Love, Lately

I haven’t written about love lately. It was making me a little too sad, I think. It was one of those things that felt good and bad at the same time. It was therapeutic — there’s something about being in bed with a glowing laptop and a heap of chocolates and nobody to see you cry — but it was kind of toxic, too.

I’d pop a peppermint patty in my mouth and taste our first kiss. I’d turn it over and over in my mind — over and over and over again, until there was something strong enough to savor. Sometimes I’d think about sweetening that last little piece. But mostly I’d just sit there, typing away, reaching for more memories. I’d let myself write, and I’d let myself grow fonder and fonder. It was addictive, in a way, and it went on night after night, long after the chocolates were gone.

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I decided to go cold turkey for a few weeks, a few weeks ago. And felt lighter, almost instantly.

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I stopped writing about being heartbroken, and what do you know: suddenly I felt much less so. I started to read at night, rather than write. To fill the void. What did I read? Romance after romance. You know, the kind with the covers you’re embarrassed to have your dad/brother/anyone on the subway see.

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Some were romantic suspense (is that more acceptable?), but most of them were just plain romance. I got to know Suzanne Brockmann, Nora Roberts, Roxanne St. Claire, Karen Robards, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Bella Andre — all the big names. Do you know them too? I won’t tell.

There’s something so nice about romance. In books, anyway. Back to the books. I love them because they’re all sort of the same, and because they give me a break from thinking so hard. That’s such a gift. I love them because they collect all of the loose ends and carefully pull them up into a neat little bow, and never forget to curl the ends.

Mostly I love them because they never make me want to cry myself to sleep. Because they don’t make me think about the hand that was always wrapped around my waist, or the leg that was often automatically thrown over mine. They don’t make me think about I love you, mumbled into my messy bun, or Je t’aime, whispered at exactly the same time.

They don’t make me think about dreams burning out — one by one — in a dimly lit room.

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These books let me drift off to sleep, instead. They make me dream of a Navy Seal, who would give me plenty of alone time and no shortage of things to write home about. Or a supposedly surly veterinarian, with a fondness for large mammals and slightly skittish brunettes. Or a fifth generation rancher, with acres and acres of land and a steady supply of filet mignon. Or a hard-as-nails Chief of Police, with a soft spot for women who consistently drive 5mph below the speed limit and can’t execute a parallel park under the best of circumstances.

It’s silly, I know, but these books…

They make me feel like the odds are excellent, actually. For falling in love when I least expect it. For meeting someone after having moved to a tiny town. With a view of the mountains?

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These books also make me feel like there is almost certainly someone out there who will think I have a brand of perfume that is all my own. Who will think it’s sweet that I fall asleep so early. Who will be completely willing to overlook the fact that I cannot fold a fitted sheet to save my life. Who will like me best in jeans, in soft shirts, in bare feet. Who will never let me go without a fight. Who will like chunky (or die!) peanut butter.

I’d like a man who will agree, at the end of the day, that BBQ sauce really has no business being on a pizza. I’d like a man who will make my pulse spike over every time I hear his key in the door. I’d like a man who will never forget that I’m human, and I’m going to screw up, and Chicken Cordon Bleu means I’m sorry.

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Ultimately, I’d like a man who will drink my wine and occasionally let me eat his cake.

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Lots of layers — that’s what I’d really like.

{Note: Mille-feuille photo by @nickersonross.}

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4 thoughts on “Love, Lately

  1. I read those books occasionally myself. But mostly, recently, I’ve been doing YA fiction in my quest to avoid excessive mope-y-ness.
    On tonight’s docket is “On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness”

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