Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day

Okay, true confessions time--I'm certain I didn't mean to sign up to blog on Valentine's Day!! In fact, I had a topic all picked out, and then I looked at the calendar. February 14. Hmm.


D'oh. I'm a romance writer writing a blog on V-Day. Oh, the pressure.

In an effort to share the love, I invite all of you to tell your favorite valentine story in today's comment section. It could be an account of your best--or worst--Valentine's Day ever, your favorite romantic place or your favorite romantic read. Or you can just tell us something about your own special valentine guy or gal. I'll start.

My dh (dear husband) has been my valentine for thirty years and four sons. He is not, however, a hearts and flowers kind of guy. Shopping malls make him break out in hives (though he's quite at home in a grocery store). Early in our marriage he very romantically bought me a rose from a street vendor in DC. He stuck it in his briefcase and left it there while he toiled away as a young lawyer. He was so pleased when he presented it to me that night. It was still as fresh as when he'd bought it! I had to gently point out that was because it was made of scented paper.

The dh is a good sport, though. When he married me, he knew I wanted to be a writer. Well, lots of people want to be writers, right? I did write some. For a while I tried to write and publish picture books. Then the vortex of carpooling sucked me in. (Remember those four sons?) I put aside my word processor to schlep the guys to swim practice, piano lessons, and cub scouts.

Fast forward to around the spring of 2000. The oldest baby was heading off to college--the nest was beginning to empty. It was time to follow my dream or give it up. So I did, and the dream came true--um, perhaps make that a nightmare for the dh. At this point in his career, he was a deputy general counsel at his place of employment. Word got out that I had a romance novel hitting the shelves. (Okay, maybe I said something. Promotion is a necessary evil, ya know.) The lawyers found the fact that dh was the husband of a romance writer hilarious. And not just any romance writer, but the author of a book entitled The Naked Duke.

Ah, can you see it coming? Poor dh got everyone asking--the lawyers, the parents of our sons' friends--"So, are you the Naked Duke?" Ha, ha. But the dh played along. (Should I tell you here that he hasn't read any of my books? Too embarrassing.) When the legal department had a Halloween party, he came guessed it...the Naked Duke. No, he didn't bare it all. He wore his regular work clothes and took a copy of my cover. He entered himself in the horror costume category--and won!!

That's my valentine. Who's yours?


Samantha Hunter said...

Sally, Happy Valentine's Day! Loved the story.

If you click over to my blog today, you can see my Valentine, and how he spent his morning, without complaint, before heading out on a twelve hour work day -- a lot of the best gifts don't come in boxes or planters.

We've never done specific things for Valentine's since I prefer to think about being good to each other as a year round thing, and yes, the support our honeys offer so that we can write is a gift.

In our 14 years together, when we started, I worked 2 jobs so that he could get through college, and then as he became more and more successful in his career, we decided I would quit my job and he would support me as I built my writing career.

But support is about more than working -- he's my webguy, building my website and my blog, he's my brainstorming partner and my support system. He's my reality check and my sanity. He listens and advises on everything I talk to him about, and he always makes the time. He's the one who reminds me what's important when I lose perspective.

We're getting another foot or two of snow today, and he'll be out there again, and maybe I'll join him and we'll have some fun in the snow. I think the trick to having a Happy Valentine's day is just being happy every day. :)


Geniewrites2 said...

Favorite romantic place? hmmm... what's funny about this is I do write a column (for Wicked Escapes ezine) about such places.

The joke is that most of them we've visited with the kids. Or just me and the kids. So it's always amusing to read my own words about a kiss at sunset when really while the sun set my kids were going "That's my i-pod not yours!" or whatever. No, actually they are much more mature than that. They are usually arguing about something like who Jacques Derrida is, punctuated by the word "dork."

But here are a few places that did contain genuinely romantic, more private moments - Cabo San Lucas, the Twin Dolphin hotel years ago, before the airport and the condos; the pink balcony on the pink La Valencia Hotel in La Jolla over looking the rocks, at night. And oh yeah, stars in the desert sky in the Mojave. That last is probably my favorite, ever since I heard "Peaceful Easy Feeling" when I was fifteen, I wanted to live that song...

Okay, it's time to get to work now.
Sally, I'm still at the chauffer stage so time is segmented, like the box of chocolates my husband gave me this morning (I had two for breakfast).


Christie Craig said...

My favorite Valentine's Day story?

Well, I'd have to say it was probably my first one that I spent with the man that is now my husband. It was 1984. We had met on Feb. 2. I was way too young, was mother to very scared five-year-old little girl, and we had just moved to California to get away from an abusive situation. I was just as scared at my little girl, and the last thing I wanted was another man in my life. And when my uncle introduced me to my husband, I made it clear. We could be friends, but nothing more.

He accepted my ultimatum, but then on Valentine's Day he sent two bouquets of yellow roses. One for my little girl, who had never been given flowers before, and one for me. I think my daughter might have fallen in love with him on that day. It took me several more months. But that was indeed his first step to gaining my trust.

Almost 22 years later, he’s still a keeper.


Sally MacKenzie said...

Oh, Christie, that's a wonderful story! It makes me love him, too--he sounds like the perfect hero.

Genie, I had to laugh--you are a braver woman than I. We stopped taking our kids on vacations. Well, you can imagine the arguing that would ensue with four boys. We hardly ever take them all out to dinner--they can't agree on a restaurant. But your romantic escapes sound WONDERFUL--especially since we've got snow and ice and howling winds here.

Sam, your valentine sounds like a real keeper, too. Mine actually stayed home today--usually the weather doesn't stop him. He took the neighborhood snowblower (which lives in our garage) out and did the neighbors' sidewalks and driveways.