Site Meter Vamps and Scamps: That first moment of attraction...

Sunday, July 16, 2006

That first moment of attraction...

I'm starting a new book and new books are a lot like new relationships. They're so yummy. I am in love...or infatuated on my way to love and every minute spent exploring this new entity is delicious. The snags are inevitable and like any new relationship, there will be misunderstandings, moments of panic and sheer terror and opportunities to dive in, risks be darned or hold back for fear of going too far, or getting too involved.

I'll doubt the viability of the book more than once and go through a major crisis about half-way to the end, sure that there isn't enough story for a real book, or that the story isn't what I wanted it to be. Does that sound familiar? It's a little nerve wracking to realize how much writing is like falling in love and learning to be a couple.

And it doesn't always work. Sometimes books have to be abandoned (I've never done this, but know lots of authors that have), gutted (done it - hate it - it's like death...or divorce) or re-written multiple times to get the story right. Relationships are like that, aren't they? They don't just have to work to make them something worth sharing with each other and the rest of your world. The same is true for stories. I don't know a single author who thinks writing is easy. Fun? Yes. Amazing? Definitely. Wondrous even. But easy? Nope.

While I was growing up, my mom was fond of the saying, "Anything worth having is worth working for." That's true of a really good book or a truly great relationship. I think romance shows that relationships don't just happen, any more than the books that contain them.

When I was dating my husband, we had many defining moments in our relationship, but one stands out clearly. His family wasn't too happy with the thought of him having a serious girlfriend and they weren't above trying to undermine the relationship. One time, they guilted him into sticking around well past when he said he'd have to be finished helping his sister move so he could come to see me (we lived in different cities). I called him hours after he was supposed to at my apartment and he was finally home. He asked if I still wanted him to come. This was a make or break moment. If I'd said no, he would have let our relationship go, but he had a lot to learn about me and my tenacity.

Of course I wanted him to come. I had some yelling to do...mostly about how stupid he was to think that one screw up was going to end my feelings for him. But the thing is...I knew that relationships aren't without pain, it's what comes after that makes or breaks them. And we both learned something that night. I learned that tenacity was a good thing and he learned that forgiveness was not a Utopian ideal. We've been married 18 years and we are both so very much in love. That was a good night. :)

And when I hit that moment with this book that I want to throw my computer across the room, I'm going to remember that night...I'm going to remember that anything worth having is worth working ... and sacrificing ... for. I'm going to remember that new books don't just happen.

What about you? Can you remember a relationship defining moment? Or a time when you realized the job you love wasn't all sweetness and light but it was worth pursuing despite the pitfalls you'd encountered?

Looking forward to your responses!



Kelley said...

I have to say that the defining moment in my relationship with my hubby was fairly close to the beginning. He used to smoke. I hate cigerettes. I'm a huge anti smoker. My mom smokes almost two packs per day and has emphasima (spelling?). I hated hearing her cough like crazy every morning when I still lived at home. I hated that she didnt only cough, but coughs stuff up. I hated (and still do) seeing her use an inhaler and then light a cigerette 5 minutes later. I hated going to school smelling like smoke and teachers asking me if I smoked. Anyway, Dominic smoked when we first got together. I had a hard time with it. I dealt with it, but it bothered me. I know that you can lose anyone you love at any time and in anyway but I fear losing someone I love to smoking. I'm afraid that is how I will lose my mom and I have always been scared to lose someone else that way too. It may sound crazy, but I feel strongly about it. My hubby decided to quit smoking just a few months after we got together. I know in my heart that he did it for me. He liked smoking, but he loved me more. Knowing that he was willing go give up an addiction for me was a huge defining moment in our relationship. Now, he is so glad that he quit but it wasnt easy for him at the time he did it.

Stacy~ said...

Wow Lucy, I loved this analogy. It's very true. I remember when the Donald was married to Marla, he said that a good marriage doesn't take any work, and I thought "for someone who is so good at making money, he's a total idiot when it comes to relationships". As was proven when they divorced.

I think it's true of anything worth having. I remember when I was 17 or 18, and my guidance counselor met with me about my future plans. I told him I wanted to work for a travel agency, and he basically told me what a waste of time that was. Well, at 19 I went to a travel school, 3 months later I was hired at an airline and moved 570+ miles away from home, and have lived on my own ever since. While I may not still be in the travel industry, what I learned was that I could make it on my own, and I enjoy being independent. I also learned that I thrive fairly well with change, and am not afraid to take that step if it comes to that.

I may never meet "the one", but if not, I'm okay with that. If I do, I will think of these words and remember that the truly important gifts in life are not taken for granted, but rather nurtured and treasured. And maybe cut him a little slack since I'm not the easiest person in the world to love LOL.

Thanx for sharing your story, Lucy :)

Stacy~ said...

Kelley, that's amazing. I feel the same way about smoking. My mom's a smoker and wouldn't give it up for anything, even for her kids. Tell your dh he should be proud of himself. Dominic made the right choice because in addition to being the right choice health-wise, now he is not harming his daughter's health either. What a good man he is. Not everyone would have done the same.

partygirljessica said...

I can say that the defining moment in my relationship with my guy was finally meeting him in person after exchangin emails and video chats through webdate (where we also met). The moment when I finally looked at him in the eyes ignited our relationship to the next level.

dianne_lone said...

the first defining moment of me and my hubby is when I had my first vidchat with him.. It is one exciting moment for us that triggered the chemistry we have.

Lucy Monroe said...

Kelley...that is SO cool! And I totally agree, any man who will give up an addiction for love is a true keeper.

Stacy...I never knew that, but it's so in keeping with who you are as a person. I have wondered before what made you both so kind and so confident. :)

Jessica...I can imagine the sparks. Dh was a blind date...that first moment we met...the first kiss...all defining moments. :)

Dianne...I did vid chats with Dh when he was in China a year ago. They were my lifeline and I can totally see how doing one for the first time could be an incredible "first 'in-person' meet" and defining moment.

But both you and Jessica have my brain spinning on another tangent for a book. LOL

Hugs to all,

Cathie said...

The defining moment for us, was earlier in our marriage when it was every night with hubby drinkng. It was more so his behavior when he drank and often he didn't believe me. It came to a point that I was getting scared. I tried to say its either me or your drinks and same thing would happen the next day. I loved him dearly but didn't love him when he drank. So one day I had an help and had him leave and that when he stopped and got help for himself, he could be with us again. After 3 months of separating and thearpy for him, we have been back together for 23 years. He made his choice. Me. But too he made his choice for his health too.

janat62 said...

Defining moments? Seems like they happen every so often. I've now been married 25 years & considering I was 18 when I married, I think it's amazing that we made it so far. Have I wanted to kick him to the curb on occasion? You betcha! But, he's a great guy, has a wonderful heart & I'm a better person with him. And after all these years, I'm not about to let someone else benefit from our hard work! :-)
One moment that comes to mind occurred not too long after we were engaged. I was scheduled to be a counselor at a camp & one of the other counselors is someone that I had previously been involved with. He told Jim that he was going to try his best to take me away from Jim. Jim told him to give it his best shot. It was the LONGEST week of my life. Here's someone who I had deep feelings for at one point doing his best to regain my heart & Jim staying away so that I made the decision ON MY OWN. He never put pressure of any kind. It had to be my choice. Knowing he gave me the freedom to use my brain & follow my heart meant the world to me.

Lucy Monroe said...

Cathie and Jana...what incredible stories! Wow...loved reading them.

Thanks to everyone for sharing!