Concerning Love

So I wasn’t going to do a Valentine’s Day post. Partly because I’m busy. And partly because I could really give a fuck. And partly because I’m a contrary person by my very nature.

But some things have happened today that have made me think about the nature of love. And that is something I’m interested in.

And if by odd coincidence this post happens to be timely…. Well, I suppose I can stand being timely once in my life.

*     *     *

Weeks ago, I was reading a book with Oot. At some point in the story, the characters go to the Doctor, and the doctor shows them what’s inside their bodies.

Oot’s curious about that stuff. It’s a cool teachable moment, so we take a break from the story to talk about our guts.

I point, “That’s a stomach. Do you know what that’s for?”

He knows. He tells me.

I point again, “Those are your lungs. Do you know what they do?”

He does.

Next I point at a picture of the circulatory system, “That’s a heart. Do know what that is for?”

He thinks about it for a long moment, then he lights up. “That’s where you keep all of your Love!”

*     *     *

Days ago I fell asleep with Oot on my lap.

Lately I’ve been keeping odd hours. I’m trying to get a lot of writing done and that means I don’t sleep as much as usual.

It also means I don’t spend as much time at home as I’d like. I write at the work house where there’s less distraction. Everyone working there knows if they bother me while I’m writing, I’ll fire them.

When I’m behind on writing, like I am now, it’s not uncommon for me to sleep at the workhouse too. I have a mattress there, I get food delivered. It’s not odd for me to spend several days there without leaving when I’m in the thick of it.

Still, I make a point of spending at least an hour or two every day with Oot. Sometimes Sarah brings him to visit me, sometimes I come home and visit him.

So a couple of days ago, I was sitting in the living room with Oot cuddled up in my lap. He’s not a particularly cuddly child, so these times are rare.

That said, I’ve stacked the deck a bit by offering to give him a massage. He loves having his back rubbed.

This is a sort of love, you realize. The negotiation of desires.

Oot desires the animal joy of having his back rubbed. I desire the animal joy of holding my warm child. These are not mutually exclusive. We can both get what we want here.

Would I prefer it if he would *just* cuddle me? Sure. That would be lovely. But we’re not living in a perfect world. He is a little boy, not a dog. He hasn’t been bred for 10,000 years to be a obsequious lap-sitter. So compromise is key. You have to give a little to get a little.

Our little arrangement reminds me of several of my college relationships. And some of my non-relationships too. Backrubs as currency. This is a skill I posses, and I have bartered it in the past. Sometimes just for the pleasure of touching another human in an intimate way.

The importance of touch should not be ignored. It shouldn’t be played down or viewed as something low or base. They joy of touching and being touched it is a big part of being human.

And while it is certainly not all of love, it is a type of love. It is a facet in the fractured glass of affection.

But as I’ve said, I haven’t been sleeping much lately. So, sitting there with my child in my lap, I started to nod.

Eyes closed, I hear Sarah come into the room and say, “Daddy is falling asleep. Do you want to help me put him to bed?”

“Oh, of course!” he says. Then he stands up and takes my hand to lead me.

This is an act of love.

Halfway through the living room he takes both my hands, which is probably meant to be twice as helpful, but it’s not. It means I have to bend down and take shuffling little steps.

So take little shuffling steps and bend down. I do this even though it hurts my back.

This too is love.

*     *     *

Hours Ago, I woke up.

My plan for today was to hurry over to the work house to get some writing in, then come back for my officially scheduled date with Sarah.

Our date is scheduled from noon to 2:00. It’s the only time we could arrange a sitter. The date is going to be short because Sarah is planning on making heart cookies for everyone she loves. She and Oot are going to bake them, put people’s names on them, and hand deliver them on Valentine’s Day.

She’s been planning it for weeks. It’s it an expression of her love.

My thought is that we should reschedule our date. Pick a day she isn’t so busy. Pick a day when we could do something at night. At night, you see, the workhouse is empty. At night there are many uninhabited surfaces at the workhouse, and little chance of being overheard by our young child.

But Sarah wants a date on Valentine’s Day. It’s important to her. So noon.

I wake up at 7:30 AM, but when I go upstairs to check my e-mail, I hear Sarah calling. I head into her bedroom and she gives me the news. Oot got sick last night. Puking sick.

I look at him, he’s sleeping. Sweet as anything. Between him and the bed is a carefully placed towel.

“No cookies today?” I say.

Sarah shakes her head. “I didn’t sleep much last night. We’re going to stay in and have a quiet day.”

“That’s as it should be,” I say.

“We’re out of Pedialite,”

For those of you who don’t have kids, Pedialite is like Gatorade if your sport of choice is shitting and puking all over. It’s easy on your stomach, and has all sorts of important electrolytes you need if you’re losing a lot of fluid. Every parent should have several jugs of it on the pantry shelf.

But we’ve burned through our supply, so I get dressed and go brush snow off the car.

At the store I pick up some Campbell’s chicken and stars soup, because that’s what my mom fed me when I had an upset tummy as a kid. I pick up some string cheese, because Oot likes it. And I pick up some olives stuffed with garlic because if this is a flu bug, having some garlic in my system will help me fight it off.

Then I go get the Pedialite. One orange and one purple, so that he has a choice.

In the kid isle at the grocery store, I see that they don’t stock baby formula on the shelves anymore. Now they have little cards there. You have to take the card to the service desk to get the formula.

To me, this means people must have been stealing baby formula. And standing there at 8:00 in the morning, the fact that people have to steal formula for their babies just breaks my heart. That shows that something is fucked up in our society. Food for your babies should be a given, and if some people are having to steal it, it means that something has gone wrong in my little town. I’ll have to talk to some people and see what we can do about this.

This, you have to realize, is also love. Love is a small thing only if we force it to be small. It isn’t some commodity we hoard and dole out sparingly for family and friends.

No. When you see a broken car by the side of the road and stop to help the person. That’s love. When you watch the news and hear about kids being exposed to lead in playgrounds and frac mining fucking up the environment, the anger you feel actually comes from love. It means you care about people even though you don’t know them.

It’s a hard way to live your life. It means you’ll be feel helpless a lot, and you’ll be hurt a lot, and you’ll be angry at the state of things so constantly that it will rub you raw. But it’s the best way to be. It’s the only way civilization can function properly. It’s the only way we can make things better.

On my way out of the store I walk past the floral department. I ignored it on my way into the store because I was on a mission. But now I remember that it is Valentine’s Day. And while I could give a damn about flowers, Sarah likes them.

So I pick out some roses. And the very act of it makes me grit my teeth. Roses on Valentine’s Day. It’s such a cliche.

There’s a line, a half dozen men. This just reinforces the fact that I’m being a culture zombie and it raises my irritation exponentially. Plus this is thirty dollars that’s going to end up in the compost in two weeks. I could do a hundred more practical things with this money. Formula for kids. A hive of honeybees for Heifer International….

Then I see an old guy in line ahead of me. He’s gotta be 85 if he’s a day, and he looks like what I imagine when Garrison Keillor describes the old Norwegian bachelor farmers in lake Woebegone. He’s beautiful in his own way.

He’s got a dozen roses, and seeing him there warms my bitter old heart.

One of the guys in front of me (a guy in a red flannel, probably in his sixties) motions the older man ahead of him in the line. He says, “You go ahead, Ed. I’ve got plenty of time.”

The guy in the red flannel drops back and smiles at me. He says, “Ed there comes by here every week. Buys flowers for his wife.”

“That’s great,” I say, smiling like the idiot I am.

And it is great. This is someone who has made a habit out of love. There is something to be learned here.

So I pick up more roses. One of each color. Because this isn’t about me. For Sarah, love is a song. Love is words. Love is gifts.

That is not my way. For me, love is doing. Love is service. Love is caring for someone and tending to their well being.

This is a problem we have been struggling with for a long time: how the two of us show our love in different ways. It has led to many problems. Many fights. It is a terrible thing to be unloved. But in many ways it is worse to be loved and feel unloved.

Love is actually easy. We are all of us wired for it. We are full of love, even though sometimes we are barely aware of it.

Showing love is the hard part. Our culture poisons us constantly, telling us what we *should* love. Religions spout off about who we *can* love. Media lies to us, telling us *how* to love. For when you care enough to send the very best. Say it with flowers. Every kiss begins with Kay.

