Friday, December 16, 2016

True Romance and the Birthday Boy

Jo McNally

Today is my husband's birthday. This photo is from a couple years ago, on one of his "big O" birthdays. We were at a friend's home for what Himself thought was just dinner. Before dessert, I changed into this sparkly dress and came out singing "Happy Birthday" a la Marilyn Monroe, all breathy and flirty (while everyone else donned crazy hats and threw confetti). Yup - after twenty years of marriage, we've still got it.

On paper, mind you, there's no practical reason our marriage should work. He's full of Irish passion and temper. I'm a quiet WASP. He charges through life full-speed ahead, with a take-no-prisoners attitude about everything. I'm the worrywart who frets constantly (what if they don't like me? what if someone gets hurt? what if we get caught?). I can't bear to break rules. He lives to break the rules in every way possible. He's the ultimate morning person, leaping out of bed before dawn, ready to tackle the day. I'm the polar opposite of a morning person. I've been known to put the milk away in the pantry and the cereal in the refrigerator. He won't hesitate to get in someone's face if an injustice has been done. I'm mortified at the thought of causing a scene. He's loud. I'm not. He loves crowds and parties. I'm happy with a good book and a glass of wine. I cry at commercials. He laughs at me while I'm crying at commercials.

So when people say certain romance novel tropes, such as opposites attract or enemies-to-lovers, are unrealistic....I just smile. Himself and I weren't enemies, but we are two strong personalities, and fireworks have been known to happen. As noted above, we're definitely opposites and are definitely attracted. Oh, and we fell in love almost instantly after meeting on a blind date. Within just a week or so, we knew there was something special going on. So perhaps not love at first site, but definitely romance at first sight. It can happen!

While I'm relatively new at the romance writing biz, Himself has already heard the typical writer's spouse questions. Are you her inspiration? Yes. Does she work out her bedroom scenes with you? Maybe. Do you read her books? Only under duress. What's it like when she's writing? Like living with an angry mountain lion (it's true - he'll bring me a sandwich, wordlessly set it on my desk, then back away slowly so as not to incur the wrath of an interrupted writer!). It's not easy being married to a romance writer, but he's a trooper about it. We even went to a Halloween party this year dressed as the couple on the cover of my book!

Himself is also my biggest cheerleader. After he read the manuscript that became my debut Superromance, "She's Far From Hollywood" (coming February 2017), he left this sticky note on it. This will always be my favorite review of all time.

Do you have a relationship that matches a romance novel trope (second chance romance, friends to lovers, enemies to lovers, military romance, workplace romance, etc.)? Tell us about it!

8 comments:

Tammy Y said...

Happy Birthday to your husband, My daughter turned 18 today, so they were both born on 12/16
Friends to lovers is my favorite trope and my husband and I started out as friends. Been married 22 years now

dstoutholcomb said...

Happy Birthday to your husband!

My husband and I are "opposites attract" of sorts.

denise

Jo McNally said...

Happy birthday to your daughter! The 16th is always a good day for us. My birthday is January 16 and our wedding anniversary is June 16 (on purpose - easy to remember!).

Jo McNally said...

Thanks, Denise! I totally relate to "opposites attract." ;-)

catdancing51 said...

Hubby and I met when both our worlds were crashing down upon us and neither of us admitted our lives were hell. We met in an online chat room when the internet was new and a dinosaur! I could make breakfast while waiting for a connection. Lol. But together we got our lives straightened out and gave each other the support we each needed to wallow through the mess. Along the way, we fell in love. It wasn't planned, it just happened. When we met in person for the first time, it was like coming home. We knew then we were meant to be together. We celebrate twenty years of knowing each other this Christmas, and eighteen years of marriage in March.

Jo McNally said...

I'm sorry you went through such tough times, but it sounds like you found a true soulmate in your husband. I'm a firm believer in soulmates! What a wonderful story.

Tanja Dancy said...

No, I do not have a relationship that matches a romance trope. But I do love your story and find it wonderful.

Jo McNally said...

Thanks, Tanja - Himself and I were an unexpected relationship to say the least (some people were taking bets on how long we'd last!). But it works for us. It makes it easier for me to suspend disbelief when I read a romance, because we just never know when or how love will enter our lives. :-)

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