Monday, September 24, 2012

Lean on me...for life.

Happy Monday, everyone. Melissa here, and as you know, our topic for this rotation is "lean on me," or in other words, friendship.

When I sat down to draft this post, I had a hard time narrowing my content. After all, I've been blessed with some pretty remarkable friends, including one lifelong BFF who I blogged about here and a fantastic guy friend who I blogged about here. Additionally, my career as an author has brought new friends into my life, like my critique partners and agency sisters, just to name a few. I love all those fokls, but despite that, I had this nagging feeling that I was forgetting someone HUGE--a friend more devoted than any of the others. That's when it hit me. Duh! Who better to blog about today than my very best friend: my husband, Steve.

Isn't he a cutie?

Now, I know what you're thinking. "This is a YA blog. Why mention your hubby here? Marriage isn't relatable to teens!"

Au contraire, mon frere.

Boys and romance practically dominated my teenage years. Those hormones kicked in, and mother nature started turning my eye toward the opposite sex. After all, "you and me, baby, ain't nothin' but mammals," and perpetuating the species is a drive most of us can't ignore. What's dating if not practice for finding a partner? But I wish I'd known back then what was really important in a romantic relationship: connecting with a guy who was also a great friend. It took me a long time to learn that lesson.

So let me show you a three examples of why Steve is the best friend in the world.

1. He's supportive. Even though writing sucks up 99.9% of my free time, he doesn't complain. He knows that publishing is my dream and how challenging it is to launch an author's career. He smiles and nods as I prattle on about industry-related stuff, and even though he doesn't like fiction, (crazy, I know!), he's made time to read EVERY SINGLE ONE of my books. Even the romances. Talk about taking one for the team!

2. He's giving. Back when it was on the air, Gilmore Girls was my favorite TV show. Steve knew this, so one night he surprised me by moving our television into the master bathroom so I could soak in a hot bubble bath while watching the season premiere. As a bonus, he kept the kids quiet downstairs. Tell me that's not the most awesome thing one friend can do for another!

3. He really cares about me. After our third child was born, I fell into a black hole of postpartum depression that buried me for months. I was a hot mess, and it was awful for everyone. Steve could have complained that I quit talking to the kids, or that I went to bed at eight o'clock each night, or that I quit eating or drank too often. He could have insisted that I get my shit together and take care of my family. But he didn't. Instead, he sat down with me one night and took my hand. Then, with tears in his eyes, he asked what he could do to help. I'll never forget that. A lesser friend wouldn't have put my needs first, especially when I was making life hard for him.

See what I mean? When choosing your partner in life, nothing's more important to consider than friendship. I think that's damned relatable to teens, considering they're beginning to navigate the murky waters of love.

Also, I'm a very lucky gal. J

Now it's your turn. What's the most selfless thing a friend has done for you?

Melissa Landers is the author of ALIENATED, a seriously foreign exchange coming in February, 2014 from Disney-Hyperion. You can learn more about Melissa on her website, and she'd love for you to add ALIENATED to your Goodreads bookshelf!


Kimberly said...

What a great story and wonderfully inspiring for teens and adults alike.
I agree. There needs to be a strong friendship in any relationship for it to work and reach full potential. Nothing annoys me more in a story than for that immediate connection without a basis in friendship or some type of common ground. There are a few exceptions to this, but overall I love the stories best when the characters have a real connection. Real conversations. Real challenges to face together. Only when those things happen can they have true chemistry and true love.
What a wonderful husband you have! The best thing we can give our kids is the chance to see real love on a daily basis in real life. I always tell my kids how wonderful it is for me to have married my best friend. And I pray for the same for them someday.
Great post, Melissa! Go give your best friend a kiss...

Lorie Langdon said...

Aww, Mel, this brought tears to my eyes. And it is so true.
The hot guy we have nothing in common with might be fun to look at, but life is too short to waste our time (adults and teens alike) on people who we don't treat us with love and respect.
And I *heart* the pic of you and look good as a blonde and a brunette! I'm so jealous. ;)

Melissa Landers said...

Thanks, guys! I agree it's so important to build a friendship first. Steve's a great guy and I'm lucky to have met him.

Jessica Love said...

This totally made me tear up! What a great friend you have in your man! :-D

CareyCorp said...

Great post Mel. You are very lucky.

CareyCorp said...

Great post Mel. You are very lucky.

Caryn Caldwell said...

He sounds really wonderful! And I think marriage is very relatable because you are setting an example. They want to know that love can last, and they need to know that they shouldn't ask for less than a husband who respects and loves them.

Melissa Landers said...

Thanks, Caryn. I agree with you completely!