Love to Love

I was thinking about what to write today. You ever just stare at this blank slate and say what can/should I write today? Since today is Valentine’s Day in America, I figured it should be something related to that somehow. My husband and I have been together for 10 years and we never really make it a point to celebrate Valentine’s Day every year. Sometimes he’ll surprise me like a few years ago he took me to this super duper fancy restaurant and I got to eat bolognese. If you’ve never had it, oh my freaking goodness. I had it for the first time in Italy and it’s amazing. I was thinking of maybe recreating it over the weekend because I found an easy to follow recipe to make it but my mother is coming in to see me and we’re going to see Black Panther Saturday night and I need at least 6 hours to make this sauce so I don’t know. We’ll see.

Most of the time we just say Happy Valentine’s Day and I love you to each other and keep it moving. It got me thinking about how often I tell people I love them. I know some people just use it as a phrase to show excitement because maybe a friend helped them have an epiphany but I honestly believe that I use it the way it was intended no matter who I’m saying it to. Saying “I like you” would just be weird to me or it just doesn’t emphasize my feelings enough? Obviously the love I have for my husband is on a completely different level than the love I have for friends or family but when I tell someone I love them, I mean it as in I care about your well being, what’s going on in your life every single day, what’s making you happy or sad (so I can be happy with you or fix it) and other things along those lines.

See how I go from blank to words? I truly even didn’t plan on that random, kind of philosophicalness to spew out but there it is. I really only planned to share a song today that is called Valentine cause there’s not many songs with the word “valentine” in the title. I can think of two off the top of my head. I’m sure you all have heard the song “My Funny Valentine” in a zillion different versions but have you heard the song “Valentine”? I’m sharing the throwback Pentatonix version because I love them and the melody and harmony of this song is so beautiful. I’ll also share the lyrics as well:

I will be friendly
(Please don’t be…)
My soul came to be terrified
(…so terrified)
Please don’t be so shy
So will you never be my lover or my valentine
Never be a friend of mine
Never see my better side
Maybe you’d be terrified
Of all the secrets you were wishing you won’t ever find
‘Cause deep inside me
And I don’t wanna hide me
‘Cause I know about my love
‘Cause I know about my love
‘Cause I know about my love
‘Cause I know about my love
Yeah, pick it fast like a flight far away from here (fly away)
Before I know I feel at home whenever you are near
Live my life, you better cold cut to this
I wish you’d hold me open just to see your vision clear
‘Cause I know about my love (‘Cause I know about my love)
‘Cause I know about my love (‘Cause I know about my love)
‘Cause I know about my love (‘Cause I know about my love)
‘Cause I know about my love (‘Cause I know about my love)
‘Cause I know about my love
‘Cause I know about my love
About my love
About my love
About my love
I will be friendly
(Please don’t be)
My soul came to be terrified
(so terrified)
Please don’t be so shy
That’s all I got for today. Happy Valentine’s Day beautiful people! If you have Valentine’s day stuff planned I hope they make you smile hugely and if you don’t, here is me sending you a virtual chocolate heart that will hopefully make you smile with the rest of us today.

Love on the Brain

Hello my wonderful friends. I have romance on the brain and I feel the need to talk about it a little bit today. A good Twitter friend of mine wrote a post about how if she could go back in time and tell her younger self some things about the book world. One of the things she noted on her list was she would tell her younger self that there’s nothing to be embarrassed about reading romance. That stood out to me the most cause it made me think back to my younger self picking up that first romance novel and opening up my world to one of my now favorite genres but how if anyone asked what I was reading, I’d hedge a little. By hedging, I mean I would tell the title of the book but when someone asked me what it was about, I would talk about everything except the romance part of it. I also definitely steered clear from covers that had Fabio sweeping a woman off his feet. (I’m a little biased though there cause I hate faces on book covers). But who doesn’t like looking at a hot, musclely man?? Not something I personally can deny.. (looking at you Idris Elba!)

