Weddings in the Time of Coronavirus by @Donna_Fasano

Last year, I received a Save The Date card for a huge destination wedding of a family member that was to take place this month. But then COVID-19 hit our country hard and large gatherings were prohibited. The bride and groom have decided to postpone their wedding until 2021. This young couple are going to wait a whole year to tie the knot! I feel so bad for them, but what else could they do?

The question got me thinking about weddings during the pandemic. People have to go on with their lives, right? Or is everyone postponing their nuptials? THOSE questions had me going to Google to do some research.

It seems that lots of couples have put off their weddings. But others have decided to elope… just the two of them. Hey, when LOVE calls, ya gotta do what ya gotta do! Others are settling for what are called “mini-monies,” which are miniature ceremonies that include guests of only 10 family members and friends. The important thing to these people is the “getting hitched” part and they’re not too hung up on the size of the guest list. Even though they must settle for a minimalist approach now, they can always plan a bigger celebration later.

Do you know a couple who was planning a wedding? Did they cancel? Or did they decide to go for it?

This month, I’m offering my book, THE WEDDING PLANNER’S SON, for just 99¢ for Kindle readers. Click the cover below and you’ll be taken to the Kindle Store.

Fourteen years and a pandemic later…

It is my firm belief that all great love stories start with a spark of madness. I know mine did. My relationship with my husband was like a volcano – for years it burned so slowly and silently no one knew it was there, until one day when it erupted and the hot lava consumed everything in its path. Except there was nothing destructive about our love. All we had was a burning desire to be together. But since many people were opposed to that idea, we did the only thing we could so that everyone would leave us alone: we eloped and got married.

output_IT5Cf3Was it crazy? Definitely. Impulsive? Hell, yeah! Was it wrong? Not by a long shot. It was the best decision we ever made, and the proof is that on April 15th we celebrated our 14th marriage anniversary. We didn’t actually realize we were soulmates when we said our timid YES fourteen years ago, but now we know we were born to be together.

I see a lot of couples going nuts because they’re quarantined together, and I have a confession to make (please don’t hate me!): my hubby and I love it! We enjoy every moment spent together, we find ways to accommodate each other’s schedule, and when one wants to do something relaxing that the other doesn’t care for, we simply go our separate ways and give each other some space. Neither of us are very sociable creatures, and we always prefer each other’s company, so the pandemic didn’t change our lifestyle as much as it did for others.

The only thing that I regret is not being able to go ahead with our plans for this year’s anniversary. My husband is a great fan of André Rieu, and I wanted to surprise him earlier this year with tickets to a concert. But then the coronavirus happened, proving to us once more how much life can change in a month, or in a week, or even in a second.

I woke up a little sad the morning of our anniversary, but when I told my husband why I was sad, he said the only thing that matters is that we’re together and we’re healthy. That alone makes us blessed. I confess I felt ashamed of my shallowness. Here I was, pouting because we couldn’t go to a restaurant, or a concert, while people all over the world were taking their last breaths, defeated by a war with this invisible enemy.

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Husband and wife, fighting on the front line together.  

This was only one of the many precious lessons I learn every day from the wonderful man I share my life with – to treasure every moment, to be more patient, to appreciate the small things and find joy in everything.

What many people don’t understand is that marriage is hard work, but sharing your life with the right person is the most beautiful and rewarding thing. Not because of social status, not because of any obligations, but because finding true love as is rare and precious as an exotic flower. And in that spirit, you don’t need only to discover that flower, you need to take care of it every day, to help it grow and thrive.

I’m sad for all those who don’t get to experience the wonderful, ultimate fulfillment of growing old with the person you love. Loneliness is hard, whether it is by choice or by fate. Not many people are willing to give as much as they get in a relationship. Not many people realize how much – or how little – they have to offer, and have unrealistic expectations from their partners. They don’t know how to be tolerant, how to be altruistic, how to love and be loved. Some think they are entitled to a lot, others are willing to give much more than they receive and end up abandoning themselves completely to someone who doesn’t want or deserve it.

It’s crazy that such a simple but fragile balance leads to so many broken lives. All I can say from my own experience is that not everyone is cut out for marriage, and not everyone wants it. If I’ve learned a valuable lesson it’s that before you make your demands you have to make sure you’re ready to give as good as you get. But not like in a bargain. Like in a partnership. Like in a two-piece puzzle that you want to be part of for the rest of your life.

Be happy, and be loved! ❤

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A different kind of celebration. Happy 14th anniversary to us! 

At Home by Mona Risk

Is it four weeks or six weeks that we have been locked at home? I can’t remember, but it seems like two years. Getting dressed, wearing a few pieces of jewelry, and fixing my hair are now nice memories. I stopped opening my closets. What for? My getting-dressed routine of the morning consists of choosing between two pajamas pants and a few black t-shirts–easier to wash it all together.

