So I’m a romance author. That means a lot of things, but mostly, it means I crave a happily ever after so much that I feel inclined to write about it, over and over again.
Is there a reason I feel compelled to figure out a happy ending for every heroine in every book I ever have – and ever will – write? Is it because reality is so terrible that I just need to escape from it, through the written word?
I’ll let you be the judge.
My husband and I recently celebrated our fifteenth wedding anniversary. Over dinner, we spoke fondly of the honeymoon we spent in Napa Valley, and the tenth anniversary we spent there too, along with our best man and maid of honor and their spouses – and most important: no kids.
Speaking of, we have two kids, a boy and a girl. They are just shy of three years apart and for the most part manage to make us feel proud. So far, anyway. We are on the cusp of the teenage years, so stay tuned.
What do you think so far? Well, let me tell you how my husband and I met.
I was 25. He was 31. I was at a point in my life where I was finally happy; secure, comfortable being single and living on my own. Throughout college I dreamed of finding Prince Charming and settling down right away and birthing adorable little babies. Unfortunately, the boys I dated in college, and shortly thereafter, were far from those guys in the romance novels. Eventually I realized I was having far too much fun simply hanging out with my girlfriends and I figured if Prince Charming existed, he’d come along… Someday.
Oh, did I mention that I lived in Louisiana and the hubs-to-be lived in Michigan?
Before you think, how in the world…? Let me add that I am originally from Michigan and the vast majority of my family still lives there.
We met in May. A dear friend whom I have known since we were fourteen, was graduating from broadcasting school and asked me to come to the ceremony and after-party. I had some vacation time, and I hadn’t been home in a while, so I decided to burn two weeks and spend it up north.
Turns out, the hubs-to-be was graduating from broadcasting school, too. At the same time. In the same class. Notable event from the graduation ceremony: My girlfriend’s brother and I sat in one row, while her parents sat two rows behind us. I asked my future in-laws to please move for a moment so I could take a picture of my friend’s parents.
We didn’t officially meet at the ceremony. Nope, not yet.
It was at the party, afterward. My friend’s brother and I sat at a table in a corner, indulging in alcoholic beverages and pretending we were commentators on The Talk (or whatever version of that show existed back in 1998), while my social butterfly friend flitted about the room, celebrating with her classmates. At one point, she was out on the dance floor with my hubs-to-be and a few minutes later, she came bee-bopping over to our table.
“Hey, Tami. See that guy out there?” she asked, motioning toward the dance floor.
“He wants to know if you’d be interested in a one-night stand.”
(The joke I like to tell now a-days is, “He sure ended up with a hell of a long one-night stand.”)
I was naturally affronted and admittedly a little turned on (Oh yes, this is reality. You are not reading a novel right now.), so I downed the rest of my drink and headed out to the dance floor. To this day, I have no earthly idea what I intended to do or say. All I know is that we immediately began dancing, then we eventually took a break so that I could go to the restroom, and when I returned, he had a plate in his hand with a piece of cheesecake perched on it, and he spoon-fed me the cheesecake.
I probably would have gone home with him then and there, except the biggest joke of all is that he absolutely was not that kind of guy. He had been trying to be funny. Instead of a laugh, he ended up with a wife. Joke’s on him…?
We spent quite literally every single day of the rest of my vacation together. I met his parents (officially). We discussed bridesmaids and groomsmen (nope, not kidding). I met his best friend, who had to give his stamp of approval before the hubs-to-be could officially date me. (Apparently he had a history of picking up the wrong kind of woman. Maybe he should have changed his pickup line. Or maybe not.)
The day I left to fly back home to Louisiana, I had his demo tape tucked into my luggage. At the time, I worked in PR, and was friendly with the general manager of one of the local television stations located in the city in which I lived.
We met on May first. The week of Memorial Day, he flew down to visit me and interview for a job at the local television station. They offered him the job that same day. My BFF had to meet him and give her stamp of approval (hey, fair’s fair, right?).
At the end of the week, he flew home and gave his two weeks’ notice at the current job. He moved into my apartment six weeks after we met. And proposed at Christmas. We were married six months later. And still are, fifteen years later.
So why do I write romance? I guess the answer is, because it happened to me.
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Thank you. Be sure to stop by again next Monday. There’s a new post every week.