Dear Readers,With the ever-increasing demand to find time to write, I’m taking a break from my regular blog schedule. I’ll still post when I have something I think you will enjoy, like my upcoming trip to Patagonia, and if you’re a subscriber, you’ll receive a notice when a new post is up. I’ll continue to blog the first Thursday of the month on the Soul Mate Authors Blog, so drop by to visit.
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Last week I blogged about my top five most embarrassing moments. This week, I thought I’d blog about my top five best days (so far). So, in chronological order, here they are:
1. First up, the day my husband proposed, or should I say the early morning my husband proposed. It was New Year’s 1995. We were visiting friends in Maine, if you can believe that. It was bitterly cold as one would expect of Maine in the dead of winter. We were at our friends’ home, Jamie and Nick, for a New Year’s Eve party, and after an evening of imbibing, everyone was dancing and partying like it was 1999, only it had just become 1995. After having danced with Jamie’s mother, my boyfriend paired up with me for another dance.
As we danced, he said Jamie’s mother told him we should get married. I laughed. We had already both been married and divorced and he once said he would never get married again. Then he said, “So what do you think, wanna get married?” I know, not the most romantic proposal, but I thought he was joking. So, my response, a heartfelt, “Excuse me?”
When he’d made it clear that it wasn’t a joke, I said yes. The evening ended with me walking out the front door only to step onto a patch of ice. I went feet-up and landing on my butt. It took my brand new fiancé a few moments to realize that I’d even fallen. My hero. Next May we celebrate our 20th anniversary. And they said it wouldn’t last.
2. Which brings me to my next best day. The day we got married. May 20, 1995. Since we’d both had previous marriages, we wanted a small ceremony with our family and good friends. The ceremony itself was informal, with our guests gathered round. We’d written our own vows, and the mutual friend who’d introduced us performed the ceremony.
Then the party started. We’d hired a DJ to play for a couple of hours, but with the party still in full swing two hours later, my husband told the DJ to keep playing. He’d pay her whatever she wanted. The ceremony began at 4:30 in the afternoon. The party lasted until midnight. Our friends called it the wedding of the century. ( :
3. The day I graduated from law school also makes the list. After seven long years of school (undergrad and law school), it was a momentous occasion. I’d entered the workforce right out of high school. I didn’t attend college until I was 30, graduating from law school at 37. Not only was I the first member of my family to earn a professional degree, I was the first member of my family to earn a college degree. That’s me with my sisters-in-law. Hey, nobody looks good in a mortarboard. It was a proud day for me, my husband, and my family.
4. Six months later, the day I learned I’d passed the bar exam was even bigger than the day I graduated from law school. The state bar gives you a date when the scores will be out, so you can go online and check. That morning my husband had to go out of town, but he hung around an hour to see if the scores had come in. Finally, he couldn’t wait any longer. He had to get on the road or he’d be late for his first appointment. Not 10 minutes after he left, I checked again, and sure enough the scores were up.
The scores are just a list of bar numbers, with a column for each test, and a column that indicated whether you were eligible to be sworn in. The person above me failed, and the person below me failed. I finally had to get a ruler so that I knew I was lining my scores up correctly. I practically fainted when I read it. I called my husband and he was so disappointed that he wasn’t there to share it with me. About 45 minutes later, the doorbell rang. He’d sent the biggest bouquet of flowers I think I’d ever seen.
5. Rounding out my top five best days so far, was the day I got “the call,” or in my case, the email every unpublished writer longs to receive.
On the morning of September 20, 2011 (yes, I have the date memorized), I got “The Email.” When I saw the subject line (the book title), and who the email was from, I sat there, staring at my computer screen, afraid to open the email. Did I really want to start my day with a rejection? I sucked it up, and opened it.
I was shocked to read the line, “Great news! I enjoyed The Promise of Change so much, we’d like to publish it.” I read it again, just to be sure. Then I jumped from my chair and danced around my office, before racing out to tell my secretary. She wasn’t at her desk. I’d forgotten she had a dentist appointment that morning. Then I raced into my colleague’s office. Empty.
I picked up the phone and called my husband. It went to his voice mail. Next, I called my sister, got her voice mail. Finally, I called my dear friend and beta reader (the one who was responsible for getting me to actually writing the book to begin with). Voice mail.
