for her or a poem for her to be among the most endearing expressions of love and delight a man could possibly dream up. It really doesn’t matter if the portrait or the song or the poem is without much skill—in this case, the thought really is what counts.

I guess to me, that’s the most romantic thing a man can give a woman: his art, from his heart to hers.


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