And What Else?

They were here for the afternoon, my niece and my young cousin.  Sweet, beautiful girls… in only a matter of weeks they would both be turning 13.

I was at my desk doing what I do with business spreadsheets, and they were at the table, cutting and gluing, crafting little treasure boxes.

Since they were a captive audience, I forced them to listen to the music I love.  My niece asked if I ever listened to modern music, and I told them they just had to put up with my tunes.  As the classics began to unfold, their faces lit up every time they recognized a song from a movie they’d seen.  I assured them they’d be hearing “It Had to Be You” and “Fly Me to the Moon” for the rest of their lives.

When “Somewhere Beyond the Sea” came on, I told them how Gary and I always have to just stop working and dance when we hear this song.  How it makes us think of being on a cruise ship, and all our happy memories there.

And this began our sweet conversation with those girls asking me “What else?”

They were happy to listen to my little romantic stories that went along with the music.  The time he surprised me by purchasing and smuggling a dress I’d loved in a store all the way across the ocean so he could give it to me for Christmas.  “What else?”  Hmmmm… there’s the time I was curling my hair and the doorbell rang, and it was a guy from a car dealership with some keys in his hand, a sports car in the driveway, and a grin on his face telling me my husband had asked them to drop the car by so I could take it for a test drive.  (I drove the car… but declined the gift… being the ever-so-reasonable soul that I am! Ha!)  “What else?”

Honestly, I couldn’t keep coming up with grand romantic story upon grand romantic story.  And I was doing my best to let them know that the greatest moments of “What else?” are the tiny little things that wouldn’t sound very special to giggling girls.

But… young ladies of the world… these are the moments of a lovely romance…

A man who continues to notice any little thing you do – like hauling off the trash – and thanks you for doing so.

A man who brings you a cup of coffee, then sits there grinning when you get to the bottom of the delicious cup and discover the remains of melting M&Ms.

A man who irons his own shirts.

A man who sees to it that Santa Claus always puts tangerines in your Christmas stocking, even when you’re 51 years old.

A man who is just nice to you… every single day, every single moment.  Just nice.

Any guy can tell you that you’re beautiful.  He can spend every dime he makes buying you bracelets and rings.  He can open doors and show you a good time.  But don’t get caught up in a fantasy world of “What else?”  Don’t search for romance in big flashy events.

It’s great fun to get dressed up in velvet and black tie.  It’s a treat to get a gift of bling.  But my wish for all the sweet young girls in my life is that you’ll spend your lives with men who are genuinely kind and thoughtful, who will always treat you with respect while they shower you with love.


3 Responses to “And What Else?”

  1. Betty Williamson says:

    What a beautiful Valentine’s column! Not only did it make me smile, but it put some wonderful music in my head for the morning.

  2. Cheryl says:

    Yes, the perfect find….a man who is “just” nice. What a beautiful tribute. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Kim says:


Leave a Reply