Everything I’ve ever heard about romance novels was that they’re trashy, only old ladies read romance novels, and it’s all porn. Back then, I didn’t necessarily believe this myself but I would always feel like I could hear other people just thinking these things. Definitely made it hard to read in public in general cause now you’re just wondering what people are thinking about your choice of book. I can’t pinpoint exactly when I stopped caring but one day I think someone asked me what I was reading and I proudly looked them in the eye and said the title and that it was a romance novel and yes, there were sex scenes in it. I can’t remember the reaction of the person and obviously I didn’t care considering it only made me voracious for more romance novels.

I have to state here that I’m seriously a romantic. I see love everywhere. I will play matchmaker if the opportunity presents itself. I stare at my husband with stars and rainbows and glitter in my eyes all day long and yes, I like sex. I’m human. There’s nothing wrong with that. I don’t understand why romance and sex have to be trashy. It’s a natural human process. Every living thing, mostly mammals, have sex in some form or fashion. It’s in our DNA because of the need to procreate. But what’s wrong with reading about a love affair between two imaginary people? Why is going into detail so bad? It’s not porn. People like to say erotica is porn but it’s not. Porn is porn; different category entirely. And see now that’s got me thinking, why is it okay to watch sex on television but reading about is an outrage?? Automatic stigmatization is just wrong to me. I pretty much compare this to stereotypes made about groups of people. Is it not the same thing?

Obviously, to each their own. If reading about romance, falling in love and having sex makes you uncomfortable, I’m in no way bashing you for that. There’s nothing wrong with that either but to be cruel about other people who enjoy it is just wrong. We shouldn’t have to hide something we enjoy you know? Oh and by the way, the romance genre dominates ebook sales; 61% to be exact. Ebooks definitely make it easier to read whatever you want in secret but seriously, don’t ever be ashamed about what you’re reading especially when it comes to love. (I’m hopeless. I know. πŸ™‚ )

Do you read romance novels? Are you embarrassed to admit it? Do you agree or disagree with anything I said? Let me know in the comments below! (Don’t be shy!)

Love Angles

The infamous love triangle! I have a love/hate relationships with love angles in any form.

Oh! I should probably outline the love triangle eh? Sorry about that. Let’s start over.

To the right is a pretty neat, cloth depiction of a love triangle. A love triangle occurs when there is a relationship between on individual and another but then feelings “shift” to a third individual and it sort of becomes a tug of war of sorts with the spotlight on the middle person who usually has a hard time picking between the two. It is mostly portrayed in media as a woman who has split feelings or loves two men but can’t pick just one to be with. Sometimes it’s portrayed with two women over a man. It should be noted that this is my interpretation because complicated things come in threes right?

Back to what I said in the beginning, I have a love/hate relationship with love angles. They can be triangles, squares, or even pentagons. If it it’s a book, I absolutely hate reading about them. The reason I hate them so much is because usually they aren’t written very well in my opinion. For example, you have girl who falls for guy. She professes her undying love for said guy and how he makes her so happy, etc etc. Then she meets guys brother and things begin to shift. Brother is able to see parts of her that she never saw before and understands her a little bit more than guy. But she loves guy and never wants to hurt him even though her attraction meter is all of sudden pointing to brother. Now we get into how people have the capacity to love more than one person and that they each individual has a trait that speaks to your soul, blah blah blah.

Stop. Cop out okay.

Now, when it comes to television shows, I am the complete and utter opposite. Give me ALL the love angles. Let’s take a show I’m watching currently shall we? (Sort of spoiler alert maybe. I’m discussing events of Grey’s Anatomy that may not have happened for you yet but if you’re behind, these aren’t big deals to the overall drama that is Grey’s Anatomy so I’m sort of sorry.)Β  In Grey’s Anatomy, Meredith finally decided she actually, kind of, really liked Dr. Riggs and wanted to explore a legitimate relationship with him. They’re having a great time doing relationship things when word comes in that Owen’s sister, who was engaged to Dr. Riggs, is actually alive and is coming to the hospital. Now all of sudden Dr. Riggs is all about Megan and Meredith has been pushed to the sidelines. For a few episodes you see this struggle cause Dr. Riggs has grown strong feelings for Meredith but the love of his life is actually alive and he kept help but want to rekindle what they lost years before. Meredith was upset at first but, for now anyway, she’s decided that if she was in Riggs’ shoes, she’d do the same thing. So Meredith is trying to push Riggs and Megan together while Megan is trying to push Meredith and Riggs together cause she doesn’t believe Riggs’ can love her true now. It’s so complicated but I love it!