It’s hard to break away from that cultural conditioning. But it’s even harder for me to realize that sometimes, Sarah doesn’t want me to take care of her. She doesn’t need tending. Sometimes she just wants me to say that I love her and tell her she’s pretty.

So I bring home roses and soup. I scrap my plans to hole up and write today so I can be near my family and tend to them. Because that is what’s important to me. Whether or not they realize it, this is how I love.

Oot picks the purple Pedialite. He’s listless and just wants to stay in bed. He’s snuggled up with Sarah. She gets more cuddling than me, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t jealous.

But when I lay down he snuggles me too. No bribery needed.

When Sarah comes downstairs she sees the flowers and laughs and smiles. It’s a response that I would never have to flowers. We talk a little. I tell her I love her. I tell her she’s pretty.

Later, if Oot is feeling up to it, I will read him a chapter of the Hobbit. It’s the one where the goblins catch them in the mountains.

And through all of this, in bits and pieces, I write down these musings for you. Because I cannot help but tell stories. Because these things are important to me.



This entry was posted in Because I Love, holding forth, How to be a Worthwhile Human Being, love, Oot. By Pat135 Responses


  1. bremon
    Posted February 14, 2013 at 5:09 PM | Permalink

    I’ve been having a kind of ridiculously bad week, so I hope that it means something more than what I’d usually mean when I tell you that that was lovely and made me smile.
    I think my day’s looking up.

    • Liz
      Posted February 15, 2013 at 6:06 PM | Permalink

      I could not agree more.

      Hope next week is better for you.

  2. dcinti
    Posted February 14, 2013 at 5:12 PM | Permalink

    Pat, well said about this ‘love’ thing we are intuned with. I agree with you about it being wired for love, it’s ingrained in us from the very start. Our life is a ‘gift’ of love from our parents who in turn teach us to harness that love which is in us from day one. We as kids show this love all the time, with the innocence we posses on things we come into contact with. As we grow older we gain a much more better understanding which encompasses how we show love to others in our life.

  3. Redmeanie
    Posted February 14, 2013 at 5:21 PM | Permalink

    Oh Pat, you’ve made me cry, again. Thank you for being an amazing wordsmith, and an even more extraordinary human being. hope you, Sarah and Oot have had a wonderful day together.

    • Colts_pet
      Posted February 22, 2013 at 2:57 PM | Permalink

      hear here!

  4. Karaminxe
    Posted February 14, 2013 at 5:21 PM | Permalink

    I know what you mean! (about the necessity of having a cute snuggle-person). My four-year-old brother loves being read stories. I’ve been rereading The Hobbit too, and you’ve inspired me to read a bit of it to him, too! wheee

  5. dankinney
    Posted February 14, 2013 at 5:22 PM | Permalink


    Posted February 14, 2013 at 5:24 PM | Permalink

    Pat, it’s amazing how lyrical your writing is… It’s what caught me in the books, and here, even though you describe some of the most prosaic things in life and how love is everywhere…
    Thank you for sharing it.

  7. Jobi
    Posted February 14, 2013 at 5:24 PM | Permalink

    Thanks for this post Pat. It is interesting how we all show love in different ways. This year I wrote my wife a poem for V-day (even though I am not good at writing poetry, I’m a Poli Sci Major, my wife actually has an English degree in Poetry) and I am going with her to the dog training class she teaches in the evening, because she always likes it when I go with her.

    Your blog is awesome and always puts a smile on my face.

  8. Jamie
    Posted February 14, 2013 at 5:25 PM | Permalink

    This was the most beautiful thing I’ve read all month.

    Thank you.

  9. KofDrop
    Posted February 14, 2013 at 5:26 PM | Permalink

    This made me cry, tell my fiance I love him and he’s pretty too, and resolve to have more love for people I dont know yet. Happy Valentines Day, Pat. Thank you for spreading the love.

    • mandabanda
      Posted February 15, 2013 at 10:15 AM | Permalink

      I love that you told him he’s pretty. I don’t think we as a culture tell our men they are beautiful enough. They need it, too!

  10. tracytheta
    Posted February 14, 2013 at 5:26 PM | Permalink

    *sniffles* The best stories are true. <3

  11. SunTzu
    Posted February 14, 2013 at 5:28 PM | Permalink

    And we feel the love you pour into this blog and your books!

  12. Posted February 14, 2013 at 5:28 PM | Permalink

    Pat… thank you! Thank you very much! You’ve planted a seed of love here also. And the fruits are going great.

    I noticed that someone had to make a change for the babies that born in the cold inter here (Brazil isn’t all warm, you know, lol) and I figurated out that wasn’t “someone” that had to do something, but that I could do something.

    A dream that you dream alone is just a dream, but a dream that you dream with others is reality.

    Thank you for the cooperation, the campaign is doing great here, some authors also are helping and I believe we’re starting something new and good here. Something with love. Thank you.

    Ps.: My son will born in July, and Hobbit is one of my choices for child book. :)
    Pps.: Hope Oot get well soon, and don’t worry, boys often are more cuddled with the mother. ;)

  13. sirgavin7
    Posted February 14, 2013 at 5:31 PM | Permalink

    Dude, roses? Something like… “It’s like all men have the same book” lol (Denna said something like this somewhere)

    Also, I want to see a pic of Sarah. I mean, is she hot?

    • Tattered Lucidity
      Posted February 14, 2013 at 5:49 PM | Permalink

      Really? Is she hot? You take something beautifully written and condense it down to superficial stuff?

      Sarah is beautiful. I don’t know her, but I know of her from the blog. She’s a beautiful person, and I believe she is physically attractive from photos seen. I bet Pat thinks she’s damn hot, as do many others! But at its core, “is she hot” is a ridiculous question because attractiveness is personal. You may not agree with the answer. And it shouldn’t be about that. It *isn’t* about that.

      This is about love. If the gift of roses is an expression of love to her, then that is what should be given. If she were Denna, Pat wouldn’t buy her roses. Duh.

      • sirgavin7
        Posted February 14, 2013 at 6:20 PM | Permalink

        calm down lady.

        • Posted February 15, 2013 at 6:37 PM | Permalink

          The lady (if she is a lady) has a bit of a valid point….

          • Colts_pet
            Posted February 22, 2013 at 2:59 PM | Permalink


  14. chaelek
    Posted February 14, 2013 at 5:32 PM | Permalink

    This may have been one of the best things you’ve ever written. the more so because its true.

    • chaelek
      Posted February 14, 2013 at 5:33 PM | Permalink

      And that is saying something.

  15. Amstrad
    Posted February 14, 2013 at 5:35 PM | Permalink

    This isn’t really on topic and I sort of hate to bring it up given the nature of the topic, but I hate to let someone go uniformed about things.

    People aren’t stealing baby formula because they can’t afford to feed their babies. Drug dealers are stealing baby formula to cut their coke and meth.

    • Tattered Lucidity
      Posted February 14, 2013 at 5:51 PM | Permalink

      That’s sad but at least it is not as sad as stealing it to feed their babies. There are several great programs to get free formula. I had 4 kids under the age of 2. I lived formula (and diaper changing) for quite awhile, and they practically threw formula at you during every doctor’s appointment and through WIC, but not everyone realizes what help is out there. If you do know of anyone who formula and such, make sure they are trying to qualify for WIC and getting to the right doctors to see about options.

      And drug dealers — leave our crap alone. It was bad enough that the good cold meds in my state wound up behind the pharmacy counter to purchase, but baby formula? As if a young parent needs the added hassle when trying to hurry through the store!

      • Posted February 15, 2013 at 1:26 PM | Permalink

        I work in a supermarket. People steal baby formula because it’s expensive and they can turn around and sell it on eBay and turn a hefty profit. They used to return the stolen product to retail locations and get gift cards, but the stores smartened up and started stickering/stamping their store-specific label onto each product… or they just lock it up and force you to ask an associate to get the item for you.

    • Posted February 14, 2013 at 6:08 PM | Permalink

      Actually, I’ll take that as a win.

      Plus that stuff is a lot better than other things you can use to cut your drugs.

      • Ruth98
        Posted February 15, 2013 at 6:28 AM | Permalink

        It could also be due to people stealing & re-selling milk formula to the Chinese market.

        In 2008 there was a scandal when Chinese formula was found to be contaminated with a toxic substance. Since then, demand has risen for European formula which is seen as being safer. People have started selling it overseas to China at double the retail price!

