Thursday, February 05, 2009

Spoons, Holding Feet, and Moniscuity

"Write what you know."

This oft-given advice is why my books contain a lot of sappy, head-over-heels-in-love, so-sweet-they-will-make-you-barf kind of romantic scenes. Why wouldn't I write them? My husband and I live such scenes on a daily basis.

My husband and I have been together for 29 years. We rarely go to movies anymore, never go dancing, and when we go out to eat, it's usually with our kids and my mother-in-law. Neither of us can fit into our wedding attire any longer, the majority of our hair is either gray or missing, and we're now both dependent upon our glasses for reading. But, as I lay beside my husband the other night while he slept and I read, I noted a few changes about us that I wouldn't trade for all the candlelight dinners in the world.

Sometimes in the middle of the night, one of us will say "spoons," and we'll turn onto our sides so that we fit together like spoons in a stack. The rule is that the one who says it gets to be the spoon in the front, along with all the benefit that entails.

We also hold feet when we're both reading in bed or when we sit together in our recliner to watch TV or movies. We entwine our toes and hold on the way most people do with their hands, and we've done it for so long that we do it unconsciously now.

We have so many shared stories that a single word will trigger a memory for both of us and we'll trade looks and a smile. We also have a special way of giving each other a stick of gum, but I can't tell you what it is or why we do it that way, other than that it involves body-snatching and one of us having an overactive imagination.

My children are so used to seeing our PDAs (public displays of affection) that they don't even bother to look disgusted anymore, although they do get impatient sometimes. While I was telling my husband goodbye one day, my son told me to stop being so "moniscuous" because he was in a hurry to leave. Normally I would have just ignored him and continued smooching with my hubby through the car window, but his odd terminology piqued my interest, so I asked him about it. He replied that I was promiscuous but only with one man, so I was moniscuous.

My youngest daughter likes to conduct surveys for some reason. When she asks my husband or me about our favorite things, she precedes her questions with an admonition: we're not allowed to give each other as our answers, including such clever variations as giving "anything I can watch with Mama in the dark" as the answer to "what's your favorite movie?"

I'm not sure how we've managed to stay so sickeningly in love. Maybe it's because neither of us wants to grow up completely. Whatever it is, I tell my children not to ever settle for less in their own future relationships, and I guess that's why I want the same things for the characters in my books.

For a prime example, check out my first novel, TRUE BLUE FOREVER.

But if you like your love scenes with a little more teeth to them, you should opt for DIFFERENT ROADS. The characters are every bit as much in love, but their best love scenes usually follow their biggest fights.

~Stay true to yourself, and your dreams will come true.