They’re the treasures of summers past — picnics by the lake, family vacations, fireworks on the fourth, and cookouts on the beach. All staples of the season. As I sift through these summer touchstones of my youth, I find most of my recollections have been tempered by time — the details faded with age. And yet there is one memory that always transcends the years with perfect clarity, still stirring emotions and warming the heart — my first summer love.
During a recent interview, I was asked a question about the essential differences between the sexes when it comes to concepts like priorities and values. The question went something like this: “It seems you are quite a shoe shopper — do you think this is an exclusively female trait or can men be just as bad when it comes to footwear?”
A friend of mine recently confessed that she sleeps with her eReader under her pillow. She told me it gives her a sense of comfort, knowing at any time during the night — with a few taps — she can instantly connect with the characters in one of her favorite steamy novels. I didn’t think it unusual, until she added, “And I have to feel it in my hands just before I’m ready to fall asleep.”
Occasionally, I’ll read a comment expressing how some of the stories turned out differently than expected, with questions asking why they didn’t have a HEA ending. For those unfamiliar with the acronym, HEA stands for “happily ever after,” and it is, apparently, the most desirable conclusion for a story. The expectations of those who read romance novels, watch chick-lit movies, and listen to heartbreaking country music are prime fodder for HEA novels.
This past weekend I found myself on the floor of my closet surrounded by piles of shoes, purses, and other no-longer-treasured articles of clothing. I was in the sorting stage of gathering donations when I saw them — a pair of emerald green high heels I had snagged a few years ago at our local community’s “Clothes Closet” event.