Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day

I've always been a big believer in love. What romance writer isn't, really? That's one reason I've never understood why romance novels, and to a certain extent, those who write them, get looked down upon like the bastard stepchildren (does that even make sense?) of the writing world.

We write about love. Falling in love. The power of love. How love can heal wounds we can't even see. And why is that something to be snickered at? No one asked a murder mystery writer if they've done their research by killing people. Yet, I'll bet that just about every romance writer out there has been kidded about doing their research for their love scenes ("betcha your husband loves when you do that research, doesn't he? Nudge, nudge. Wink, wink. Say no more.") People look down their noses at romance as being easy to write (Oh, sure, it's a piece of cake.) Being formulaic (which is true, of course to a certain extent. But most genre fiction is written to a certain formula - can you imagine said murder mystery not revealing the murderer at the end?

But this isn't a post about how romance is sneered at.

I'm a big believer in love - I've been happily married to my husband for almost 16 (yikes!) years. I knew the first time we went out, he was the man I'd marry. We'll be together twenty years in July of 2014.

But I'm not a big believer in St. Valentine's Day. It's like Mother's Day, or Father's Day - a holiday created simply to sell more stuff. Do I honestly think that, if my husband doesn't give me a three carat diamond open hear necklace today, he doesn't love me? If he treated me like garbage the other 364 days of the year, would that necklace make up for all that?

No and no.

It isn't about giving jewelry or roses or teddy bears today. Today is one day of the year and it's the sum that matters. It's my husband doing something like making dinner one night because I'm locked away in my office working on something. It's his taking the kids down the shore for a weekend because I'm on deadline and need to finish. It's his just letting me cry when I found out my mother was sick. It's his just listening and being there and my doing it in return. It's being a team, when things are going well and when they aren't. It's about facing things together and laughing when things are going to hell all around you. Don't get me wrong, jewelry and things are nice, but in the end, they are only things.

Happy Valentine's Day.

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