Valentine Haters, Romance Lovers, And Other Important Things

February 12th, 2014

Well, it’s that time of year again.  Whether you love it or hate it, Valentine’s Day is around the corner!

Lots of people have been asking what I’m doing for Valentine’s Day, what to do about their crushes, what I’m working on now, and other important questions.

So below are some of your questions, along with some answers. I hope they help!

(As usual, I’ve tried to protect the questioners anonymity by making up fake names for them, but that doesn’t mean the letters themselves are fake. I will admit to condensing some of them in cases where the details would definitely give away the sender’s identity.)

 

Dear Meg:

What are you doing for Valentine’s Day? Do you and your husband do anything special?

Signed,

Cupid Lover

 

Dear Cupid Lover,

I definitely love romance. I think the world, needs much, much more of it.

But my guy isn’t a fan of Valentine’s Day (he’s a bit like Michael Moscovitz from The Princess Diaries in this way).*

That doesn’t mean he never brings me flowers or other gifts! He just prefers not to do it on February 14, a day on which a total of $18.6 billion is spent annually. (Wow, that figure is a little bit insane!)

And since we’ve been married for almost 21 years, we must be doing something right.

*See more on this topic below!

 

Dear Meg:

All my friends think the things I like—Valentine’s Day, writing and reading romantic fiction, so-called girly stuff—are stupid. They make fun of me for liking it, which makes me feel really insecure and also sometimes depressed. What should I do?

Love,

Romance Queen

 

Dear Romance Queen,

Here is what you should do:

Keep the books, dump the friends.

Before you dump them all, however, for the fabulous new friends you’re going to make at your local chapter of Romance Writers of America (which I suggest you join right away), try telling your old friends this:

The romance industry earned an estimated $1.4 billion last year, making it the top-performing category in the publishing industry.  The majority of people who read romance (of which there are many sub-genres, the most popular of which is mystery/suspense, like my Heather Wells novels) are college educated women who earn an annual income of between $50,000-$99,000. The majority of them are in a monogamous relationship, and they like to read. A lot.

I hope your friends aren’t suggesting that all of these women are stupid.  That would be pretty sexist (and wrong-headed) of them!

Maybe your friends aren’t aware that historically, things enjoyed primarily by women (or deemed “feminine”) have often been looked down upon as “less important” or “inferior” to things enjoyed primarily by men (or deemed “masculine”).  This includes things having to do with “romance.” (Don’t ask me why, since without romance, none of us would have been born!)

You can try to help educate your friends about all this, but the most important thing right now is to take care of you. You shouldn’t have to go around feeling depressed all the time.

Believe me, I know: I was once in your exact same shoes (I had a couple of friends who kept telling me how stupid I was to love the books I liked to read and write).

So I dumped those friends and stuck with the books.  And everyone knows how that turned out (uh, in case you don’t – multiple #1 New York Times bestselling author of over 25 million copies in 40 countries, etc).

(But when those friends later said they’d learned from their mistake, and how sorry they were, I forgave them. Because the more romance lovers there are in the world, the better! Plus, I’m classy.)

Thanks for writing, and let me know how it goes.

Love,

Meg

 

Dear Meg: 

I really like a boy and for Valentine’s Day I want to tell him. But I don’t know if he likes me back. I’m scared he’s going to laugh at me. Any advice?

Signed,

Crazy in Love

 

Dear Crazy,

If you can’t tell your crush you like him/her on Valentine’s Day, when CAN you tell him/her?

(Well, anytime, really. You don’t HAVE to do it February 14.)

Here are few Do’s and Don’ts on How to Deliver the Perfect Valentine to someone who doesn’t know you like them:

DO be brief, upbeat, and to the point.

A note (or any type of message) that says the equivalent of “Hey, I like you! Want to hang out sometime?” is perfect.

DON’T be soppy or stalkery.

I know you have so many feels, but save the three or four page single-spaced love letters until you know your feelings are returned.

DO give food.

Everyone appreciates chocolate. (But don’t go over the top. No need to spend a fortune. And nothing is less romantic than causing your Valentine to have to go to the ER, so check for known allergens.)

DON’T put your Valentine on the spot.

