That’s what you want me to say isn’t it? That the flowers and jewellery and lingerie and night(s) of hot sweaty sex are romantic hypocrisy akin to people who only go to church on Christmas eve.
Well, I’m not going to say it.
No. I’m going to suggest that you suck it up and get it while you can darlings. I’m going to tell you that life is short, and you’d best just damn well lighten up and enjoy it. I’m going to tell you to quit denying your decadent desire to ooze sensuality.
Splurge. Buy the panties or whatever other ridiculously tacky, dirty and would-embarrass-you-to-death-if-anyone-you-knew-walked-in-here-and-saw-you-buying that.
If you’re going to do it, do it right. If it’s love, be bold. If it’s not love and it’s just a bow-down to the great gods and goddesses of sensuality, don’t insult them. Go all the way. Sacrifice up something hot and steamy. Make them blush.
Trust me, you’ll have many, many opportunities to be self-conscious, be disappointed, feel insecure or give in to fear and cynicism. You’ll have other days to be realistic about your relationship, lack of relationship, ‘it’s complicated’ status, or other such nonsense.
Get it while you can darlings, and for the love of all that’s pink, give it a good squeeze when you do get it.
I’ve gone from English Lit snob to chick-lit/flick junkie. Yes, at this age, I’m pretty sure I know what the real world has going on, and more than that, certain that I know nothing at all when it comes to love. There are movies that other women think that single women (of all ages) need to watch. These gems include Pretty Woman (still haven’t watched the entire movie from start to finish), Sex in the City (Seen it, seen it again, and again), and He’s Just Not that Into You (which I finally watched this week). What I learned from watching that movie is; no one, men or women have a clue what is going on when it comes to matters of the heart. Even a lady with as much experience as myself has no clue when it comes to love. Romantic love. Nope, nada, zip. In retrospect, the most insight I have is that I let a wonderful man go whilst trying to make a miserable relationship work. Instead of heading off into the sunset with a fellow whom I happen to know is a good man, I stuck in a relationship with a doofus. What can I say? I was wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Now Mr. Good Stuff is engaged to be married to someone else, and I’m wondering what the hell I was thinking. All I know for sure is; you don’t known unless you try, and trust someone’s actions not empty promises. So as VD creeps up on us once again, put yourself out there and let yourself be vulnerable to love.
In Canada, it’s another month of cold weather gear and snuggling by the fire. You may only be snuggling with the cat, a good book, a tumbler of your favourite winter red, or like me, all three.
During this month of winter, I am going to try my best to warm you up with cozy thoughts of love my darlings. This will replace my annual whining about being bombarded by pink, white and diamonds tossed at us by Cupid, the figment of our collective imagination aptly decked out in a diaper.
This year I am determined to laud Valentine’s Day as a day dedicated to loving and friendship. I will be doing this from a sailboat in the Caribbean Sea, which may be taking the sting out of it, but I digress…. Regarless of motive, I shall persevere and not question my rose-coloured outlook.
Yesterday, I as I lounged under my pile of duvets, I had time to read a short piece in Mindful magazine by Dr. Cheryl Fraser, entitled, Make Love a Priority.
Now, I really don’t have one special person in my life, so you might be wondering why on earth I was reading an article on making relationships last. Well darlings, it’s always best to be prepared.
I was reading the article as I would a map of sorts. It’s nice to become familiar with the landscape before you arrive. Consider it reconnaissance of the most delightful kind, being carried out by this soldier of love.
The little teaser read, “Remember: “Love” is a verb”…Oh good lord I thought as I sipped my coffee, this is going to be a bunch of idealistic pooh. Since I usually refer to Valentine’s day as VD, I thought I should carry on with the article in case it might change my very stubborn mind.
Dr. Fraser went on to tell the story of her Grandparents who met at a Valentine’s dance while her Grandmother was already engaged to someone else. This meant nothing to Norman (her grandfather), who was determined to woo and romance this woman.
