No one ever talks about dead roses. Roses are only praised for their beauty, their vibrant color and their fragrance. The dead roses are metaphors for dead romance, dead moments, dead anything that ought to be alive in relationships. They are untold non-fiction stories because fiction sounds so much more intriguing. Every relationship has them, except the ones portrayed on TV. For as long as I can remember, most good men on TV have always seemed to be intact and indefectible, the ideal gentlemen. They always knew what to say and when to say it. They knew to open doors and always carry our bags. When we are cold, they knew to sacrifice their jacket and comfort for ours. They knew to walk on the outside of the sidewalk. They knew to take us home and wait until’ we’re safely inside. They knew to send flowers at our jobs “just because.” They knew to make sure the umbrella covers us more than it does them. They knew to keep the compliments coming. They knew to send “Good morning beautiful” text messages. If we were ever unhappy, they knew to go out of their way to birth our happiness. Truly, all these perfect men were polished men. I didn’t know that. I had to discover that.
When I started dating my husband, I expected all these things on a rotation. To me, these were things that a man should do or else. Else, he didn’t love me. Else he wasn’t the one for me. Else he would have to be exchanged for another. Another, that would be better than or else. Else I would keep exchanging men until I found him. Him, the perfect one, the one described above.
I’ve attempted to “or else” my husband, my boyfriend at the time, until I started hearing about other women’s dead roses. Truly, these men who are unblemished don’t exist. Not to say that he never did any of them, but they didn’t happen every single time. I struggled with the thought of his love for me because he wasn’t doing everything I was taught by media. I started noticing the dead roses, the arguments, the disappointments, the angry sad days and the like.
I wondered, how come these roses were never talked about. Informing us that relationship will not always be fresh roses, exuberant and gratifying. Things die down because men aren’t robots, programmed to make us happy 24/7. No real relationship is a 100% at all times. We won’t always see eye to eye with our men. We won’t always get our way. We won’t always need him to open our doors. He may forget that we are on the outside of the sidewalk. He may need a good morning text message rather than us.
Just because he isn’t all out chivalrous doesn’t mean he isn’t a good man. We are too hasty to throw away the baby and the bath water because the baby pooped in the water. Hey! The baby is still good. The man is still good. Gallantry and chivalry aren’t always good gestures to judge the quality of a man. We misconstrue lack of chivalry as a lack of love, care or protection. Throw away the dead roses but keep the vase. The vase can be used again for fresh roses. When these roses die. You keep the cycle going, throw the dead roses, keep the vase. During the storms of life, romance is dead. Or should I say the need for romance is not there. No one is thinking about sex or material things when they can’t pay their bills or their child is in the hospital. We need him to be there to support, encourage and pray for us. So, whatever you do, keep the vase.