Scène Romantique

Romance resides in eyes and in hearts. All else are props for romantic stage plays a million years in the makings. Mother Nature provides us with a romantic instinctive nature which maddeningly drives all to frenzied distraction. Whether a fancy hotel room, a honky-tonk bar or an eloquent ballroom dance floor, romance remains a notion of mind.

Smoke curling incense, flickering candles, a vase of flowers, ice bucket champagne, skimpy Victoria Secrets, these are visuals which send a signal, "I am romancing you." Romance, those romantic feelings are intangible emotions: whimsical notions. Our grandma tells young girl me, "Emotions are just a whim of the mind". She is the most sage woman of our rural farming community. Grandma is famed for her good common sense.

Thirteen years old, my family graces me with my Choctaw rite of passage to womanhood not too long after I get the curse which is known to most as menses. This natural event is a transition from girl to woman. Grandma becomes right serious about romance, love and marriage, she teaches me all those ticklish intimate details of seduction and sex. Beginning at an early age, a tradition of almost all traditional American Indian tribes is teaching our children how to be sensuous, seductive and loving. Purpose of this learning is easy to understand: "No babies, no tribe." Girls are taught this art of seduction, making babies and motherhood. Boys are taught gentle ways of courting and being good fathers along with manhood. By early teenage years we Indians are certain experts on romance, love and making babies; we are full grown women and men in every sense.

Whether our tribes live in long lodges, tepees or a rural Oklahoma farmhouse, there are few props for setting a romantic scene. We can gather flowers, provide feathers for hair, offer up a fine chicken fried steak for supper, but there are no scented candles nor exquisite French brandy. Our toys of romance are in our eyes and in our hearts and most often expressed with sweet words from a loving mind looking through twinkling eyes. American Indian romance is true love.

Romance is sitting in your lover's lap while enjoying smiles and laughter given by simply being close. Romance is wrapping yourself all around your lover to become one of heart and mind. Romance is a dance which makes for goose bumps thrills of love. Romance is an age old ceremonial dance of hearts with a wildness of eyes and steps.

Romance is not a beautiful bouquet of twelve roses, red, yellow nor white. A box of chocolates is not romance. A bright red dental floss g-string is seduction, not romance. A limousine ride to a high school prom is just an expensive taxi, not romance. Those are all visual props setting a stage for a Shakespearian romantic comedy but not for Romeo and Juliet, theirs is true tragic romance.

Our girl scheming and planning then roping and hornswoggling her daddy into a Movieland Frontier Town chapel shotgun wedding conducted by an aging two-bit actor playing the part of a Wild West preacher man, this is romance, this is a display of a heartfelt desire to be forever one with her loved cowboy. Cuddling and hugging with a daughter who married both your husband and you, this is romance.

She is our daughter, hers is a story of traditional American Indian romance. After school, grammar and high school, our girl comes charging into our house with a slam of our front door. She trots along leaving behind a trail of school books, notebook, lunch bucket and her clothes. Naked as a jaybird she starts through our kitchen, I holler, "Hey, put on clothes, you're going out in public!" Three of us are lifelong nudists. I point to our supper table. Each day I lay out jeans and a shirt for her then wait in our kitchen for our girl to come running through. My daughter is aware of her nudity, this is our daily daughter and mother game of love. She slips on those clothes, "Thanks, momma!" and another slam of a backdoor she is off running to pasture to whistle up her stallion and painted mare who faithfully follows her everywhere whether horseback or on foot. Saddle blanket tossed on, reins snapped, those three are off at a trot to her daddy's construction site. She cannot stand being away from her cowboy, just has to be with him.

No limousine, no flowers, she is romancing her daddy in our traditional way, simply acting out a desire to always be with a loved person. Our horses graze, she works alongside her daddy, he teaches her carpentry, she learns and helps. During their time together, they graze on romance. They do not need Shakespearian stage play props, their sincere love is all which is needed to play out their romantic acts and scenes.

Our American Indian traditional way of romance is so radically different, mainstream Americans typically cannot comprehend our expressions of love. This is our scène romantique sans props.

Readers are warmly welcomed to share your personal viewpoints on romance. This would be fun for readers to share some of your favorite romantic photographs. Enlighten us, thrill us, share your thoughts on this endearing game of love we call romance.