Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Irrational Thoughts from Irrational Girls

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Recently I was recounting a story to my friend Natasha Knight that I had almost forgotten had even happened.

Shortly after I moved in with Mr. McKay, we were in the throes of wedding shenanigans and merging our lives together into our townhouse. We each brought a collection of useless crap, and I brought along a few cats, and even though we have known each other forever (and ever and ever) there were still new things we were learning.

Like, we cannot agree on the same flavor of jelly for PB&J sandwiches. I mean, stupid, little thing, right? But at the time it just threw me.

I have always had grape. Welch's grape jelly to be exact. I need more peanut butter than jelly, and it needs to be grape, and it needs to be on white bread, and I like a diagonal cut so I have two triangles.

I make us some sandwiches for lunch on one of these early days of cohabitation and he looks at me like I have just served him cat poop on bread. Lip curled in disgust, he exclaims he can only have strawberry. Who even eats grape, gross, this is just gross!

I was crushed. How are we supposed to share our entire lives together and we cannot even agree on a jelly flavor? I had flashes of trying to choke down strawberry jelly for the rest of my life. 

Clearly this is a sign that we really are not meant to be together. How can we ever make this work? What kind of heathen doesn't like grape jelly?

I tearfully tell him all of this and he looks back at me like I have twelve heads.

"Why can't we just have both?" he says

Um, because that thought never dawned on me. Because I was being a crazy, irrational person for a minute. Probably so in the gear of making wedding decisions where there is only one choice for every minute detail, I wasn't even thinking we could keep two jars of jelly in the house.

I would like to think I am not the only one who was like this. Throughout our engagement and probably well into the first year of marriage I thought every minor disagreement and every argument meant we were doomed.

We have been through a lot worse than disagreeing on jelly flavors and we came through it unscathed, so I have more faith in us now than I did then.

But I tried to channel those uncertain emotions when I was writing for Emmaline in Emmaline's Groom. She's young and she's scared. She is a little irrational, a little immature, and so crazy in love she doesn't know what end is up. And even though this is set in the Victorian Era, I think a lot of us can relate to that. 

Here is a little part from one of Emma and Leo's first fights as a married couple, obviously this disagreement means they are doomed, at least that's what she thinks:

     "I have a few things to say to you before you proceed." She stopped and gave him a shrewd look.
     "Is that so?" He replied and hid the smile trying to form on his lips by clearing his throat.
     "You may spank me, but just so you know, I do not believe I am at fault here," she said. Her words coming out as a rehearsed speech would. "I agreed to your terms before we ever wed, and I understand that you will do what you must. But this is it for me."
     "What is?" He ran the robe through his thumb and forefinger, his mind already wandering to the things he wanted to do to reconcile with her. He was already well past this matter in his own mind.
     "I cannot live in a marriage like this," she spat out.
     He sat, momentarily stunned at her words.
     "I will not be chastised and brought to heel like a naughty child," she paused, and when he had no response she carried on, "I believe we are both in the wrong in this situation. Yet, you feel you need to exact a price on my behind." She pushed his hands off of her legs and crossed her arms over her chest. "Fine, you will do what you must, but when we arrive in America I will be seeking out my Uncle and finding a way to return to my home."
     "You are leaving me?" He stared back at her, his mouth agape. Her words rang in his ears and his heart dropped to his stomach. He searched her face and tried to gauge her emotions. Her eyes began to glimmer with unshed tears and her lip quivered.
     That was when he knew he still had a chance.

Emmaline's Groom is on sale now on Amazon, Amazon UK, Barnes & Noble, Blushing Books and All Romance


  1. LOL. I can relate to your post. In our house, we don't agree on the peanut butter itself. DH likes chunky; I like smooth. So I buy both kinds.

  2. :) We have strange conversation huh? My husband likes peanut butter either with cucumber slices or - prepare yourself - sambal (which is like this weird indonesian spicy paste). My kids even started to not want jelly on the PB - I ask if they're Americans or not - guilt them a little! And sometimes, just to mess with me, my older one will ask for butter under her peanut butter! The Dutch put butter on their bread first no matter what they're putting on their bread - even cheese.

    Strawberry is better than grape. Just wanted to say. Bu totally get the crazy. I think sometimes we all miss the obvious - keeping two jars in the house. It's a sign of high intellect I always say (as I miss it more often than not)...

  3. Butter is great under peanut butter. It reduces the amount of peanut butter you need as it sort of smooshes into the butter.

    But then I'm not American so I probably shouldn't even be joining in your PBJ discussions. I can't see jelly choices being as integral to a relationship as, say, whether you add the milk in before or after the tea.

    Love the snippet, by the way. I have just finished reading Emmaline's Groom and I really love the way the couple get to know each other and test each other's boundaries. I also like how they're both prepared to change in order to make their marriage work.

  4. Loved the snippet, Casey. Need to make sure I've got it in my TBR. As for PBJ I'm Skippy Chunky with Strawberry Preserves, he's whatever creamy PB is on sale with apple or grape jelly. No preserves, and he doesn't care much for strawberry. Sigh. However, he does hate it when I squeeze the toothpaste tube from the middle. It's the little things, I guess.

  5. LOL, Casey, I can so relate!
    Loved this post!
    You should have seen my first year of cooking for my DH.

    The man hates casseroles! And guess what the only thing was that this former Midwestern gal knew how to cook? Yep.
    Sheperd's Pie, pot pie, mix it together - it's all good!

  6. OMG Casey!! I had that SAME irrational moment with my husband after we moved in together!! He loves grape, I'm strawberry all the way. All I could think at that moment was "Can I spend the rest of my life with a man that loves grape jelly?" I've bought both for years and now we have a child that eats and enjoys both jellies.

    His spouse can worry about the fact that he is a multi-jelly kind of man. ;)

  7. We are both creamy, thank goodness! If we differed on the peanut butter and the jelly I don't know what we would do!
    Funny that everyone else has similar experiences.
    Aubrey- that is funny about your son. My husband actually made me promise not to push my 'jelly propaganda' on our future children. Now who's the crazy one in this marriage?