Jenna Black's Blog Experiment

Wherein romance author Jenna Black plunges into the terrifying new territory of blogging . . .


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Real-life Romance

In honor of Valentine's Day, I thought I'd share the story of the most romantic thing I ever did (even though it didn't happen on Valentine's Day).

For our seventh anniversary, I sent my husband, Dan, on a scavenger hunt--one that took a lot of planning and setup. I warned him in advance not to make any plans for that day, and then early in the afternoon, I handed him a card sealed in an envelope, with the instructions not to open it until 3 PM. I then left the house and began putting the pieces of my plan into motion.

When Dan opened the card, he found a Victoria's Secret gift certificate, with the instructions that he was to go the VS at a nearby mall and pick out something he'd like to see me wear that night. After he made his purchase, he was to ask the store personnel if they had an envelope for him

I had, of course, been at the VS shortly before Dan was due to arrive, and I'd arranged with one of the saleswomen to hand him the envelope. When he received the envelope, he found that he had a massage scheduled in the spa located in the same mall. He was to leave the VS package at the front desk of the spa, and then ask for his next clue when he was all done.

While he was having his massage, I picked up the VS package from the front desk. (At least, that's how it was supposed to work--I'll fill you in on how this really all worked out at the end.) When Dan picked up his next clue, he was told to go to the Siena Hotel, which has one of this area's only 5-Diamond restaurants, and then go to the concierge desk to pick up his next clue.

When he picked up his clue from the concierge desk, he found a key and a room number in it. To make sure I had enough time to prepare everything, I told him (in the clue) that if he was running early, he should wait until 6:00 to use the key. Then at 6:00, he went to the room and unlocked the door.

I was, of course, waiting for him in the Victoria's Secret lingerie he'd bought for me. I also had candles lit all around the room, and had procured a dinner of various kinds of finger foods, culminating in a crock-pot chocolate fondue. I'm sure that dinner was half pleasure, half torture for him--just as it was for me. I'll leave what happened next to your imagination.

Everything worked out perfectly--from Dan's point of view. Mine was just a tad different. As you can tell, this was an elaborate plan that required lots of things to go right. I was keeping one step ahead of him the whole time, though I'd purchased the dinner items and candles before he even got started, and I'd also checked into the hotel. The problem came at the spa.

I was lurking in the china and silverware area, hiding like someone out of a spy movie, waiting for him to go into the spa. I'd then give him a few minutes, then go get the VS bag. But as I hovered there watching, I saw him leave the spa. I thought maybe they were running a bit late and he'd left to kill a little time, so I hung around, doing a little more mysterious lurking, for maybe ten minutes. When he still hadn't come back, I risked entering the spa to see if I could find out what was going on. To my horror, I discovered that they hadn't been running late, they'd been running early. I'd seen him walking out because he was already done and on his way to the hotel.

Major panic time for me. Because there were so many ways this plan could go wrong, I'd arranged everything so I'd be dropping off my envelopes shortly before Dan arrived. (I didn't want the personnel to change in between when I dropped off the envelope and when he picked it up.) Which meant I hadn't left the clue with the key at the hotel yet! The plan would lose a lot of its fun if he ended up sitting cluelessly in the lobby until I walked in and handed him the clue myself.

It was now a race. Who would make it to the hotel first, and would I have time to arrange things with the concierge and get out of sight before Dan got there even if I got there first? The only thing I had going for me was that when I'd parked at the mall, I'd known exactly where I'd be leaving from, so I parked right outside the door.

I'm sure I broke some major traffic laws as I sped frantically to the hotel, but because Dan hadn't been parked anywhere near the right door, and because the mall was humongous, I had just enough of a head start. I managed to disappear into the elevators just before he arrived, and I was very thankful I'd put that note in his last clue about not coming up until 6:00.

So that was the most romantic thing I ever did, and I did it right after I changed from writing science fiction and fantasy to writing romance. It isn't a coincidence! Anyone want to share their real-life romantic gestures, whether on the giving or receiving end?



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