Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentines Day

I've always fought the battle of the bulge. I either spent my entire life dieting or chubby. Some years chubby was preferrable! Anyway, the first year my husband and I were married, he arranged for a dozen red roses to be delivered to wish me Happy Valentine's Day. When he came home, I was sobbing on the couch.

Horrified, and probably thinking someone had died, he said, "What's wrong?"

I said, "You think I'm fat!"

Knowing that was a crime punishable by death in Susan Meier World, he gasped. "I don't think you're fat!"

I said, "If you really didn't think I was fat you would have bought me candy for Valentine's Day."

Thus began the tradition of me getting candy every year for Valentine's Day.

Until this year. January 4 I began a low cholesterol diet. I have been doing remarkably well. So well, in fact, that I knew the very thought of having chocolates in the house would kill me.

So rather than chocolates and a steak dinner, I got Happy Valentine's Day oatmeal and a really cute necklace with a cat pendant.

One would think a romance novelist would have a more spectacular Valentine's Day than that, but it actually gets worse.

My husband's wedding ring suddenly no longer fits him. He doesn't look like he's gained weight, but his fingers are now really ... well, fat. LOL So a few weeks ago I found a gorgeous (subdued and very manly) diamond ring on sale at a jewelry store in the mall. So I bought it for him. When he opened it, his face fell.

I didn't have to be a mind reader to know he hated it. Choking back tears, because I thought buying him a new wedding ring was incredibly romantic (certainly better than Valentine's Day oatmeal) I said, "Don't you like it?"

He said, ""

I said, "But it's a wedding ring. Yours no longer fits. I thought...I thought..." I thought about telling him he must think I'm fat to get the conversational guilt trip back to him, but in the end I said, "I thought you wanted a new ring."

He said, "No. I want my old ring. The one we bought when we couldn't afford rings. The one that matches yours. The one I married you with."

I stopped stuttering.

"Why don't we get that one sized so I can wear it again?"

And with one simple thought my husband changed the course of our Valentine's Day.

People wonder where romance writers get the ideas for our books. Worse, lots of critics claim real men don't act (or speak) like our heros sometimes do. Well, guess again. In my travels around the country and on the internet I've discovered that romance writers are married to some of the most romantic men around.

My husband certainly is a romantic. Not of the icky, sticky, mushy kind. But the grab your heart and squeeze it kind. What woman wouldn't be touched hearing that the man she loves doesn't want the fancy ring she bought him, but the plain silver band that reminds him of the day they got married?

He's a peach. And I'm keeping him.


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