As a little girl, I always wondered if there was a how-to guide sold in some magical bookstore, somewhere in the world, that taught all little girls how to be the proper woman, the best wife, and eventually the best mother. I watched my mom cook and clean and cater to my father and I’s every need, and wondered where she learned it all. Are girls born with some sort of instinct on how to properly fold towels, or cook the spaghetti just right? Or does someone teach us?

Growing up, I watched my mother do everything for my father and I. However, I never watched her extra carefully, and God knows I didn’t take notes. She taught me what I needed to know, and I assumed the rest came with growing up and practice. I still didn’t understand how she made it all look so easy. She always dusted the television set just right, and always put clean sheets on my bed, making it 10x more comfortable to sleep on.

When I was younger, I was careless, and less appreciative of all the things my mother does for me. I never realized it until I went away to college and had to do it all myself. When I was lugging a full laundry basket down five flights of stairs once a week, I thought of my mom. When I picked up a book on my end table and began to sneeze, I whipped out the dust rag and lysol wipes– and thought of my mom. When my head hurt, or my sinuses felt like they were going to explode, yes I had my boyfriend to run out and get me medicine, but I thought of my mom. With growing up and gaining more and more independence, I thought more and more of my mom, and all the things she’s done for me.

A little less than a year ago, I never would have imagined I would be where I am today– completely satisfied, completely comfortable, and completely in love. With love comes patience and acceptance and growth and effort, but it also comes with a hell of a lot of responsibilities. While my boyfriend usually picks up the check at dinner, just because “that’s how it should be,” I have to do everything in my power to prove to him that I am a strong woman– and the woman he wants to marry. However, growing up with my mom, it wasn’t that tough.

When Rory had clothes to fold or laundry to do, I happily took it back to my room to do– or even went to his room to put then right in his drawers. When Rory wasn’t feeling well, I went to get him whatever he needed–  allergy medication, a gatorade, or even a bar of his favorite chocolate. When Rory was in the mood for Chinese food, I’d pick up the check. If Rory was willing to drive me downtown for some Dough donuts, I happily bought one for myself, and two for him. When he wanted to buy the bubble tea, I insisted that I pay.

There are so many things that a strong, independent woman needs to do to prove to her man that she is the right fit for him. Whether he wanted a new pair of shoes, or a kiss goodnight, I wanted to be there to do all of those things for him. The way Rory treats me is the exact way a man should treat a woman– the same way my father treats me mother. He always has my back, so that means I should always have his.

Although I am still in college, and I don’t have a kitchen to cook in or a house to clean, I can still show Rory through little daily actions that when that time comes, I will be ready. When we move in together, I will be ready to take on the roll of the responsible girlfriend. I will always have dinner cooked, lunch prepared, and breakfast ready for him before he heads off to work. I will always keep a clean and comfortable house. I will do everything that he deserves.

I believe that every hard working, genuine man deserves a woman with the same mindset. Although many men and women lack values and morals like my boyfriend and I, we were lucky enough to find each other. Rory was raised correctly, and he was taught how to treat a woman the correct way, and I want to treat him exactly how he deserves to be treated. I watched my mother cater to my father and I’s every need for 19 years, and even when she mumbles under her breath about God knows what, she would still make him a grilled cheese directly after she cleaned the pan.

Having so much love for someone and just telling them and buying them things all of the time can not suffice. I want to do things that no other woman will ever do for Rory. I want to give him everything he deserves, much more than materialist things. My boyfriend deserves a clean house, a meal always on the table, clothes and shoes, just as much as he deserves a faithful woman.

A little under a year ago, I couldn’t have imagined ever falling in love. But now I am, and I have an urge that can’t be contained to do everything in my power to make my man happy. It’s the little things. And although the world is very different now than it was years ago, I truly believe in a simple, old fashion style of relationship. Yes, my boyfriend and I pamper each other, but there are duties I have to fulfill as a woman, and I have never been more excited about anything in my entire life.

Whether I stay at home and work from a home office, or get a 9-5 job, nothing will ever be out of hand. Our house will always be maintained and cleaned to perfection. A meal will always be cooked, and there will never be dishes in the sink. Rory’s bed will always be made and his clothes will always be folded. His shoes will always be shined and he will have a new tooth brush when he need’s one. When he’s running out of underwear, I’ll buy him more, and I’ll even buy him Clinique face wash so he doesn’t have to go to a women’s make up counter. I will kiss him every morning and every night, and make sure he is well fed and comfortable.

I have never been more excited to decorate a house and clean it every week, and vacuum and dust every two weeks, and clean the bathrooms and the kitchen and cook and bake. And when Rory tells me “Rikk, I’m in the mood for chicken parm tonight” I want to be able to run to the food store and pick up what he wants.

I want pizza nights on Friday’s and pasta on Sunday’s, just like my mom and dad have. I want to work all day and be able to curl up next to Rory at the end of the day to watch out favorite television shows, just like my mom and dad. I want to drink our tea or coffee in the mornings, and talk about politics that the Lord knows I couldn’t care less about– just like my mom and dad. My mother has showed me so much, without even directly teaching me every little thing.

Being raised by such a strong, hardworking, loving, and faithful woman, I have no other choice but to work extra hard, and try to be just half of the person she is– and that person is one in a million. Thanks to my mom, I will be nothing but the best girlfriend, and eventually an even better wife. And I think that’s better than any how-to guide or book could teach anyone.