Brava, Valentine

For those of you who love the crazy emotional hangups of Adrianna Trigianni’s Italian families, globe-trotting adventures, tense romantic conflicts and inter-personal dramas, you’ll love this second story in Valentine’s saga toward maturity and love, maybe mutually exclusive elements. I’m eating the pages up like popcorn, even though I’m not finished. Speaking of popcorn, I’ve spent this bizarre snow day (yes, its March 21st) curled up on the sofa alternating between staring into the fire, staring into the HDTV screen to watch Johnny Depp work his magic as Captain Jack Sparrow, and burrowing into the pages of Brava, Valentine. Did I mention there have been teenagers running through the front door all day too?

I’ll be honest, I’m grieving from my corner of the sofa. My malaise is not due to snow. I like the white, fluffy stuff because in these parts it doesn’t come often and doesn’t do a lot of damage. It’s like the lace on a vintage greeting cards. Pretty, harmless and such a surprise that with everyone I meet, it is the central topic of conversation. We’re Southerners, talking about the weather is right up there with asking about Aunt Annie’s gall bladder surgery or Joey’s new baby. Strange as this may seem, I adore winter. The minute the Christmas decorations go down and I strip my house to its bare winter self, is one of the best days of the year for me. I hibernate. I go deep under the covers. I write for hours on end. I cook pasta with cream sauce. I lay on the floor and dream in Technicolor. And I avoid thinking about spring. You know those people who on January 1st invoke a  resolution to move into the gym? I see that light and I turn left, with a cup of hot tea and Bischoff cookie in hand. I spend enough months running, walking, yoga and all the million of other meetings, projects and activities that clutter a life, that come January I dig my heels into the hard, cold soil and I don’t budge. And you know what? I’m happy–in a reclusive sort of way.  Maybe too much, which is why spring is my least favorite season on the calendar. Like you, I have parties, events, school programs, trips, company, clients and this year my son’s high school graduation all staring at me with a double-circled ink blot on my schedule. Spring is inevitable. Like the hyacinths in my yard, I will be forced out of the ground. **sigh** So, for a few more hours, I’ll go back to Brava, Valentine and walk the streets of Buenos Aries and smell the bagels in New York before I pick up my car pool keys in the morning and face a beautiful week of seventy degree weather. Oh, the despair.