Now that’s my kind of love story; real, messy, and completely lived on the fly. She had me hooked;
Though she was engaged to another man, he wooed her, won her, wed her.
“Go get her Norman,” I thought as my wee little cynical heart began to beat a faster. In a few sentences I learned that the couple did, indeed, live not just happily-ever-after, but with passion and that little je ne sais quoi that keeps your wiggly bits warm.
Most of us know a couple like my grandparents, and we want that sort of love affair, too. None of us plan to become the couple staring blankly across the restaurant table with nothing to say. But great relationships are created, not discovered.
I’ve been that couple. But that’s the kicker isn’t it? The ever-evolving creation, the ongoing magic of spiritual alchemy between two people that needs constant tending. I wish I fully realized that when my marriage fell to bits. It’s only in hindsight I have been able to recognize these things, and fully come to realize the ongoing effort that’s involved.
I’m a great one for grand gestures and whirlwind (but time limited) romances. They are so much more exhilarating than hacking away at the same old thing, but you miss the joy of reminiscing, and looking back on the trail you’ve created together. It’s a cowards’s way out I’m afraid. It’s a way to let fear rule, and your heart remain safely locked away.
Authentic relationships are a fine balance with pro’s and con’s on both sides of the ‘to be in a relationship or not be in a relationship’ debate that so often wages war in my anxious mind.
Whichever side you take; better-off-coupled or better-off single, it’s an article worth the read. Most of the advice applies to friendships as well. Those can be lop-sided too. Without effort, the friendship becomes stale, and meaningless. The maintenance of true connection and attention to care in any relationship is necessary for survival.
Treat Valentine’s Day like a meditation bell, reminding you to slow down and show up for love, over and over again.
Call me a hopeless romantic Buddhist if you must, but I do have to recommend this article to friends, lovers, and armor-clad soldiers of love such as I.
Oh no. Not so good? You do seem a bit quiet lately… Oh dear! Really? Well, shut my mouth!
How in the world are you going to wow your Valentine if you aren’t caring for YOU?
My sweet, little, plum, you need to care for you first before you go out there romancing your lover like you’re hot as a goat in a pepper patch!
Today when I asked one of my friends how he was doing, he avoided the question and asked how I was in response.
I called him out on it (only because I know he’s going through a rough spot), and his response was that it was better for him to concentrate on others.
Good point. It’s a proven fact that caring for others, doing something nice, or even volunteering, helps make the ‘giver’ a happier person.
But every once in a while, even us ‘givers’ need people to care for us. After all, think about how good it feels to care for someone else. Would you deny another the same benefit?
My sweet, little Georgia peaches, you can only put so much lipstick on a pig. If you don’t take care of yourself, it won’t be long until we all see the wear and tear.
Go on, let yourself be loved, but first, learn to be good to you.
In honour of February 14th, here are 14 self-care suggestions
~ for both ladies and gentlemen ~
so you don’t look like you’ve been beaten with a bag of nickels come cupid’s day.
1) At least three evenings every week, pick up a hobby that you let slide. Running? Needlework? Reading? Walking? A game of cards with your kid?
2) Long, hot bath….it’s been proven that people who can relax in a bath for at least 20 minutes have fewer health issues related to stress. Candles and music and beer…or tea, or wine, or a nice, cold, glass of iced water.
3) At least once a week watch a movie – a comedy. Laugh, even if you need a movie in order to do it. Laughter is pretty powerful medicine.
4) Meet a friend. Connecting with people and sharing our joys and sorrows is what life is about. It’s not about living from nine to five.
5) Do one thing each week to nurture yourself spiritually, physically and emotionally. Repeat weekly.
6) Spend time just being a person at work. Listen to a customer/ patient/ client/colleague, and exhale. Relax, and let them talk. You’ll be surprised what you learn when you let go of your own agenda for a few minutes.
