Writing is weird.  But then my life leans toward odd, too.  Luckily, this pretty inspirational. 

So, when I try to come up with a new chapter in Mina Kitchen’s life, I have a trove of funny memories to dust off.  These I introduce to characters and plots I make up from pixie dust.  I then mash the whole mess together until I come up with what I hope is a funny story.  Otherwise called a whopper.

SPOILER ALERT

It’s no wonder then I had to blog about this one.  It’s definitely going to be one of Mina’s new adventures.  This is a true story:

This weekend I drove to Maryland to visit an old co-worker in her new digs.  Since she used to live near Boston, and now is just a car ride away, we were happy for the opportunity catch up in person.  We hung out; gossiped; window shopped in antique stores and had a lovely late lunch outside at a local bistro. 

Happily, my friend now also lives just 45 minutes from my sister.  So, after visiting with her, I drove off to have dinner and spend the night with my sister and nephew and my mom.  Ma had been visiting my sister last week, to help babysit her grandson during that awkward week post-school closing and pre-camp starting.

I arrived just in time for dinner (of course) and we sat down and chatted about their visit.  The nephew filled me in about his outings with Grandma, which included meeting Mommy for lunch at work on Friday. 

That was when the bickering began.  Mostly, because Grandma was supremely late for the lunch appointment.  But that was because she was supremely lost in DC – easy to do.

“Ma calls me from her car and asks me, where am I?” said my sister.  “How was I supposed to know?”

“But I turned left like you said.”

“You were supposed to turn right at the cross street.”

“But I couldn’t do that.”

“Yes, you could, it’s a one way street going in your direction.”

“No, I could not, because that’s when the two men with machine guns stood in front of the car and stopped us.”

I look at my nephew, who is happily munching salmon.  He catches my eye, and says, “Well, actually Grandma, they weren’t machine guns.  They were rifles.”

This data I wash down with a large glass of wine.

“When were you going to tell me this?” asks my sister, holding her forehead. 

“I forgot,” Ma says. 

My sister looks toward her son.  He shrugs.  “It was no biggie.  Besides, the one guy gave Grandma directions while the other one stopped traffic so we could turn around.”

You see?  If my memory stays in tact; I’m golden.

 
 
My debut novel KITCHEN ADDICTION! has a hint of romance, especially toward the end (I know, I know; spoiler alert).  The sequel, CONFECTION CONNECTION starts off with more than a hint of romance in the chilly Valentine's air.  Which is fun, and frothy and generally makes me smile.  And of course I hope it will make many readers happy, too!  But I have to wonder, is romance the same for everyone?  In keeping with the culinary theme, is sauce for the goose really sauce for the gander?  

And if romance isn't the same for everyone, can there be a common thread?  My first guess is that the thrill of a new romance, no matter how different for each of us, is well...thrilling.  Very exciting, good, validating stuff:  huzzah! you are a worthwhile human being deserving of being the apple of someone's eye.  And of course all the good stuff that goes with it in the first few months; finding out your common likes; the physical attraction thing; having a lot of attention paid to you, imagining a whole new future in front of you, etc.  

As I am still somewhat the newlywed (1st anniversary coming up in August) I'm also learning that as your relationship grows and ages, so do your romantic notions.  I mean, some things we still think are great, like date nights out to a high-end restaurant.  But things that we discover together are even better (cocktails on the veranda of the Accomac Inn, for instance...his was a Lavender Martini; mine was a Pear Cosmo during one of the last Indian Summer days last fall).  And escaping the stresses of our new day-to-day routine are also really welcome (an night away can be a wonderful thing).  But so can "escaping" to our back patio with a glass of wine, and ignoring our routine chores for half an hour, and talking to each other without interruption.  

But I can't help wondering what we'll feel like in 10, 20 and 30 years? What will romance be like in my 70's or 80's? (Please resist the temptation to insert jokes of dentures soaking in glasses.)   

So, what is romance?  And, depending on where in the game you are, what is more romantic:  the lovely dinner you have when things are going well; or the reassuring bear hug followed by taking out the garbage, when your evening's really stressed?  

Thoughts?
 

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