Saturday Squeeze

Thought I might just squeeze in a little something before time to start the weekend dysfunction chore list.

CHORE LIST

1) Give the dogs a bath.  Worst pet related task.

IMG_4153filthy beasts

2) Give the husband a haircut.  (After paying good money for him to get assaulted by licensed professionals, I’m back on the job.)

3) Pick up dog doo in the backyard. I can delegate this.

4) Rake.  All the autumn leaves?  Never touched.  Not one time.  Not by anyone. They’re getting gross. Today is the day.

5) Wrangle children.  When there is work on, it’s like trying to give a cat a bath.  You can make them participate, but not without bloodshed.

That should about kill it for Saturday.  Before I explode onto the list; by myself because the guys have the March Madness Elusiveness Syndrome…I thought I’d flick a little randomness on you.

RANDOMNESS

1) Instagram was worth the wait. A picture is worth 1000 words.  You know how I love 1000 words.  It forces me to look for the beauty in my life.

2) It’s time to start thinking about next year’s homeschool.  Which makes me panic about this year’s finish up.  Be glad you are not my child.  If you are having a bad day, you could always think, “My mom isn’t about to drop the hammer on me.”

3) Next year’s subjects.  Should be their senior year. A couple of moms at last night’s mandatory co-op meeting were trying to talk me into making the girls take a fifth year of high school.  Why?  I found myself walking away, shouting (Yes.  Shouting), “They need to GROW UP!!!”

4) Mickey fixed the dryer last Saturday.  I’d been trying to do the hanging up to dry thing for about three weeks.  It saves money, the environment, and something else.  Man alive, is it a lot of work.  I am so grateful for that dryer.

IMG_2561#envirofail

5) It seems young girls can survive on air and a crush.

6) It seems that little boys can survive on basketball and a lot of food.  When the grubby little dirt ball is not in front of the TV, he is outside with a sad, worn out basketball.  The good basketball won’t hold air, and the cheap one has a hernia where the valve is.  He has begun looking at my food before he finishes his own and asking if I think I’m gonna eat all that.

He’s 9.

7) If volleyball doesn’t start soon, Volleyball Girl is going to self-destruct and take the house down.  Every time there’s a volleyball reference, she glows.

IMG_1267Volleyball

8) We are not getting a puppy.  Or a kitty.  That is all.

9) It’s Spring and you know what that means…  That’s right.  It’s hair removal season.  There are five razors in the shower; three women live here. I’m pretty sure someone broke in the house and groomed a poodle in that shower last week.   I left the plumber a voicemail.

10) It’s Spring and you know what that means…  That’s right.  The sap is rising and something is blossoming.  Even it something is too fragile to be touched yet, it’s so heartwrenchingly gorgeous you could stand still in one place and just watch it grow all day.  Don’t miss it.

Crocus at UT Gardens

Crocus at UT Gardens

 

This is where it would be really cool if I had a blog thing with Benedryl.

 

 

 

What Wisdom I’ve Gained…In All the Same Areas My Mother Did…

Mom and Grandma told me that “nothing jiggles” on a lady.  Or at least it shouldn’t.

At that time, the information was of no use to me, as I was 5’2″ and weighed 95 lbs. soaking wet.

I think you’d agree, time keeps slipping into the future.

Today, the opposite is true.  The absence of jiggle is also not any mark of a lady.  The presence of jiggle is not a way of separating the ladies from the women or broads.

I am also no longer 5’2″…

Fashion trended away from “leave a little something to the imagination”.

Fashion, that excellent slave–that terrible master.

Has driven culture to the point that Southern Living Magazine would devote a half page of copy space for a young writer to apologize and explain her reasons for appearing in ankle socks elsewhere in the issue*.  As if they would lose readers, if there were not some sort of editorial responsibility taken when a young woman keeps her toes clean and safe as she learns to fly on the trapeze.

I digress.

Discreet fashion choices that emphasize strengths and downplay weakness is out of the question.  Utility and appropriateness to the event or activity is relative.

Maybe it’s my home training, but I don’t think of the trends as my “right”.  If it shows me for what I am, I figure I don’t need to make my problem yours, and I cover myself. Vanity?  Heck, YEAH!!! But I’m leaving my struggle with chronic pain, depression, and gravy to your imagination.

