It’s 8:37 PM. She was supposed to have gotten off work two and a half hours ago, but she’s only now clocking out. She waves goodbye to her girlfriend in another office who’s absentmindedly waving while she chatters away on the phone. She passes the janitor who’s vacuuming the office floor as she makes her way to the elevator.
She rides the lift down to the parking garage level. As she steps out, she notices that there are only two vehicles left on this garage level. One is her white sedan, the other is white van with some logo on the side. She clutches her briefcase and keys a little tighter as she makes her way to her car. Suddenly, she sees a man standing near her car. He’s not holding a pry bar or a handgun, but a bouquet of long-stem yellow roses. A short laugh escapes from her lips.
“Miss Valencia?” the flower shop guy calls.
“That’s me,” she replies.
The man jogs over and with a smile, hands her the bouquet. “I was told to wait out here and give these to you when you came out.” Then, he runs to his van, hops in, and drives away.
She reads the note.
I couldn’t find anything nearly as beautiful as you. I hope these will do. Love, K.
The roses give off the most intoxicating perfume. Of course they were from him.
She gets into her car and sets the bouquet gently onto the passenger’s seat. The entire drive home, she thinks about how sweet her boyfriend is. Midway through the drive, she exits the freeway and gets on the familiar stretch of Main Street that she always takes on her way home. She stops at a red light and looks around. There’s the man waving the sign about pizza or something, but this time the sign is different. As the light turns green and she drives away, she gets a better look at it.
KRIS LOVES JANE!
TODAY AND EVERYDAY!
You have got to be kidding me, she thinks to herself. She can’t wipe the dorky smile from her face, no matter how much she shakes her head.
She pulls up to their house. Kris is standing at the door with a bottle of white wine in his hand. She parks and gets out. “What are you doing? I thought we agreed we weren’t doing anything special tonight?”
“But it’s our anniversary. Of course we’re doing something special. Today is special. We’re special. Why the hell not?” he laughs. “Now, get in the truck.”
She frowns. “Why? I just got home.”
“Because I said so. Here.” He trades her the briefcase for the wine bottle and motions to the truck as he runs in and throws her briefcase on the couch. He locks up the house and they both get in the truck.
“Where are we going?” she asks.
“Do you honestly think I’m going to tell you?” he replies.
She chuckles, “No, but it can’t hurt to ask.”
They drive in silence, save the country radio station playing through the speakers.
The radio DJ pipes up on the station. “This next song goes out to a lovely lady from her man, Kris. Jane, happy anniversary and we wish the both of you the best.” Then, “Wanted” by Hunter Hayes comes on and Jane turns bright red.
Kris reaches his hand out to hold hers. “Hey, I love you.”
“I love you too,” she answers.
They keep driving through town, up to a huge park near the mountain. Finally, Kris parks the truck and shuts off the engine. He turns on the cab light and asks, “Can you check the glove box for me? I want to know if there’s a spare key in there or if I hid it somewhere else in this mess of a truck.”
Jane pops open the glove compartment. It’s empty except for a scrap of paper. She unfolds it and reads:
Actually, I think it’s in the back of the truck. You should check.
She smiles and rolls her eyes a little. Kris can’t help himself and laughs. She hops out, and walks around to the tailgate. There’s an old blue tarp covering the truck bed. She climbs up and starts tugging at the tarp. Kris climbs up next to her and unhooks a few of the bungee cords holding the tarp on. Jane throw the tarp over one side of the truck, revealing a truck bed full of pillows, blankets, and bean bags. There’s a picnic basket and a pair of gas lanterns in the corner.
“What do you think?” Kris asks.
Jane turns to look at him. “You’ve outdone yourself, mister.”
He laughs, “Good. Come on; I made something special.”
If you’re a girl, you probably read that and thought, holy tits, that was cute as fuck.
If you’re a dude, chances are you probably thought that you wasted like six minutes of your life.
This is the kind of memory I would try to create for my partner if I were his boyfriend. I would be the best, most romantic boyfriend ever. But, unfortunately, I’m the girl in my heterosexual relationship, and society won’t let me be the hyper-romantic partner that I want to be.
If I were to turn this imaginary situation into reality, society would call me needy. Or worse.
This is worse.
If I acted as romantic as I wanted to act, society would tell me that I’m making my boyfriend feel emasculated. Why is that? Because society’s gender roles are fucking stupid. A girl in a heterosexual relationship is expected to just wait for her boyfriend to perform grand, romantic gestures. Hell, that’s why the guy proposes nine times out of ten instead of the girl.
But lots of the time, the girl in the relationship is the more romantically-inclined of the two. And what can us girls do about it? Jack shit.
This is extremely frustrating to me because of how I view love. I am irrevocably in love with my boyfriend. My love for him inspires me to do things for him that I’d never do for anybody else. I want to show him how much I love him. And to me, the best way I can do that is with grand, thoughtful gestures of affection.
I would be the boyfriend who sends flowers to the office early enough so that they’re on her desk when she gets there. I would be the boyfriend who gets a dish named after her at her favorite restaurant on her birthday. I would be the boyfriend who writes “I love you” in Christmas lights on her front lawn. I would be the boyfriend who saves five months pay to buy her that engagement ring she never thought she’d get.
But society won’t let me. Because I’m the girlfriend, not the boyfriend.