Side note: Do you take the paper cover off hardback books? Sometimes I do. Sometimes I don't. But Black Heels is a bigger book so I took the paper cover off and I found this lovely surprise... Isn't it pretty?
Has this book brought you back to the beginning of a romantic relationship in your life?
Yes. For many (many many many many many...) years I heard "you'll meet The One when you're least expecting it." I HATED when people told me that. Bold-CAP hated. And sure as heck enough, while having dinner with family & friends in my hometown JH put in a request with Mandy that he would like to take "her friend Nina" to dinner sometime. We grew up less than 6 miles away from each other yet I had not a clue who this person was that Mandy and her family knew so well. Who knew I needed to live 354 miles away from home to find The One right in my backyard?
What surprised you about Ree? If this was your first time reading about her background, did anything surprise you about her "beginnings?"
Well I wasn't too surprised since I had read parts of the Black Heels story on her blog but for some odd (could be pregnancy brain) reason I thought she had lived in New York, not LA. Not really a surprise, just different than what I thought.
While reading Part I of Black Heels, did you find yourself comparing your own love life/story to Ree's?
Of course, isn't it only human to compare your story or for the single girls, dream of what your story will be like one day when reading a love story of any kind?
That Summer night I decided to have dinner with JH, my car was packed and ready to head back to Chicago. In my (then) mind, the only place to live! Boy was I in for a whirlwind. A dinner, two glasses of wine, a gray knit dress, gold flats and a shared side of broccoli later my life was changed forever.
But unlike Ree's story, I did go to Chicago. Although, I didn't give JH the chance to ask me to come back (even though I'm pretty sure he would have) because I never unpacked my car. I was back in my hometown within 48-hours of leaving! We agree we wouldn't say it was love-at-first-sight but we both knew we wanted to continue to see each other and with each time we wanted to see each other more and more.
We didn't have any sort of dramatic, over-the-top movie-like kisses on my parents front porch nor did neither of us have crazy ex's making surprise visits or pulling proposals out over the phone. It was a simple relationship that led to two people falling in love.
Would you have handled ex-boyfriend (J) the same way or differently than Ree did?
You would think since I wrote this question I would have a quick answer but I don't. I think she handled J pretty well but for me, I would not have left LA without making sure J knew it was o-v-e-r. As in, when I say don't fly to my parents' house that means don't fly to my parents' house. Especially with a ring in your pocket and a proposal in your head.
Have you ever made a life-changing decision based on a guy in your life? And how did it work out for you?
Yes and no. For me, my decision to come back home was because I finally realized that Chicago wasn't the only place on Earth to live. I had lived there for a few years. Years of not finding the life I thought I would find there. Don't get me wrong, my time in the city was one of the very best times of my life. The time with my girlfriends living in our walk-up brownstone will forever have a piece of my heart. Our friendships mean the absolute world to me and the memories actually bring tears to my eyes. But somewhere between mile 150 and 354 I realized it was time for a change. I wanted to see this Joe-guy again (and again and again) and I was going to go home to do just that. At that point, I didn't know what the future held but I was just going to "go with it" and see what happened. Best decision of my life.
The short of my long-winded answer is listen to your heart! Decisions can be made based on what life hands you but don't let others make decisions for you. You'll resent them one day.
How do you think Ree's family felt that she was just going to give up going to Chicago for a guy she had just met?
Based on the story, I have a feeling it was the last thing on Ree's parents' minds but it's no secret how her brother felt about her decision ;)
From Rocky Mountain Wife:
If you were Ree and started to question your life plan (leaving Cali, moving to Chicago, being independent for a while)...how would you feel when this sudden romance came into your life at the 'wrong' time?
Well... I think she quickly realized the "wrong" time was actually quite the opposite. It was the "perfect" time. In Ree's situation or how the story is told, I would have been a little overwhelmed but in a good way.
How do you think the situation with Ree's parents affected her relationship with Marlboro Man? (Or do think it did not affect her?)
I'm hoping we find out more about this in Part II & III.
Have you ever felt an instant connection with someone? How did it turn out?
During my dating life, instant connections were more like red-flags but most were fun while they lasted!
What made you relate to Ree? In what ways could you not relate to her?
Clearly there were parts that made me relate to Ree but I do have a hard time relating to her "dreamy" way of telling her story. I call it like I see it. I speak my mind... probably a little too much but none-the-less it's me. If I had just found out my parents were getting a divorce I would not have been able to keep it to myself. I would have told MM the second I got in the truck. Right or wrong, that's me.
I love all the details of Ree's cooking for Marlboro Man in the early stages of their relationship. Have you ever made anything for the guy in your life that was just an utter disaster? Did he choke it down anyway?
The first story that comes to mind happened back in 2002-2003. I attempted to make a pan of Chicken Tetrazzini (something I have since mastered) and the second I tasted it I almost threw up. I couldn't believe he was actually eating it. I said, "STOP eating that right now." He gave some, "oh it's great..." response. "If there's one thing I know about it, it's good food. And THIS is NOT good." I don't remember much else but I think a pizza was delivered 45 minutes later.
How much of Ree's book do you think is truth or fiction? How much did she embellish? Do you think she omitted or added anything? Obviously she couldn't get EVERYTHING that happened during this period of her life in the book, but I kept wondering what was left out and if some of the stuff she was writing was built up just a teensy tiny bit.
This is a great question. As I mentioned before, I do struggle a little with the dramatic-old-Hollywood-love-story language but it's a fun, brainless read that I'm enjoying greatly. I do have a hard time believing this is REAL life for them but maybe that will change as the story goes on.
I'm sure all books embellish the truth just a bit but no one can argue that Ree is one talented writer! Embellished truth or not.
Inspires me to be a better writer.
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