My Funny Valentine

One of the side effects of working on the book intensively is that everything else tends to fade from my awareness. I fall behind on e-mail, miss scheduled appointments, ignore Sarah, and tend to let the blog slide.

So yesterday, as I hauled firewood into the cabin, I thought, “Is it February? Isn’t Valentines Day coming up?”

Then I thought, “Won’t I be up here in Hayward, shackled to The Wise Man’s Fear over Valentine’s day?”

I realized it was true and went inside to call Sarah. I asked if she was cool with that.

She was cool with that.

I went back to carrying firewood and found that I couldn’t remember when I’d last posted a blog, or what it had been about.

Then I thought, “I’m pretty sure I’ve written a Valentine’s day column at some point in the past. If I could find it, that would save me some time.”

So, after I was done schlepping in the wood. I dug through my files and found I was correct. I had written a Valentine’s Day column. In fact, I had written several of them over the years.

Then I found this one. A column I had written several years ago and forgotten about until now.

This, my friends, is what we writers refer to as serendipity.

[Editor’s note. For a few of the references in this column to make sense, you have to understand that by the time I did this column, I had been writing it in the local paper for over seven years and actually had a sponsor who underwrote the column. This provided me some much-needed ad revenue, and let me offer prizes to people who wrote in letters. Usually a gift certificate from a local coffeeshop.] [Editor’s note – This isn’t really an editor, by the way. It’s just me. But “Pat’s note” doesn’t sound nearly as official.]

Dear Pat,

A friend gave me a copy of your College Survival Guide Collection for Christmas and I spent all break reading it. It was awesome getting to read all the columns from back before I came to School here.

After reading those old columns, I realized your newer columns are a little… angry. Compared to those earlier ones. They’re still funny, but they’re also kinda grim.

I was just hoping we could occasionally see the kinder, gentler Pat. The Pat that gave advice to the girl with all the scars back when I was a freshman, or wrote the Christmas column in your book. Focus on the positive.




My girlfriend keeps talking about you. All the time. She’s all like, “Pat Rothfuss is the funniest guy! OMG! I can’t believe the things he says!” Honestly, I’m pretty sick of it.

It’s gotten worse since you put up that Myspace page. She read more of your stuff and found some pictures of you and thinks you’re “the cutest.” So now I’m officially pissed. I’m her boyfriend, I’M supposed to be CUTEST!

So I was thinking I only have two ways to solve this problem.

You could go out on a date with my girlfriend. It would be like a Valentine’s day present to her. AND I’m guessing after she meets you she’ll realize you’re not all that.

We could trade girlfriends. Mine is obsessed. And I’m guessing yours is probably pretty sick of you.

Sad About My Inappropriately Excited Girlfriend

Well SAMIEL, flattered as I am by your proposal, I find myself skeptical. Lately, people have been writing in fake problems just to get free coffee from the Mission. So I suspect that this letter is pure bullshit. Well, maybe not *pure* bullshit, but at least three-nines fine.

First off, there are no photos of me up at myspace, only illustrations. Secondly, nobody says: “OMG!” And lastly, I have a hard time believing anyone would offer their girlfriend a date with someone else as a V-day present.

I expect it’s much more likely that this is a blatant attempt to get close to my girlfriend.

While my cynical nature inclines me toward the first possibility, I’m going to take Kaitlyn’s politely-phrased suggestion and focus on the positive in this column. I’m going to assume that you’re smitten with my ladyfriend, and, with V-Day coming up, you decided to make your move.

No offense to your girlfriend SAM. She’s obviously a woman of impeccable taste. But she can’t hold a candle to my girlfriend.

My girlfriend’s name is Sarah. She is, to put it plainly, the best of all possible girlfriends.

Some of you might remember the V-day column from a couple years back when I bitched about how girls get to cash in on Valentine’s day, while guys got screwed in the deal? Well, last Valentine’s day, Sarah bought me flowers and candy, took me out to dinner, and gave me a backrub. How’s that for cool?

But that’s only the tip of the iceberg. She’s hella smart, a great writer, and better at math than me. She does community service, keeps up on current events, and makes awesome banana bread. Her hair smells really, really, good.

Sarah is also hot. Beyond hot. I’m not even kidding here. You know when you see a geeky guy walking around an absolute bombshell and you think, “The hell? How did he end up with her? She’s a thousand times hotter than him!” Well Sarah and I are like that, with the main difference that I’m pretty damn sexy too.