Something similar to the above scenario took place in a book series I was trying out. I was about three books in when this situation went down. I was ready to be okay with the main going with the rebound because death occurred but then the dead person was somehow magically not dead and the main, who had literally moved on, dropped the character she was with like a hot potato and went running back to dead person who’s not dead. I was so pissed I didn’t even finish the book and I quit the series. What is it about reading vs. watching?? My theory is maybe because while watching, I’m being set up for it pretty good that when it happens, I’m not entirely surprised and can roll over this bit of speed bump but when it happens in a book, it’s like the light turning red at that last second and I have to slam on my brakes while screaming profanities at inanimate objects!

Another, simpler example is from the television show Scandal. You have Olivia Pope who bounces between Fitz and Jake. I’ve always been team Jake but I admit to switching to team Fitz sometimes. However, the bouncing around has gotten to the point where now I just hate Olivia and her actions more than the men. In all scenarios, I understand the goal is to increase the drama factor but it almost becomes unbearable at times because the solution is very clear for me! It’s not that I’m condemning polygamy, especially if it’s an open relationship,Β but most of the time, someone or many someones end up getting hurt when it comes to a love angle. I also get that making people hurt is also appealing to a person’s emotions and that it possibly leads to more in depth, intense emotions that will keep you coming back. Yes, I’m still watching Scandal cause I have nothing to lose at this point as it’s the final season but had it not been, would the show frustrate me to the point of giving up on it?

So I pose this question to you dear readers. How do you feel about love angles in books, TV or movies? Have you ever actually found yourself hating the individual it’s all revolving around more than the individuals on either side? If you actually like love shapes, what are your favorites and do you feel they were executed well? Let me know in the comments below!

(Image Source)

The Atomic Structure of Romance

Yesterday I read an interesting rant over at Smart Bitches. The premise of the article is that women in academia are always portrayed as super smart but lack common social skills or even intimacy skills. To name a few mentioned, the heroine usually has no time for relationships because her schooling is most important to her, she’s also a really late bloomer (virgin) in the romance department and she’s implied to be average on the beauty scale because she’s not wearing that long red dress and stiletto heels every day.

It got me thinking about this academia trope discussed in books I read and TV shows I watch. I realized that this is fairly true in a lot of ways and prompted more questions. Why is it the woman scientist or woman professor synonymous with bag lady? Why does she always have awkward social skills? And for the love of all that is holy, why does she always have to attract the bad boy?

Don’t get me wrong. I’m a super sucker for this type of romance always. But it was one of those moments where you stop and really think about it. I was talking to a friend last night, bouncing these questions off him and he state that it’s like protons and neutrons. We’re both rusty in the science department so I looked it up and its like protons and electrons. Protons are the positive charge and electrons are the negative charge. The super intelligent, socially awkward protagonist attracts the bad boy/girl, has experienced everything but true love antagonist. Then they turn the bubble of their atom into this harmony of neutral by cancelling out traits that made them who they are because the other taught them things that made them “change for the better”.

Image result for atom love

How about the protons attracting the neutrons of world? Neutrons are just your average, everyday no charge individuals. They are attracted to protons and electrons. They can be intelligent and still have social skills. They can be billionaires without the title of play boy or dominant. They can have normal, honest conversation and grow a relationship without forcing one to become more positive or negative. They can be virgins who CHOSE to be that way and not be ignorant to the world of sex and intimacy. That would make a healthy molecule don’t you think?

