Cherry Saturday, August 3, 2019

August is Romance Awareness Month which is supposedly about being more romantically aware of your partner but of course for me is about romance writing and being aware of what the hell I’m doing so I get it right on the page.  In the spirit of the month, however, and to inspire me on this damn book, what’s the most romantic thing anybody ever did for you?  Yeah, that thing.  Tell us about it.

42 thoughts on “Cherry Saturday, August 3, 2019

  1. I’m not going to answer today’s question. I am going to post The Last Crush Update here because for obvious reasons I will not be able to post about Sunday happiness this week.

    We had a very close fun time on Monday night and it was adorable. I’ve noticed he kind of goes hot/cold and the day after we have a good time then he gets more distant. On Tuesday we all went to karaoke and there was some Meghan Trainor look and soundalike there that others thought he should be fixed up with, which seemed to make him deeply uncomfortable, and one girl in our group thought he needs to be fixed up in general. I was not saying anything to any of this whatsoever because well, not my business, eh?

    After everyone else left the bar he told me the following: (a) not particularly going to ask out Meghan Trainor chick even though he likes her singing, (b) isn’t good at asking girls out in general (to which I was all “uh, ask them out if they seem interested, or not, whatever” to, which I’d say to anyone), and THEN (c) it went into how he’s still not over his ex yet and while he does like several women–names were not specified there–he’s not going to ask anyone out and is way too messed up to date anyone and has some unspecified whopping guilt issues and he can’t be with anyone.

    Then maybe you shouldn’t sing “Somebody to Love” very loudly in a bar, eh? This seems to have given folks the wrong impression.

    I do not think this was all dropped on me coincidentally, if you know what I mean. I had to spell this out to a friend, who wanted to assume it was. I can only assume he has now figured out I like him (godDAMMIT) and I was getting the preemptive no even though I never made a move on him in my life and wasn’t going to if he wasn’t into the idea. I knew about 90% of that already by my own deductions (though I assumed he’d probably get over those who aren’t into him at some point) but the “I’m so fucked up I can’t date anyone” is sad and horrifying and irrevocable.

    I did not know what to say to any of this. I just left.

    I am excruciatingly embarrassed at being figured out about the crush, which has never happened before and now this is my worst case scenario on super awkwardness. I could be “just friends” with him just fine as long as he didn’t KNOW about the crush, but now I fucking can’t because it’s humiliating. Yeah yeah, I know I did nothing wrong/nothing to be ashamed of blah blah blah (that doesn’t help), but I didn’t want to be found out if it wasn’t mutual, and in the past when someone has had a crush on me and I figured it out, I have literally dropped out of social circles entirely after that. I desperately want to run now so I never have to deal with him again. Except ah, we’re still in a play together for the next few weekends (though thankfully we have no scenes together except the last one where we all just stand around doing nothing and not interacting), and there’s a couple of parties coming up we’re both going to, and odds are we may end up in shows together in the future– if I don’t run away screaming from this group only because of him.

    I don’t want to ditch all my other friends and theater opportunities just because of him, so I am trying to stay (and have to stay at this point at least through next weekend), but I feel like talking to him At All caused this problem. I feel like I can’t talk to him any more and definitely no longer one on one. I was really looking forward to tech week and now it has been awkward as fuck. He still attempts to talk to me–showing me stuff on his phone and saying hi and play-related stuff–but I’m not even acting like I normally would with him and it sucks. It’s not fun. I’m avoiding the crap out of him. We have gone from sitting next to each other to getting farther and farther apart. I’m avoiding talking to my other friends if he’s with them. I don’t like this. I fear somebody’s going to notice and ask me about it. I hate this. I wish he’d shut the hell up already and not called me out.

    Part of me wants to run. Part of me wants to just figure out some way for everything to go back to normal. Part of me thinks NOTHING can get back to normal after this and I can never talk to him again comfortably because it shows I like him too much. I hate all of this and I can’t talk to my therapist again until Tuesday.

    9+
    1. I would pretend you don’t think he is talking about you. What would you do if he really was just a friend sharing his problem? Do that.

