Monday, February 13, 2012

A True Prince Holds Your Purse

What I'm reading: Contest #8 of 8; Space in his Heart, by Roxanne St. Claire.

A brief promo moment. I've just made Deadly Secrets available in print, for those who prefer that format. You can buy it here. And, there's another outlet for Danger in Deer Ridge as well. You can find it here

Also, for you, my loyal blog readers, I'm giving you advance notice that I'm opening up guest slots for April - June. If you'd like a slot, check the sidebar.

Tomorrow is Valentine's Day, and while the media bombards us with ways to spend money to prove our love, I think most of us would rather have it spread out over time, and not be a budget breaker. I've spoken many times about why a Swiss Army Knife was one of the most romantic gifts I've ever received. And why I wasn't "offended" at the electronic tire pressure gauge I got one year. The first showed that Hubster had actually listened to me, and I wasn't even talking to him at the time. The second showed that he's concerned for my safety. (And as proof, I think he used it a LOT more than I did to make sure my tires were okay.)

When I was at the Emerald City conference, Sarah Wendell (more widely known for her "Smart Bitches" blog) gave everyone a copy of her book, "Everything I Know About Love I Learned from Romance Novels." One section struck a deep chord, and I'm reprinting it with her permission.

"As an article in the Boston Globe in October 2009 by oncologist Robin Schoenthaler stated, the ideal man is not the one with the biggest bank account or the extreme sports habit, but is the man who will hold your purse in the cancer clinic:"

Dr. Schoenthaler wrote:

I became acquainted with what I've come to call great 'purse partners' at a cancer clinic in Waltham. Everyday these husbands drove their wives in for their radiation treatments, and every day these couples sat side by side in the waiting room, without much fuss and without much chitchat. Each wife, when her name was called, would stand, take a breath, and hand her purse over to her husband. Then she'd disappear into the recesses of the radiation room, leaving behind a stony-faced man holding what was typically a white vinyl pocketbook. On his lap. The guy—usually retired from the trades, a grandfather a dozen times over, a Sox fan since date of conception—sat there silently with that purse. He didn't read, he didn't talk, he just sat there with the knowledge that twenty feet away technologists were preparing to program an unimaginably complicated X-ray machine and aim it at the mother of his kids. I'd walk by and catch him staring into space, holding hard onto the pocketbook, his big gnarled knuckles clamped around the clasp, and think, "What a prince."

Have a happy Valentine's Day, everyone. May you find your own prince.

Tomorrow, my guest, author and private investigator Colleen Collins, will be talking about Lust, Ethics, and the PI.

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Vonnie Davis said...

What a lovely excerpt to share, Terry. I often tell the story of how, after ten years of being alone, I began praying for a new man in my life. At the time I was still scared--and scarred--from my devasting divorce and, frankly, not 100% sure I really and truly wanted a man in my life. So I prayed for a man over six feet tall, broad shouldered, possessing a gentle nature, quick wit, intelligence and devotion to family. Oh, and he had to be able to quote Shakespeare. I figured is God saaw fit to send me a guy with all those qualities, then by golly I'd take the poor schmuck. LOL And I like to think that God smirked and said, "Ahhhh, but you never mentioned race," and His laughter boomed through heaven. My dark prince, a retired English teacher and published author, has held my purse many times and caressed my wounded soul with his gentle wit and wisdom. Again, lovely post.

Loretta said...

Terry, this was a beautiful post. Like you, I think some of the most beautiful guys in the world, are those who show traces of life on their face, and are willing to hold their love's purse. I'd put that up against wash-board abs any day:)


Liz Flaherty said...


Peggy said...

A beautiful post. Like Vonnie, I waited for the right man after a seven-year time of "I don't want another man in my life." But God sent me a purse-holding prince with a tender heart. We'll be celebrating our 25th Wedding Anniversary on March 14. We wanted Feb 14, but the famed "Little Church of the West" in Las Vegas (we live there) was booked, as is usual for all the Wedding Chapels here for Valentines day.

His purse-holding is a bit funny, too, because I usually carry a tote-size bag and it's always heavy.

Terry Odell said...

Vonnie, Loretta - so glad to hear you found your princes.

Terry Odell said...

Liz, thanks

Peggy - maybe we've coined a new term for the man of ones' dreams... a 'purse holder.'

Margaret Tanner said...

Great excerpt Terry, and so true. Those men are indeed unsung heroes.



Kathy said...

My husband and I would have been married 41 years this coming Sunday 19 Feb. Before he passed away on 30 Nov 2011 I took him to the doctor three days a week for wound care and then 3 to dialysis. The nurses were saying at the doctor's office how cute a couple we were and laughing at how we would talk to each other. I told them after 40 years we were best friends not just husband and wife. Being a military wife taught me to stand on my own feet. I miss him dearly at times he was so much a part of my life. We never had children so his loss and his various illnesses were mine to worry and handle. Now I am finding my way and in some ways it isn't all that different than when he was gone with the army somewhere, except I know this time he won't be coming home. So those men were so wonderful to do what they did for their wives that is what love is all about really.

Robin S said...

Hi, Emily, I'm Robin Schoenthaler, the author of that essay. Thanks so much for quoting the excerpt. The concept of purse-holding men really seems to ring a bell for a lot of us, and I'm glad it did for you. Best of luck with your writing and blogging career and I send my best to all your readers who left such nice comments.

Thanks again!


Terry Odell said...

Margaret - I totally agree. My husband would sit in what I called the "men with purses" section outside dressing rooms at department stores while I tried stuff on.

Kathy, your story is sad, but at least you learned independence during the years of your marriage. My father is losing a lot of his cognitive capabilities, and my mom is struggling to take over all the things he did.

Robin - I don't know who Emily is, but I'm glad you stopped by. I confess to tearing up when I first read the essay in Sarah's book, and it still brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it.

Ginger Calem said...

I was at ECWC and also read Sarah's great book. That passage was so poignant and stuck with me and I think it's perfect you shared it today. I'd take a man who will hold my purse over roses and chocolates any day! (And I have one of those men!)

Great post!

Terry Odell said...

Ginger, I totally agree with you on all counts.

Karen C said...

Great excerpt for today. And, I consider myself fortunate to have found a purse holder, too.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Terry Odell said...

Karen, I'm glad you have your prince.