And speaking of molecules, there are four main types: covalent, polar covalent, ionic and metallic. Covalent molecules are two atoms that share their electrons equally. In relationship terms that can be equated to “the perfect marriage” according to society. Polar covalent molecules occur when one atom has a slightly stronger electron pull on another atom. This could be equated to relationships solely based on initial lust. Ionic molecules occur when one atom has a much stronger pull on another atom. That could be equated to your alpha/beta relationships. Finally, metallic molecules are when atoms share electrons freely with other atoms creating one big electron flow. All I can think of here is an open relationship or marriage.

I know I’m primarily talking about women here but I feel like same goes for men. For example, the man who works in construction is either portrayed as not intelligent or he’s the gazillionaire who can get any woman he wants whenever he wants and it’s a challenge to obtain what is normally unobtainable. They can totally be neutrons too! Trons don’t discriminate (well I guess protons do; they hate other protons so don’t be a proton).

So what do you think? Is this a trope you’ve come across before? Does it bother you or are you a hopeless romantic? Chemistry is cool isn’t it?? (Basic chemistry anyway. I flunked later courses in college just saying!) Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

All the Elements

I haven’t done a photo challenge in a while but when I saw today’s word, elemental, I knew exactly which picture I wanted to share. This past June was my two year wedding anniversary. A friend of my husband’s had a birthday party at the site we got married. It was pretty surreal for us to see the place 2 years later and walk the paths to see if anything changed. While walking down one of the trails, I happened to look back and saw this brilliant array of natural colors. I stared for a second and then I snapped a picture of the moment. It was so quiet and it was just us on the trail and I just remember experiencing this powerful moment of joy at the fact that we were standing here, loving each other as much, if not more than the day we married.Β β™₯β™₯

Noriko’s Fault

I usually wait til Fridays to post videos that resonated with me on Facebook but this simply could not wait.

Noriko and I had a conversation about The Lion King earlier and this came across my feed just now. This is simply brilliant and beautiful and I’m in love. I’m part way climbing up my emotional ladder from listening to this. Please check it out!

One Love

Yesterday I had such a WONDERFUL day!

Every year cities all over America have a Pride parade and festival. For those who don’t know, Pride is a beautiful celebration of love; especially in the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) community. All of the displays are so fantastic because they feature all the colors of the rainbow. That signifies that no matter your race, gender, sexuality, love is pure. It does not pick and choose, it does not judge, it just is.

When we got there the first picture I took was of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame proudly displaying a pride flag along with all of the other rock flags. When the parade started, the Cleveland police led the charge! There were cops on bikes, horses and walking in the parade. The bike brigade was cool because they each had a tiny rainbow flag on the back of their seats.

Then the companies that support pride followed. There were hospitals, banks, and retail stores proudly displaying their colors. There was also a ton of churches displaying signs like “Love Thy Neighbor” and “Jesus Loves You” and people with free hugs and hi 5’s signs around their necks. You can imagine I was hugging and high fiving all over the place! The air was filled with an overwhelming sense of welcome.

Oh! This isn’t pictured because I was so excited, I didn’t think to snap one, but I got to pet a horse! I’ve never been near a horse in my life but one of the cops on his horse came up to the crowd and let everyone pet her. She was beautiful!!!

So as the day went on, I acquired lots of wristbands and I bought a button that said “Don’t Hide The Pride”. I also got a cool tree henna tattoo!

Everyone was so sweet! Smiles EVERYWHERE! Mine was probably the biggest because I was so excited. There was also dancing and singing and just seeing all the proud, happy people just made my entire month! Of course I also got a picture of me and my babes. They are my favorites. I’m so honored my husband and I got to witness their marriage a few months ago. (image is using a Prisma filter btw)

June is Pride Month, at least here in America, and although June is almost over, it doesn’t mean it stops. I have pride every day of the year!

My takeaways:

I love to love.
I love to see love.
I do not discriminate against love. I believe it’s impossible to do.
You are who you are, flaws and all, and that’s the way it should be. Always remember that and love yourself above all else because you’re beautiful. You know it and so do I.