      • Prufrock
        Posted February 15, 2013 at 2:16 PM | Permalink

        I have seen many instances where mom sends her kid in to buy formula, they (attempt to) steal the can and pocket the cash. Its value/size density is high enough to make it a good swipe.

        Formula and other nutritional necessities are provided in all states by WIC for (frankly) just about anybody who could be thought to have straitened circumstances. That’s in addition to SNAP/food stamps.

        So don’t worry about the formula. Bigger pockets than yours are on the case.

  16. jplan74
    Posted February 14, 2013 at 5:37 PM | Permalink

    this was beautiful and touching and just what i needed. i tend to show love like Sarah, while my partner Jamie, she is more like you Pat. i need to remember that the next time i feel “neglected” which is really my own fear and insecurity. she’s been having a tough go of things with her health and career and i realize that what she really needs from me is not a “fix” but just unconditional love. i think i shall turn off my computer and go just be with her the rest of the night. thanks Pat.

  17. Kihen
    Posted February 14, 2013 at 5:38 PM | Permalink

    Thank you.

  18. caledor
    Posted February 14, 2013 at 5:46 PM | Permalink

    Damnations, Rothfuss!

    Get out of my head!

    All of my romantic relationships begin with the premise of backrubs…

  19. Constance
    Posted February 14, 2013 at 5:53 PM | Permalink

    Dammit. I’m crying at work and now have to fake an allergy attack.


    P.S. I love you.

  20. Merely Empty
    Posted February 14, 2013 at 6:13 PM | Permalink

    The love of my life left me not too long ago, so this post couldn’t come at a worse time. But I do hope people read this and truly listen. There are so many different ways people express their love. It is vital we listen to each other and thank our lucky stars for each moment we are allowed to share our lives with one another.

    Pat, I’m so glad you got to spend your day with Sarah and little Oot, even if it was caused by illness.

    Cherish your loved ones, everyone. And if you’ve found those seven magic words to make a person fall in love, my best wishes to you on this Valentine’s Day.

  21. Celt42
    Posted February 14, 2013 at 6:16 PM | Permalink

    I once studied with a Jehovah’s Witness for two months when I was 16 and going through my “What do I believe” phase. I remember being shocked and saddened by the fact that not only do they not celebrate Christmas, but leave out Birthday’s too. When I asked why,as I think it’s a wonderful tradition to tell people that you’re glad that they’re in you lives, it’s still stuck in my brain what she said in response. She said that people shouldn’t need a reminder to gift those they love or to tell them that they are loved.

    Yes, there are a lot of commercialized holiday’s out there, Valentines Day being a biggie. I think that a lot of people out there need the reminder to tell others that someone’s happy that they exist, that their existence makes life better. So while I don’t really care whether or not the people in my life buy flowers or chocolates, I can see the need for reminders scattered throughout our busy lives. I can see the beauty in the belief the Jehovah’s witnesses hold, I also think it’s looking at the world through rose colored glasses to think that people will always remember to express what they feel in words or presents without the reminders. I know that it’s helpful to me on occasion!

    P.S. My N and C key are sticking, so if there’s any typos missing those letters, I apologize.

  22. Posted February 14, 2013 at 6:20 PM | Permalink

    Working tonight; feeling weary and jaded, took a break, read this post.

    So goddamn good.

    I suspect you’ve held up a mirror for a lot of folk with this. I, for one, have a better understanding of some things–important things– than I did before.

    Thank you, and please do have a very good evening, good sir.

  23. mintfresh
    Posted February 14, 2013 at 6:26 PM | Permalink

    That was a lovely post, and I was struck once again by what a wonderful writer you are. Thanks, as always, for sharing with us.

  24. Marcus Cox
    Posted February 14, 2013 at 6:37 PM | Permalink

    That’s twice, Pat. Twice in the last year that you’ve made me, a 27 year old man cry with your beautiful words. Based upon your blog posts and interviews I’ve read I’m of the opinion that you’re a fantastic significant other, wonderful father, and amongst the best human beings that walk this earth.

  25. Stephen
    Posted February 14, 2013 at 6:40 PM | Permalink

    That’s a wonderful article. As a single guy that almost makes me regret not having any children. One bone to pick however. I don’t agree with the comment about religions telling you who you can love. Not every religion does that. Jesus tought people to love EVERYONE unconditionally. Those of us who try to follow His teaching can’t help it when others who claim to be christian(like the westboro Baptist church) disregard or mangle what Jesus tought.

    • Kiefna
      Posted February 15, 2013 at 11:24 AM | Permalink

      The Wonderful thing about Christianity is that Jesus taught us to love our enemies (A Bizarre thought :)) and that was something whole and perfect, love in its most pure form. Jesus dying on the cross for our sins, sentenced to death by the very people who once sat and listened to him. When a criminal crucified nearby mocked him the other criminal stopped him and said,
      “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? 41 We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”
      He turned to Jesus and said,
      “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
      Jesus said,
      “Truly I tell you; today you will be with me in paradise.”

  26. Posted February 14, 2013 at 6:44 PM | Permalink

    Dear Pat,

    This may be the most painful thing I will ever read, as it is so, so rare to have someone you admire as much as I do you say the exact thing you’ve been trying to say, or even think for so long:

    …how the two of us show our love in different ways. It has led to many problems. Many fights. It is a terrible thing to be unloved. But in many ways it is worse to be loved and feel unloved.

    Jesus Christ, Pat. In one short paragraph you encapsulate the entirety of my own doomed relationship, with a woman I loved — will always love — more than life itself. And yet as perfect as we were for one another, we simply could not make it work. Because we just cannot show our love for one another in compatible ways.

    I’m like you, Pat. I love by doing. I love by waking up at 5:00 a.m. to be there when she texts me. I love with handwritten letters, and oranges, and an abundance of kindness. I love with words, because they’re all I have. All I will probably ever have. And I knew — intellectually, at least; my heart never figured it out — that she was unable to love me that way; with words and gestures and the little things. She told me that, flat-out, many times. I knew it. I just couldn’t survive it.

    This is especially painful for me, Pat, because the last time I was truly happy with Us — when I knew for certain that she was the woman I would spend the rest of my life with — was on a trip to see you last fall. I had driven to Chicago to see her so that we might attend an event of yours together, in a small independent bookstore. We sat and held hands while you spoke; I made a snarky comment about your cellphone that made you, and the room (and, most importantly, her) laugh. Then she sat next to you at the table and you put your head on her shoulder and I took y’all’s picture, and I had never, ever been so proud, or happy, in my life.

    We had planned to read your books together, early in this new year, just because. Now I have trouble even looking at those books, signed now by an author I cherish for so many reasons, because of everything they meant to Us, she and I. Hell, Pat, I have trouble just breathing, without her.

    Two weeks ago I ran out of patience with all the bullshit. All the excuses, all the games, all the nonsense that piled up and piled up and eventually suffocated my beating, loving heart. And she, I’m sure, was simply exhausted with my lack of trust in her, in Us, though she never understood that I couldn’t trust Us because I never truly felt loved. All I ever asked was to be made to feel loved. In some way. I begged, until it made her so cross that she chided me like a child for asking; I begged, until all traces of my humanity and masculinity were gone. Just make me feel loved, I begged. Please. But because we were separated by distance and circumstance and the small, banal cruelties of Life, she couldn’t do it. For 16 months we tried and tried and tried. And it finally just…stopped.

    I’m in tears as I write this because I cannot begin to express what I’ve lost in this person. She is the most beautiful woman I have ever seen, and the smartest, and the funniest; she made me better, and healthier, and heartier than I have ever been in my life. She was and is and always shall be my everything, and I miss her so, so much. Not being strong enough to make Us work will always be my greatest failing. Always. I just wanted to thank you for putting into words exactly how I have been feeling; as always, you have spoken into my heart.

    What little I have left.

    Sincerely yours,


    • DrFood
      Posted February 21, 2013 at 11:18 PM | Permalink

      Please, send your sweetie a copy of this post! Or a link to this page.

