Saturday, February 15, 2014

Love (or Something) Was in the Air!

 Not the same guy but very close!!

Valentine's Day is a landmine that's sometimes tricky to navigate. But not for Jim and I. When I was younger and had very foolish expectations while being married to a guy who's family rarely celebrated holidays I'd get bent out of shape by the lack of lavish Valentine's Day gifts and celebration by my beloved.

Two things disabused me of my feeling disgruntled I didn't more than a card and some small gift like a balloon, small box of candy or few flowers. I wanted that over the top roses, chocolates, teddy bears, lingerie thing that seemed like the world was experiencing. I felt cheating and unloved.

But I would never step up and tell Jim I expected this. I wouldn't even hint, expecting him to just know. Waiting for someone else to guess your expectations and wants is pretty foolish. I've learned now when I really want something or have expectations to just tell him in a non-ranty, no-brat way.

That's the advice I wish some older, wiser woman would have told me on my wedding day. Tell him straight up with no emotion what you need and leave it at that.

So what changed? My attitude via those two things happening.

  1. One Valentine's Day he came in late with the tiniest starting to wilt miniature rose plant. It was planted in a plastic medicine cup sized container, still bore the 7-11 price tag and was the Valentine's Day equivalent to the Charlie Brown Christmas Tree. My old cockatiel Elvis rushed over while I was holding that unloved dying thing in my hand to nibble off the browning bud. I was surly over the last minute nature of this gift, replanted it in a large planter, watered it and watched over the months as it flourished out to a nice size and many, many beautiful blossoms. I enjoyed it for a long time, much longer than any bunch of long stemmed roses that would have wilted and candy that would have been long time ago gobbled up. That rose bush is now planted in the front flower bed and I'm still enjoying it!
  2. For three and a half years I worked at a floral ordering company, like 1-800-Flowers but a smaller one. Every year at Valentine's Day I was treated to the surly, grumpy, resentful male populace freaking out over the holiday and sending just the right thing. Let me tell you, the hostility and frenzy just about ruined me for holidays ever. People would price shop and tell you off. Florists would call back screaming about orders or prices we'd sent out. Men would call the day of the holiday and demand we deliver within the hour to someone (not possible) after hours. My first Valentine's Day there was truly the worse. I got cussed out, physically threatened, my job threatened by a woman claiming to be a producer with Disney who was upset that her new girlfriend had not received her Valentine's Day package, so upset that she was now in Cedars-Sinai hospital in the mental ward after a suicide attempt.  I looked at her order and saw she'd placed it online the morning of Valentine's Day and that the pop up had warned her that it was scheduling the delivery for the next day. That first Valentine's Day season was so freaking awful that more than once I ran into the restroom to cry only to find several others there already crying.
Both of those led to me thinking about love and entitlement. There's no way I ever wanted to be like those people over a made up holiday. It's not how you're treated that one day a year, love is more how you're treated every single day.

Now our Valentine's Day is like yesterday. We went to lunch at a favorite restaurant followed by gift exchange. I got Jim some small practical thing he wanted and he gave me a flowering plant, with cards of course. We split some small amount of chocolates and that was enough. In fact, it was perfect.

That's after he dug our cars out of the new snowfall, heee.

Around eight last night I decided I was getting cabin fever and needed another skein of cotton yarn for a project I'm donating for the local animal rescue craft show and fundraiser. Fifteen inches of snow on the ground plus some very haphazard snow plowing meant that just about the only place actually open was Wal Mart.

Those you that read here on a regular basis know I loathe Wal Mart with the fire of an exploding dwarf star. But.... I live in a small Southern town where the only joint open in town during bad weather is always The Wal Mart. Away I went and witnessed stuff too bizarre even for The People of Wal Mart.

There were....

  • Oodles of fundie families in long corduroy skirts and wool tights.
  • Teenager couple making out in the parking lot.
  • Four Indian ladies in beautiful Saris ringing the bell in the fabric department like meth-addled chimpanzees trying to get the attention of their trainers. This went on about fifteen minutes. I woulda had a sprained wrist out of that action.
  • Men crying and shouting "NONONO!" on the Valentine's Day aisle being empty except for a few mangled and broken boxes of Pangburn's candies.
  • Another young couple making out against the cooler holding the eggs, one of the few things I needed.
  • andddddd..... drum roll please...........One very drunk guy peeing on a display in the back of the store while his female companion yelled at him to hurry because she didn't want the beer in their cart to get warm.
Oh why oh why didn't I bring a camera?

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