I’m a hopeless romantic. I admit it. Now, before you go asking for my man card, check yourself. Chances are, so are you. I think most men are romantics, Lovers as well as fighters. I mean, really. All anybody really wants is to be loved and accepted, right? As guys, we just need the right woman to bring it out in us.
I had this once. I was smitten from the moment I first saw her. Sure, I played the game at first. But I was hooked. The gentleman in me emerged. She didn’t want for anything. Never paid for a meal. Always had flowers. Teddy bears galore. You name it. I never let an opportunity to show my love for her pass me by. Well, I tried not to anyway. After all, I’m still human. As much as I would love to make you think I was the perfect husband, I can’t. I have my faults. But I like to think I was perfect for her.
I sometimes feel like I take this whole “hopeless romantic” thing too far, though. For example, I was sitting on my couch the other day watching one of our favorite television shows–Castle. If you’ve never seen it, it’s a romantic crime drama where a playboy crime writer (Richard Castle) shadows one of New York’s finest homicide detectives (Kate Beckett) to gather inspiration for his next novel. One thing leads to another and yes, you guessed it, they fall in love.
I don’t want to ruin it for you, but there comes a point in the series when Beckett decides that she and Castle need to take a break. Castle, being the charismatic playboy that he is, won’t take no for an answer and decides he’s going to win her back, whatever it takes.
This particular episode opens with Kate fixing herself a fancy cup of coffee on the cappuccino machine that Castle bought for the squad. Because you know, a simple coffee pot just won’t do. Kate takes a sip of the coffee, scrunches her face and shudders. I guess she didn’t do such a great job of making her coffee. But, what’s she to do. Can’t really let the coffee go to waste now, can we? Anyway, as the episode progresses, a dead body turns up. Obviously a murder. Castle finds a way to get himself involved with the investigation so that he can be close to Beckett. She grows increasingly frustrated with his antics, even if slightly amused at the idea of his trying to win her back. One thing leads to another. They case is solved. The unlikely duo has once again saved the day. So what better way to celebrate than with a cup of coffee, made by Castle this time?
The scene opens with Castle leaning against a desk holding two cups of what appear to be perfectly made cappuccinos. Kate exits the captain’s office and walks toward Castle, who hands her a cup of coffee. Kate takes the coffee with a smile. She lifts the coffee to her lips. Her eyes close as she inhales the aroma. The look on her face softens, and a slight smile creeps across her face. She takes a sip.
“You always make it so much better,” she says. “Even though you taught me how to make it. I can never quite get it right.”
Castle replies, “That’s because I didn’t teach you everything. I left out one ingredient.”
“Really? Which ingredient was that?”
“I can’t tell you that.”
“Because then what would you need me for?”
Kate gets “the look.” You know the one, right? That look that the girls get when someone says something sweet, and they go “Aaawwwww! That was so sweet!” Yeah, you know the look. She smiles at Castle, and says, “Then don’t tell me.”
Okay. So at this point I have to tell you that I was screaming at my television, “Kiss him Kate!! You know you want to!” But she didn’t. Instead, she just stood there looking at him. The look on her face was that of longing. You could tell she wanted to grab him and hold him. The camera panned to Castle. He could see it to. But he was determined to let her make the first move. He wanted to win her back. But at the same time, had to respect the space she has asked for. The camera panned to Kate again. I was going crazy!! “Oh my gosh, what is wrong with you! You know you want him!” She did. She wanted to hold him so bad. But she couldn’t.
Maybe that’s why this particular scene hit so close to home? You could see it in her eyes, in the look on her face. She wanted to hold him, to feel his arms around her, holding her close to him. She wanted to feel his heart beat against her chest, to feel her arms around him. To feel as one.
See, I told you I was taking the whole “hopeless romantic” thing too far. You’re probably thinking, “Good grief Steve, you got all that from a scene in a television show?” Yeah, I did. See, I can relate to how Kate was feeling. I feel it all the time. The desire to wrap my arms around Christina. To hold her close to me, to listen to the sound of her breathing. to feel the beat of her heart again. It’s agony to want something so bad, knowing you can’t have it.
Maybe I was projecting my feelings there a little bit. I don’t know. What I do know is I wanted to strangle Kate just then. She never did go to Castle. I imagine in the story (had the camera not faded to black), they both ended up going their separate ways. Maybe there was a better time and place for the embrace. I don’t know. I guess I’ll have to wait for the next episode. Except, the show is on reruns now, so who knows when that will be. Ugh! Maybe I should just go buy the series on DVD? Or stop watching romantic stuff all together? No, that won’t do. I enjoy it too much. Even when it hurts, it’s a good hurt, because it allows me to remember. I remember what it was like to have such a good thing. I remember Christina and my own little romance story. That can’t possibly be a bad thing.
So what’s the lesson? The moral to the story? I guess it would have to be: Don’t wait. If you feel something, act on it. If you love someone, tell them. If you were wrong, say you’re sorry. If someone needs something, provide it for them. And if you find yourself standing in front of your spouse or significant other, longing to hold them in your arms, to feel them close to you, do it. Don’t wait. Take them in your arms. Hold them close. Close your eyes and savor the moment. Make a mental note of how they feel. What they smell like. Can you hear their heartbeat? Their breathing? Can you trace the contour of their shoulder blades? Feel the vertebra in their back? Are they holding you as tightly as you’re holding them? Can you tell where you end, and they begin? Do you feel – as one?
You’ll never regret taking that opportunity. You’ll always regret not taking it. Especially if you find yourself in a position where you’ll never have the opportunity again.