I would like to thank M/M Author Hollis Shiloh for spending Valentine’s day with us here on PBA. Check out Marc’s review of Always Saying Goodbye then come back to see what they have to say. Also there is a giveaway, so stay tuned for that 🙂
When I was a kid, Valentine’s Day was about two things: candy hearts and those cute little cartoon Valentines.
The candy I crunched like a connoisseur. (Yellow ones are the best.) I studied their weird sayings with head-scratching interest and laughed at the ones that didn’t make sense to me.
Cartoon Valentines–the ones that come in boxes–were another thing. I wanted to collect them all like a purist collects unblemished baseball cards. Snoopy cards were the best–they still are–and if a card had Snoopy and those little yellow birds on? Well, that was just the Holy Grail of Valentines.
Sure, Valentine’s Day was also about other things–those weird feelings people called “crushes,” and feeling left out of things. But mostly it was about candy and cartoon picture cards. I ate the candy, and I kept the cards to use as bookmarks all year round. (I have a couple floating around to this day.)
When I got older, Valentine’s Day became about curmudgeonly behavior–on my part. The first sign of a red and pink balloon display made me groan and practically grind my teeth. Feeling left out grew a lot more important, and candy was a lot less of a comfort. Instead of enjoying the day in my own way–doing whatever made me happy instead of comparing myself to everybody else–I let the day be ruined if everything wasn’t just right.
And it was never just right. I let the commercials grate on me. I let other people’s expectations tear me down and make me feel crappy if I didn’t meet them.
You know, the grown up stuff.
To be honest, sometimes I still do that. This year, I found myself rolling my eyes the last time I saw a Valentine’s Day display. I can’t even remember what it was for. Just the sight of all that commercial good cheer was enough to put the bull in the china shop for me, the way Christmas does for some folks.
But I think I had it right when I was a kid. Hopped up on chalky-tasting candy and trying to figure out why the purple ones tasted weird to me. (I ate them anyway, but they always tasted weird!) Collecting my Snoopy Valentines. Just enjoying life as it came, taking pleasure in the little things.
This year I want to be like that weird kid again. Okay, so maybe my life isn’t what people think it should be. Maybe I’m not one of the cool kids, and I don’t really fit in, well, anywhere.
But I can enjoy today anyway. Maybe I’ll watch a sappy movie (like that rom-com with David Tennant in it!!), or maybe I’ll curl up with a cup of homemade cocoa and a book I’ve been waiting to read. These days, the cocoa will be made with stevia, organic coconut palm sugar, and dark chocolate. The book will probably be by Harper Fox. And I’ll enjoy both just as much as that little kid enjoyed Snoopy valentines and Encyclopedia Brown books.
There are a lot of places I’ll never fit in. I’ll never be the cool kid. There will always be crushes, and things that are hyped and over-advertised. But I can still enjoy the hell out of the things I like, no matter the day of the year. Those candy hearts? They always tasted just as good the next day, if I had any left–or just as weird, for the purple ones. (What was up with those purple ones, anyway?)
About the Author
Hollis has kindly offered 3 lucky commenters their choice of backlist title!
Contest ends 19 Feb 2014 at 11:59pm CST.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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