Ultimate Romance, Personal Reinvention
Photo courtesy of Mika and Joe

The hosts of Morning Joe, which debuted in 2007 and more or less dominated the cable-news chatter machine ever since, have long been known for their highly flirtatious office-spouse badinage, squabbling and then making up. In some ways, they were an odd couple: Republican former Congressman with daughter of Jimmy’s national security adviser; red-state quarterback live on air with a D.C. heiress. But both feel at home at the center of the Washington echo chamber, both deeply understand power, and, as another national security adviser notably observed, power is the ultimate aphrodisiac. [Vanity Fair]

THE CREDIT on the photo said everything.

Photo courtesy of Mika and Joe.

When people are young they often get involved in the hopes of creating children and family together.

In the modern era, our marriages sometimes cannot withstand the change that happens to us as individuals over time.

The resulting delicious baggage that makes us wiser offers an opportunity to get it right next time, if we get the chance.

Meeting someone new after a long-term partnership has dissolved can be earthshaking. The shock of it makes people say the damnedest things. My husband took me in his arms and said he was going to marry me. It was our first date. After that, we engaged in an intellectual, and creative, duel between equals who were trying to figure each other out.

Beyond the stage where children are the focus, two people will have a better chance if they find something else to build together.

My fiction is filled with characters with loads of delicious baggage. Humans are messy creatures and the older we get the more we know what we want and can recognize it when we feel it. The characters of The Beltway Series span the ages of 20-something to over 60 years old. All are moderns who want a lot out of life. People who have lived a life already, with experience, a tender heart, and confidence based on their own resilience.

The romantic storyline of two individuals who find love and creative fulfillment together is too delicious to ignore. It’s the most hopeful evidence that a broken heart heals, and endings are simply a force of life we cannot control.

Things do not change, we change. – Henry David Theareau

The best relationships can begin as a battle of ideas, the intellectual strength that tests our egos, which eventually are crushed beneath the swoon.

The best foreplay I know is verbal intellectual gymnastics with someone with whom you’re sleeping.

The television hosts of “Morning Joe” were bit by on-air chemistry. It’s corny, but Mika and Joe together are stronger than they are separate. They both know it, but they know something else.

“We want to spend the rest of our lives together and that’s more important than what management will think and critics will think or anybody else,” Scarborough said. [Vanity Fair]

It’s one thing for the woman to make this statement; quite another when the man does.

The main characters in my book, Alex and T.J., have experienced what it’s like when a relationship doesn’t work. When they meet each other it becomes a joust of intellectual will that succumbs to their demanding hearts. The resulting arrangement, which I’ve written about before, includes a working business partnership. Alex isn’t sure if she wants children, and T.J. hasn’t thought about it at all. So I’m writing about modern relationships where the choices for women have gotten more complicated: children.

Whether it’s “Mika and Joe,” or “Alex and T.J.,” these are stories of people who have scars, separate joys, and a life well lived before they met. In these stories, the woman is the driver, and the man is content to stand beside her. See Prince Philip, who, upon retiring at 95, declared himself “the world’s most experienced plaque unveiler,” according to Bill Neely of NBC News. …and longest-serving consort of the queen.

The partnership angle that fascinates me the most is when two equals collide and recognize what they can create together; how love can lead to a journey beyond yourself.

Whether it’s the epic romantic fantasy version, or the larger than life, real life version, relationship possibilities today are as boundless as our imagination, commitment, and courage.

It’s at the center of this cauldron where I moor my stories about people. The lush territory of love, power, and humility.

This post has been updated.