7) Smile. Not all the time like some maniacle doofus. Smile because you’re grateful for all of the blessings in your life. Even if they’re as simple as a roof over your head and enough food to eat.
8) Do something you did when you were a kid. Build a snowman. Throw a snowball. Go tobogganing. Adopt a pet. Have a water-balloon fight.
9) Forgive. Yourself.
10) Pamper yourself. Get a new haircut, go for a great shave at the barbershop, take time to do your nails or moisturize your skin. It doesn’t have to be something expensive, it can be simple. Just be in the moment and enjoy it.
11) Sleep in. Yep, you heard me. Don’t set the alarm at least two days a week. Your body and soul need rest to rejuvenate and give you energy.
12) Dream, and then pay attention to what you’re dreaming about. Go there. Do it. Kick fear in the pants.
13) Look at the moon and stars. Sometimes we’re caught up grieving the past, afraid of the future, and missing the wonder of the present moment. Look up, look way up, let your jaw drop, and remember how great things can be if you surrender.
14) Plan something to look forward to – like a fun, happy Valentine’s Day. After all, it is a Hallmark holiday. It’s a celebration of your own making, it can suck, or it can be great!
The hunky husband of one of my pals has been devouring the recent Valentine’s Day blogs.
He’s a dolly, really, he is, but all of my well-intentioned VD tutoring won’t help him this year.
This morning I sent a text teasing my friend’s hubby about the ‘dirty’ stories I expect to hear about on the 15th.
Be careful what you wish for my sweet little muffin tops.
I was informed that my friend is scheduled for a colonoscopy on the 15th, which means a clear out of the unholiest of the unholies on the 14th. Dirty, dirty, dirty indeed!
Her misfortune got me thinking about those who may be celebrating with someone who won’t be up for alcohol, chocolate, acrobatic sex, or possibly even cuddling.
For my friend, Mr.MyBaby’s-Bombing-The-Bathroom, I suggest a few thoughtful gestures;
1) Take the kids out for dinner. You won’t want to be anywhere near your darling woman, and she’ll need some quiet time of her own.
2) Stock the bathroom with the latest edition of some magazines (no, not your porn), with House and Home, Hello Canada, Elle or Flare.
3) Beat her to the punch. Surprise her ahead of time with a special celebration, or give her an invitation to a romantic date. (Call me and I’ll help you with the romance part).
For anyone else who’s honey is under the weather, or fighting the health crisis of a lifetime,
here are a few suggestions;
1) Get a sitter if you have kids. Just spend some quiet time together.
2) If you have caregivers, make special arrangements to have your loved one’s personal care finished so you can spend some quiet time together.
3) Give them a gentle foot massage with unscented lotion.
4) Bring them special sheets; pink, red, or with hearts or cupids.
5) Put photos of their nearest and dearest in a heart-shaped frame where they can see it.
6) Light some candles, put on some soft music, and cuddle. If you can’t light candles, get the kind that take a battery, they give a light glow and won’t blow you up if your sweetie is on oxygen therapy.
7) Heart shaped jello jigglers or a strawberry milkshake. Reminisce about all of the silly things you’ve done together.
8) Extra time together. Time is precious when you’re really sick, so take the day off and give your honey some extra time if you can.
9) A letter. A simple letter can be a daily touchstone for someone who’s not feeling well. They can read and re-read your loving words every day, and know that even though you’re not with them, you care. If you’re not much of a writer, find a poem that express how you feel. If you’re sick, ask a caregiver or volunteer to help write a letter to your valentine. They miss you too.
10) A simple kiss. A gentle hug. Resting your hand on their arm or leg. There are few things more powerful than human touch.
I hope this helps inspire some tender Valentine’s Day Moments for you and your sweetie.
With the big day coming up in less than a month, I’m starting your training early. This goes for you too ladies.
It’s time to debunk some Valentine’s day myths. Let’s simply start with a what-not-to-do list.