It’s like a story problem: if Sarah is a thousand times sexier than Pat, and Pat is fifty times sexier than you… Do the math: (Damn sexy x 1000 + boobs = Sarah.)

Shes so sexy that Homeland Security is worried about her falling into the hands of the terrorists. Fema has passed a special set of laws requiring her to always wear at least three layers of clothing whenever she’s in public. If she wears only one layer, she causes car wrecks. If she wears a tank top, men without protective eyewear have grand-mal seizures and passing women become suddenly bi-curious.

When she gets naked, the sexiness she throws off is like the radiation from a nuclear bomb. If we hadn’t lined the walls of her bedroom and bathroom with three inches of lead, no man in Stevens Point could wear tight fitting pants, and every woman in Central Wisconsin would be gay.

I’m running low on space here, so I can’t go into details about the sex. So let me just say this: Damn.

Perhaps most importantly, Sarah is sweet. I have a tendency, as Kaitlyn pointed out, to get a little grim. I tend to waver back and forth between a raging inferno of furious anger, and a chilly pillar of bitter cynicism. But being around Sarah is like a drink of cool water. When she’s nearby, you realize that the world is a pretty nice place after all. Sometimes her influence is all that keeps me from turning into a cussed, crotchety old bastard.

Love ya sweetie, happy Valentine’s Day.


Awww…. Isn’t that sweet?

If you’d like to leave a comment for Sarah telling her how lovely she is, feel free.

That said, don’t get too fresh. She is, after all, My Girl.

Unless you are lady-types, of course. Then you can get as fresh as you want. Be my guest.

Later all,


This entry was posted in BJ Hiorns Art, College Survival Guide, Sarah, sexy. By Pat41 Responses


  1. Ted
    Posted February 12, 2009 at 12:23 AM | Permalink

    Sarah sounds like someone I’d like to meet (Just a statement, no freshness intended).This is directed at her:Hi!This is directed at Pat:Sounds like you’re extremely lucky. Congratulations.This is for the two of you (them, if you’re not Pat or Sarah):Have a Happy Valentines Day!–Ted

  2. Kinson
    Posted February 12, 2009 at 12:24 AM | Permalink

    I’ve met you both over in Wausau (not this most recent signing the previous one). While I think you both are great and all I wouldn’t stalk either of you or anything……far to far to drive.

  3. Teefers Treats
    Posted February 12, 2009 at 12:38 AM | Permalink

    *gets fresh* Happy Valentine’s Day, you guys. Keep up the good work, Pat.

  4. Z
    Posted February 12, 2009 at 12:56 AM | Permalink

    So… the Pointer hasn’t been as cool since you left, Pat. Hope all is going well, and Happy Valentines Day!

  5. christopher mac
    Posted February 12, 2009 at 12:59 AM | Permalink

    Based off of the pictures I have seen of her, I would say that Sarah has the nerd hotness down pat. This isn’t freshness; I am married, and my own wife has the berd hotness. If I ever get published, I will be sure to post pictures of her eating snowmen’s noses, or worse.

  6. christopher mac
    Posted February 12, 2009 at 1:00 AM | Permalink

    Ahem . . . berd should be nerd. Thanks. Although she is rather birdlike at times . . .

  7. Pamala Knight
    Posted February 12, 2009 at 1:13 AM | Permalink

    Happy Valentine’s Day to both you AND Sarah.

  8. sevedra
    Posted February 12, 2009 at 1:44 AM | Permalink

    Aw, dude! That was the sweetest! My guy is the bestest ever and hot too, but he is no kind of writer. Poor thing never makes up his own sweet words. I am jealous of Sarah I guess. She is not only fantastic and wonderful, but lucky enough to have a guy who can say so in unique and interesting ways. Hope y’all have a great V-Day celebration, even if it isn’t on that day.

