Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Love Is 365 Days a Year

February, the month of romance. Personally, setting a day aside in a month when lovers are supposed to acknowledge each other in romantic terms is silly. There, I said it. Bite me!

My son thinks Hallmark is the smartest company on the planet. They have a poem for every day of the year (birthdays, you know) and now charge upwards of three or four dollars to say what a smart man can say in a few words. Let’s not forget florists and supermarkets who peddle their rose bouquets and planters. Oh, and add jewelry stores, because nothing beats a diamond to show how much you love the woman in your life. And it’s always the woman. How much advertising do you see for the man? Not much. Are we that conditioned?

The point is, shouldn’t we show our affection to those we love daily? My husband didn’t like having certain days to buy me things. Granted, he was raised in a country where there is no Valentine’s Day, so it was never that important to him. He did buy me flowers and a card, and we sometimes went out to eat because he knew it was important to me. I feel silly that it was. A card was fine with me but only because I was brainwashed into thinking the day was a message of love, and nothing says love like flowers or diamonds.

No! You know what is? When my husband tells me I look pretty when we go out or when he says I look great without adding, “for your age.” When he went on a trip to India and brought me back a ring with three diamonds for no reason at all, that was special. (Well, he probably got a good deal on it, so there’s that.) What said love was when he pulled his weight as a parent because nothing about raising kids was solely a “woman’s job.” Dirty diapers? Not a problem. School pickup? He was there when I couldn’t be.

Romance means different things to different people. I started my writing career not in the suspense genre but writing erotic romance. I thought it was the fastest way to get published, and it was, three times. I used an alias to protect my kids. Now they think it’s rather funny that their mother wrote “porn.”

When I wrote the first book, I had never read an erotic romance. Later when I did, I realized my books were rather tame, considering what I’d read. That’s okay; I learned a lot. I even wrote a couple of semi-graphic romantic scenes in my suspense novels. Got trashed in a few reviews for it, too, though I never understood what was so offensive to some for depicting love, in all its many forms.

So happy romantic February. Happy romantic March, April, May, and every month forever. Loving your man or woman is a 365-day proposition. Say it with a kiss and, okay, with chocolates, a dozen roses, and a card. But it's better with words and actions.

The photo above is a card my husband made years and years ago. If you can’t read it, it says:

Polly,

Even though you cannot
Stand me sometimes,
Will you be my
VALENTINE
For ever.

He signed it with all three of his names. It has hung in the kitchen all these years.

Polly Iyer is the author of nine novels: standalones Hooked, InSight, Murder Déjà Vu, Threads, and Indiscretion, and four books in the Diana Racine Psychic Suspense series, Mind Games, Goddess of the Moon, Backlash and The Scent of Murder. A Massachusetts native, she makes her home in the beautiful Piedmont region of South Carolina. You can visit her website for more on Polly and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.







19 comments :

  1. Wow! This is a fabulous post, Polly. You've absolutely nailed what real love is all about. It isn't diamonds, flowers, jewelry, or a gourmet meal at a favorite restaurant. One day a year doesn't cut it if all the rest don't reflect the love and respect each mate deserves and needs from the other. Very well said!

    P.S. Love the poem that hangs in your kitchen. No card produced by Hallmark can hold a candle to those simple words from the heart.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Linda. I think getting older puts things into perspective. Not sure I could have written this twenty or thirty years ago, but it seems apropos at this point in my life. I'm glad you liked it.

      Delete
  2. I "love" this, and will include the link in my mid-March newsletter along with a podcast link to an episode I wrote about love!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. I'm glad the post spoke to you. Please let me know at PollyIyer@gmail.com when you post this.

      Delete
  3. Oh my gosh, Polly! What a wonderful blog!!! Even though you can’t stand me sometimes, will you be my valentine?!! Co

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Donnell. I'm sure our speaking our minds have kept us together for decades. Glad you liked the blog.

      Delete
  4. I think it's important too to remember other kinds of love besides romantic--these days I bask in the love of my children and, I hope, return it in kind.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are so right, Judy. Though my kids aren't local, it's nice to get a FaceTime call for no reason but to say, Thinking of you, Mom and Dad.

      Delete
  5. Wonderful post, Polly. And it's so true that a sweet note from a loved one means a million times more than a Hallmark card. You've inspired me to write some notes to all the people I love, starting with dear husband (especially as we've cut out the purchased cards and skipped our dinner out because of the sick kitty (now recovered).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Pat. I'm sure the love for your kitty was the main reason s/he survived. Animals feel that love as much as humans. Glad you liked the blog.

      Delete
  6. I agree! Handsome and I like to do something simple like giggle over frozen yogurt. The past two years have been hard as he has been in the hospital over Valentine's. It's okay. He makes up for it in so many ways on other days.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Those "other days" and "other ways" are what's important.

      Delete
  7. As much as I love all the posts here on Blood-Red Pencil, I think I love this post even more. It speaks so clearly to our concept of love, and how it isn't really just for one day a year. And when you posted that Valentine from your husband, I went all blubbery. It was lovely and I am so glad it is framed in a place of honor to as a constant reminder of your mutual love and devotion.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Pat. I made one for him years ago, and every Valentine's day I gave it to him. It's somewhere in the house. I'll have to find it for next year.

      Delete
  8. Great post, Polly. I'm trying to get my head around people who would give you a bad review for more sexually-explicit passages. Your books are terrific! And sex is ...well, it's how we all got here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, C.J. Between sex and language, I've lost a point or two. But that's okay. It's what I write and I don't do it unless I feel it's important to the story. But yeah, I've had a few. One was even for one of my erotic romances. I had to laugh at that one.

      Delete
  9. I always hated the assumptions advertisers made about what women like. I hate pink, always have. Prefer diamond bits to diamond jewelry. Hate fancy gourmet restaurants. Don't drink. My idea of the perfect romantic evening is much different than theirs. Learn what your partner likes, then do that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't like pink either, Diana, or most pastels. Just isn't me. But I do like a fancy gourmet restaurant at times, especially when my sons are paying. :-)

      Delete
  10. What a nice post, Polly. Very special. Love shows in so many ways that don't need a commercial expression.

    ReplyDelete

The Blood-Red Pencil is a blog focusing on editing and writing advice.