A touch of the mitten-tip

I have been reading the Little House series to the boys for a while now, and we are now almost finished that epistle of madcap gaiety, Little Town on the Prairie.  As opposed to the very depressing previous book, The Long Winter – everyone is going to die! – this book is full of exciting good times like the Friday night Literaries and the weeklong discussions following the Friday night Literaries and the anticipation of the Friday night Literaries, and also a New England Supper.  I’m not entirely sure what makes it New England, as opposed to South Dakota, but maybe it’s the baked beans and pumpkin pie?  I don’t know. 

The Friday night Literaries start out with a spelling bee, which puts the whole town into a competitive tizzy.  Pa wins the bee, naturally, since Pa can do no wrong, except for the whole moving his family into more and more isolated and dangerous places.  The spelling bee was pretty exciting, though, and I’m not just saying this because I myself was on the television show Spelling Bee, hosted by former Stampede Wrestling host and Calgary celebrity Ed Whalen.  I was quite the spelling star back in the day!  It made up for my complete inability to do anything well in Phys Ed.  Or, at least, I think it did.  Spelling’s more important than being able to do a chin-up, right?

Anyway, it’s been fun reading this book to the boys, what with all the wholesome – and also offensive – entertainments.  Minstrel show, I’m looking at you.  But this is also the book where the romance between Laura and Almanzo begins!  They exchange name cards, and Laura also accepts a ride to school from him, that hussy, and when she gets out of the buggy, they touch mitten-tips.  IT BEGINS.

My husband and I were talking about what it would be like to have an old-timey romance.  I use the term “romance” loosely since it seems like if you were of a certain age, and there was a man there also of a certain age, and neither of you had anything seriously wrong with you like a missing leg, then you would probably get married.  This seems to be the case with Laura and Almanzo – I mean, Laura was 15 and Almanzo was 25, which is a bit squicky, but likely there were no eligible females over the age 15 and he was tired of the bachelor life.  Think of all the marriages which would have started for similar reasons!  Romance would boil down to a buggy ride, and maybe a heart-pounding touch of the mitten-tips.

But real life romance is very different from movie romance anyway, isn’t it?  Real life romance isn’t all about rose petals on the bed or bubble baths for two with champagne.  It isn’t about getting it on while lying on a beach with ocean waves lapping at your feet.  Sand, ouch.  It isn’t even about him standing outside your window with a boom box lifted above his head, playing In Your Eyes, although that would be awesome.  Real life romance, in my mind, is personified by my husband checking restaurant menus to see if there are any good vegetarian options, even though he’s planning on having steak, or by my husband recording a late-night talk show just because the guest was Hugh Jackman.  Real life romance is my husband becoming worried about my bone density and ordering calcium supplements for women 50+, even though I’m not really close to 50+.  It’s sweet – he cares about my bone density!

What do you think?  What’s the most real-life romantic thing that you or your spouse has done for each other lately?


  1. Almanzo lied about his age so he could get a homestead, you know. So he was actually 23, not 25. THAT MAKES IT ALL BETTER.

    You know what I thought was the most romantic thing about that whole sleigh ride business? When she gives him one of her name cards, and he says how pretty her name is and then tucks it in his pocket. Can’t you see him using it as a bookmark, or something? Swoon.

    Anyway, let’s see, romantic things… if I come out of the baby’s room after going through his bedtime routine and the dishes are done, that’s awesome.

    Last weekend, Michael spent Sunday afternoon cooking a bunch of meals ahead of time so all I had to do for most of the week was heat stuff up. That was extremely romantic, I thought.

    He has also volunteered to take the boys to soccer AND swimming lessons all fall. That’s three nights a week! HAWT.

    • OMG, he made meals to last the week? That seems heroic and extra-romantic to me! Also not having to shuttle the kids from activity to activity seems SEX-AY.

      Do you think he would have used the namecard for a bookmark? Because he doesn’t seem like much of a reader. But maybe he kept it as something to look at in lieu of old-timey porn? Ew. I just grossed myself out.

  2. The most recent heart-flutter at our house was when Paul messed with something on my neck and I said, “What, was there a bug?” and he said, “No, I was just noticing your earring.” He NOTICED an EARRING??

  3. The other day I as I was listening to the radio that song Grenade came on and all I could think was “I don’t care if you’d jump on a grenade for me, would you get up with a crying baby at 3:00 am without complaint, occasionally make dinner, do the dishes, drive the kids to various activites, bring me soup in bed when I’m sick? Dying for me is crap, helping build a life and family is the kind of romantic declaration I require.”

    ANYWAY, I think the most romantic thing my husband does is urge me to exercise regularly and juggle the kids and activities without complaint Saturday and Sunday mornings for a couple of hours so I can go to the work out class I really really love. He gives me time all to myself to do something just for myself. <3

    • Haha! Maggie, I love this. You’re worth way more alive than dead, buddy. True words. Also that song is kind of lame. Giving you time for yourself, that’s way better than jumping in front of a train!

  4. Aw, this is such a sweet post, I love it. My husband and I are the most unromantic people on earth and I used to be proud of it. But last week I read The Hunger Games and almost died from the romance factor, and now I am wondering just how difficult it would be for him to offer to DIE for me every now and again. It doesn’t seem too much to ask now, does it?

  5. Rachelradiostar says

    Mine tells me if Ray Winstone comes on the telly! I love him. I love them both.

  6. Have you read The Wilder Life? She talks about how all of the passages about Barnum and Skip are innuendo. HAWT.

  7. Since you wrote this post on my wedding anniversary, I definitely have to comment!

    The most romantic thing my husband did for me recently was for my mom’s 60th birthday party, which we hosted. He cooked the day before and then mowed our giant lawn, all without complaint, and without me having to ask. Sweet.

    Oh, and he recently took the dog for a walk on a Saturday morning so I could sleep past 6. Dreamy!

  8. Ha, they touch mitten tips. How sweet. I love Little House.

    My husband arranged for us to renew our vows. That was pretty romantic.

Leave a Reply