Acceptable Romantic Foods – Monique Madrid

The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, but a way to a woman’s hips is also through her stomach.

In the beginning, my husband was a romantic. Flowers, love notes, spontaneous dates and candy were a regular occurrence. I still remember the first time he gave me candy. I know that’s a little weird, but this was a 10lb bag of gummy bears. Not the shitty, generic brand either. Haribro Gummy Bears, the Ferraris (or at least given their Germanic roots) the Volkswagen of gummies. I was thrilled and ate the whole bag in a day.

Ten years later, he still brings me little surprises, just not of the flower variety. In fact, the last time I got flowers was when I snuck a bouquet onto the conveyor belt in the checkout line at Jewel. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t bring me little gifts though just not necessarily the kinds I want. While ’50 Shades of Grey’ groupies pine for chocolates to go with their handcuffs and whips, I pine for looser fitting pants. Not to look a gift horse in the mouth, but he tends to bring me treats like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups that just so happen to be his favorite candy. They also happen to be worth too many points, so I always give him half. Geez, isn’t that convenient romantic.

Still, just because I’m health conscious doesn’t mean I’m impossible to please. Here is my list of acceptable romantic treats.

  • Fruit and vegetables: Baby carrots may not seem romantic, but they’re certainly more so than the guilt filled tub of red velvet cake ice cream I ate in one sitting Friday night. Grapes and strawberries are also good and are perfect for sharing. Cantaloupe are not, because you’ll just fucking make me cut it open.
  • Cheese: Surprisingly, cheese is ok… as long as it’s string cheese made with low moisture milk, Baby Bell LITE or a precisely measured out 1/3 of an ounce of cheddar, which is only worth 1 point. Fun, right?!
  • Carbs: The trick here is to pick the best bang for your buck. Popcorn is great because there are a lot of individual kernels that you can eat one at a time like a little princess, which as a man, you’ll enjoy too. You can also opt for low-calorie rice cakes, if you’re in the mood for drywall dust.
  • Dessert: Even if it has a picture of her drawn in fondant, don’t you dare bring home cake. That’s a fast track way of ensuring she’ll wear those baggie flannel PJs year round. Instead, find a healthy alternative. “Diet”, “Guilt Free” and “Eww gross, just pretend it’s the real thing” are labels that will help you know you’re on the right track.

See? It is possible to bring home something delicious and make everyone happy, because nothing says romance like meticulously weighing out 4.25 grams of a brownie on a food scale.

I’m not trying to be ungrateful here, I do realize my husband loves me. In fact, how about that? A Hallmark card from the “Just Thinking Of You” section at the bottom of the grocery bag? You don’t say.
Monique MadridMonique Madrid is a Chicago writer, actress, improviser and teacher. She has performed with The Second City on Norwegian Cruise Lines, iO Chicago, ComedySportz, The Annoyance and Laugh Out Loud Theater. She can be seen in festivals around the country with her husband in their two person sketch group “The Union.” Together they also write Monique is also the creator and star of “Monica Barcelona: Bitch, I’ll Cut You” an improvised hair cutting show. Follow her on Twitter @moniquemadrid and


  1. If it’s not on the list, my husband won’t buy it. Which is great, if I’m feeling disciplined. Not so great when I want something delicious.

    And what is it about rice cakes? ARE THEY STYROFOAM?

  2. My husband also likes to eat chips and cookies while I do crunches on the floor. Real fair.

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