      18+
      1. This what Debbie said.

        Alternately if anyone asks you *why* you were weird, you can either go with blithe ignorance or “x shared a little more about his relationship stuff than I was ready for, and I have just been processing.”

        9+
    2. Let’s just say he said, “I know you like me, but I’m still into my ex and I’m fucked up, and I also have the hots for Boring Bertha over there. And I’m not into you.”

      Let’s imagine that. Yeah, it’s a humiliating burn in your heart, but you know what? Even if those were the words coming from him, you can refute that last paert because for all he knows he’s only projecting, he’s assuming things that may or may not be true.

      Run away from what you love doing? Please don’t. That does not at all equal what happened.

      Now, granted, not being there, I only have what you wrote down here, but… I don’t see it as him saying at all he knows you like him and he’s not into you. Again, I wasn’t there, so all I have is what is here. To me it reads more like he shared something with you, and while maaaybe he thinks you like him, what I got from that was he might like you and doesn’t know what to do with it (because he also likes you as a friend, apart from further feelings). He’s definitely saying he’s not ready. And that’s fair.

      You’re not in his head.

      You don’t know anything beyond what he’s said and how he’s acted (hot/cold is a give away). And, actions speak louder than words.

      However, none of this helps you. He’s not ready for anything right now. He’s still hung up on previous relationship. So right now and maybe forever (depending on where you go or who takes your fancy in a mutual way in the future) you guys have friendship.

      I know how it feels in these situations, but you need to not let this affect your life so dramatically. Your life is more than the crush. Don’t let a man you weren’t involved with ruin all the things you love to do, and the circles you love to move in.

      You should allow him in as much as is comfortable for you, but he seems like he’s wanting to be your friend and being your friend as he was before, with maybe a little less pressure he’d put on himself, or because of the fact he knows you know he’s unavailable (and I mean that in a him way; not in a he’s not into you, but knows you are way).

      Don’t sell yourself short.

      Also, it’s okay to want to run and feel all these things. But ultimately, the internal drama and fear and discomfort is just that, internal. You heighten it because it’s happening to you.

      Take a deep breath. Treat it all as he was telling a friend his issues and nothing more (as a wise, more succinct person here said), and you got this (as another wise, more succinct person here said). And Tuesday is almost here.

      Best of luck and find a moment of peace and happiness.

      9+
    3. Well, if you play it cool and he want to talk about it some more you can always apologize and say you weren’t really comfortable talking about his love life because you hadn’t thought you were that close. But you were, of course, incredibly flattered that he felt comfortable sharing his feelings with you. Let him wonder if he miss judged the situation. Also if he is just getting some sick ego thing from jerking you around, you really don’t want to play this game.

      7+
    4. Firstly, sending much sympathy through the ether. This was hard and you’re feeling crushed. I used to think it was possible to die from embarrassment but then regretted that you couldn’t! Second, try this – it’s a technique to separate you from your thoughts. Because what’s causing you trouble now is how you’re thinking about this and how your thoughts make you feel – the event is over. So instead of thinking “I’m so embarrassed”, stop and deliberately think “I’m having the thought that I’m so embarrassed.” Repeat. It works. It’ll get you to Tuesday. And I agree with the wise person here who said you shouldn’t give up an activity you love because of a dude. That makes him matter way more than he should.

      8+
    5. Someone pointed out to me that it wasn’t worth being embarrassed about ANYTHING because the only person thinking this much about it was myself. Mostly people are only paying attention to themselves so unless I were to make a real effort to bring it to their attention by doing some passive-aggressive mopey shit (not her actual words) they probably wouldn’t notice unless they were super close friends. I hadn’t realised how much pointless anxiety had stopped me doing things I wanted to do.

      1+
  2. Not exactly romantic (and I don’t have a romantic molecule in my body, so probably best that I not answer the question), but it affects the romance writing community (and writers generally) — there’s a new front on the book piracy front — LinkedIn’s SlideShare.net. I hate that LinkedIn is giving it an air of respectability.