  27. mgwa
    Posted February 14, 2013 at 7:03 PM | Permalink

    Thank you for the beautiful post. Your discussion of you and Sarah reminds me of something my son’s father and I had to learn (sometimes more successfully than others) – the way to happiness in this area of life is to show love in the way the other person will appreciate. If I feel loved when I’m given flowers and he feels loved when someone bakes for him, then he shouldn’t bake me a cake and I shouldn’t give him flowers (or, at least not exclusively) – we should give each other what he or she wants. In our case, I love having a big deal made about my birthday and he hates birthdays. So he learned to make a fuss for my birthdays and I learned to mostly ignore his (other than making sure his son calls to say Happy Birthday), and we’re both happier.

  28. arizona native
    Posted February 14, 2013 at 7:16 PM | Permalink

    Thank you for this lovely story. This is a biggie, the understanding and willingness to demonstrate love for people in the ways that are meaningful *to them.* Congratulations. Your chances of relationships with Sarah and Oot just went up immeasurably.

  29. JarekMace
    Posted February 14, 2013 at 7:21 PM | Permalink

    I hate to say it, but I have slowly turned into one of those people that doesn’t care. I’m still romantic/idealist at heart but I just keep that door closed. But every now and then I read something like that and it inspires me to be a worthwhile human being, as you would say. Thanks Pat for unlocking the door to my humanity, again.

  30. cageo
    Posted February 14, 2013 at 7:21 PM | Permalink

    This is beautiful. Thank you

  31. Trent
    Posted February 14, 2013 at 7:38 PM | Permalink

    That was really great. I had never thought of some anger having some sort of root in love. I’m glad you were able to have a nice time with your loved ones, even if Oot was under the weather.

    Nice job with the different colored roses. The easiest way to make something non-cliche is to add your own flair to it. Acts of love don’t have to be difficult, just unexpected.


  32. GhostWriter
    Posted February 14, 2013 at 7:55 PM | Permalink

    Thanks for sharing, Pat. We love you, too.

  33. JustMe
    Posted February 14, 2013 at 7:56 PM | Permalink

    Very Nice, Pat. I mean that. But for me nothing beats the following when it comes to writing about Love.

    “If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.

    4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

    8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

    13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

    I am sure this will earn me much shrieks and curses and gnashings of teeth around here but I think the above is most beautiful mediation on Love ever written. You made me think of it. And it is Valentine’s Day after all. So I thought it good to share.

    • Gunner
      Posted February 14, 2013 at 8:11 PM | Permalink

      I feel like if more people, religious or otherwise, would accept and live out this description of love, the world would be a much, much better place. Happily, I think Pat here gets it.

    • Posted February 15, 2013 at 3:18 AM | Permalink

      Thank you for sharing this! I think Christianity is often just as misunderstood as other world religions, but this passage encapsulates what lies at the heart of it: love. Even those who do not appreciate the Bible in general should at the very least read this and say: yes, yes this is right.

      Thanks also to you, Pat, for the sweet post.

      • Posted February 15, 2013 at 1:01 PM | Permalink

        I’m not religious in the least bit, but I repeat verse 4 just about everytime I start to get angry with my significant other.

        It’s only true. Love is something you must devote yourself too, and I must admit, every time I reach the end, Alway Perseveres, I end up chiding myself for being so petty. (Since thats the level of argument we usually have…)

      • Posted February 15, 2013 at 6:44 PM | Permalink

        Yeah. It’s very easy to forget that most Christians aren’t *THOSE* Christians.

        • mandabanda
          Posted February 16, 2013 at 7:50 AM | Permalink

          Most folks in any religion aren’t *THOSE* kind. Unfortunately for those of us that are trying to be a better person and make the world a better place via the channel of religion are quiet. The noisy ones are trouble, but they show as the face of the group. They aren’t doing the rest of us any favors!

          • Posted February 20, 2013 at 10:05 AM | Permalink

            Typically the noisy of any group are the trouble makers. Once you realize this you won’t just any group by who is easily visible but by interacting with those of the community who are reserved, quiet, and just want to live a simple life.

  34. Gunner
    Posted February 14, 2013 at 8:10 PM | Permalink

    You’ve got a lot of wisdom in the love department, Pat. And probably without knowing it, you’ve described some of what can be found in a book called The Five Love Languages. Each of us has one or more ways that we feel loved, and knowing what makes you significant other (and children) feel loved is super important, because as you say, we very often don’t end up with people who feel love the same way we naturally express it.

    (For the record, the 5 love languages are Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time, and Physical Touch)

    The original book speaks to normal romantic relationships, and there’s one specifically about how to apply them to your kids. Sounds like something you might appreciate:

    • obclhorn
      Posted February 15, 2013 at 3:18 PM | Permalink

      I went through the comments specifically looking for this. It’s a very helpful book for any marriage.

    • Posted February 20, 2013 at 9:59 AM | Permalink

      Can I also say that I went through here specifically looking for this. These books have shown me HOW to express my love to my wife (which as many of you can imagine has markedly improved our relationship). I was also going to write a comment recommending these, but you sir have beat me to it and for that I am thankful and applaud you.

      This book was written by a christian, I believe this warning is important because I don’t preach to people about faith and I wouldn’t want anyone to pick this book up without knowing what they are actually getting. Much of his observation is attributed to God and for him that works.

      Regardless of where his observations come from, he is an excellent observer of the human spirit. He clearly defines love languages and enabled me to think of myself and my wife as expressing our love in 2 different ways. This helped me to realize that when I want to say that I love her I shouldn’t buy her gifts, fix her car, clean the house, or get her roses, but instead just pay attention to her. Not while watching the game or playing ps3 but just me and her talking. That is how she hears it when I say “I love you”.

  35. brriska
    Posted February 14, 2013 at 8:11 PM | Permalink

    That was really beautiful Pat. Thanks for sharing that bit of your life with us.

  36. Kerensky287
    Posted February 14, 2013 at 8:18 PM | Permalink

    This Valentine’s Day, my wallet was stolen.

    There wasn’t much money in it. It was about thirty bucks, including change. The big deal is that I typically have my wallet on me at all times, which means I carry everything in it. My debit card. My credit card. My chapters card and library card. My health card. All my identification, including driver’s license, student card, and bus pass. And like an idiot, because it was always the quickest place for me to look, it was also where I kept my social insurance card.

    So I spent all fucking day cancelling my cards, getting new versions of the essentials (my bus pass, debit and student cards), and getting ahold of the various credit rating agencies to wave them off of any extravagant purchases “I” might make in the near future. I’ve had to go way out of my way because some jackass decided that his well-being was more important than mine. Because he decided it was worth taking money he didn’t earn, that it was okay to take everything that lets the government consider me a human being. Because I’m afraid he might steal my identity.

    I’m safe now, safe as I can be at least. I’m home now, alone. No girlfriend. Haven’t seen any friends today, even. For a holiday supposedly devoted to love, the day sure has been hateful toward me.

    …Hearing stories like yours makes me glad that it evens out a little in the grand scheme of things, at least.

    • Little My
      Posted February 15, 2013 at 4:34 AM | Permalink

      Oh, man, that’s a rotten feeling and a huge pain in the butt. What a drag. At least it’s done. Here’s to your having a much better weekend, anyway!

  37. Lisa Bouchard
    Posted February 14, 2013 at 8:50 PM | Permalink

    I think you would like The Five Love Languages.

    People experience love in all five ways, but have a primary language that works best for them.

    They are: words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time and physical touch.

    There’s a couple of books, but really this is about all they say.

  38. zom
    Posted February 14, 2013 at 10:22 PM | Permalink

    I drafted what I was going to post 4 times and deleted it 4 times but finally I will just say, You broke something inside. Not through sadness but compassion. It was like chipping away at a glass prison holding back a level of understanding until it finally shattered. A point of view I had never seen, a love I had never know.

  39. Ray Kynion
    Posted February 14, 2013 at 10:41 PM | Permalink

    This year for VD, I bought new comfy bicycle seata for me and my wife so our fat butts would be more comfortable and so we could therefore enjoy going on rides together. It’s a gift that will allow us to spend more time with each other, which I think is nice. I also finished her “honey-do” list before lunch. It’s the little things that last that make us work. Thank you for sharing, Pat.

  40. hail2daredskinz
    Posted February 14, 2013 at 11:25 PM | Permalink

    is anyone else waiting for kvothe to realize all of this and absolutely implode?

  41. Naceiva30
    Posted February 14, 2013 at 11:31 PM | Permalink

    Thank you for sharing. It’s reassuring to know that successful writers struggle with balancing their lives and time spent writing. As a single person, I understand the need for simple touch-contact and the lack thereof can really eat away at a person, given time.