  9. Brandy
    Posted February 12, 2009 at 2:54 AM | Permalink

    Dear Pat, Please tell me you’re bringing your nerdly hot girl to CONvergence. (Getting fresh) I want to ogle her in between ogling you times.Love and happy V-Day wishes to the pair of youse,Brandy

  10. LiquidWeird
    Posted February 12, 2009 at 3:41 AM | Permalink

    From the pictures you’ve posted here, yeah, Sarah’s indeed hot and from what you’ve written about her, she’s extremely cool, too. Lucky guy! I’m not envious, though, because my own girlfriend is also hot and sweet and smart and way sweeter and better looking than I am, so I’m lucky and happy and can be happy for you, too.WV: eliogre – When Shreck tried out for the role of the kid in ET

  11. Anonymous
    Posted February 12, 2009 at 4:32 AM | Permalink

    Ugh…. I’m going to see what Abercrombie is doing. I’ll come back after Valentine’s Day is over. Amy H.

  12. Malikelm
    Posted February 12, 2009 at 4:55 AM | Permalink

    I, personally don’t believe in V-day. I think a man should shower his lady with affection everyday. When V-day comes i just add the banana hammock. Everything else is yesterday’s news, and tomorrows baby!P.S. You keep that in mind Sarah.P.S.S You try and forget i said that Pat.P.S.S. Happy V-day to everyone!

  13. Patrick Ward
    Posted February 12, 2009 at 5:14 AM | Permalink

    Unfortunately, some people actually do say, “OMG!” In actual conversations. It’s the verbal equivalent of serving pancakes without syrup.What did you get your book for Valentine’s day? You did get it something, right?

  14. Cheetaur
    Posted February 12, 2009 at 5:49 AM | Permalink

    Hey pat, we just ran across this, do you have synesthesia? it would explain a lot about your writing.

  15. Anonymous
    Posted February 12, 2009 at 5:54 AM | Permalink

    I’d like to start by saying that I am definitely someone you have never met. Or work with. Or admire from afar.Sarah is, hands down, the hotest and coolest piskie ever to grace the mortal world. Standing beside her is like having the sun on your back while tiny butterflys kiss your neck. It’s magical. Seeing the two of you together is like stepping into a fairytale. Energy crackles between you and even the most out-spoken socialite is entranced by your simplest interactions.If I could choose but one woman in the world, it would be your Sarah, but I think that she would not have anyone but you, Mr. Pat. Had you been born a thousand years ago, minstrels would have crafted ballads about the wonderful pair you make. Whew. What do you think? Too fresh?

  16. Melanie
    Posted February 12, 2009 at 9:11 AM | Permalink

    I’ll share a Sarah story. The second time I met Pat was at a convention, and I was wandering around the con. I got in the elevator and recognized Sarah right away from the last time we’d met, but I was sure she wouldnt remember me. I felt a little weird about recognizing a famous author’s girlfriend, but Sarah was nice about it. Also, she ran all over the hotel twice looking for Pat’s silver marker.Sarah, you’re the best!

  17. Irothz
    Posted February 12, 2009 at 10:24 AM | Permalink

    Happy Valentines Pat and Sarah!You’re both very lucky and wonderful people to care so much for one another. Sarah…You’re amazing ^_^ Pat’s a lucky guy..

  18. marky
    Posted February 12, 2009 at 12:10 PM | Permalink

    @Sarah, how you doin?[email protected], ya old romantic.WV: sestie, everything about you so sestieYou don’t even know what you’ve gotYou really hitting my spotOh yeah, yeah……I’ll get me coat.

  19. Sailor Matt
    Posted February 12, 2009 at 12:45 PM | Permalink

    Pat, can I pay you to write romantic things about my wife? You’ve got that ‘putting words down on paper’ thing down pat.Heh… I said pat.Hope you and sarah have a great long-distance Saint Valentine’s Day!

  20. KillerKitKat
    Posted February 12, 2009 at 1:21 PM | Permalink

    That was so sweet ^^ you’re really lucky to have each other. Even though I’m not inclined to support Hallmark in their world-domination tendencies, I will wish you a very happy Valentine’s day anyway :)

  21. Jennifer
    Posted February 12, 2009 at 1:40 PM | Permalink

    Don’t feel too bad about having to work through Valentine’s Day. My husband and I haven’t been able to do anything together on this holiday of love pretty much ever, since one of us is usually working, or sometimes both. This year, he’s working and I’m off. We don’t really care. We just go out some other day and be so adorable in public, people feel compelled to come up and say something to us. For real, happened in a grocery store where I used to work once. He had came to pick me up and we did a little shopping before going home and while we were waiting in line, we were holding hands and exchanging nice, normal little kisses. Some lady came up and said something like, “Don’t you think you should be working instead of standing here making out with the customers?” Yeah, it was great.Anyway, happy Valentine’s Day, everyone.

