Unless you want to up your game in the love department. But if you’re looking for some inspiration, by all means, you can both read on. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you.
The romance bar has been raised. By this man:
Meet Greg. Greg is my best friend of thirty years, husband of twenty-five years, and father to our three sons. Which is already super-star material. But he’s also the kind of guy who will buy me Tampax and chocolate at the pharmacy and has been by my side through one aggressive disease, four home remodels, three careers, and ten thousand cans of hairspray.
I know. Pretty f$cking amazing. But just wait.
Earlier this month I was headed here:
I would be attending inspiring, one-of-a-kind Writer’s Hotel workshops, but I was also invited to serve as teaching assistant to the fantastic Marion Winik. I would be doing all sorts of cool and fun things like introduce Dana Isokawa of Poets & Writers Magazine and Carey Salerno of Alice James Books to attending poets on publishing and lead a Humor in Poetry workshop. Besides all that, along with the other 100 or so attendees, I would be reading at a famous NYC literary location.
When I found out, a couple weeks ahead of time, that I would be at this NYC landmark, I told Greg, “The Red Room is SO cool, too bad you can’t come.” Greg was at our kitchen counter, watching me put flowers I’d cut from our farmhouse property in a vase. Greg works in Boston, we live in northeast Connecticut, and Manhattan is out of the way of both. “You’re going to miss me reading and I’m going to miss the peonies blooming.” Spring in the Quiet Corner had been cool- our lilacs peaked two weeks later than usual and the peonies, my favorite flower, would be in full bloom all over the yard while I was in New York.
Greg said nothing. I didn’t even know if he’d heard me.
I arrived in the city on a Wednesday and by Friday, the day of my reading, I’d been so busy with the conference I barely had enough time to run to my hotel room, change, and print out my reading. I threw open my hotel door and saw this:
Those are peonies. They look like my peonies. From my yard. No. They couldn’t be. Hey- that’s my vase!
I called out into the tiny hotel room, “Greg? Are you here?!” Then I looked under the bed and in the shower. No one. I shrugged and got changed quick. Just before I headed out the door to catch a taxi, I tucked a blossom behind my ear and took a picture.
I texted Greg from the cab, “Are you in NY?”
“No- What are you talking about?”
“Um, there’s a bouquet of peonies in my hotel room and they’re in my vase from home!”
“I’ve got friends in high places. Enjoy your reading tonight, wish I was there!”
I’ll admit, a peony behind my ear provided more than perfume. I felt magical. Everything started to take on a fuchsia cast.
I climbed out of the taxi, walked up the steep (kind of crooked) stairs at KGB Bar and guess who was there? You guessed it.
Greg drove down to my hotel with the peonies strapped in the passenger seat and convinced the clerk to deliver them to my room. Then he hauled down to the Village and waited for me to show up. (Of course I was late.)
What can I say? I’m a slave to fashion.
All the ladies loved Greg’s surprise. Scott Wolven, fiction writer, co-organizer of the conference, and newly engaged, said, “Great. That’s a smooth move that’s gonna be hard to beat.”
The next morning, I was still seeing with peony colored glasses.
From the dogs swimming in Central Park. . .
The rowboats outside the Loeb Boathouse. . .
The promenade. . .
So, get on the stick gentlemen. . .do something nice for your lady.