Every woman has a different idea of romance. To some, it’s roses and champagne. To others, it’s diamonds and a getaway for two to Fiji. To still others, it’s George Clooney (oh, come on, like you’ve never thought that). And while all that stuff is nice, to me, real romance is more nuanced, more personal, more here’s-my-heart. To wit:
This past Sunday, B. took me on the most romantic date. Casablanca was playing in a local movie theater (as part of its 75th anniversary celebration) and, while I’ve seen it on TV a gazillion times, I’d never seen it on the big screen. B. had seen it 25 years ago at Hollywood’s legendary Grauman’s Chinese Theater and, so amazing was it seen that way, he was determined that I not miss out on the opportunity.
It was, in a word, breathtaking. Ingrid Bergman was absolutely exquisite as the woman torn between the love of her life and the hero husband working to save the world; Humphrey Bogart was swoon-worthy as Rick, the smooth, suave nightclub owner with a tender, if broken, heart. And hearing the French nationals sing the Marseillaise, in the face of occupying Nazis attempting to sing their own anthem, was incredibly moving — even more so on the big screen.
I fell under the movie’s spell. Apparently my “Oh, my!” when Bogart first appeared onscreen was audible, as was my sniffling when he told Bergman’s Ilsa that she had to get on the plane with her husband, Victor Laszlo, for the greater good — even though it was tearing Rick apart.
If you’ve never seen Casablanca, shame on you — rent it or stream it right now (right after you finish reading, that is). And for those of you who have, if you ever get the chance to see it in the movies, don’t think twice. It’s the right thing to do.
So okay, you’re saying, B. took you to a romantic movie (not just a romantic movie, dear reader, THE singular most romantic movie of all time). But really, it was just a trip to the movies — how is that unbelievably romantic? I’m glad you asked.
As a college professor, B. works every day during the fall and spring semesters. He’s either in the classroom; in his school office helping any of his hundreds of students with questions or concerns; or working at home on the weekends grading papers and exams, preparing for class, writing reference letters on request, and more. In short, during the semesters, the idea of socializing on the weekends — particularly on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon — is downright hilarious. So, the fact that B. made this Sunday date happen for me was quite a feat — he was at his desk before dawn on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday mornings, put in 15-hour days on Friday and Saturday, and whisked me off to 1940s Morocco on Sunday afternoon. Talk about swoon-worthy.
You must remember this — when it comes to romance, a kiss is just a kiss. But someone who gives his whole heart to you — that is true love.
Cut and print.
ⓒ 2017 Claudia Grossman