He Thinks I’m Always Right

So I have decided to take a short break in my blog from talking about writing romantic comedies and instead focus on relationships. And I guess you can say it is related to romantic comedies because relationships form the foundation and provide the feeder for the comedy and the romance in any book and/or movie, right? So, here goes.

I think I’ve explained in my bio that I have experience in finding love because it took me years to find it myself. That was fifteen years ago and now I am happily married to a wonderful man. In fact, he is the person I think about when I write the male leads in any of my romantic comedies. He’s got the right combo of sexy, cute, confident, stubbornness, passionate, funny all rolled into one (like a Snickers bar that has chocolate, caramel and nuts put together in a smart package. I express everything good in my life in terms of chocolate). But like I just said, we’ve been married for 15 years so you know that ours isn’t always roses and thrills of first kisses and picnic lunches in Central Park.

Since we’ve been married for so long, it’s inevitable that we fight. In fact, it’s absolutely normal (at least that is what I’ve been told by several generations of women in my family).

What do we fight about? We fight about a lot of things-it can be small, big and somewhere in between-we don’t discriminate. We fight about our children, about finances, in-laws, work. We fight because we are tired, exhausted. We fight because we need an outlet for our pent up anger at the driver who cut us off that morning or the boss who yelled at us because he is a prick. We fight because our baseball team lost that weekend or because the hairdryer stopped working midway through a blow out.

The other day, I noticed a pattern in all of our fights. My husband always ends our disagreements with a roll of the eyes and the simple statement: “You always have to be right.” Usually I dismiss this comment with a wave of my hand but while I was driving the other day, I thought about it and instead of getting angry, I actually agree with him.

I mean who actually goes into an argument thinking they’re wrong? Why would you fight if you knew you were going to lose? Like war, you pick your battles and you put your men on the front line and you fight as hard as hell for what you believe in. From Colonel George Washington to General Patton, we fight for our ideals. It is the American way. What would the world be like if we didn’t fight for what we believed in. Would we even be living in the United States of America if the colonists agreed with everything that the English King said or did?

So the fact that both my husband and I believe that I always have to be right when we fight may have been the first time in our many years of marriage that we both can actually agree on something. He may have something to say about that but am I right? Of course, I am:-)

Soundtrack to Your Life

Tell me if this has happened to you.  You’re driving in your car with the radio on, maybe going to work or running some errands, when suddenly you hear a familiar melody and then the lyrics follow and you smile.  You smile because you find yourself transported back into a moment in time and you remember, like it was yesterday, when you first heard that song: the friends you had, the person you loved, what was in style, who you were…you get the picture.  It’s powerful stuff.  That’s how I feel about certain songs and the movies that go along with them.  It’s as if someone is playing the soundtrack to my life.

When I was growing up as a kid in New York City in the early 1980s, soundtracks for movies were big.  You bought a ticket to the theater, saw a great film and immediately went out to a record store (Sidebar: Record stores…remember those places?) to buy the soundtrack.  Then you played that soundtrack over and over again until it became a part of you, singing it with your friends on nights out or slow dancing to them with someone special.

For me, the magic started with Grease.  What a great movie! What a great soundtrack! Every young girl wanted to be Sandy and dress up in the tight black leather pants and high heel platform shoes, singing ‘You’re the One That I Want’ to bad boy Danny at a high school carnival.  Especially me. From there, it was all about teenage angst and growing pains.  From the Breakfast Club and ‘Don’t You Forget About Me’ to St. Elmo’s Fire and the original brat pack, with a Rob Lowe and Demi Moore who never seem to age.  And I still can’t think about Pretty in Pink and Molly Ringwald without thinking about the Psychedelic Furs.

