Thursday, February 14, 2008

Hmm . . . Another Valentine's Day.

This year, Hubby and I will have been married 20 years. After just finishing four weeks of jury duty on a double murder trial, I'm now up at 4 AM with a sinus infection--a remnant of last week's flu. Hubby's still coughing, too. The second I got back to my day job, 3rd quarter grades were due, and guess who hadn't graded a single paper in four weeks?? ARGH!!! LOL!!

Yesterday, after having been at work since ten Monday night and eight last night, I came home, excited to finally have found time to write, when Son #1 tells me he's been coughing up blood!! (He's had flu, too.) Off to the doctor we went. After getting antibiotic for us both, I was relieved to hear Son#1 has been hitting the nose spray a little too much, which caused his sinuses to bleed. Yuck, but whew. Bet you're in the mood for love now, too, huh??

Okay, so here we are, back at Valentine's Day. Hubby's in bed, snoring. Daughter--just back from a pricey week in Disneyworld with her cheer squad--is furious with me for not letting her skip school yesterday because she was tired, and then deigning to ask her to do dishes!!! The horror!!! All of which got me to thinking about the characters I love to write about, and presumably--if you're hanging out on the Harlequin American blog--you love to read about!! I've often wondered what happens to these magical couples?

You know what I'm talking about, like after the initial rush of love fades and the mortgage is due, the hall bathroom toilet breaks (add that to my anti-romance list), work's long and tiring, and kids who were once cuddly and cute turn into pricey teen spit vipers!!! Do you think Harlequin American couples throw in the proverbial towel, screaming "Enough's enough? Get me off of this ride?" In all honesty, sometimes, they probably do.

But then there are other days, like yesterday, when you're sitting at your desk at work, and the school secretary strolls into your classroom with a huge vase brimming with roses. Not any old roses, but gorgeous, dusty orange ones, because Hubby knows I especially enjoy "wierd-colored" flowers!! My sixth-grade students all went, "Oooooohhhhhhhh, Mrs. Altom's got a boyfriend!!"

Breathing in the scent of my roses, it occurred to me that damned straight! I do have a boyfriend! He's been all mine for the past twenty years, and while at the moment, our lives seem to be mired in a "for worse" phase, once spring rolls around and we're all feeling our usual selves, we'll be back in the land of "for better." (For a glimpse of what this might look like, see the above pic!)

Until then, I'm thinking a Valntine's Day spent at home on the couch, sharing a blanket with Hubby, both smelly dogs and the cat, watching History Channel or Discovery sounds like a perfect night. It may not be especially romantic in the eyes of the rest of the world, but for us, it works. And sometimes love isn't passionate and wild hot, but comfortable and cozy--like trading your work clothes for sweats and slippers. Not glamorous, but just right!!!

My wish for all of you is just that. A love that has it's ups and downs, but in the end, not only on Valentine's Day, but everyday, feels just right!!


Marin Thomas said...

Laura, lol on the vipers you're raising :-) My husband and I often mumble that we're raisng "ungrateful" teenagers. I think the teen years are just something we have to suffer through and then we reap (hopefully) the rewards of a fulfilling adult relationship with our kids.

Your roses sound beautiful, but my hubby knows I'm not a flower girl. He got me a gift card to Lowes so I can buy a tree, bush or flowers this spring to remind me of him :)


Jennifer Faye said...

Your roses sound absolutely beautiful. I know for a fact I won't be getting any. The last time dh bought me fresh flowers I put them in a large, crystal vase. My very curious cat decided to stick her paw in the vase to get to the water and tipped the vase over in a loud crash. I rushed into the dining room to find a scared cat, water running everywhere, and my glass tabletop was now three large hunks of glass. But have no fear the vase survived without a chip or scratch. Unbelievable. The vase was a lot cheaper than the tabletop. Needless to say those were some very expensive flowers by the time dh ordered us a new glass tabletop. LOL.

Happy Valentines Everyone!!!

Unknown said...

Laura- I loved your post. Those roses sound fabulous and very romantic. As for spending a quiet evening with your hubby, imo that's the most romantic of all. :-)

Estella said...

The roses sound gorgeous!

Laura Marie Altom said...

Marin--While I send hugs your way for also having viper teens, it does help to know we're not alone!! I LOVE that you got as Lowe's gift card!! I could spend thousands in there--in ten minutes!!!

Jennifer--Wow!! That's the craziest rose story EVER!!! It makes me sick just thinking about how much the new table glass would be!!! Poor, kitty!! LOL!!

Ann--after Hubby took Daughter to cheer at a surprise away game, and I drove Son #1 all over town on his Valentine's *date*, Hubby and I spent a grand total of ten minutes together talking before falling into bed--strictly to sleep!!!! LOL!!

Estella--the roses were awfully pretty, but I'm bummed that they're fading already. Hmm . . . Maybe I should let Hubby know I need more??

AliceAnderson said...

I think you're second to last paragraph hit the nail on the head. Love isn't just hot, fast, passionate. It's comfortable. It's slow. It's sweet. It's cherishing each and every moment with your sweetheart no matter how crappy life is at that moment. It's falling in love year after year.

We don't celebrate Valentine's Day like others do, I suppose. Instead of him buying me flowers, we buy flowers together and arrange them together. Instead of chocolates, he brought me a box of little debbies. I wrote him a card at the last moment. We cooked dinner at home and put together a puzzle.

Why? B/c we'd rather spend time together than sit in a busy restaurant. We tell each other we love each other every single day. He buys me flowers year around. We may not be traditional, but we're definitely in love.

Lynn said...


Loved your comments about weird colored roses. Bill sent me yellow ones because they're the favorite of the heroine in my first manuscript. Knowing us proves they love us. And I think it's the 7pm sweats and blanket that lead to the 10pm loving, even after 36 years of marriage. That looks so much older in print than it feels!

Lynn Garrett
Conway, AR

Laura Marie Altom said...

Alice, I LOVE your story! Thanks so much for sharing!! Flowers, puzzles and Little Debbies--perfect!!

Lynn?? Is this sweet Nola-Lynn from Conway? If it is you, I miss you!! Either way, the yellow roses from your manuscript sounds crazy romantic!! Your guy's a keeper!!! But then I huess after 36 years, you already know that??!! LOL!!