    On Monday I helped push a stranger’s minivan out of a snowy ditch. It was a little sad to see how many people passed by without stopping. But enough people did stop and we managed to free the rear wheels and guide the minivan back onto the drive…a unexpected event that left me feeling useful and warm, and something like a sled dog!

    I sympathize with the difficulties of expressing love. I’m more of an action person, rather than a “gifter”, unless the gift is something hand-made like a crochet blanket that took 100+ hours to make. I too lament that society seems to place so much weight on gifts and “things”, that love can be quantified by the size of a diamond in a woman’s ring or necklace and that some loving parents must be forced to steal and beg for those things that should be basic human rights for their children. The world needs more free expressions of love, not rules on how.

    I hope the little one feels better soon. Best of luck with writing in whatever form it takes.

  42. Dirty_Jo
    Posted February 14, 2013 at 11:43 PM | Permalink

    Thanks for this. I needed it.

  43. Posted February 15, 2013 at 12:09 AM | Permalink

    This is so beautifully written. I can’t believe you can bring tears to my eyes by simply describing your day. Just reading this makes me remember why I love language and reenforces my desire to be a writer.

  44. Lexxa
    Posted February 15, 2013 at 12:23 AM | Permalink

    Thank you.

  45. Meister Zig
    Posted February 15, 2013 at 3:41 AM | Permalink

    God I love you, know this when I say what follows:

    “Everyone working there knows if they bother me while I’m writing, I’ll fire them.”

    HELL. If you fucking need privacy you go to a private place, you do NOT go to a public place surrounded by people that would interact with you naturally and demand they don’t. ESPECIALLY if you pay them.

    • Little My
      Posted February 15, 2013 at 4:39 AM | Permalink

      But wait, though. It’s not a public place. It’s his [writing] house. And if I understood him, he’s working in a room of that house while other people work for him in other parts of the house. So bothering him means, they come knocking at the door asking questions. The proximity is useful because when he’s ready to take breaks he can come out and take care of other kinds of business. Sort of like, you wouldn’t interrupt a surgeon in the O.R. to tell her about all the calls she missed this morning. That’s not disrespectful; that’s just saying, ‘this is how I work best’, and defining the other jobs around the parameters of his own.

      • Posted February 15, 2013 at 6:46 PM | Permalink

        Yup. This.

        • Meister Zig
          Posted February 17, 2013 at 1:31 AM | Permalink

          Sure I wouldn’t interrupt a guy on the air, unless I could correct what was being aired, just like I wouldn’t interrupt a surgery unless I knew a complication I could prevent.

          All in all I meant what I said and don’t regret it.

    • Posted February 15, 2013 at 1:08 PM | Permalink

      I don’t know what kinda boss you have, but short of breaking the law, I let mine tell me to do whatever he freakin’ wants. Considering he pays me to do what he says…

  46. Yezabel
    Posted February 15, 2013 at 4:29 AM | Permalink

    Oh Pat, it’s amazing the way you move me with your words, this post’s just so beautiful, touching and perfect.
    Its amazing after almost four years, thousands of words, hundreds of books (many of them great books) you still manage with a single post to remind me of why you sir are my favourite writer. Thank you.

  47. Shadow14
    Posted February 15, 2013 at 6:05 AM | Permalink

    Valentine’s day is my birthday so I have an interesting relationship with the day. I’m also an avid amateur photographer currently taking part in a 52 week challenge. This weeks assignment – Capturing things you love. So I played birthday hooky from work yesterday afternoon so I could have fun and try to get the last picture for my assignment – books. It’s hard to describe my love for something that is a constant presence in my life like air or cat hair. It just is. I grabbed books form the shelves, including “Name of the Wind” and set up my shot. After I was done I saw this post and thought yes, there are so many ways to enjoy aspects of love. So here’s the picture, enjoy :)

  48. Shadow14
    Posted February 15, 2013 at 6:05 AM | Permalink
  49. Viola
    Posted February 15, 2013 at 6:16 AM | Permalink

    Your writing is love.

    Thanks for this.

  50. SanMes
    Posted February 15, 2013 at 6:30 AM | Permalink

    Wonderful. A fan from Portugal.

  51. sirfkacey
    Posted February 15, 2013 at 7:09 AM | Permalink

    This was an amazing read. Thank you.

  52. Howland
    Posted February 15, 2013 at 8:42 AM | Permalink

    Pat, I completely agree with your thoughts on buying flowers on Valentine’s day. My local grocer was selling a dozen roses for $48 on Thursday. I hate being told by society what to do, but my wife and daughter like flowers.

    I also had a noon date planned last Saturday and woke up to find my four year-old in my bed hurling his cookies all over me. One of the things you don’t think about when you plan to have kids is that one day you will be running to the bathroom at 2:30 in the morning, covered in vomit, holding a kid with a hand covering his mouth as the previous night’s spaghetti squirts through your fingers and praying that he doesn’t have a bout of diarrhea before you get there. You childless people have been warned.

    At the risk of asking a too-personal, off topic question I’ll ask anyway out of complete curiosity for your thoughts on formula at Oot’s age. The stuff is expensive and tastes like the grossest stuff ever.

    • Little My
      Posted February 16, 2013 at 6:21 AM | Permalink

      (I think he was buying Pedialyte, not formula, for Oot.)

      • DrFood
        Posted February 21, 2013 at 11:29 PM | Permalink

        You are right – Pedialyte.

        If you still have baby rice cereal in your kitchen, you can make a very fine pedialyte simulacrum with 2 cups water, 1/2 cup baby rice cereal and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Some kids prefer this to the colored stuff.

  53. Hawks
    Posted February 15, 2013 at 10:05 AM | Permalink


    This post really brightened my day. As always your way with words is unmatched and lets readers feel the emotion as if we are actually there. Thanks for continuing this blog. I know it must take up a decent amount of your time, but it always is a nice surprise when I see a new post.

  54. Rahl
    Posted February 15, 2013 at 10:14 AM | Permalink

    Beautiful Pat

  55. mandabanda
    Posted February 15, 2013 at 10:38 AM | Permalink

    My hubs and I had a dawning moment of realization about 2 years ago that we love differently. We’ve been together for 15 years, and married for 11, but it took us until 2 years ago to really get that. It was all over the argument of where I wanted to go out to eat for Mother’s Day. To him, getting to pick the restaurant is a great privilege. To me, it’s a terrible burden. I was being whiney about picking, and he was getting mad because he was trying to show me love, and I was rejecting it. Why? Because I hate being responsible for others’ unhappiness. If I picked a restaurant that the kids didn’t like and they complained, it would ruin the experience for me. If he picked the restaraunt and the kids complained, it’s not my fault, therefore I’m still happy. That sounds kind of f’d up now that I say it, but that’s how my brain works. My joy is having everyone around me happy, so that’s how I show love, obsessively trying to make everyone else happy. On a side note, it’s very hard for me to tell people NO. My husband gives. He gives flowers, hugs, compliments. To him, it’s a gift to pick a restaraunt. Picking on his special day makes him very happy, because we are giving that to him. We know that now, and he picks the restaraunt on my days and says we’re going and doesn’t even tell me where. Perfect. I love it. Especially since he’s the cook, and it’s a privilege when he doesn’t have to cook, which in turn makes him happy, and well, you know, makes me so. I would be fine with eating at home on special days, but then he wouldn’t be happy, therefore I can’t be. Side note again, I think there might be something wrong with me.

    • Constance
      Posted February 15, 2013 at 10:56 AM | Permalink

      Mandabanda – No, nothing wrong. I think you put into words how I feel about the same situation. It’s a major issue for the Mr. and I.

    • Posted February 15, 2013 at 1:13 PM | Permalink

      Get outta my head!! AHH.

      I agree, nothing wrong with you. Well, unless there is something wrong with both Constance and I…
      I feel the exact same way. What makes me feel loved and good, is everyone I love, feeling…uh…loved and good.

      WTF? That does sound weird….LOL. Whatever, it’s true. (Also, totally hate choosing the restaurant – I often list someone else choosing as part of my wishes for special days.)

  56. Kiefna
    Posted February 15, 2013 at 11:02 AM | Permalink

    This post was different than many of your posts because for one, it reaffirmed for me many of the things that are wonderfully part of human nature; our capacity to love and be loved. But more importantly, the fact that we were MADE to love. It is a fundamental part of who we are. I realize that you don’t seem to be religious in any way, but it is comforting to know that the many things I believe can be viewed through experiences all around us in ways we have difficulty understanding or interpreting.