Then there are songs that just make you feel happy.  There is not a wedding that I have not gone to yet where I haven’t put my finger pointing hands to good use whenever they play ‘Stayin Alive’ by the Bee Gees.  Purple Rain brought me Prince and sing out loud ‘Let’s Go Crazy” and Halloween wouldn’t be quite as much fun without Rocky Horror Picture Show’s ‘Time Warp Dance’.  Thanks to Kevin Bacon, I can let go with ‘Footloose’ and not care if I can’t really dance.

There are the memorable songs too, the kind forever ingrained in my mind.  I will never be able to forget the summer of Jaws and the haunting melody that warned you not to go into the water or hear the first few notes of the Godfather and not crave a cannoli . Then there’s Julia Roberts  strutting her stuff on Rodeo Drive as she tries on expensive clothes to the tune of Roy Orbison’s ‘Pretty Woman.’  Where would I be without Tom Cruise and Top Gun and the unforgettable song that gave a new meaning to the term ‘serenading.’  If Maverick ‘Lost That Loving Feeling’, I was more than willing to help him find it.   Let’s face it, if ‘Danger Zone’ was every man’s anthem, then ‘Take My Breathe Away’ was it for every woman I knew back when.

Ferris Bueller wouldn’t have the day off that he did if it wasn’t for ‘Twist and Shout’ and let’s not forget Peter Cetera’s ‘Glory of Love’ that helped Ralph Macchio land the girl in The Karate Kid.  Kate Winslet kept going on with her life with a little help from Celine Dion’s ‘Your Heart Will Go On’.  And just like that song, I could go on and on and on but I think you get the picture

Which brings me to my favorite all-time soundtrack to one of my all-time favorite movies ever-Harry Connick Jr. crooning songs in When Harry Met Sally.  Whenever I hear ‘It Had To Be You’, it brings me back to the day I first met my husband.  To me that movie is quintessential New York City and the ultimate boy meets girl story.  But it wouldn’t have been nearly as good without Harry singing the big band favorites of ‘Don’t See You Around Much Anymore’, ‘Stompin at the Savoy’ and ‘Winter Wonderland.’ Every note sung spelled out love.  Whenever I hear Harry sing, it brings me back to that time in my life when I found my forever.

So the next time you’re in your car and you turn on the radio, I hope you get a chance to go back in time and relive some of your favorite moments.  I hope you hear that familiar melody and the lyrics and smile, knowing that they’re playing the soundtrack to your life.

Marty Moments

Many of you who have read my book ‘And The Winner Is’ tell me that you now live their lives in ‘Marty moments’.  That is truly flattering because that is what I hoped would happen when I sat down and created the character of Martha Peters.  For those of you who haven’t read the book and are not sure what this is exactly, ‘Marty moments’ are those little blip of time in your life where something chaotic, improbable, or embarrassing happens.  Where you find yourself in an unpredictable situation and can laugh at yourself much later on, with a glass of wine, as you retell the story to your friends.

Although you may find yourself utterly mortified when those ‘Marty moments’ happen, the truth is those moments are the little gifts in life, the moments that make you reassess your priorities or that shifts your dreams and goals.  For me, it’s the bend in the road, the blind spot, the uphill climb before you have yet to see the spectacular view from the top of a mountain.  I guess that’s why I absolutely love Marty because we all have a part of her in each of us.   We all struggle up that mountain and find ourselves in impossible situations but we still keep going, knowing that eventually it will make for a great story, eventually we’ll marvel at the view.

Sometimes I catch myself asking, “What would Marty do?”  What would Marty do if the top of her bikini came off at the town pool?  What would Marty do if she unintentionally let out a very loud burp at a meeting with her boss? What would Marty do if she congratulated a woman on the impending birth of her child when she isn’t really pregnant?

I know what she would do?  She’d get up, brush herself off and keep going, hopefully learning from her mistakes but also not letting them get the better of her.  I have to remember that the next time I walk out of a public restroom with toilet paper trailing out of my backside.  Just enjoy the climb and wait for that view.  I know, I know-easier said than done.  But with practice, it gets better.  At least, I hope it does.