We live in a high-rise and we used to have a gorgeous view. Not anymore. In September, our building association had contracted a company for concrete restoration. So all balconies were blocked in September, the rails removed and the balconies’ floors repaired. And then the Pandemic started and the workers stopped coming. No rails, no balconies. No beach and no pool.

Who cares? For every problem, there’s a solution. Right?

Two weeks ago, I discovered that the catwalk, a walkway around the building used as an emergency exit, was still accessible, yet not used by anyone. A bit too high for my taste considering I suffer from ‘Acrophobia’ or irrational fear of heights. But in time of need, one would adjust to anything. At first I held my husband’s hand, and just looked at the floor, and then it got better…

The walkway became my walking track, with fresh outdoor air to breathe, no need to wear a mask, and a view to lift any mood. So now I walk four to five miles a day. Soon I’ll stop worrying about the extra weight I added at the beginning of our confinement. And I published a book, and started a new one.

Here is my new book, just released last week:

A Dance for Prince Eric: A ballerina with a promising career on the run for her brother’s sake. A charismatic prince who saved them both. Do fairytales exist?

I am also happy to share two new boxes, one with hilarious books and another with tender, emotional stories.

Sweet & Sassy Daddies

US: https://amzn.to/3bBBMGg #ad

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B084FJFCFB

CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B084FJFCFB

AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B084FJFCFB

IN: https://www.amazon.in/dp/B084FJFCFB

NL: https://www.amazon.nl/dp/B084FJFCFB

DE: https://www.amazon.de/dp/B084FJFCFB

Cute but Crazy

US: http://bit.ly/RomComCBC1
Universal: https://books2read.com/CBC1

The anxiety of grocery shopping

I have never been a fan of grocery shopping. In fact, I usually put it off until my family is asking me, did you happen to go to the store yet? When they are well aware that I haven’t.

Generally, I shop once a month for a big shopping trip, and every 10-12 days run out for fresh veggies, milk, eggs, and bread. That is the way I have been for years.

Four weeks ago, when quarantine practice started, I had just gone to the store. Today I had to go. I had been putting it off for a couple of days, but I knew that today was the day. Can I just tell you how anxious I was about going?

I am a bit higher risk because of an autoimmune disorder, and asthma. I also need to be careful because I go to my parents’ house every night to help get my father ready for bed as he’s on hospice and mom can’t do it alone anymore. Needless to say, I am very careful about exposure, and have remained home. Not that it’s hard for me to stay home, I have been working from home for the last 3 years.

So this morning, I was up early. I made sure to take my decongestant immediately when I got up. I have horrible allergies and spend a couple hours every morning coughing it away as my sinus settle. I didn’t want everyone to freak out if I coughed at the store. One cup of coffee, and I was out the door.

7:00 a.m. they let the general public in. I had on my mask, and I also wore gloves. They say that you don’t need to wear gloves, but I have a very severe allergy to Latex – so if someone who HAS been wearing latex gloves, touches something that I then touch – I can react to it – it’s a major pain in the (you know what!). Hence the reason I wore NITRILE gloves.

Another reason they tell people not to wear gloves is they don’t understand that if you touch something with your gloves on – they are instantly contaminated and give you a false sense of protection. My years as a cop doing evidence work and also being around blood and body fluids helped teach me the proper way to wear gloves.

When I arrived a nice young may wiped down my cart for me as I waited patiently and chatted with him from my safe distance of 6′, and then inside I went.

It’s a maze in there. I mean seriously, it was a maze, but they were nice enough to give you arrows so that you know the correct direction to follow. I found it rather humorous to see everyone staring at the floor as they went to make sure they were going in the right direction, and once, a man was going in the wrong direction and a woman growled at him. Not sure what she said, but he frowned, you could see the low eyebrows over the bandana covering his face and he quickly turned and went in the “correct” direction.

Shopping was rather easy, and I was lucky that just about everything I needed was available. Of course, the holier-than-thou toilet paper aisle was empty, and the cleaners section was pretty sparse. Pasta and rice were low, and clothing detergent was almost gone.

What I really want to know is how were people cleaning their back sides, and clothing before? I mean seriously!

I did do my own checkout and walked out of there with a cart full of groceries. Satisfied that I will be able to feed my family for another month.

Hand sanitizer up to my elbows before I get in my car, (which has been inside the pocket of my track pants), checked my phone because I had left it in the car. No reason to get it contaminated. I had only brought my credit card into the store to pay. That got wiped down with sanitizer too.

Back home, everything was brought in and either put in the fridge/freezer or stacked on a shelf to sit there for two days before it gets put away. I showered and then I sanitized the counters – the handles of cabinets, doors, gates and then the inside of my car.

Almost three hours later, I finally got to pour myself a second cup of coffee, and I could feel the anxiety draining from my shoulders. All in all, it wasn’t horrible, but I hate that this is our new “norm”, and it looks to stay that way for a while.

With that said, if you can stay home – stay home. Play games, watch every movie you ever dreamed of watching, read – listen to audio books and spend time with family!

I hope you all remain safe and healthy!