My husband has always accused me of being one of those people who walks through life completely oblivious to the effect I have on others. I had to have another woman explain to me in a bar once that the female bartender was hitting on me. I just thought she was lighting my cigarette. Whatever.
So for years, I had this total disconnect between the apparent fascination my ability to tie a cherry stem with my tongue caused among the male populace. To me, it was simply one of those challenges, like solving a riddle or a puzzle, and needed to be mastered. So I did.
Joking about it was one of the first things that led to my husband and me connecting. Of course, it helped that he had this apparently wonderful talent as well. Since then, of course, I’ve begun to understand the nuances of this whole cherry stem fascination: the idea that someone with a tongue nimble enough to tie a cherry stem could of course find other, far more sexually amusing things to do than tie fruit stems.
To me, though, the whole issue of cherry stem knot-tying, is much deeper than simply manipulating a limber piece of would-be wood. It goes to the whole idea of how someone views a sexual relationship. I mean, think about the most sober, serious-minded people you know—then try to envision them twisting cherry stems into teeny-tiny knots. Are you smiling yet? I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather have the guy next to me in bed who says, “Tie a cherry stem into a knot? Gee, I don’t know, but let me try.” If he’ll try something like that, which will really cause you to make goofy-looking expressions while you attempt it, then chances are good, he’ll be open enough to try a few other things and not be worried about what he looks like—just that he’s doing something that will make you smile. If somebody can’t unbend enough to attempt such a goofy request, will they really be adventuresome enough to keep my mind…and other things…occupied?
I think not.
That’s one of the reasons I really like the match between my hero and heroine in The Silkie’s Salvation. Ciaran Clifton is not initially a very likeable man, he’s even an outcast among his own kind, the Silkies, but once he becomes focused on Keeley, he is willing to do anything to make her happy, including walking away from his heritage.
Ciaran is the type of guy who’d tie the cherry stem, show it to you with a wicked wink, close his mouth and then invite you to come and get it. Ahh…
So if somebody asked me would I marry a guy who could tie a cherry stem with his tongue? My answer is hell yes—I would, I did and I’m still grinning twenty years later.