by Kassandra Lamb
Hubs and I celebrated our 44th anniversary recently. In honor of that, I was trying to come up with something fresh to say about relationships, so I reviewed the posts I’d already done through the years on the topic of love.
I stumbled on this oldie but goodie from 4 years ago, written right after our 40th Valentine’s Day together. It seemed worthy of re-running. And since my new book, releasing today, is set around Valentine’s Day and contains a love story or two (as well as a mystery, of course), I figured this would be a good post for today.
So here are our 4 most important lessons learned.
Thing #1 still true after 44 Valentine’s Days: Cover your mate’s back.
I fell in love with my husband on our first Valentine’s Day together, a few months after we started dating.
He’d made a reservation for dinner at a fancy restaurant, for 8:00 p.m. But the restaurant had seriously overbooked. By 9:15, Tom had asked several times when we would be seated, each time told it would “just be a few more minutes.”
I’d eaten a light lunch and was now getting lightheaded. “Do you want to go somewhere else?” he asked. But where could we go on Valentine’s Day without reservations? McDonald’s?
My knees wobbled and I clung to his arm as we were finally shown to our table at 9:45! Suddenly my super easygoing boyfriend turned into the Incredible Hulk. He had words with first the waiter and then the maitre ’d, demanding that we be served food RIGHT NOW.
A salad immediately appeared in front of me, and I fell in love with this man who would stand up for me like that. (BTW, that restaurant went out of business shortly after that.)
We’ve had each other’s backs at other times through the years… whenever one of us was in the hospital, for example. We’ve both slept on those horrible foldout chairs and been awakened every few hours, along with our spouse, when someone came in to take vital signs or give medication. We were there to be the other’s advocate when they were too sick or too doped up to think straight.
It may not sound all that romantic, but hey, if you can’t count on your mate to have your back, who the heck can you count on?
Thing #2 still true after 44 Valentine’s Days: Accept each other as unique human beings.
There’s a myth out there that couples need to share a lot of interests. Not really. A few shared interests are good, so you have something to do together. But it’s okay for each of you to also do things the other one isn’t interested in. Tom’s into photography and computers. I use my phone camera occasionally and have a refurbished desktop for which I paid $700 (now 6 years old).
I love to shop and play cards, and of course, write. He’d rather stick pointed sticks in his eyes than go shopping, and card-playing is far from his favorite pastime. He’s a good writer but to him it’s more a task that is sometimes required for work.
Instead of resenting the time that the other spends on non-shared interests., honor that those things are important to your mate. I wait patiently when we’re on vacation while he takes a hundred shots of every sight we see (I’m only exaggerating a little). He never says a word about the nights I stay up until 3 a.m. because the muse has struck and I must get those precious words down before they slip away.
And we never try to make the other do what we’re interested in but they’re not. He resists the urge to make fun of my out-of-focus photos and my old computer, and I find other people to play cards with.
Thing #3 still true after 44 Valentine’s Days: Time is the most important gift.
Having said all of the above, make sure your interests don’t get in the way of spending time with your spouse. As is so often the case, it’s quality as much as quantity (if not more so) that counts. Dinner is check-in time for us. It may only be twenty minutes to a half hour, but we’re not reading or watching TV or playing with our cell phones. We’re telling each other everything important—and some things that are not all that important but are just interesting—that’s happened to us that day.
And on Fridays, we have date night. We started that when our son was about thirteen. We have a special dinner, just the two of us, and really linger at the table until we’re totally caught up on things. Then we relax and watch videos together for the rest of the evening.
Thing #4 still true after 44 Valentine’s Days: Be proud of each other.
Don’t just say it to each other. Tell others about your spouse’s accomplishments. No, you don’t have to be a bore about it. But let your spouse know you’re proud of them by telling the world.
Tom’s my best salesman. If a friend or coworker happens to mention that they like mysteries, or just that they like to read, that’s his opening! He hasn’t sold enough books to make a major difference in my writing income. But it definitely makes a difference in my confidence level to hear that he’s proud enough to brag about my writing to anyone who will stand still and listen.
What things have you found true after how many Valentine’s Days with your honey? Or if you’re not coupled at the moment, what makes you feel especially loved — by friends and/or family?
And Check out our New Releases: Kirsten Weiss’s Oolong, Farewell and my own, My Funny Mayfair Valentine. (plus our September Self-Care Contest below)
When all the neighbors want you dead…
Abigail Beanblossom is finally getting into the groove of her new Tea and Tarot room. But in Abigail’s mind, when things are going right, that’s exactly when they’re about to go wrong. She never could have guessed, however, that the mother who abandoned her as a child would suddenly return, looking for tea and sympathy.
Now, all Abigail wants is to escape. So, when her grandfather’s friend, Archer, asks Abigail and her partner Hyperion to investigate the murder of his neighbor, the two amateur sleuths leap at the opportunity. Abigail suspects Archer’s fears of arrest are a tempest in a teapot. The victim’s been renting out his mansion for noisy events and bringing the entire neighborhood to a boil. And the old money and nouveau-riche suspects are as plentiful as they are quirky.
But when Archer becomes suspect #1, Abigail and Hyperion must steep themselves in the fraught world of upper-crust homeowners associations and Instagram stars. Because this cockeyed killer is just getting started…
(Tearoom recipes in the back of the book.)
A newcomer to Mayfair charms the socks off of Susanna Mayfair, the sheltered niece of the town’s elderly matriarch. In a panic, the aunt turns to service dog trainer Marcia Banks to dig into the man’s past.
What Marcia finds is a disturbing trail of broken hearts and outstanding warrants. But when the man is arrested, he claims it’s a case of mistaken identity.
While Marcia’s police detective husband attempts to untangle the truth and Susanna struggles with her feelings, Marcia is worried about her friend’s mental health, unaware that Susanna may be in physical danger as well. Will she figure it out in time to protect Susanna…and herself?
And only one week left to ENTER our September Self-Care Contest HERE!
Posted by Kassandra Lamb. Kassandra is a retired psychotherapist turned mystery writer. She is the author of the Kate Huntington psychological mysteries, set in her native Maryland, and a new series, the Marcia Banks and Buddy cozy mysteries, set in Central Florida.
We blog here at misterio press about twice a month, usually on Tuesdays. Sometimes we talk about serious topics, and sometimes we just have some fun.
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