1) Do not, EVER, believe your partner when they agree to ‘just not make a big deal of it’. Bah-lovebug! If you’re arm-wrestled in to this arrangement, make a simple but romantic effort, and if your partner is a total doofus, reconsider your relationship status.
2) Do not buy lingerie. Be responsible for your own wardrobe so you each feel confident. Unless you’re into the Fifty Shades Fetish, then go to town.
3) Flowers. No need to buy the ever-over-priced, high-demand red roses. Yes, everyone appreciates the sentiment, but it’s even more thoughtful to bring her a bouquet of her favourites. Mine, for example, are daffodils. Go ahead and pick them up the day before, keep them in water, and voila – you’re in love.
4) Sexual delights. Giddy-up and use your imagination. Stretch first – don’t do anything that puts you at a high risk for breaking any bones. Emergency room visits, particularly those involving orifices, are rather unromantic.
5) Champagne, scotch, beer…whatever helps you relax and get in the mood. Don’t over do it. Much like E.R. visits, vomit and premature snoring are also not sexy.
6) Surprise getaways. Woo-hoo! Go for it. Make sure if you’re leaving early on a weekday that your sweetie isn’t stressed by it.
7) No matter what stage your relationship is at, Valentine celebrations should always involve kissing and laughter. Belly laughs score amazingly high on the sexy-meter.
8) Start planning now. If you’re making reservations, ordering a bouquet, or wanting to pick up some spices for the bedroom, you want the best selection and a variety of choice. Go now.
9) Relax. Your partner is with you because they like you, and they like spending time with you. Acknowledge the day as extravagantly or as simply as you like, just put some thought into it and make it special and sweet.
10) Plan something for two weeks after the big day, and every couple of weeks after that. You know, just to keep the embers warm.
Please pass this along to anyone who may be valentine deficient, and keep checking back
for the multitude of ideas coming from a dame who knows the ropes.
We’ll be swathed in colours of our favourite teams, tipsy with beer and digging into game food; wings, chili, and if you’re a dyed in the cloth Canadian – poutine.
Touted as a ‘boys’ event, us gals get into the spirit too. Some of us, because we actually love the game, some because we can’t resist seeing men’s muscular thighs rippling under that ever-so-thin spandex layer, and others because we want to support our man as he cheers on his team. Or, perhaps, if you’re like me, it’s a slick combination of all three reasons.
You know what happens less than two weeks after Superbowl right ladies and gents? Put your fingers down and stop counting. It’s Valentine’s day. WAIT…keep reading.
Yes, Valentine’s day is the quintessential fake holiday. A “Hallmark” holiday if you will. At least that’s the excuse cupid-agnostics claim year after year.
So what? Yes-so what? What if it is just a fabricated reason to celebrate? It’s no different from Super Bowl Sunday, the Stanley Cup, or the World Series. It’s a made up celebration. It’s a perfect excuse to indulge, get together with friends, and wind up tangled in the sheets after some naughty games of your own, wondering where the night went.
I figure, if you survive the grind of day-to-day living and make it to any one of these celebrations you ought to engage with reckless abandon. Celebrate. Smile, laugh, let your heart cheer for whomever you like. After all, we only live once. Laughter, smiling, beer with friends, kissing and passionate, steamy love-making is the fuel that carries us through the mire.
My advice to all of the VD cynics out there – engage in VD as the Superbowl of the Sex, The Stanley Cup of Sweet Lovin’s, or the World Series of Wowing your man.
You don’t have to break the bank, lay down a pay cheque, or sprinkle the sheets with diamonds. Although, if you do decide to go all out with the precious gems, I’m willing to let you come and sprinkle my sheets. With gems – of course.
Be silly. Embrace the spirit of the day. Laugh. Bring a friend chocolates, wine and a smile that will warm their sweet little mid-February heart, (or drawers, whatever floats your boat).
February 14th is not a day to ‘prove’ your love, it is a day to indulge, and enjoy.