When I was young, in a time of my life that I like to call, BK (Before Kids), I thought I had a pretty good idea on what it would take to keep the spark in my marriage, and to keep the romance alive. My ideas were formed from watching movies, TV, and an occasional Cosmo magazine (when I was getting my hair cut and it was the only thing to read.), and they included soft music, scented candles, a fresh bouquet of flowers, chocolates, dinner at a nice restaurant, crackling fire in the fireplace, etcetera. Turns out, none of that stuff really works. I will share with you my top 10 techniques, all learned from years of research, and validated using the scientific method (only with my wife, though!)
10. Clean the garage so that she can park the minivan in there again. Without her asking you to.
9. Clean, fold and put away the laundry.
A word of caution, however: For this technique to work, you have to put all the clothes away, in the right places, with the kids’ clothes sorted correctly, without ruining any of the clothes. There is no partial credit for this one; it is all or nothing.
8. Bring home a gift in a little blue box.
7. Cook a real dinner, AND clean the kitchen afterwards. Foods to avoid: Chili, Pork Ribs, Grilled Hamburgers or hot dogs, pork and beans, microwave burritos, potato salad.
6. Give her a gift certificate to the spa, and keep the kids while she is gone.
4. Vacuum out the minivan. This one works as well as Buck Lure in deer season. Clean the bathroom and empty the litterbox while you are at it.
3. After the kids are asleep, make some popcorn, and watch Nicholas Sparks’ The Notebook together while snuggling on the couch. Pride and Prejudice usually works, too. No matter what, don’t imitate Mr. Darcy’s accent.
2. Get up with the kids on Saturday and let her sleep in. As long as she wants.
1. Arrange for each one of the kids to spend the night at someone else’s house (and make it a surprise.) Hide all the kids’ toys, clothes, etc so that there is no evidence that they exist.