Last night, my husband proved he is a brave man. Since we moved to the middle of nowhere, I have been meaning to find a local chapter of the Romance Writer’s of America. I was hoping to find a chapter that was bigger and more active than my previous chapter, which did the best that it could with low numbers. The nearest chapter is an hour-and-a-half drive, and the nearest big chapter is two-hours-plus. Tempted by a program that promised more productive writing, I went for broke and decided to go to the bigger chapter.
However, attending meant that I had to bring Cujo and leave from his work, because we live an extra forty minutes in the other direction. It took all of my powers of persuasion to convince him it was a good idea. Then we drove. And drove. And drove.
When we finally pulled in, ten minutes late (which was a miracle in itself, considering the amount of traffic and construction we passed), we walked up to the entrance, and Cujo froze.
“I can’t go in there,” he hissed. His eyes had the sort of wild look a deer gets when it scents wolf.
“You’ll be fine.”
“I can’t.” I looked past him, and sure enough, the room was packed with women. All dressed professionally, and all listening attentively to a speaker.
“Come on.” I opened the door as quietly as I could, and ignored the stares as half the room wondered, I’m sure, if we were lost.
The chapter I had belonged to had several men who were active and attended meetings regularly, so I had no idea that bringing a guy to a meeting would be a show-stopper, but it seems like this chapter doesn’t have many male members. At one point during the presentation, Cujo passed me a note. If I’m ever single, I know where to meet women now.
I married a smart man. He’s also a wonderful man, because he even stayed for the 25-page reading that had some very spicy parts. One of the members handed us the story and said, “I’m so embarrassed to have a man here, while we’re reading this. It’s very explicit.”
I thought, It’s not like he hasn’t had sex before. But I kept that thought zipped up and assured her it would be fine. Cujo listened patiently, and as we left, I felt really grateful that they had welcomed us so warmly.
On the ride home, Cujo mentioned liking the sex-scene. I felt my heart leap in hope. “Maybe you could actually read a romance novel.” He looked at me like I’d lost my mind. “Or not.”