  57. Andrew
    Posted February 15, 2013 at 12:24 PM | Permalink

    This is just awesome Pat, thank you for taking the time to write and share it with us.

  58. DreamerBelle
    Posted February 15, 2013 at 1:46 PM | Permalink

    I love you, Pat. Thanks so much for making me cry.

  59. Daniel Goldberg
    Posted February 15, 2013 at 2:39 PM | Permalink

    I know two people have already mentioned it, but a book my wife and I received when we were getting married was The Five Love Languages.

    Just a disclaimer—it was given to us by a pastor, and has Christian undertones, but we both found it extremely helpful in learning more about what makes the other feel loved.

    I’m someone who needs words of affirmation (it makes me feel vain, I must admit). My wife feels loved when I do acts of service. I would’ve never guessed that, and to me it just feels like I’m doing chores, not showing love, but she tells me it makes her feel appreciated and cared about.

    Anyway, I’d recommend the book. It’s not that long, and considering how fast you read stuff (I follow you on Goodreads), I’m sure it wouldn’t take you that long to read.

  60. breosaighead
    Posted February 15, 2013 at 4:08 PM | Permalink

    Maybe I’m just particularly easy to make cry today, but this had me in tears. :)

  61. ArmaXYZ
    Posted February 15, 2013 at 4:22 PM | Permalink

    This was cool, Pat.

  62. trunuyawkr
    Posted February 15, 2013 at 5:01 PM | Permalink

    Hi Pat –

    I don’t know if you are still reading comments on this thread, but just in case…. I’m a bit surprised no one mentioned it:

    ” The importance of touch should not be ignored. It shouldn’t be played down or viewed as something low or base. They joy of touching and being touched it is a big part of being human.”

    You do not know how very right you are with this statement. There have been many studies done on the power of touch and its affects on human emotions, but one of the clearest, strongest proofs of the importance of touch can be found in any NICU hospital unit. When my son was born 7 weeks premature in an emergency C section, one of the very first things they had my husband and I (when I was physically able) do was something called a kangaroo hold. Basically, you wear a button down shirt (or, in my case, a hospital gown) so that you can loosen your clothing and lay the baby directly against your chest, skin to skin. NICU babies absolutely *THRIVE* when they get to kangaroo snuggle…….. heartbeats steady out, temperatures drop, feedings increase, flailing stops – a complete sense of zen calm envelopes these tiny, precious beings and helps them gain the strength they need to be able to come home. I still find myself in tears as I remember those early weeks, just lying there with my son on my chest, breathing in his scent as he slept peacefully snuggled up under my chin.

    Never, EVER underestimate the power of touch…… it is love without a single word having to be spoken.

    I hope Oot is feeling better, and you and Sarah stayed healthy!

    • trunuyawkr
      Posted February 15, 2013 at 5:02 PM | Permalink

      *effects. Sorry.

  63. Posted February 15, 2013 at 5:11 PM | Permalink

    Not to be overdramatic, but if Oot doesn’t get better soon, might go by the Doc’s.

    We’ve had the same bug going around where I live and my boss’ son passed away from getting over dehydrated, he had the same symptoms. So…I don’t know. I don’t want to freak you out and I’m sure you guys would take him anyway if things didn’t calm down fast, but I don’t want to NOT say something and regret it later.

    That being said – I think you did the right thing by Sarah. I always get bummed out when my plans don’t go as planned so at least she got lots of flowers and the day with both her loves. (even if one was sick) Maybe your dreams of visiting the Workhouse on an unregulated evening will come true afterall. LOL.

  64. iceblinc
    Posted February 15, 2013 at 5:18 PM | Permalink

    Thank you for sharing.

  65. harmonic tremors
    Posted February 15, 2013 at 6:06 PM | Permalink

    Dammit, man. You made me cry. Again. But then you bought flowers for Sarah and I smiled. Hearing your unabashed concern for your community makes a little tiny part of me believe in the world again. Most of it seems so fucked up all the time it’s easy to lose hope in people. Thank you for giving us hope again. At least in one small corner of the world, there’s still good people.

  66. robbin
    Posted February 15, 2013 at 8:37 PM | Permalink

    like it or not sir, you are a good man. i hope your little guy feels better soon. my 3 kiddos have taken turns being sick this week and as a parent its so hard to watch. no matter how old or big they are (mine are 11, 7 &4) when they’re sick they seem so small and fragile… we read the hobbit a couple months ago and although we make it a point to read most evenings and go through a lot of books the hobbit is by far their favorite. happy reading!
    (ps, we are currently reading the bfg, its full of words and phrasing guaranteed to make little people rotflol!)

  67. Lemmons998
    Posted February 15, 2013 at 8:50 PM | Permalink

    Great post… and great comments… I believe I will check out that “5 Love Languages” book.
    I will note on top of showing love in different ways, I am finding out that being a different type of learner is also very interesting in a relationship…
    As it turns out, I am almost completely a visual learner and my significant other is almost completely an auditory learner. This has lead to some frustrating arguments where I try to show him my side by saying “here, read this article” and he tries to explain his point of view by saying “here, watch this video.” I have faith that eventually we will learn to communicate better in this regard, but in the meantime it is very frustrating.

  68. Dana E. Menello
    Posted February 16, 2013 at 6:46 AM | Permalink


    This is my first post but I’ve been a follower all the way from the beginning when The Name of the Wind had the terrible Romance-Novel-Guy hardcover.

    I have a story relevant to the topic.

    My grandparents fought in WWII. Both of them. They foughtfrom D-Day until the end of the (german) war. They were in the unit trapped during the Battle of the Bulge. They were married in Berlin at the end of the war. My grandmother’s wedding dress was made from captured paratrooper silk.

    They were married for over fifty years and had five children and eleven grandchildren and seventeen great-grandchildren.

    My grandmother died of a heart attack a little over a year ago. My grandfather quietly traveled the country to see each and every one of his children in cities as far flung as New York and Salt Lake City.

    Then he went home and died. In his sleep. Two days after getting home. The autopsy didn’t reveal ANY anomolies. Ablsolutely no reason. But we all know why.

    That’s true love.

    • mandabanda
      Posted February 16, 2013 at 7:52 AM | Permalink

      Oh my head. That was beautiful. Crying out of happiness right now. That’s how I wan’t to go in the end. Feeling complete.

  69. bishieaya
    Posted February 16, 2013 at 7:39 AM | Permalink

    For the past hour or so I have been trying to write this comment. Nothing I have written has been able to encapsulate how your post has made me feel. So I have to settle for expressing that you truely are a kindred spirit (I hope you have read Anne of Green Gables else this might sound odd) and I am so glad that I found your books.
    I am also writing this for my mother. She has never read your books but she loves to hear about you and Oot, and she has asked me to tell you how your words have’ touched her as mother/wife/daughter so strongly.’ Thank you so much.

  70. Tempi Tantrum
    Posted February 16, 2013 at 7:39 AM | Permalink

    I had a plan on Valentine’s Day. A pretty simple, cheasy plan, to be honest. I would walk to Tesco’s (the cornerstone of romance) and buy a single red rose for a girl to declare my undying, erm, fancying of her.

    Anyway, she was with me at Tesco’s, and I was about to buy the rose (for “someone” I mysteriously told her), when she said “Don’t waste your money on flowers, they just die.” Oh. So I was at a dilemma: buy the rose or abandon my amazing plan…

    To cut a long story short, I bought of a bag of fudge instead and shared them with my friends. Maybe it’s not as romantic, but it sure tasted better than roses.

    Have a great day Pat!

    • Posted February 19, 2013 at 4:57 PM | Permalink

      Roses don’t taste very good at all. Too bitter.

  71. Seoman
    Posted February 17, 2013 at 3:33 AM | Permalink

    I just wanted to say i appreciate how you keep putting yourself out there and sharing your thoughts with us. This post was wonderfull and as a long time lurker i had to comment on it. I just wanted to say how i appreciate the feelings put into your post.

  72. justme007
    Posted February 18, 2013 at 2:08 PM | Permalink

    Generally I can’t stand Valentine’s Day. I think it’s superficial and silly, and I can’t stand the way society forces everyone to act on 14 February.