Soul Ripping Romance Tag

In lieu of the romance fails tag, I decided to create my own tag.

The Guide:

  • Thank the person who tagged you and create a pingback to the original author Nel@Reactionary Tales.
  • Share at least 5 (but more are welcome) romances that tugged your heart strings. They can be from books, movies, TV shows, manga; anything you can think of! They can be examples of sad tears, angry tears, happy tears or a combination of all three.
  • Nominate 5 (or more) people to share their emotional traumas
  • (Note: Try not to spoil the story for your readers in case they would like to check out these romances on their own)

Brace yourselves:

  • Mark and Lexi from Grey’s Anatomy. Every time I even marginally think about the course of their relationship and how it ended, the ugly tears come out

  • Rurouni Kenshin and Tomoe from Samurai X. I can’t even describe the depth of my sadness after watching this anime. This is the prequel to Kenshin the anime and it tells us how he became the wandering samurai.

  • Howl and Sofi from Howl’s Moving Castle. HAPPY TEARS! This is such a fun film with magicians, scarecrows and a talking flame named Calcifer but I still ended up shedding a few tears.

  • Jack and Rose from Titanic. To this day, it still makes me sob even though I know what’s going to happen
  • Sybil and Branson from Downton Abbey. They weren’t the only couple to make me sob but these two definitely hit me the hardest in that entire show!

  • Addie and Rowan from The Final Formula Series by Becca Andre. From the first book to the fifth one they were so complicated. There were a few times where I wanted to call the author and scream at her for making me emotionally tangled.
  • Everything Judith McNaught has ever written starting with A Kingdom of Dreams. It’s all, eventually HEA (happily ever after) but she takes you on a ridiculous, emotional roller-coaster ride
  • Tamara and Val from The Ultimate Weapon by Shannon Mckenna. Out of the entire series, that one was the hardest to read. Tamara had been through so much and she was quite skeptical of ever having and keeping true love!
  • Pocahontas and John Smith. Yeah I went there. I’m an easy crier ok!

  • Tristan and Isolde. Their story is set in a time before Romeo and Juliet and just as heart wrenching!

Bonus: Achilles and Briseis from the movie Troy. Hector’s situation made me sob before theirs but their story still gutted me. (All the pictures of them I tried to find were NSFW so you’ll have to Google them on your own :P)

I tag:

I hope you all enjoy this tag. Can’t wait to see your answers! To everyone else, feel free to participate in this tag. I would love more content to add to my list and hope my list inspires you all to check out these, and other, wonderful romances.

 

Mama always Said

It’s Mother’s Day! Happy Mother’s Day to everyone that has human babies, fur babies, feathered babies and scaled babies!

In the spirit of today, I want to do another one of Jame’s A to Z challenges. But first, a little bit about my mother.

My mother was a single mother. I never really had a father figure in my life. There was a point when I thought I did but that’s a story for another day. She worked really hard to raise me and my sister. We weren’t rich but we weren’t poor either. She always made sure we had clothes on our back, even if they weren’t brand new, a roof over our heads and food in our bellies. As a child, it was a little sad because she worked 3 jobs so I was barely able to see her. Also, any extra curricular activities, band, volleyball, track — she was never able to come to any of the meets or concerts. But, let me tell you, every BIG achievement — awards ceremony, graduations, my mom was there and she made sure everybody she knew was there too. As an adult, I’ve learned to respect the hustle. You do what you have to do to make sure you and your children are taken care of. My mother is everything to me. ❀

Now into the fun part. Whenever my mom would place food in front of me that I didn’t like, she would always say, “You better not waste that food! There are starving kids in Africa who would love to have this meal so shut up and eat it!” If we rebelled, we’d be forced to sit at the table until we ate the food. Let me tell you that’s a torturous form of punishment especially when you got plans to play tag with the neighborhood kids! But I was also a stubborn child. I would always think I could outlast my mother so I’d be like, “That’s fine. They can have it! Guess I’ll sit here all night!” I never actually said that out loud. Oh hell no. You did not talk back to mommy without consequences. So I would sit there for hours and be the last man standing! Victory! Except it wasn’t because my dumbass ended up starving. Mama always wins, yo.