Argh! Here I get this exciting news and I’m dancing around the office (maybe it’s good I didn’t have witnesses), and I had no one to tell. Not a single soul who had been on the journey with me. So, I did what any sane person who’d just learned her baby was going to be published would do, I danced around my office some more. Needless to say, nothing got done on my day job that day. I rode that high all week!
Hopefully, there are more “best days” to come.
What are some of your best days?
We’ve all had them. Some more than others. Embarrassing moments. Those incidents that make you wish the floor would open up and swallow you whole. Maybe someone caught you rocking out to your favorite song. In the office. Or you realized the person wasn’t waving at you. Or you found yourself doing the head-bob in an important meeting.
Well, here are my top five. I’m sure there are more, but they must have been so traumatic that I repressed them.
5. I’m reaching waaaaay back for this one, but it’s stayed with me all this time. 1974. I was 11 years old and the junior bridesmaid in my sister’s wedding. Both my mother and my sister said I’d better wear hose. I thought, pfft, I’m wearing a long gown, what do I need hose for? So, I wore knee-highs.
Weeell, I caught the bouquet (which was my sister’s intent). The man who caught the garter had to put it on my leg. And wouldn’t you know it, the groomsman who caught the garter (some 10 years older than me) was the object of my preteen crush. My sister still has the photo of me lifting my bridesmaid’s gown, much to the amusement of the guests in the background, to reveal my knee-high covered, scrawny pre-pubescent legs. Very attractive.
4. Fast forward to my sophomore year in high school. It was my very first high school pep rally, and I was buzzing with excitement. I felt like a true high schooler. My best friend and I designated a spot to meet so we could walk over to the gym together. I stood outside my classroom facing the crowded hallway.
As more time passed without seeing my friend I began to worry. If we were late, we wouldn’t get to sit with the cool kids (which of course meant life and death in those days). I had just about decided to go it alone when I turned around and there stood my best friend, her back to me, looking in the direction of my classroom. We had been standing back-to-back looking for one another the entire time and never knew it. How that happened, I will never know.
3. This time I’m in college, which wasn’t as long ago as you might think. I didn’t go to college until I was 30. So around the age of 32 I’m in this Shakespeare class where we were required to perform a scene from one of his plays in front of the class. The scene: Othello kills Desdemona, from, well, Othello. A dramatic, horrifying scene. I played Iago’s wife, Emilia. Othello was played by this adorable twenty-something.
When it came time for my dramatic line, “I care not for thy sword, I’ll make thee known though I lost twenty lives,” Othello and I charged one another. Welp, we were a little too enthusiastic and ended up doing a rendition of the chest-bump. The adorable little twenty-something blushed every shade of red in the spectrum, then totally lost it. Then I lost it. Then the class lost it. Not exactly the dramatic end Shakespeare had in mind.
2. Nothing says embarrassment like doing a face plant in front of witnesses. At this time, I was managing an ophthalmology practice. I was dressed in a suit and heels, arms filled with totebag, purse, keys in hand, trudging up the outdoor metal staircase to enter the building from the second floor. Did I mention those metal stairs were wet?
It all happened so fast. My foot slipped out from under me, I dropped everything in my futile attempt to break my fall, my keys clanked down the metal stairs as I slid down them feet first, finally catching myself in a pushup position. I dropped my head to the step directly in front of me, and assessed my physical condition. Nothing broken it seemed. Then I heard, “My dear, are you all right?” Standing below me were five patients who happened to be in the parking lot when I fell. Was I all right? My body, yes. My pride — not so much.
1. I used this particular embarrassing moment as the first scene in Ship of Dreams (Book #2 in the Dreams Come True Series) due out in February 2015. I was walking down the sidewalk in a local strip mall, when the heel of my strappy sandal became wedged in a sidewalk seam, almost causing me to do another face plant. No matter what I did, I couldn’t pry the heel loose. Since the sandal was, well, strappy, I couldn’t slip it off either.
As I was trying to decide how to get myself out of the predicament (so far none of the other strip mall patrons had come to my rescue), a male voice behind me said to be careful or I would break the heel. The man wrapped his hand around my bare ankle and freed my shoe. After that, I turned to see a very dear friend of my husband’s. I’m not sure which would have been more embarrassing — a total stranger rescuing me, or a good friend. At least I’d shaved my legs.
OK. I’ve shared my moments. What are yours?