I’m late today. I know. I’m sorry. It’s been a crazy couple of weeks in the Bailey household. Good crazy, but crazy nonetheless.
I am the only person in America who did not get up to watch the Royal Wedding this morning, but I confess I did catch about five minutes of internet video, largely because I write romance and heard some really sweet things happened. I’m old enough to have vague memories of Charles and Diana’s wedding, and the videos have been everywhere this week. Know what I noticed in comparing Charles and Diana’s carriage ride with William and Kate’s? Today’s couple seems like they are truly happy with one another. William’s parents were next to each other on the balcony and on the carriage ride, but he and his new wife seemed like they were actually together. Their interplay actually makes you smile. It’s the kind of simpatico that makes some romance novels get an extra kick, if that makes sense.
That’s the thing about romance, in real life and in books. It’s the little things. It’s the way William leans in when he talks to Kate, the way he reached out and rested a hand on her back when she climbed in the carriage, the way something about them seems “normal” in the midst of a whole lot of pomp and circumstance.
It’s the way I cried because my husband wrote in an email a few weeks ago, “I know you, and I know you had to say that.” At the time, he was half a world away, but he knows me well enough to know what I was going to say before I said it.
And in writing… It’s the way Kaye Dacus’s character Zarah said to Bobby (in Love Remains when he dipped his french fry in mayonnaise), “That’s new.” I read that line twenty times in a row because it was perfect, saying so much about where they are and where they had been. The tiny detail about his choice of mayo versus ketchup, and it was perfect. Little details like that are what makes novels come to life, what gives characters breath and make them memorable.
In real life too, those are the things that make for love. It’s not about romantic vacations, grand gestures, and massive diamonds… It’s the small comments that say, “I know you.” It’s the way he remembers you like Mountain Dew and hate Mello Yello. The little things. They really do make all the difference.