Ahhh, Valentine's Day, the one day a year we think about love. Or about not having it. Or about how we hate Valentine's Day.
I understand, I really do. Love is hard. It's work, and it often doesn't work out. I've been really lucky, though. Twenty-two years ago (sheesh, but I'm old), the hubby and I had just started dating (Jan. 19th was our first day, if you remember, the Eve of St. Agnes). Nearly a month later, we were going to a party together at a friend's house, and I spent a panicked week trying to figure out what to give him.
Flowers? I didn't know at that point that he liked flowers. Chocolates? What kind of chocolates did he prefer? I didn't know him well enough to know that, either. A stuffed animal? Surely not. (I was totally right about this one--stuffed animals are totally not his thing).
So I gave him the only gift I could think of: a poem. Yup, I less than a month after we'd started dating, I wrote him a love sonnet. And not just any old sonnet. A sonnet that said I wanted to grow old with him, spend the rest of my life with him. You know the kind--the stalking sonnet that would scare any sane guy away in a heartbeat (or a quick read-thru, anyway).
I wrote it on parchment, using my calligraphy pens, rolled it up and tied it with a red ribbon. And, yes, I gave it to him.
"Woah!" you might exclaim, "and he married you?" Yup. He thought the poem was fantastic, and he showed it to everybody at the party. And some people were actually jealous. Nobody ran away. Pretty weird, huh? And AWESOME, too!
Now, before you say, with that sarcasm in your voice, "Oh, sure, we're just supposed to take that chance--but what if we get hurt?" don't think for a moment that I don't know the risk I took. In fact, before there was the hubby, I wrote several sonnets--more tentative ones, mind you--to another guy at college. Yup, that's right. This was already my MO.
That interaction didn't go so well. In December, the guy wrote me a nice card saying he was flattered by the poems, and he wished me the best, but please don't write again. I was crushed, but I respected his request and didn't write another poem for him. I took the chance, and I failed at it.
But so what? Love doesn't always work out. But I still have those sonnets--all of them--the ones I wrote the first guy, the MANY sonnets I wrote to the hubby. And, even better, I have the hubby. And it all started with that little Valentine's Day love sonnet, which he still keeps framed right next to his bed after 22 years.
So, in honor of Valentine's Day, I'm giving away a copy of the anthology Death by Chocolate, which contains 6 stories of love and chocolate, along with a box of chocolates for your enjoyment. You need to live in the U.S., since I don't want to pay through the nose to send this little package out (sorry!).
To enter, all you have to do is chime in below, telling me your own thoughts on love and taking chances. I'll draw a name out of a hat and announce the winner by FRIDAY (so comment before then!). Also, today I'm posting in THREE other places as part of the Death by Chocolate blog tour, and each post is different, so check 'em all out:
All three give you another opportunity to win the book (and some chocolates), so feel free to comment everywhere, including at my post on today's Death by Chocolate blog. Remember to comment for your chance to win! And happy Valentine's Day!