    This is the best thing I’ve ever seen written about Valentine’s Day and the meaning and expression of love.

  73. kerys
    Posted February 18, 2013 at 5:38 PM | Permalink

    My fiance & I are sitting on the couch, holding feet*, ignoring a Castle marathon on the TV, each on our respective computers. I’m crying over your beautifuk blog & insisting that he read it now.

    *Holding feet is what we do when we’re on the couch with hands full of books, cats, or computers. It just consists of having the ball of my foot pressed against the ball of his foot. This, too, is love.

  74. kerys
    Posted February 18, 2013 at 5:39 PM | Permalink




  75. charolette33
    Posted February 19, 2013 at 6:46 AM | Permalink

    This post is so lovely. There are so many things I do for my family out of love. Frequently it is disguised as housework or dinner or “don’t hit your sister.” Sometimes it’s a little heartbreaking, such as letting my son pull his hand away from mine when we’re walking together in public. He’s too big for that now. “I love you” can be expressed a million ways big and small. Your expression of that is so beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

  76. valerie
    Posted February 19, 2013 at 7:04 AM | Permalink

    I have read this blog for a while but never felt the urge to comment as strong as I do now.
    I have a stressful, full time job next to being a mom and girlfriend. As if this wasn’t enough, I also make my own jewellery and sell it online on a commission basis.
    Today in particular I was having a very shitty day, getting the heat from all angles and I was on the verge of having a mental breakdown. Then I decided to take a break from it all and read this blog.

    And it made me realize that I was getting worked up over nothing.
    I have a good life and I should be grateful for the love I get from my family. My boyfriend and I don’t celebrate Valentine’s day either, because we are not into supporting commercial holidays. To us, it is ‘valentine’s day’ every day of the year. That is what love is to me.

    Thank you Pat, for making the stress going away and reminding me of what life is all about.

  77. abhollis
    Posted February 19, 2013 at 12:23 PM | Permalink

    Not sure where else to put this but I’m a HUGE fan of this series. Its the only book other than the bible I’ve read more than once.

    I’m black not Edema Ruh, I went to Yale Law not the Arcanum, but this book makes me want to practice the guitar and hit the road…

    Heavily heavily self edited against creepiness.. favorite books ever. Keep it up. Godspeed.

  78. Linamar
    Posted February 19, 2013 at 5:32 PM | Permalink

    I registered specifically so I could comment on this post.

    I don’t know if there’s a higher power. If there is, I have no idea what He, She, It, They, or (insert pronoun of choice) find desirable.

    I pray, with all of my heart, that they find favor with you.

    With your simple, elegant words, you touched a part of my heart and soul that were caked with years of grime, bitterness, hate, rage. All of the nasty, tiny emotions that erode away your humanity.

    Will it change me forever? I don’t know. But it changed me for today, and in a way I desperately needed, even if I didn’t know it.

    Whatever God may or may not be out there, Mr. Rothfuss, I pray you’re blessed beyond measure for what you do every day.

    Thank you.

  79. jasondubya
    Posted February 20, 2013 at 11:23 AM | Permalink

    Dammit Pat… that was touching.

    NOW I HAVE ALL THESE FEELS WELLING UP. I really enjoy your blog and books.. you have a way of looking at things I find refreshing and simple. Not to say the topics are simple things.. by any means… just that often I can relate on some level and it moves me towards trying to be a better human being.

  80. Boneman
    Posted February 21, 2013 at 6:59 AM | Permalink

    What a great blog about the most important thing in the universe… closely followed by chocolate, possibly… and maybe beer… but it’s up there with them, and expressed in a way that makes me wish my 30 and 27 year-olds were small children again!

    I just found out that Oot is the Dal’Sharum signal for ‘beware’ or ‘demon approaching’ according to Peter V Brett. I kinda hear a Canadian voice here yelling “Watch Oot!” For some reason they don’t say “owt” – must be the French influence. You don’t get owt for nowt’ as they say in Yorkshire…

  81. Kimberellie
    Posted February 22, 2013 at 1:24 AM | Permalink

    I came by your blog because I am, like many people I’m sure, eagerly awaiting your third book. Anyway, I ended up reading this post and absolutely loving it & you & your entire family for that matter (I have a little guy who is 4 & not that into snuggles either so I feel your pain!). Good that you got the flowers. I don’t know if you mentioned that love is extravagant. But that’s always how I think of flowers: of course they’re going to be tossed into the compost in three weeks. That’s the point. Sort of. It’s extravagant to give something so ephemeral. Also, I hope you’ve read to this point so I can say: I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THE KINGKILLER CHRONICLES!! Sorry. Had to shout. ;-) But they are my very favourite books I have ever in my entire life read. I like them more than LOTR. No joke. I love them that much. & hopefully such praise doesn’t make you all nervous about writing the third one (it would me…but that’s me). & anyway what’s amazing about them is Kvothe. & yes. I should stop talking. You stopped reading sentences ago. Anyway, thank you. Also all typos I blame on my phone.

  82. Kimberellie
    Posted February 22, 2013 at 1:29 AM | Permalink

    Just in case you didn’t read down to the part where I said your b

  83. Kimberellie
    Posted February 22, 2013 at 1:32 AM | Permalink

    Ahhh. Stupid phone. Disregard that last comment! I just wanted to restate how your book (I know there are two books. But in my head it’s one book). As I was saying, they are my favourite books ever. I love them more than LOTR. They’ve made my life happier. They are BEAUTIFUL. So thank you. Thank you!!!!

  84. Nukeface
    Posted February 22, 2013 at 7:44 AM | Permalink

    So I come here to find out if there’s any progress on the third book, and read a story. Very well written, again! Didn’t think a short story like this could hold my attention past the first two sentences. Somehow your writing makes me read the whole thing in one go.

    Hope everyone had an awesome Valentines Day.

    By the by Pat. If you at some point in the near future see a chance to post an estimate on the final part (is it really the final? :( ) of the book series, that would be awesome. Have read them at least 4 times each now, and would like to again right before the release of the 3rd. :)

  85. Kara
    Posted February 23, 2013 at 10:09 AM | Permalink

    I got dumped 3 days before Valentine’s Day. I still love him and it hurts, but this helped. Thanks Pat.

  86. Thrayonlosa
    Posted February 23, 2013 at 10:17 AM | Permalink

    This is late, but I just wanted to say it.

    Pat, you’re amazing.

  87. crookedneighbor3
    Posted February 23, 2013 at 11:45 PM | Permalink

    Love is reading this blog because I read the books that were tender to a teacher whom I love and who deserves to feel loved everyday. Love is wishing I could, meet you, Pat, so I could say thank you.

    But for all its worth, thank you. All my love

  88. superfriendlyaviator
    Posted February 25, 2013 at 7:49 PM | Permalink


    Thank you so much for writing this. It almost to brought me to tears here in public, in the coffee shop, maybe because I am overly hormonal, maybe because I am huge goober.

    I came to this post after reading N.K. Jemison’s and others’ posts about the Onion debacle about an unforgivable comment that I won’t repeat. I was sitting here feeling hurt, and angry, and sad, and maybe that had a bit to do with being on the edge of tears too because I was once a little girl much like the who is the subject of all the discussion.

    Your post reminded me about all that’s good in the world when I was feeling really down on it. So, even though I know you likely won’t see this, I needed to say thank you because it helped me so much in this moment regain my hope and it filled my heart back up and…


    I do too

  89. curtisdye
    Posted February 26, 2013 at 2:50 PM | Permalink

    I haven’t checked out the blog in a while. I recall that when I was reading books 1&2 a year or so ago it had become part of a regular routine to visit and drink from the fountain of insight that is Pat. Somewhere along the way, after finishing the books, life moved on and I progressed into that state of bitter acceptance that follows the inevitable grieving one feels when a story, that has been all consuming for some period of time, must be placed on hold while the genius that is telling it tries valiantly to meet the needs of his/her readers and finish the next chapter.

    So, today on a whim, I visited Pat’s site to see if there might be news of how book 3 is progressing. No big announcement on the homepage. Maybe something in the blog? And there, mixed in with some comments about trying to write, is a story of of a man, a woman, and a puking kid. A story that brought tears to my eyes as I contemplated love and the many ways it is expressed and felt. And neglected and left unshared.