    Anyway, if you’re an author, go to SlideShare.net and do a search for your name. You may need to log in (if you have a LinkedIn account, log in there, and you don’t need to create a SlideShare account).

    If you don’t have a publisher, then go here and use the report form: https://www.linkedin.com/legal/copyright-policy

    I don’t know if it’s useful, but before I filed the report, I made a list of all the accounts that were pirating my books, so I could include it in the report.

    I think they do respond to reports, although there hasn’t been enough time for them to have responded to mine. It looks like my publisher’s report got most of the trade-published books removed (with just two left that were either missed or popped up more recently). The ones I reported are a couple self-pubbed non-fiction books so I had to do them myself.

    I didn’t check for all the Argh Authors, but there are definitely books by Jenny Crusie, Anne Stuart and Deborah Blake there, including audiobooks! It’s entirely possible these accounts are purely malware schemes, but it’s still not good. I’m not sure if the major publishers are on it yet, but they don’t seem to be. I saw all sorts of relatively recent bestsellers listed. LinkedIn really needs to do a better of job of discouraging this sort of thing if they don’t want their own reputation tarnished, but it will likely take some serious pressure from major publishers to make that happen.

    11+
  3. I do not kiss and tell.

    Well maybe I did at one time or another, but I always changed the names and locations so it was about two other people.

    Speaking of other people… my daughter and her children and my son and his wife and children are meeting up a hundred miles from home in Virginia Beach. Besides the joy of meeting up with family at some amusement or another (Marine Science Museum? Ocean Breeze Festival Park?), my oldest grandchild’s boyfriend aims to level up to fiancé, and asked my son’s permission first. Only he knew, but he (my son) told his sister (my Jennifer). It’s a SEcret.

    I equipped the dotter with a credit card and my new cell phone so she could afford to go and take lots and lots of pictures. She took her phone to Water Country USA earlier in the week, and carefully stored it in an almost waterproof ziploc baggy. I’ll be financing its replacement, but not today.

    If things work out, is this a sufficiently romantic encounter? Feel free to use any part, especially the almost waterproof storage bag.

    8+
  4. He mailed me a can of chicken soup.

    We worked in offices 60 miles apart and flirted over the phone for a year, but he kept blowing off meeting in person, which was frustrating. Then one day I came to work not feeling well and was only going to stay long enough for my coworker to arrive (her cat had hidden her glasses so she was running late), and he called during that short time I was there. I told him I was sick, and the next day a can of chicken soup arrived in the mail.

    Reader, I married him.

    23+
  5. He made me origami tulips so I would have flowers that lasted forever. For our first Valentine’s Day together, when we were 18 years old.
    He also surprised me with apples in my locker. (For some reason, Carol’s chicken soup reminded me of this. Thank you!)

    When we were in university, he wrote me paper letters at my insistence, even though there was this cool thing called the Internet.

    The big sacrifice: he didn’t want kids, but I did.
    We have a boy and a girl.

    18+
  6. I was driving him to the Metro on my way to work and out of the blue I said “I really think I need to quit my job.” He knew what was going on but it was the first time I brought up quitting. He said “Do it. We can afford it.” Then he got out of the car—no further conversation.

    Also there was the time he was in Australia for my birthday and he had bought me a Navajo rug over the internet and had it delivered to the neighbor. So he had my 7 year old daughter pick it up the day before, and then he called me on my birthday and told her to get it from where he had told her to hide it.

    13+
  7. When I was in college I got the “not mono” that was sweeping the campus. The guy I was dating came over to visit with someone I didn’t know while I was in the “somewhat better, but not well enough to leave the room” stage. My junkie old casssette player would not turn itself off and I didn’t want to get out of bed in front of company because my nightshirt had ridden up. I asked the guy I had been dating to turn it off for me, but he wouldn’t because it was Shabbat.

