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by Sharon Bouchard

Two penguins walk into a hotel…I know, that sounds like the start of a joke, but it’s not.

There was a picture in the Boston Globe of two penguins walking into the Seaharbor Hotel. Their names are Penny and Pete and they were part of a marine life show that was taking place.

The paper did not explain if Penny and Pete’s walking into the hotel was part of the show, which it didn’t appear to be. Maybe they got away from their trainer and decided to take a stroll.

I don’t know why Penny and Pete were walking into the hotel, but I decided to create a good reason for their little walk. How’s this….Penny and Pete just got married and they had reserved the honeymoon suite at the Seaharbor Hotel? Isn’t that a sweet romantic story?

A hotel like that may very well have an all-you-can-eat seafood buffet, and I’m sure Penny and Pete would enjoy that. The honeymoon suite probably has a sunken tub and that would be perfect for the lovebirds, especially if it was a saltwater tub. Oh, penguin love is so sweet.

I told my husband my little penguin story and he was disappointed that it wasn’t a joke.  In fact, he said, “You’re not even a romantic person, so why did you dream up such a stupid love story?”

“What do you mean that I’m not romantic?” I asked.  “We did get married on Valentine’s Day after all!”

“Yes we did,” Henry responded.  “But we were young, and so in love.”

“So are the gosh darn penguins!” I said.

This was a pretty stupid conversation for two intelligent adults to be having, but it didn’t end there.

“You never read romance novels.” Henry reminded me.  “You read ghastly murder thriller books.”

That’s true, my guilty pleasure is such books, but they usually have a romance mixed in; you know, strong willed female detective has to work with a strong willed male detective who she hates at first, then they fall in love and catch the bad guy, and probably live happily ever after.

“You don’t even go for the love story movies like other women,” said Henry.

“That’s not true,” I defended myself. “When Harry Met Sally is one of my favorite movies.”

“So isn’t Silence of the Lambs,” he threw at me.

Okay, I have to admit that I may not be the most romantic person on The Love Boat, but this discussion with a man whose idea of romance is to pat me on the butt and say, “You’ve still got it baby, only a lot more of it,” strikes me as a bit ridiculous.

However, I only said a few bad words and then turned my thoughts to Penny and Pete and the romantic honeymoon story I made up.  I wondered how things would be for them on their 43rd anniversary, though I have no idea on the life span of penguins, but that’s irrelevant.

What isn’t irrelevant is that my 43rd Valentine’s Day anniversary is here and though Henry and I may not be as romantic as we once were, our love is still pretty darn strong.

I hope that Penny and Pete can enjoy the benefits of what many years of love can bring. There is, after all, something romantic about the comfortable silence that enduring lovers can share. There is the thrill of a gentle touch or that knowing look that Henry and I share so often. It may not be hearts and flowers, but it’s pretty darn good.

This Valentine’s Day I wish all the Pennys and Petes a lifetime of enduring love, and the way I see it, Henry and I should watch When Harry Met Sally for our anniversary treat. It would be really special if we could follow that up with Silence of the Lambs.

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