Why Can’t We Do Grand Romantic Gestures at Reasonable Hours?

Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban.
Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman. Photo: Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images

There are plenty of things I like to do during the wee hours of the morning: mostly sleeping. What I don’t want to do after midnight but before the sun comes up is witness my significant perform an impromptu grand romantic gesture of any sort.

Apparently, Nicole Kidman and I do not have that in common. In this week’s People cover story, the actress opened up about the morning she realized Keith Urban was the man with whom she wanted to spend her life. This moment, to my dismay, came at 5 a.m … on her birthday.

“It was my [38th] birthday, and he stood outside with gardenias at 5 a.m. on my stoop in New York,” Kidman said. “That is when I went, ‘This is the man I hope I get to marry.’”

And the gesture didn’t end there. After an undisclosed amount of time passed that morning, Urban apparently whisked Kidman off to Woodstock via motorbike, which she described as “pretty intense.” Understandably!

I can understand the thought process here. Nighttime and pre-dawn romantic gestures are a beloved cultural tradition: the scene of John Cusack holding a boombox outside Ione Skye’s bedroom at night in Say Anything is now embedded in our collective unconscious, and everyone knows the story of Romeo serenading Juliet in the middle of the night (though in their defense, they have a pretty compelling excuse). As a culture, we generally tend to appreciate a loving gesture at an objectively inconvenient time, Kidman being just one of many to share this sentiment.

But what if we, say, did our serenading and romantic surprises during the daytime hours, when we weren’t bleary-eyed and tired? Perhaps over a late breakfast on Sunday, or even at a Friday evening dinner? While I think love is great and would overall recommend it to people, you know what’s also good? Maintaining a healthy sleep schedule.

Why Can’t We Do Grand Romantic Gestures at Reasonable Hours?