  22. spryng
    Posted February 12, 2009 at 2:09 PM | Permalink

    Sarahs, apparently, are a wonderful and amazing breed. I congratulate you on your Sarah! My Sarah, however, is obviously a much more awesome Sarah. Sorry to have to break it to you.Really! From your blog, your Sarah sounds fantastic. I would suggest that there should be a Sarah convention someday, where all the Sarahs of the world can convene, but that would probably result in a horrible implosion and I’m probably already setting off alarms with these words –

  23. Kalligenia
    Posted February 12, 2009 at 2:56 PM | Permalink

    Pat, you’re so sweet. Sarah is lucky to have you. And you’re very lucky to have an incredible woman like her. She’s the sort that I’d scoop up to be my wife… and I’m pretty sure my husband wouldn’t mind that his wife had a wife like that. Okay, I’m damn sure that he wouldn’t mind!

  24. Captain Joe
    Posted February 12, 2009 at 3:10 PM | Permalink

    My girl is way too hot for me, too, but she likes me for my beautiful mind and badass tatts. That said, I’ll be spending Valentine’s Day all sad and lonely, as my girl’s in Vietnam working at an orphanage.She called me though, and asked if her Valentine this year could be the also hot girlfriend she went away with.To this I gave a hearty tick of approval. I know in all of that someone somewhere is getting fresh, but its the <>right<> kind of fresh.

  25. Anonymous
    Posted February 12, 2009 at 3:40 PM | Permalink

    Preach on Pat! Sarah is all that and more, in fact when I first met her I thought, how in the world did Pat land such a fine woman? I wish I could remember exactly what you said to us at Perkins that night, but it was something like “This is the woman I am going to spend the rest of my life with and if you guys mess this up I will kill you.” Not an exact qoute but it conveys the message. Happy V-day you two!Cheers,Todd

  26. Anonymous
    Posted February 12, 2009 at 4:13 PM | Permalink

    I will admit…Sarah does rock. I’ve always been amazed, yet gratified, that you two have worked out so fabulously.So, from Baghdad, IRQ, Happy Valentines you two! -R

  27. Cecrow
    Posted February 12, 2009 at 4:55 PM | Permalink

    I can’t remember what I’ve read ten minutes ago, never mind what I wrote on a blog. Hey, is that a garbage can she’s sitting on, in the second picture? It’s supposed to be a pillar, isn’t it? A garbage can would be an okay substitute I guess, if there didn’t happen to be a pillar around, but it’s kind of metallic and … that’s very … huh? you wrote a post about Valentine’s Day?

  28. Alexis
    Posted February 12, 2009 at 5:28 PM | Permalink

    Most of us at least need to call the local radio station and wait on hold for 30 minutes before we can gain a soap box from which to tell our significant other how much they rock, and how much they mean to us. I am glad to see that you can properly utilize your writer perks.Its funny though, because what this article does for me, is not to make me wonder what Sarah looks like, but wonder about the sort of person who would be cool with being this kind of fussed over. Somehow I’m thinking she must have deftly avoided the nerdy shyness…. or she’s really cute when she blushes and doesn’t mind too much….Hats off to you both. May you remain silly, grateful for each other, and young at heart far into the future,Alexis

  29. KMack
    Posted February 12, 2009 at 5:34 PM | Permalink

    Some how you managed to be romantic without making me feel bitter about being perpetually single. I am impressed by this. Thanks.

  30. Robert Crandall
    Posted February 12, 2009 at 6:45 PM | Permalink

    Just a little thought:How many straight guys have man crushes on you, Pat? That is, the valentine’s gift from the girlfriend is to get the boyfriend a date with <>you<>?You know you’ve made it when you make straight men turn their heads…

  31. Anonymous
    Posted February 12, 2009 at 6:49 PM | Permalink

    Sad… I read down to this point and realized that I had really been checking to see if any “lady-types” were going to “get too fresh”. I think that maybe, Pat’s reader demographic is the main problem. Namely me! I am calling my wife and telling her to give me a swift kick in the hind quarters. Chris9009

  32. tam
    Posted February 12, 2009 at 8:24 PM | Permalink

    Sarah sounds wonderful…And thank you for making my day a little better – Name of the Wind is now in Kindle format!