    On Monday I went to the health service and waited in line next to a guy I met through the boyfriend with whom I had never felt all that comfortable. The line was long so we had plenty of time to discover that we had all the same symptoms. It wasn’t at all romantic, but he did drop off a hot tea after I got back to my dorm room. I was very touched, until I found out that he had both strep and mono. They shot him up with penicillium and he went back to class on Monday. I, however, had “that stuff that’s going around” and didn’t get better for weeks.

    If this had been a novel, I would have ditched the guy I was dating and lived happily ever after with the guy from the waiting room. In real life it did help me to stop putting off breaking up with the guy I was dating and to make fewer assumptions about people I didn’t know. And I did end up with another group of people to sit with in the dining hall.

    11+
  8. My husband does the grocery shopping reading the labels of ingredients as he goes. Occasionally he comes home with baked goods made for two and that’s an unexpected surprise.

    6+
  9. He brought me coffee in bed. All the time.
    The most romantic date was for one of our anniversaries. This is a true story, He asked his agent what was the most romantic restaurant she knew. He got a babysitter for our then 12-month-old son, surprised me with a limo filled with roses and champagne. Barry didn’t even like champagne. But he knew I did. We drove along Mulholland Drive to the Chronicle Restaurant in Santa Monica, had a wonderful dinner and drove along the coast then back to our tiny Hollywood apartment.
    The next year we were broke and had dinner at Denny’s. And I loved that too.

    14+
  10. We were living in Australia at the time, about 25 years ago. Our oldest daughter was a one-year old, and I was pregnant with our younger one. We drove one day along the coast, about 50 miles from our home. We played on the beach and built sand castles and had a picnic. At some point, my husband noticed that his wedding ring was gone. It had somehow slipped off his finger, somewhere in the sand or in the water. We searched for it for a while, but soon realised the futility of the task. We drove home.

    It was not an expensive ring. We were broke back then. We bought them on our honeymoon, in Hong Kong, as we were on our way to a new life and adventure in Australia. (Just like us to get married first, and then buy the rings.) But they were matching rings, and they were engraved with our initials and the wedding date. Now his was gone. I got a little weepy. Pregnancy hormones, and all that.

    The next morning, I was awakened very early, while it was still dark out, as he got up and dressed. “What are you doing?” I asked. “I’m going to get that ring,” he said. He grabbed a colander from the kitchen (to sift the sand) and left the house.

    About 7 hours later, he came home, sunburned, wearing that ring.

    22+
  11. He bought two small magnolias for our wedding anniversary and planted them in the garden. Magnolias (at least this dark pink kind) grow only about 20 centimetres a year so he figured out how old we’d be by the time we were able to put up a bench under them and sit in their shade.

    Actually, the magnolia trees had reached the size by the time we sold the house last year, we just never got around to buying that bench. But I loved the blossoming every year, announcing that winter is definitely over. For our new house, he got me a hydrangea instead because he knows how much I like them.

    12+
  12. Our wedding anniversary is in January. He didn’t always remember the exact date, I could live with that. Then a couple of years agoI came home it was June 1st. My husband pulled out a bottle of Champagne and a box of chocolate gingers (my favourite) he said “we are always going to celebrate this date because this is the date we met, it was the luckiest day of my life, so this will be our celebration.”

    p.s. we had been married many years at that time, and we still celebrate June 1st. Aren’t I lucky.

    17+
  13. He has offered to build me a wall full of bookshelves.

    We are talking about remodeling, and in moving rooms around, I had to pack my books. After i whined about them being boxed, he said we could build bookshelves down the hallway, including a “hidden door” to the laundry room!

    11+
  14. He remembers things. In particular, after we had been dating for a while (13 years), he re-created our first date, and at the end, where we had kissed in my driveway for the first time, he got down on one knee and proposed. So, this year, he’s been doing the “5 years ago, we… ” countdown. Today was “5 years ago, I got your father’s blessing.”

    Needless to say, I count those first 13 years!

    9+
  15. Maybe not THE most romantic thing, but certainly among them. My late husband was in the military, and his first station was in Germany. I’m a horse girl – grew up in a rodeo family and have had horses (and just about every other barn/ranchyard animal you can imagine) all my life. Moving to another country and leaving my horses behind (in my mom’s care) was very hard. A couple months into our new home, my husband surprised me one day by coming home with every horse magazine he could find on the shelves at the BX because he knew how much I missed my ponies. One of the best romantic gestures he ever made.

