The Benefits of Pining....

Yesterday, Sue Grimshaw, the romance buyer for Borders (uhm, could there be a better job than that? I don't think so) blogged a book report style post of NINE RULES TO BREAK WHEN ROMANCING A RAKE. Now, after I finished having my minor heart attack, brought on by the fact that "OMG my book is in the real world and I can't stop anyone from reading it," and then by "OMG she liked it!" I realized that it's probably time to confess something.

I'm a piner.

I've been a piner my whole life.

So much so, actually, that when my friend Meghan (who has known me for better than 12 years) read Sue's very reasonable question about Callie, the heroine of NINE RULES (who pines for her hero for 8 long years): "I realize in the 1800’s a woman is probably more apt to pine for a longer period of time, but to relate this story to today’s reader, isn’t 8 years a bit much?", Meghan said, "Uhm, clearly Sue does not know that you are a piner of Olympic proportions."

Yes. Yes I am.

Some might call this a flaw. They might suggest that pining is the mark of desperation. To them I say, I prefer to think of it as a mark of persistence.

May I present Exhibit 1: My husband.

I started pining for Eric in 1997. I was in college when my friend Cat, who was dating his roommate--Jake--called their house on speakerphone, and I heard Eric's voice on their answering machine. I can remember precisely where I was, sitting in her Pier I papasan chair, and his voice was deep and rumbly and lovely and I leaned forward in a vague approximation of the way I would ultimately tumble for this mysterious disembodied voice of a man. I had to meet him. And I can't really say why it was so difficult. Cat and I were in Western Massachusetts; Jake and Eric were in Boston. There is no good reason why we never met...but we didn't. And he moved back to California, and I moved to New York and that was that.

But in August of 1999, Cat & Jake got married. In Fresno, California. And I knew this was my chance to finally meet THE VOICE. And I will tell you, I worked out for an entire summer in the hopes of wooing him away from whatever girl he brought to the wedding with my feminine wiles and bridesmaid-dress shrouded person (thank you to Cat for not choosing a hideous bridesmaid dress). And there, as we were standing in line, ready to enter the reception, I saw him. 6'4" and blonde, standing across the room. And I said, "Cat. Who is that?" (because, at this point, it's totally not about the bride--she's already found her guy) And she smiled, and said "That's Eric."

And I was certain. The Voice was The One.

I wish I could say that it ended there...but it didn't. We talked, we laughed, we went for mexican food and to a movie, and then I came back East. And he stayed in California. For two more years. And we had a purely Internet-based friendship.

But, oh, did I pine.

And this is the best part: So did he.

And then, September 11th happened. And, there, in the midst of tragedy, we realized that pining isn't all it's cut out to be. Sometimes, you just have to take the risk--because the reward is worth all the nerves and fear and potential heartache.

Sometimes, you have to make a list and do the things you've always wanted to do.