When my boys–Nick, 22 and Jake, 19–said they were coming home for Easter a couple of days ago, I launched into a spring cleaning frenzy. It was time to put away the Christmas decorations that filled the spare bedroom and the candles that still adorned our window sills. It was time to find the ugly bunny and think about places to hide Easter eggs where the boys haven’t looked before. Yes, they still expect a hunt. I wouldn’t have it any other way!
Greetings from Ugly Bunny (surrounded by Christmas candles…I’ll put them away soon!)
Sure, I wrote this a few years ago, but I’ll share again why I believe Mike should have won that contest! Happy Birthday, Darlin’!
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In a doctor’s office waiting room with my Mom and Dad last week and wondering what to do for my hubby’s 53rd birthday (which is today), I came across a contest in Redbook Magazine: America’s Hottest Husband 2014. All I had to do was write an essay of 500 words or fewer and provide three photos. Perfect! I submitted my essay today:
(photo: End of Leadville’s Silver Rush mountain bike race in 2011)
Thirty years ago I said “Yes!” to a hunky young stud I had known for less than a year. Not long after, I also agreed to marry him! Although I thought Mike was hot before I knew where life would lead us, when I look at him now, I feel a heat that can only come from years of smoldering companionship, and no, that’s not just menopause talking!
What makes my man hot outside of his obvious anatomical attractiveness? His strength—the kind that says, “I will keep you safe,” even when I know I can take care of myself; his kindness—which expresses the depth of his character that is even more important than his muscles; his sense of humor—even though it sometimes makes me shake my head and roll my eyes, I know that he would stand on his head for me if it would cheer me up when I’m feeling down (because he has!); his trust in me—that comes from respect and encourages me to do things like attend school reunions alone because he knows that I’ll have more fun chatting with my friends without him pretending to enjoy himself; his patience—he will never say no when I want to open our home for friends and strays alike because he knows how happy it makes me; his generosity—the kind that lets me know I come first (unless I don’t want to!) and does not begrudge a frivolous purchase I might “have to have”; his adventuresome nature—that spirit of bold goal-setting which first caught my interest and continually reminds me that there will always be exciting times ahead; and most importantly, his brain—his constant quest for knowledge has made him a person I love to be with, and even after 30 years of marriage, we still have stimulating things to discuss! I not only love this man, I honestly like him, too!
Mike has always respected my individuality and my dreams, and has recently encouraged me to leave a paying job to pursue my lifelong desire to write books. He helped me create and raise two remarkable sons. He thinks nothing of being called in the middle of the night to rescue lost hikers in our Colorado mountains. He left a soul-sucking corporate job to work as a public servant in our small community. He works—and works out—with a passion that inspires me, and he’s neater than I am around the house. He still wears the same size as when I met him, and still looks smokin’ in his camouflage hunting attire. My husband not only brings home the bacon, he also builds the fire and cooks it, sizzling hot and crispy, just like I want it. Now that’s hot!
My man possesses all of the traits I find desirable in a man, and I will follow his hot little butt to the ends of the earth. He will always be America’s Hottest Husband in my eyes!
I’ve completed the novel I started the month of November for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), and by the time I got to the end, I realized I needed to change the title from “Miss?” (the name I was always called while I taught in the public school system) to Melancholy Mondays.
The story is based on journal entries I wrote during my first year of teaching, and the novel is literary fiction. Many of the events actually happened, and others could have happened. I would call it an expose on the ills of our current public education system, but there is enough humor throughout (I hope) to keep you from wanting to jump out a window.
More on this later! I’m working on my one page synopsis now in preparation for finding the perfect publisher!
Everyone remembers their first, right? Mine was David. I didn’t know it at the time, but he was the very model used by Michelangelo for that famous piece, so to speak, that stands contemplatively gazing down the halls of the Loeuvre. He was such a stud muffin that I felt compelled to taste his lips, or any other part of him that might happen my way. And so I set about to hasten the inevitable. As he rode his bike past my house one day, muscles pumping, body glistening in the sweltering August sun, I called him over. He came, hesitantly, and stopped ever so close to me. I could hear his heart beating as he assessed me quizzically. I told him I needed to share a secret, and that he would have to come closer. As his face came closer to mine, I closed my eyes and did it—I planted a big juicy one smack-dab in the middle of his forehead, which sent him careening away on his bike yelling, “Cooties! Cooties! EEEEW, I got cooties!”
So O.K., he wasn’t really the model, I didn’t actually notice the presence of any muscles on his 7 year old body, and I’m quite convinced now that it was my heart beating feverishly in my 4 year old breast; but hey—I knew what I wanted, and I went for it. Had I kept my eyes open, I may have tasted those fresh lips; but clearly, David was not ready for the lusty passion that drove me to my fateful deception that day. Yet despite his clamor, I know that I saw a furtive smile cross his face as he looked back at me standing on the sidewalk (I wasn’t allowed into the street or I may have chased him down) with a smug grin on my red, freckled face. Yes, I had a secret all right—A kiss is a wondrous thing, and ahhh, the spoils of victory are sweet!
Fortunately, subsequent smooching would yield far more favorable reactions from suitors.
I found the following in a very old Word Document I had written back in 1997 when I thought I might start an autobiographical series using the pen name “Ruby Malone.” I’m thinking of continuing what I started, but using my real name this time.
I was christened Ruby Lee Malone by parents who should have known better, who should have known that a child named Ruby would require more than the usual attention. I tell people I got my name because I was born with pouting red lips, but I think it had more to do with the strawberry birthmark by my belly. More likely still, Moe (that would be Dad) took one look at me and thought of all the gems he’d need to feed, clothe, and someday marry off all his girls. I earned my middle name from my Mom, Loretta Lee Malone, who we are all convinced married Dad for the punch-line name she would secure—Letta Malone. Putting the importance of names aside, however, I would be introduced as “daughter number 4” to more people than I care to remember, which I now credit for pushing me into my “look-at-me” life. I probably would have been O.K. had it not been for “daughter number 5,” a blond, blue-eyed, diaphanous creature who came into this world to torment me for my plainness. Alas, I would have to live with, and some day learn how to love the woefully average face that scorned the inventor of mirrors. And I would.
So now I’m inviting you to share some adventures on my quest for the meaning of life, a quest born from a burning desire to find myself (the self behind the face), to figure out what a puny being like me was sent here to accomplish, to become more than just “daughter number 4.” Some adventures will be way cool—others, steamy hot—some more yet, simply life itself. I discover the meaning, the “truth,” the reality, in snippets each day. My truth, of course—my snippets. You may just say “Hogwash!” now, and never return; after all, what can a broad named Ruby teach someone like you? Not much, I would venture to say; so all you hogwash types take a hike now. But do come on back when your curiosity gets the best of you, or when you just need to escape from your own truth for a while.
Come see me weekly for an update on some way cool steamy hot life. Next week I will “tell all” about the power of a kiss. Until then, why not do a bit of your own research on the topic?
Writing and stories about life, real and imagined!