Tag Archives: Valentine’s Day

What a difference 31 years makes

Valentine’s Day 1981

Dear Diary,

Yesterday after our basketball game (we lost; 54-3 — ugh!), I sat up in the bleachers and B. said, ” I really hate you — but I like your sister, Kay. She’s neat. Tell her hi from me and I’ll ask her if you did, and if you don’t, I’ll beat you up.” He said that with kinda a nice smile on his face. Then just a little while later, I was sitting on the bleachers with my knees on them and B. said, “Move your knees” and he sat down right beside me!!! Even Carrie noticed! Wow! And he knows I like him because I wrote a poem for English and Mr. O read it to the 7th hour class and T.J. found out about it and now everyone knows. Here’s the poem:

This Guy

The boy, his name is Anthony.
He’s got it all as you will see.
He’s bright, he’s tall, he runs real fast,
And in a race, he’s never last.

In basketball, he is the best.
He is so smart, he’ll ace a test.
But when he looks at me, I’m shy
And that is why I like this guy.

Whadya think? If I ever go with B., I’m gonna give this poem to him.

* * *

I laugh at my 14-year-old self on so many levels when I read this entry. First of all, I guess I had my priorities right on Valentine’s Day. I can’t imagine that 54-3 basketball game now, but I’m sure it was pure torture for my poor coach. All the attention it got from me was “ugh.” The rest of my entry was about the most important thing in my life: Boys! Or at least, one boy.

Are eighth grade boys still like that? Do they say, “I hate you” and “I’ll beat you up” when they like you? And can eighth grade girls see through it? From my limited experience with eighth graders in recent years, I’m thinking this is fourth grade behavior. Eighth graders are doing a lot more than sitting next to each other on the bleachers. Makes one yearn for the good ol’ days.

And I can’t believe my English teacher Mr. O really thought my poetry had any value beyond amusing himself as he outed me as lovestruck. He might have enjoyed the unfolding soap opera he unleashed by reading my work out loud, not to my class, but to a different one. If you’re teaching eighth grade English, that’s probably as good as it gets.

* * *

Valentine’s Day 2012

Minnesota Transplant blog

Well, I know for sure I’m part of an old married couple. We went out for dinner at a corner cafe (because we were avoiding the crowd at the local pub) and I ate my entire 10-ounce burger with bleu cheese, bacon and onions. I can’t believe I at the whole thing. A Valentine’s meal on a date with someone you’re trying to impress would never include onions or be completely eaten.

I got a portable FM radio for Valentine’s Day so I can listen to MPR while running. And I gave my Beloved a carrot cake muffin. And a Valentine that said, “Be my Valentine.”

Over dinner, we reminisced about the past five Valentine’s Days together, and I asked my Beloved what makes him happy when he thinks back about our relationship. And he said, “I’m happy that I’m happier every year.”

Now that’s progress. A lot better than being in eighth grade and being told, “I hate you.” That’s happily every after.

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Valentine’s Eve advice: How to have a happy marriage

“Don’t go to bed angry” is lame advice, and yet, like spam from Nigerian philanthropists (“please kindly help me collect my cash deposit of $21 million, I have set aside 25 percent for your time”), it seems to sneak into every two-cent prescription for a happy marriage.

On Valentine’s Eve, let’s explore good advice on staying married, shall we?

My mood is at its lowest ebb at the end of a bad day, and it’s. Not. The time. To make. It. Worse. Baby.

I’ll be a lot better negotiator after a good night’s sleep.

My first husband (yup, let’s say we’ve got a lot of experience in this house on staying and not staying married so consider the source) loved to pick a fight at bedtime.

A lot of expletives spewed from my sweet potty mouth when that happened, and you can bet that didn’t help matters.

In my experience, sleep trumps peace. Go to bed mad if you want. The philosophy of the advice is sound, however: Don’t let disagreement fester. So tackle that problem, whatever it is, with a fresh perspective (and fewer f-bombs) in the morning.

My best advice: Don’t try to change your mate and look for the best in him (or her). Unfortunately, it took me a good five years the first time around to figure out that nagging got me nowhere, but “looking for the best” got me through 16 years of marriage the first time.

Human beings are complex and flawed. You don’t have to look very hard to find behavior to drive you mad. But if you really want to be happy, choose to be happy: Spend your time looking for behavior you can appreciate.

My Beloved is a fabulous cook (the chicken and dumpling stew tonight was wonderful), a thoughtful and generous mate, an amazing wheeler-dealer, a jolly companion with a courageous heart. And he’s true.

His best marriage advice: “Be faithful and work through it. Communicate.”

We start almost every day with a cup of coffee and conversation. It usually starts with such scintillating queries like “how’d you sleep?” but with caffeine, we get going on oodles of good communication. Because my Beloved values communication, we’re on the same page most of the time and that makes us happy.

Married? For all those lonely hearts out there dying to be in your shoes, maybe you have some advice for a happy marriage. Do tell.