Don’t give deliver your Valentine in a public place, in front of friends. Text/email/ or otherwise privately deliver your Valentine. This will spare you embarrassment in the unlikely event your feelings aren’t returned.

DON’T freak out if your Valentine doesn’t respond right away.

Sometimes potential Valentines need some time to reflect upon their feelings/eat their chocolate/consult their friends about you. This doesn’t mean they don’t like you. It just means they’re as insecure as you are.

DO communicate.

Ask your Valentine when you next see him/her (after giving him/her some space) what he/she thought of your message/candy/flowers and if he/she would like to go out sometime.

DO prepare for the worst.

Your feelings might not be returned. Hey, it’s not the end of the world. He/she wasn’t good enough for you anyway.

DO hope for the best.

Your feelings might be returned! If you don’t risk telling your crush how you feel, you might not ever find out he/she likes you back, and know the thrill of true romance!

DO remember:

If he/she laughs at you, your crush is a jerk and you’re better off without him/her.

“Faint heart never won fair lad/lady!” GO FOR IT.

Dear Meg,

My boyfriend hates Valentine’s Day. It makes me sooooo sad, because I see all my friends getting stuffed animals and flowers, and I get nothing! I always give my boyfriend a nice card and a gold chain!  What can I do to make him get me a card at least?

Signed,

Depressed

 

Dear Depressed:

Don’t be depressed, because you are not alone! There was a letter just like this to Dear Abby the other day in her column.  Here’s Abby’s great answer:

According to a report on npr.org, the celebration of Valentine’s Day started in ancient Rome and contains elements of both Christian and pre-Christian religions. In the third century A.D., two men named Valentine were executed by the emperor Claudius II in different years on Feb. 14, and a few hundred years later, a pope (Gelasius I) combined St. Valentine’s Day with Lupercalia — a fertility feast — to replace the pagan ritual. (Research this online if you wish, because I found it fascinating.) The holiday didn’t become romanticized until the Renaissance.

That said, allow me to point out that there are few things more unpleasant than feeling forced to give someone a gift. If you have already discussed this with your boyfriend and he’s still resistant, then instead of focusing on what you’re NOT getting out of this relationship, try focusing on what you ARE getting. It may help you to feel less deprived. – Abigail van Buren

Tip from Meg:

I suggest you stop giving your boyfriend gifts on Valentine’s Day, since he is so strongly against that holiday. Figure out another holiday that you two can celebrate together.  Flexibility (and a sense of humor) is what makes relationships last.

 

Dear Meg: 

Hi, I really love your books. Any time I feel sad, I pull out a book with MEG CABOT on it, and everything seems to get better.  Except one thing: I don’t know where to find a boy like Michael from The Princess Diaries or Jesse from The Mediator or John Hayden from the Abandon series or Cooper from the Size 12 series or Will from Avalon High or Chaz from Queen of Babble or Rob from the Vanished series or Lucien from Insatiable. Do boys like that even exist?

Never Been Anyone’s Valentine

Dear Never Been,

If you’re asking if it is true that there exists in the world young men who are kind, loyal, and respectful of women, then the answer is yes.

If you’re asking if these young men also rule the Underworld, are impossibly handsome and rich with washboard abs, then the answer is no, I made those parts up!

If you’re wondering how/where to meet guys like the ones mentioned above, just look around. They are everywhere, looking for a girl like you. They might be a little intimidated by you and need you to make the first move, though.

Love,

Meg

Dear Meg,

What are you working on now? When is a new book of yours coming out? I heard a rumor you’re working on a 7th Mediator book. If this were true, it would be the best Valentine’s Day present ever, especially if you could let me read a tiny sneak preview.

Book Worm

 

Dear Book,

Well, it is true, but I’m taking my time with it to make it absolutely perfect, and also working on a few other (secret) projects.

Thank you very much for the support, but I can’t give out any sneak peeks of anything at this time, since I always need to change something later. Most writers I know go back and tweak early scenes all the way until the very last chapter!

But as soon as I feel like I can share, you all will be the first to know!

In the meantime, please enjoy  this amazing Valentine’s Day Pinterest Board, for both Valentine’s Day Lovers and Haters alike! And have a VERY HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!

MC_valentines_day_facebookl_2014_v01

More later.

Much love,

Meg