Monday, February 14, 2011

Love Is A Rose - Kathleen O'Brien

I was sitting in my office, writing this blog, when His Highness came in carrying a vase of red roses. He’s pretty special that way. In all the years of our marriage, he’s never missed a holiday, birthday, anniversary, or any other chance to make me feel loved.

This time, though, he did something else…something that meant even more to me, because it showed that he truly understands me. One of the roses had broken off at the head, and he delivered that one to me, too. He brought it floating in a wine glass half filled with water. It’s just a plastic wineglass, the kind I use for critique celebrations and poolside parties. But it was charming in a quirky way, and I found it delightful.

It made me think…what exactly is love? Is it the big gestures, or the little ones? The sizzle, the security, the shoulder to cry on?

So I went to the big thinkers, and I found three definitions of love that I especially liked.

1) Love is the condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.  ~Robert Heinlein

2) Love makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place.  ~Zora Neale Hurston

3) You know you're in love when you don't want to fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.  ~Dr. Seuss

But somehow, lovely and true as they are, those three quotes are a little too serious. His Highness is a rock, eternally sturdy and reliable in a crisis. But he’s also a kid at heart, an endless fountain of laughter, bike rides, practical jokes and terrible puns. So, in his honor, I decided also to include my three favorite silly quotes about love. Here are the first two:

1) Love is the triumph of imagination over intelligence.  ~Robert Heinlein

2) Love is the delightful interval between meeting a beautiful girl and discovering that she looks like a haddock.  ~John Barrymore

And before I show you my final, favorite quote about love, I want to say I hope you’ll share your favorite definitions of this magical feeling with me, too. Whether they were written by classic poets, or made up by you right here on this spot, I adore good quotes, and bore my friends with them all the time! Three random posters will win their choice of titles from my backlist.

Happy Valentine’s Day to all of you! Here’s a smile from the inimitable Lily Tomlin to end this blog…

3) If love is the answer, could you rephrase the question?


  1. Hi Kathleen,

    Here are some more:

    We come to love not by finding a perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly.

    If you were thinking about someone while reading this, you're definitely
    in Love.

    Have you ever wondered which hurts the most: saying something and wishing you had not, or saying nothing, and wishing you had?

  2. Nas, those are all so wonderful! I had to laugh at the one that said "If you're thinking about someone..." because I definitely was! :)

    Happy Valentine's Day!

  3. After 42 years of marriage I like this quote as it reflects our lives.

    As we grow older together, As we continue to change with age, There is one thing that will never change. . . I will always keep falling in love with you.
    Karen Clodfelder

  4. Oh, Kaelee, that's so incredibly beautiful! As is the fact that you still feel that way after 42 years of marriage. Congratulations! May today be your best Valentine's Day ever!

  5. This is one of my favorites..

    "Love is friendship set on fire." - unknown

  6. Mary, that's fantastic! I'm definitely stealing that one someday! :) It's sooooo true.

    Here's wishing you a little of each this Valentine's Day!

  7. Not surprising that I've talked about romance at my blog today as well. One of the most romantic gifts I've ever received from the Hubster? It might surprise you, as will the dictionary definitions of Romance. (And I've got a giveaway over there as well).

    My own love/romance quote would be "Love is Listening."

    Terry's Place
    Romance with a Twist--of Mystery

  8. fun blog, Kathleen. enjoyednall the quotes--the profound and the haddock.

    Have a lovely day smelling the roses.


  9. "Love, love, hooray for love;
    Who was ever too blase for love?
    Make this the night for love;
    If we have to fight, let's fight for love!"

    That's how Cole Porter said it. I've got way too many quotes about love to list here. But here's one of my favorite serious ones, then a favorite silly one, then one I just have to bring up:

    "It doesn't matter who you love, or how you love, but that you love" -- Rod McKuen

    "If you want to meet your Prince Charming, first you gotta kiss a lot of frogs." -- a poster I saw years ago

    In the Woody Allen comedy "Love and Death", Diane Keaton tells him, "Sex without love is an empty experience." He replies, "Yes, but as empty experiences go, it's one of the best!"

    Hope you're all having a great Valentine's Day.

  10. I found a quote I like and it's attributed to Judy Garland.

    "For it was not into my ear you whispered, but into my heart. It was not my lips you kissed, but my soul."

    seriousreader at live dot com

  11. Love for me is having Honey help
    me in planting rose bushes each
    year, even though he knows full
    well that I have a black thumb!
    He knows I love roses and helps
    me even though we will have to
    plant bushes again next year!

    Pat Cochran

  12. You know it's love when you want to keep holding hands even after you're sweaty.
    -- Anonymous

    The four most important words in any marriage..."I'll do the dishes."
    -- Anonymous

    Love these quotes! Happy Valentine's Day Kathleen!

  13. Terry, I darted over to your blog, and what an awesome Valentine story yours was! Listening is indeed the greatest gift of all! Thanks for stopping by here and helping to make sure I didn't miss it!

  14. Deb, thank you! I am loving having an office full of the sweetness of roses. I hope your day was fabulous, too!

  15. Oh, MaryAnn, those are fantastic! You *know* I love anything Cole Porter! And just seeing Rod McKuen's name really took me back....those were the days when romance seemed to glow in the dark!

    Thanks for the great quotes...and the happy memories!

  16. Linda, that Judy Garland quote made my throat's just so deeply felt and simply, but beautifully, put. Thank you so much for bringing it to me. I think it'll become one of my favorites.

    Hope your Valentine's Day was as lovely as that!

  17. Pat, I had to laugh! I, too, have a black thumb...but hope springs eternal, as they say! :) I love that your Honey will chase the same elusive dream with you every year. What more can we ask out of a life partner than that?

    May your roses bloom with great beauty...for however long they last!

  18. Michele, lolol! Yes, those are the four magic words! Almost as important as "Want a foot rub?" or "Have fun at Borders!" :-)

    Hope you didn't have to do a single dish this Valentine's Day!

  19. Hi, my wonderful friends! Right after this blog, I caught a flu that nearly knocked my socks off! When I recovered, just about a week ago, I realized I had never announced the three book winners! :) To reward you guys for being so patient, the winners will get TWO books of their choosing--as long as they don't want Matthew Quinn or Happily Never After! I never can keep those in stock!
    Anyhow, the three random names chosen for this blog are Michele, Pat and Mary! Please write me at and send me your snail mail addresses--and, of course, the two titles from my book list that you'd like me to send! Thanks for playing, ladies!

  20. Okay...trying again to post this...

    I'm so sorry to be so slow handing out books to the winners. Right after this post appeared, I came down with a hideous flu, from which I've only recently recovered! (You wouldn't have wanted anything from my office, covered in my germs, three weeks ago, ladies, I promise you!) So, belatedly, I'm announcing the three book winners for this blog--Mary, Linda and Pat! If you ladies will send me your addresses at, I'll get your books out to you! I'm sending *two* choices each this time, as an extra "I'm sorry" for being so late! Hope to hear from you soon!