    My wife got the cliche roses on V-day. But she deserves more. Last night when I came into our bedroom she was laying on the bed with our fifteen-year-old daughter. She was reading The Hobbit to her. Loving her in her own special way. My wife could easily teach college-level seminars on Tolkien, having read the big four at least twenty times each over the past 35 years (and that behemoth opus The Silmarillion at least ten). Those stories are as much a part of her as the cells that compose her body. Her sharing, and my daughter desiring to listen, question, and learn, are acts of reciprocal love. And it made me love them more to sit, listen, and observe for those few minutes.

    While reading books 1&2 of Kingkiller I repeatedly told my wife that I was experiencing a literary event that most of us are only lucky enough to be part of every ten years or so. I told her that the story of Kvothe would take its’ rightful place next to that of Bilbo and Frodo, and that I was sure she would come to treasure it, as well, when she read it. Unfortunately, the same ebbing of passion that eventually saw me moving on from my regular visits to Pat’s blog also saw me fail to follow through on getting my wife a formal introduction to Kvothe.

    So today is a day of redemption. I have been reminded of the storytelling genius of Patrick Rothfuss. And I have put books 1&2 on my wife’s Kindle; and put a red bow on it as a second, belated, act of V-day love.

  90. carla7cruz
    Posted February 27, 2013 at 10:06 AM | Permalink

    Hi, Pat!
    I’ve been following your blog for a while, now. It all started when I came across your first book, The Name of the Wind…
    I’m a big fan of fantasy literature since my parents gave me The Lord of the Rings and I read the whole thing in a couple of weeks, always trying to articulate the simultaneous events with the history developed by Tolkien to support them, the naming of places and characters… No doubt that man filled my mind with wonder and made me see that we are the only ones to put boundaries to our lives!
    But that was a long time ago, and I’ve been reading a lot, sometimes good things, and sometimes some books that I just find entertaining, whatever… That is, until I found your book, The Name of the Wind. I can tell you that I’m Portuguese but, when I read the synopsis for The Name of the Wind, I ordered it immediately, in English. And I’m happy for that, as no translator smeared your delightful writing. I read it in a few days (nights) and, during that week, my students got to know the zombie within me… I was teaching statistics, thinking of Kothe, the innkeeper and Kvothe, at the university while I hear myself talking of random numbers and distributions! No doubt I was the most absent minded person ever, always with that stupid smile in my face, as if I knew something special no one else could figure out… Probably I was right, as my reading preferences puzzle my family and friends (they use to get mad at me for spending my holidays with my face in a book, as they were at the beach or camping… my body was there, but my mind kept traveling to wondrous places and they found me weird because sometimes I started laughing with no apparent reason and I knew it was no use to tell them why…).
    So, even now, married, mother of 2 wonderful, funny, mischievous and loud boys, teacher and PhD student, I find the time for my special treasure in my mind, reading!
    After reading The Name of the Wind, I found your blog and got to know the Tinker a bit better, explored all the mapping, read the reviews to your books and waited for the second day… And it came and I preordered The Wise Man’s Fear and went through it like a hot knife through butter (this is a Portuguese expression, I don’t know if you have a similar one). Another week of zombie lecturing, forgive me, my students! And another week of dazzled stares through the windows during classes…
    All this to get to the point where sometimes I felt out of this world while living what I read in your books and found myself guilty of holding my children while I was remembering bits and pieces of your books. I really had to make an effort to be consciously there, can you understand how I felt? Like a big balloon held down by a really thin and fragile string…
    During these past few days I have been rereading your books, something I seldom do, only when I find the books really worth it! I feel like visiting old friends and it is a great delight to go through your marvelous writing once again…
    And then I read your post and found myself astonished by evidence that has always been there but, at the same time, it is new for me! These wonderful minds that create these amazing worlds and stories that make me daydream have their feet well placed on the ground, live lives and share feelings as the rest of us, mere mortals! Particularly regarding your post on Concerning Love, it was so comforting to read that someone feels the same way I do regarding his own feelings… I’m the practical, all road, silent half of the couple! I would rather do than say things, I tend not to show my feelings but hope to demonstrate them and no way I would be convinced by flowers or chocolate if my husband doesn’t show he is as committed as me to our family… Weird, I know, not the usual feminine character society presents you with! So, reading your post was a bit like talking to myself and helped me to realize it is possible to daydream, love and care for my family, all with a single mind and heart! Thank you for sharing your life with your readers and fans, it is special for us to know that you have a real life, with the same problems and joys we do…
    Eagerly waiting for day 3!
    Take care,

  91. j_lovescoffee
    Posted March 12, 2013 at 6:12 PM | Permalink

    I needed this today, and stumbled upon this post by accident.


  92. Kristi
    Posted March 17, 2013 at 6:44 PM | Permalink

    It appears I am late to the game.
    Quiet Sunday afternoon, kids and husband playing Minecraft together. I thought I would find my inspiration to help further my own writing during this rare moment of time alone. I visited your blog. It always inspires me, one way or another.

    This was beautiful, and very touching. I will go check in with my family now. My husband will ask what is the matter, he always notices the signs of recent tears. I will just smile and tell them all I love them. Pass around the kisses. Then finish the laundry, my husband’s job.

    Again, you’ve inspired me, Pat, though not in the way I was expecting. Today I will show my love. I will have the night to write.

  93. Nthouse
    Posted March 25, 2013 at 8:58 PM | Permalink

    I cried a little bit in my hellbound heart, Mr. Rothfuss.

    I’m thankful to have come upon your words.


  94. Posted March 26, 2013 at 7:50 AM | Permalink

    Your book helped me through a tough evening yesterday and now I find this. I was actually looking for a projected publication date for the third book, but I found this instead.

    Yesterday was not a good day. I had to look a scared man who is trying to do the right thing in the eye and tell him I couldn’t help him. The details are important but I don’t feel right about putting them out there. I couldn’t do anything, as I most often can’t. The best I can usually do is delay the pain of a lifetime of bad luck and bad decisions for a while. For this man I couldn’t even do that. Sometimes it’s tempting to give up when I have too many days in a row like today. I feel smothered by failure and doubt and wishing the world were different. But reading this tonight reminded me that it’s really just love. And it’s not such a bad thing to feel smothered by love as long as I have ways to come up for air like your book and this post. I can live with that. So thanks.

  95. Posted March 27, 2013 at 6:14 PM | Permalink

    I was just watching National Geographic: Lord of the Rings and for some reason thought of your books. I have read both and would like to see a third! I read that you are working on a third – would this be to continue the Kvothe series? Please please please!

  96. tkiago
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 2:06 AM | Permalink

    Something that I came across and think it fit here:
    An old couple were together in the bed when the wife asked “how come you don’t say that you love me anymore” and the husband answered “I said it when I first meet you, i would tell you if anything had changed”.
    I know that you can and should tell the person you love that you love her/him but maybe I’m too naive but a relationship that you could trust someone so much that he/she can say it just 1 time and you will have that for granted is something I’m looking for…
    Anyway, sorry for my bad english and thank you for sharing and caring the way you do.

  97. NoahAllen17
    Posted April 3, 2013 at 7:42 PM | Permalink

    This was beautiful. I loved every word. However, after reading your books, I really have found roses to be too cliche to buy someone, you have ruined me.

  98. Philip Gamez
    Posted February 18, 2014 at 8:12 PM | Permalink

    Damn. That cuts deep.

  99. Zeke
    Posted May 17, 2014 at 8:53 AM | Permalink

    Pat. I am writing this to you, two weeks before my wedding.

    My dear beloved wants me to pick out readings for the ceremony. She’s stressed I haven’t done it sooner. Anxious. Hurt at my delay, even.

    I am looking at endless poems and passages and homages to marriage and love, and all I can see is the trite way they try to capture the emotion, the failure of the words to convey the feeling.

    I remembered reading your books. Loving your writing.

    I found and re-read this entry. It reads like a sermon. It reads like a man who loves his family. I read it and see a man whose tiredness has thinned the barrier we put between ourselves and loving everyone, to keep from getting hurt.

    It’s often hard for me to express my emotions. I am reading about the love you bear for your son and your wife, crying. Sometimes I feel like a dark, rusted plate, with the smallest of holes leading to my heart.

    And you draw the emotion out of me like gold wire.

  100. Posted April 1, 2020 at 7:59 PM | Permalink

    This is just awesome Pat, thank you for taking the time to write and share it with us.

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