Now that I’m an adult, I can eat (or not eat) whatever I want so here is my list of foods that I love and hate:

A – Apples (love)

B – Bananas (disgusting)

C – Cucumbers (unless it’s on sushi then I love) (hate)

D – Dumplings (love)

E – Egg foo young (love)

F – French fries (love)

G – Garlic bread (love)

H – Hamburgers with ALL the fixings! (love)

I – Iceberg lettuce (hate)

J – Jambalaya (love)

K – Kale (gross)

L – Lima beans (hate)

M – Milk (vomit)

N – Noodles (love)

O – Okra (love)

P – Peanut butter (love)

Q – Quesadilla (love)

R – Rice (love)

S – Sushi (love x infinity)

T – Tacos (love)

U – I don’t even know. James put unagi eel but I love that so… there’s not much else

V – Vanilla ice cream (love)

W – Waffles (love)

X – So I googled and someone listed Xmas cookies! I’m gonna go with that hahahaha (love/hate relationship)

Y – Yams (depends on who cooks them)

Z – I got nothing. All I can think of is Zebra cakes and I’m not a fan.

If you want to try this challenge out, click here for the rules.

And again, Happy Mother’s Day!!

No Title Because I Don’t Know What To Call It

You ever have those posts where you can’t just think of a title because you’re not sure where you’re going in your writing yet? Even by the end of this I don’t think it’ll have a title. This is kind of a random rant; fair warning.

I want to start by saying I’m not a religious person. I didn’t grow up with it and never really had a desire to delve into that world. I don’t judge others on their beliefs as long as they don’t judge me on having no beliefs. On Friday I got to witness one of my very best friends on this planet marry his long time boyfriend. I remember years back when he would say if gay marriage was ever legal in Ohio he would marry within two months of it happening. So last year when it actually became reality you can imagine how we all felt. He didn’t stick to the within two months but that’s okay because it did happen. This wedding was the most last minute, thrown together wedding I’ve ever seen but it was bursting with love! I mean, it’s indescribable really but it made me feel some kind of way.

I always think about what I can have. What I mean is, you know how you look at other people’s lives and compare it to yours and always point out something you’re missing or maybe something you want? I used to have those moments. Back when I worked 3 jobs, 65 hours a week, always feeling as if I never had enough money and would always push and try harder to climb that ladder and be other people with their extravagant lives. It was always about the money you know? Money would buy more things and better my life and make me happy even though I’d had my long time boyfriend (now husband) who worked just as hard.

I look back now and just marvel at how silly I was being. I look back and see how I was measuring my happiness against how other people lived their lives. Was I striving for them or for me?

Slowly I began to stop caring. There are always going to be people in your life who judge you for whatever the hell they feel like judging you for. But then you look and you see those friends, those family members who don’t care about your 1998 loud ass car as long as the car gets you to the bookstore so you can spend all your money where it counts. The friends who don’t care that your house is a mess because it looks lived in and that’s all that matters. Those friends who don’t care that you’re broke most of the time because we can throw stuff together in the kitchen and watch YouTube videos all day. The husband who doesn’t care about your wild hair and unshaven legs when you’re lazy because he thinks you’re beautiful no matter what.

Then you really open your eyes and begin to see that you’ve been happy the whole damn time. And you go to the wedding that was thrown together last minute and share the joy of everlasting love in the chaos. You realize you’ve been there since day one and seen the good the bad and the ugly and throughout it all cheered your friends on and will continue to do so forever. That they recognized this in you and is the reason they selected you to experience their special day and the many days to come.

I don’t need to be money wealthy. Money is nice, don’t get me wrong, but it can never buy the connections that truly matter in this world. And for that, I am most grateful.

Now I’m going to go eat cake for breakfast. Have a Happy Sunday. πŸ™‚