Men and the Art of Carrying Things

For the first years of my marriage, I felt like a pack mule, especially when the children were young, and I had to haul their things, too. My husband was always asking me, “Do you have room in your purse for this?” It could have been a camera, a flyer he saw somewhere and wanted to further investigate, or his sun glasses. The assumption was, the wife carries.

Maybe this comes from the hunter/gatherer stage of human development, when women gathered the berries, nuts, roots and such that ensured survival of the species. Men carried their spears. We hauled everything else. They had to be ready to hunt or defend at a moments notice. We lugged the babies and provisions.

Or it may come from the fact that for many years, women’s clothes didn’t have pockets. Having pockets for our wallets and such would ruin our “profile”. (Men wouldn’t be able to ogle our bosoms and backsides.) So we needed bags for our house keys and sunglasses.

My children, however, are now grown. And I am wiser. When TV Stevie and I go out, I carry a tiny bag just large enough for my cell phone, a purse-pack of tissues, a house key, a credit card, my ID, and lip balm. I am now as unencumbered as he is. And I like it.

National Singles Awareness Day

It’s National Singles Awareness Day.

What does that mean to long-time married me? Well, I write romance. Which is primarily about single people.  And it’s hard to write about single people today when the world is so different than it was a couple of decades ago, when I was a single woman.  So I try to understand them.

I work with a lot of single people. Many are in long-term relationships, but they’re still legally single. Much of what I hear baffles me. It may be the business my current Day Job is in, which is vastly different from my former Day Job. The business itself requires a different kind of individual. (That is not a judgment, simply an observation. After all, I have spent time in both.)

I also have two single twenty-something children. My daughter’s co-workers are primarily single men. The stories she shares with me provide another perspective on being single in the 21st century.

A woman in my RWA chapter subscribed to Cosmopolitan for many years in order to stay abreast of what being a single woman in the USA entailed. (It was also a tax write-off: research for a romance author who wasn’t in the magazine’s targeted demo and who wasn’t single.)

So yes, I am aware of singles, but probably not in the way the organizers of this day meant.


Favorite Love Song

Valentine’s Day is coming up in a few days.

I was going to make a list of my Top 10 Favorite Love Songs, but I don’t have ten. Or maybe I can’t limit it to ten.

However, I do have a favorite. I consider it the best rock & roll love song ever written/recorded.

The Moody Blues, “Nights in White Satin”.


Movies About Women: My Reviews

The Academy Awards (Oscars) are coming up. That means  TV Stevie is trying to see every motion picture nominated in the major categories–and not so major categories if the films are readily available for watching.

A few weeks ago, we decided to go to an early showing of Twentieth Century Women. The trailers lured me into thinking the movie was something it wasn’t. It was well acted. The ramshackle house in which most of the action took place was a nice metaphor for people who lived there, as was the vineyard in which the defining moment took place.

But something was…off about the movie. One of the women was born the same year I was, and I should have been able to relate to her, her music, and her state of mind at that age, but it was like a foreign country to me. In fact, I couldn’t relate to a single character.

And the pacing was off. I do have a difficult time sitting during movies, even at home, and when I start to wonder how much longer I have to sit through this, I know it’s not me. At home, I can stand and stretch. Run to the kitchen to refresh my beverage. But I can’t do that in a movie theater.  I wanted to do that several times during this picture.

TV Stevie and I then grabbed lunch and returned to the theater to see Hidden Figures. I am so glad we decided at the last minute to do this. This motion picture is wonderful. Just incredible. Although I haven’t seen any of the other contenders for Best Picture, I want this one to win. It’s about women. Powerless women.  And even without power, they made their voices heard and were able to make great contributions. It’s about time those contributions were acknowledged.

No pacing problems here.  I didn’t want the film to end.


Showering with a Friend

Today is National Shower with a Friend Day.

My favorite showering-with-a-friend scene in a book comes from Linda Howard’s Mr. Perfect (which happens to be one of my all-time favorite books). The scene comes at the end of book, when the villain has been caught and the hero and heroine are about to embark on their happily ever after. It’s not a particularly sensual scene. In fact, it’s funny. Whenever I hear “shower with a friend” I think of this scene, and that’s the best thing an author can do.