photo of girl hugging statue
She Likes the Strong Silent Type. Her kisses have been known to melt a heart of stone.
2006 Texas Renaissance Festival Copyright by WyoJones. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

I was always pretty romantic. I played with Barbie dolls and Barbie always married Ken, but I wasn’t romantic about the real boys in my life until puberty short circuited most rational thought. It’s the only way I can explain that delusional period affectionately referred to as the high school years.

I can still remember the anticipation I felt as I approached my first “adult” dance. Hey, I said I was delusional.  I was sure that my eyes would meet a guy’s across the crowded room. He’d be drawn toward me, ask me to dance. I’d emit a breathy yes. And we’d dance.

What actually happened was a few couples danced. Most of us — male and female — hugged the walls eyeing each other with a mix of longing and distrust.

I had to have been massively delusional to believe the boys I’d gone to school with since first grade — boys I’d kicked in the shins at some point — would magically transform into suave at 14.
Ah, the curse of unrealized expectations.

They cause so many problems for us. I’m not sure why expectations creep into our relationships — and our holidays and/or celebrations — short circuiting common sense, blinding us to what we KNOW, what our eyes SEE.

Just because Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, the people in our lives are not going to magically change into something they are not. If they were great at romantic gestures before the day, then you’re go to go with the dreaming of a magic day.

If they weren’t…you’re just better off expecting business as usual.

For instance, I can expect the hubs to know that my birthday is sometime in August. But he not only can’t seem to get the day right, he’s spread the misinformation around, so that I get birthday calls spread out over three days. It’s like the more he’s wrong, the more he panics as August approaches.

After nearly 39 years of marriage to the hubs, I’ve learned to moderate my expectations to reality. And to focus on what he does for me every day, rather than what he might forget on one day. Or three. If I invest too much into one “special” day, it is easy to miss the persistent acts of love that have been spread out over 13,915 days.

The special days that cause us pain, well, they are just days that we have assigned as specially important. We raise the profile ourselves. We set ourselves up for disappointment.

It is possible to adjust our expectations of those days, to bring down the pressure level so that they don’t become exercises in misery. If we keep the fiction to our novels, we stand a much better chance of surviving Valentine’s Day and possibly even enjoying it.

So, are you anticipating or dreading Valentine’s Day? You know that comments are entered into my monthly drawing for an AnaBanana gift basket, which will definitely soothe those disappointed expectations. I announce the winner in the first blog post of the new month. 🙂

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Perilously yours,

Perilous Pauline's signature





“. . . . a remarkable new talent . . Pauline Baird Jones and her hilarious novel [The Spy Who Kissed Me] make their debut. Written in first person, this adventurous romp is a 14 karat gem, and I for one would love to see more from this vastly amusing author.” Romantic Times (now RT Book Reviews)

The Spy Who Kissed Me cover art
She’s packing glue gun and she knows how to use it!
Sort of.

The Spy Who Kissed Me is now available at most online bookstores!

Click here to buy at your favorite online store!

Available in digital, audio and (used) print editions.


I’m in the Mood for Love
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7 thoughts on “I’m in the Mood for Love

  • February 10, 2014 at 5:32 pm

    Never believed the hype about ‘Valentine’s Day’ … even less so when I did a little research.

    Mrs Widds and I have a horde of other romantic anniversaries to choose from – first meeting, first meeting in the flesh (we met online), first … well, never mind that one, wedding anniversary, Birth Days, that sort of thing.

  • February 10, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    I LOVE Valentines day, and I think my hubby may take it more serious than I do. I married a hopeless romantic, and I did it on purpose. He’s always so sneaky about birthdays, Christmas, our anniversary and Valentines day, thinking up these little surprises and misleading me by promising he’s not going to do anything this year because it really doesn’t fit in the budget. He’s seriously the best.
    Crystal Collier recently posted…MOONLESS Book Release Blog Fest, and GIVEAWAYMy Profile

    • February 10, 2014 at 5:41 pm

      Oh, that is so sweet! See you can expect a good one, because that’s his thing. I feel bad for couples when one expects something the other clearly isn’t suited to do. It’s like hitting yourself on the head. Hope this one rocks for you!

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  • February 10, 2014 at 9:21 am

    I’m looking forward to Valentine’s Day. It’s my anniversary, 28 years with the same guy and we’re still in love. It’s also a book signing event.

    I think it’s great that he gets your birthday wrong – think of it this way: you get birthday wishes for several days instead of all at once. You’re special for that much longer. (And my husband can’t remember birthdays, either, but at least he’s never forgotten our anniversary.)
    Jaleta Clegg recently posted…Thousands of Worlds, Trillions of Citizens…My Profile

    • February 10, 2014 at 5:40 pm

      Yeah, it pretty much cracks me up when he gets the birthday wrong. It’s his cute quirk. LOL Congrats on the anniversary! 28 years is awesome! Hope the book signing goes great!

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