It's that very special day of the year again. The day where your love gives that present that floats your boat, cooks your goose and wets your whistle and lets you know exactly how much you mean to him/her.
Would that be...
Or perhaps a stuffed animal?
Only you and your sweetheart know what tickles your fancies.
For me? Gifts are sweet (especially chocolate) but flowers die in a few days and stuffed animals become more junk that I'd have to dust and clean (except that one. That one is AWE-SOME!) So what gesture of love would I appreciate on Valentine's Day?
There's a book called The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman and in it, he says we all have a primary love language through which we understand giving and receiving love. They are Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch. If your love language isn't "Receiving Gifts" (mine isn't) then getting a Valentine's Gift will be nice, but you won't feel the love (unless it's chocolate). My primary love language is Physical Touch so I'm gonna need a 'hug' today. My husband's is Acts of Service. There's nothing he likes better than me helping him out in the yard. Me dragging downed tree branches and raking leaves makes him feel all warm and gooey inside. And since it's cold as heck outside still, I've got another special Valentine's household chore up my sleeve that will ensure that I get my 'hug' tonight. (And yeah, when you're married household chores and hugs do sound super sexy.)
Recently, I started a Pinterest board called Got Romance? with some fellow romance authors. Because who knows romance better than those of us who create it? (Ok, y'all just ignore what I just wrote about yard work and hugs, alright?) The idea was simple - that we post pictures of things that were romantic. Looking at the board, I love the variety there. There's funny romance, there's sweet romance, there's a lot of facial hair, but that's cool with me. I posted this image impulsively, thinking, "naked, intimate, attractive = romance." Right?
As soon as I posted it, I thought, maybe not so romantic. Maybe the bathroom is chilly. Some people don't like other people touching their necks or heads. Maybe the dude is a super controlling boyfriend who has to dictate the brand of shampoo his girlfriend uses and the exact method of scalp cleaning.
A lot of things that one person finds romantic, be it candy, flowers or aggressive shampooing, another person will absolutely be turned off by. I had a conversation with my girlfriends recently and, as our conversations do, it turned to books. Specifically, sexy books. Among the "trends" we noticed was a tendency for a dominant, billionaire Alpha male to pick out a closet of designer clothes for the heroine, all outrageously luxurious and expensive.
That is not romantic to me. In fact, if you ever read a book of mine and the hero has picked out clothes for the heroine, and the heroine is not, somehow, incapacitated by illness or extreme danger, expect my heroine to laugh in his face and then ask for the receipt so she can return the clothes for store credit.
What can I say, I write what I know.
Therefore, in my novels you may see an inordinate amount of romantic scenes involving chocolate and wine and cuddling. But hopefully, I'll keep the yard work down to a minimum.