  33. Anonymous
    Posted February 12, 2009 at 10:48 PM | Permalink

    what what what?!?! 2010 thats crazy. Say it ain’t so. I had big plans for April! or rather 1 big plan! mmm think i’ll have to take Pat up on some of those recommendations….Still, with sarah it does sound like you’ve got a lot to distract you. Happy Valentines everyone :)

  34. sparkly_jules
    Posted February 13, 2009 at 4:40 AM | Permalink

    Sounds like it’s time for a ring–before someone else gets her. ;-)You rock Sarah!Jules

  35. LIZ
    Posted February 13, 2009 at 9:29 AM | Permalink

    ahh… that’s just what I wanted to hear after discovering that even though I have BMI of skinny, I’ve got cellulite. On both outer thighs. And the patch I already knew about under my right buttcheek is worse. Since no woman is perfect, even Sarah, you must be in this kind of love despite her flaws. So I’m not totally SOL

  36. Alicia
    Posted February 13, 2009 at 9:33 AM | Permalink

    I’d like to state that my wv is “water”. WTF?Also, I do occasionally say OMG, but try to restrict it to ironic use. I fail.Sarah, looks like you got a good one :) Not only is he absolutely smitten after your years together, but he’s happy to announce it to the world. Pat, you also got a good one :) I’m not repeating what you already wrote, so just take my word on it.Happy Valentines Day for when you get to spend a whole day together again.

  37. Valentina
    Posted February 16, 2009 at 7:11 PM | Permalink

    Sarah is truly a lovely human being and I am happy to have made her acquaintence at Dala’s Import Oasis. Every time she comes into the store she has something nice to say. The last time she was in while I was behind the counter, I forgot to look up from polishing jewelry to notice her friendly smile. I was so out of sorts that day that I didn’t recognize her until she handed me her credit card and I read her name on it. “Oh, Sarah, I know you!” I exclaimed, surprised that I didn’t notice her right away and feeling a little silly. Poor girl, whenever I do run into her I talk her head off! But she is so much fun to talk to for someone like me — I’m so full of words and she listens so intently, politely, it makes me self conscious. But you have to understand, Sarah is not like everyone else and it’s not because she dates you, Pat. She is just GENUINELY NICE. Not like I expect her to be not nice, but, yes, she’s great. Just the kind of person everyone should know. I hope you keep her. Give her a hug from me! And tell her not to be a stranger. I promise I won’t talk her into buying anything too expensive (we like to dress her up at Dala’s)!

  38. Caligonis
    Posted February 22, 2009 at 3:15 PM | Permalink

    You know, V-day is a day, when everybody, who don´t have a boy- or girlfriend beginn to yell how much they hate this day, which nonsence it is and commercial and so on…For I am single, I was thinking also a little bit negativ, telling a fiend of mine all the bed things about men and the V-Day, nobody really needed. But when I came from work I found beautifull red roses lying in front of my door. This was the moment I thought, that maybe the Day is not that bad as everybody says. “smile”So, it may be a little late, but I whish you and Sarah a happy Valentine. It doesn´t need a reason to bring the belowed some flowers, dont´forget. ;)PS: I think, that your are the cutest, too. “g”PS2: Sarah, have a good eye on your famous boyfriend. PS3: And please… ignore all the faults I have made (I suerly have).

  39. Rin (Somtimes called Rinni Tin Tin)
    Posted February 25, 2009 at 11:59 PM | Permalink

    Aw that was such a sweet sentiment. You’re lucky to have found each other.Well… considering I’m posting this comment several days after the blog’s original post, I guess I’ll end this comment by saying “Have a Happy Belated Valentine’s Day!” … Or would it be “I hope you had a happy Belated Valentine’s Day”?*shrugs*~Rin

  40. payton
    Posted April 19, 2009 at 10:19 PM | Permalink

    well it sounds like you are very lucky and i hope you teo a long and happy life !!!

  41. Anonymous
    Posted September 14, 2009 at 4:03 AM | Permalink

    I know it’s waaaaaaay past Valentines but I just noticed that none of the girls were getting fresh with Sarah so *ahem* Sarah if you leave Pat for me I’ll make you say “The Name of the Wind” *wink*. Too fresh? Anyway Sarah sounds awesome and Pat I love your work! I hope U 2 stay together forever!!!!

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