Promises made are not the same as promises kept

The sun had already set, dimming the lights on the evening naturally. The electronic timers on the restaurant lighting did the rest. I’m not sure why dim lights equal romance, but then again there are a lot of things that I am unsure about. I don’t necessarily need to know why they work; I just know that they do.

He took her coat in the hallway and directed her to the only bar seat available. Maybe in the days of hunter/gatherers the traditional man’s role was more strenuous, but then again maybe it wasn’t. Whatever the case, these days making reservations is often the sum total of the effort involved. Apparently, in the modern world, pitching a fit about a table is right up there with warding off a cave bear.

“What would you like my dear?” he asked.

“I don’t know yet,” she replied. “Why don’t you go ahead and order.”

“I’ll wait for you,” he said.

As much as they say that a woman likes a man with confidence (and vice versa) it is apparent to anyone who actually watches that too much confidence quickly leads to diminishing returns.

A long series of questions followed, either by him, or by her, I’ll let you judge for yourselves. Because we all know that people will often seek out confirmation for what they already believe, rather than the facts of the situation.

Two of the same drinks were ordered, tonight was all about being on the same page. From the equally dressy clothes to their equally styled coiffures, and right down to manicured fingernails, both for him, and for her.

Funny how a beer won’t suffice in an instant designed for champagne, nor will it work the other way around, depending upon person, place, and predisposition.

Romance looks different than lust, and while promises are often made in the throws of either, most people don’t put as much stock in the promises made horizontally as they do in the ones made vertically.

“I don’t know what I’d do without you,” said the man looking deep into the woman’s eyes.

“Nor I, you,” replied the woman.

Odd how romance always takes on formal language. “Me too” certainly wasn’t going to cut it, not there, and not then. If there is ever a time for complete sentences its usually right after declarations of undying love.

“Tell me about my eyes,” she said. “Again.”

He did, again, and it lost nothing in the telling.

“Tell me about my lips,” she cooed.

 Now we were getting somewhere.

 “Would you two like another…” interrupted the interloping bartender.

 The couple both waved him away urgently. Romance delayed is so often also denied.

 Five minutes later it was a little different.

 “I could do a glass of wine,” said the woman.

 The doing of which was left a little ambiguous. You don’t “do” drinks, you drink them. Doing has a whole different connotation, and not necessarily positive. But all romance needs a little edge. If things are a foregone conclusion, then those things could quite easily end up being either a chore or a bore. And nobody wants that.

The promises came quicker and more urgently after that. The words “never” and “always” were bandied about as if anyone can ever promise either, much less both.

“I will call you every day,” he promised.

“I will never take you for granted.”

All good and noble goals.

After about an hour of this, the promises came fewer, but were punctuated by surreptitious public displays of affection. One doesn’t need to lick the roof of another’s mouth to make their love more valid, one really doesn’t.

Eventually all good things must come to an end. Or at least the end of one thing and the beginning of another.

“I can’t tonight,” she replied to a whispered something. “I have a big morning at work.”

Romance does not guarantee sex, and neither does sex guarantee romance, but there is often considerable overlap.

Things calmed down a bit after that. Except for one last grandiose gesture.

“I would do anything for you,” he said. “Wait as long as you want, cross the widest river, scale the tallest mountain. You are worth any hardship.”

I don’t think all women need such an unflinching declaration, but this one did.

“So, I’ll see you this Friday?” she asked.

“Absolutely,” he said. “If it doesn’t rain.”

Leaving me with these thoughts:

-A promise is only as good as the action that follows it.

-“‘Til you died, but you’re still alive,” Alannis Morrissette, “You Oughta Know”

-“Well done is better than well said,” once opined Benjamin Franklin, which, when considering his history could mean an awful lot of things.

-Promises made in the dark are rarely kept in the light. -True love isn’t found, it’s built. And that takes more than promises. It takes hard work.  

– “I would do anything for love, but I won’t do that,” RIP Meatloaf.