    8+
  16. I’ve told this before. He came home and said “I was in the grocery, and I thought you might need chocolate, so I got you some. Anyone can get you flowers on Valentine’s when the media has been pounding it for weeks – this is someone considering my needs while doing his errands.

    8+
  17. There’s this love languages thing, it’s not backed by science I doubt, but it’s a useful thought exercise. It suggests people have different preferences for how they feel/express love. The simplified version is: i) words ii) touch iii) quality time iv) gifts v) acts of service.

    My partner is definitely acts of service – he does stuff. Like replace the broken sun visor in my car. It’s no one big romantic thing, and it’s not hearts and flowers, but it’s care made practical, and I love him, so to me it’s romance.

    Two years ago I really wanted to run a half in sub two hours, and training suggested I was close, and then got sick the day of the event. He bought me an entry to another event 3 weeks away – and then, despite not having run for a year due to a slipped disc, secretly entered himself so he could run with me as encouragement.

    Some days, I think this is romantic. Some days, I’m just pissy that he trained for a half marathon in less than three weeks, and still ran ahead of me every few ks to stretch his back while I caught up, and he’s 9 years older than me. There’s no justice.

    13+
    1. I read the love languages book and it really helped me understand my partner who is TOUCH ALL THE TIME. I grew up in a family that didn’t hug so I just couldn’t wrap my mind around it. I’m so glad you have someone that wants to take care of you like that. Even if its totally unfair that he trained in less than three weeks.

      1+
    2. That’s why they have separate divisions for men and women in those races; men just have the physical advantage.

      0
  18. A few weeks after we started going out, I headed off on a many-months trip overseas. This was in the days before the Internet or easy phone calls overseas so he wrote to me almost every day. Those letters were my lifeline. We’re still together but things are a bit rocky. Thanks for reminding me of those letters.

    7+
    1. Things being a bit rocky is just a fact of life. We have been together over 50 years and every now and then I still get so annoyed that I think I am going to walk. And the weird thing is that it is things that were no big deal 20, 30 years ago (It was different things then). This is ridiculous because we are happy and enjoy each others company. So yeah, there are rocky periods there will always be rocky periods. Even in HEA you get annoyed sometimes and your feelings hurt. The important thing is not to say he is a complete jerk (even if he is being one) and retaliate but saying I don’t like (… ) and it makes me feel bad. Why are you doing it? The point is not to make him feel incompetent or like a jerk, but to find out why he thinks that his behavior is something that you won’t resent or hurt your feelings. But it is also very important not to ride with it. Jenny in FastWomen has her main character, whose name escapes me, think about why her marriage broke down and how often she represses her anger and let things ride and did not speak up for herself. It just poisons everything when that happens.

      4+
  19. Late to the party, but I have to share, though no one’s gonna read it now.

    He surprised me one Christmas with a Little Free Library he built himself from scraps in his basement, and we planted it in front of my house in the spring.

    Even more romantic…. he made space for me to park behind his house, off the lane, so I wouldn’t get tickets overnight.

    12+
  20. I thought to myself “surely it would be easy to find some happiness quotes for Jenny so she doesn’t have to think about it.” OMG it’s horrible out there – don’t look!!!!! More depressing or trite or just plain stupid “happiness” quotes than you would believe.

    I vote you start saying “It’s Sunday: what’s happy?” and leave it at that!!!!!

    1+
  21. An old friend/sort of boyfriend from high school and I reconnected when I was in my early 30’s and started up a relationship. He was living in NJ at the time, and I was in upstate NY, so it was long distance. The first weekend he came to stay with me, after he left, I found cute and romantic cards in all sorts of places–the inside of the medicine cabinet, under my pillow, in the fridge. It was the sweetest, most romantic thing anyone had ever done for me.

    The relationship didn’t make it, but the memory always makes me smile.

    0

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