My point?  Years ago, in an effort to prevent “jiggle” and “leave it to the imagination”, a woman had an arsenal of “FOUNDATIONS”.  The girdle has gone by the wayside.  Unstylish.  Unattractive.  Indicative of some sort of bondage….  Today, a young woman would never admit to wearing a girdle to cheat her way into a garment that is really made for a different body type.  Because they are a thing of the past.

Today, we have “shapers”.  Spanx.

Because those aren’t girdles.

Yes, they are.  Spanx are girdles.  Just say it.  Don’t apologize.

You are wearing Jane Jetson’s girdle.

There you go.  The emperor is now free to put his pants back on and look better in them.

 

*About 5 years ago, before Lindsey Biermann took over and turned it into Hipster Living. I subscribe and complain every month.  Mickey thinks it’s PMS.

 

 

Lust: A Christmas Tutorial

The youth group has a question box.  You can put a question in and the leaders will take a little time on Wednesday evening to answer it.  Several weeks ago, someone asked if the word lust had only to do with sex.  Pretty good question.

Did I forget to mention that only men are allowed to teach mixed groups of people at our church?

Yeah.

So the person, who answered this, answered in the negative; that there is also a lust for power.  His example, people who run for public office.  Regardless of political party.

That was all.

It has troubled me for the entire time, that he didn’t talk about all the other drives of the flesh that we indulge.

I tried to bring the example of the desire to drive the “then-new-to-me” car on the road between Target and an adjoining suburb.  It features tight curves and ever-so-slight banking in a spot or two.  This vehicle is made to handle well and this little spot of perhaps a half mile is a delightful opportunity to sample that.  Really delightful.

Apparently, that was interpreted as me wanting to brag about the car.

I was interrupted and ignored.

There are a number of kinds of lust.  I avoided blogging it because, they’ll all find out soon enough and it was just me taking it personally.

So, in the spirit of taking it personally, I’m blogging it now.  Because I have a bad case.

You see, I have a cookbook collection.  Not like I am trying to build a library that will be donated for public use when I die.  But to use. Each one has a story and a reason.  I have hard and fast rules for selection, that even I don’t know.  I know when I see them.  I experience a kind of feeling of awe sometimes when I find a certain one.

I digress.

For Christmas, I started a little project.  I bought cookbooks for some kids (5) I love.  They are like nieces and nephews. Sort of.  Thing.

There’s the great used book store here, and I got in the cookbook section and found six (6) treasures.  I can’t decide which book to give which kid.  Because I want two (2) of them for myself.

Two.

Two.

 

Want them.

Both.

Want.

A lot.

So I’m sitting here trying to wrap gifts and looking through the books, especially the ones I want, but then I glanced through the one that was most expensive.  Now, I want it, too.

That’s what made me remember.

Lust.

Desire.

Well-engineered cars,

Cookbooks that take my breath away,

Fine leather goods, like handbags, wallets, belts and…

Yesterday, I was doing a little shopping.

I wanted to buy something for someone who reads this blog.  Who I’m responsible for dressing.  The cost was a little ambitious.  I got a little angry.

Because I wanted what I wanted.  And felt it was out of reach.

Non-essential.

There may have been some pouting.  I’m not scared, though.  Santa and I are on shaky terms right now (it’s another post).

Desire.

I’m not as tired as I was and I think I’m going back.

To be excessive in the essentials.

Lavish.

Soliciting for real connection through some other means.

Please.

Any self-respecting first-world woman, knows I’m talking about boots.

Two pair of size ten black leather riding boots.

Mm.

Mm.

Mm.

And I might buy a hot drink (with some kind of froth or something) while I’m out.

What do you say?  Is lust just a sexual term?  What do you hope Santa will slather all over you this Christmas?

 

 

 

Community Amenities: Use at Your Own Risk

Then one day(in 1995)…by the pool.

The usual suspects were on hand.  It was warm, but the shadow of the building was moving our way.  About 30 people chattered away.  The gate opened.  A well-chiseled man in rainbow leopard print workout pants came in.  He moved the lounge chair near the pool and dropped the pants.  He wore…

a thong.

Nobody moved.  Nobody breathed.  Nobody looked at anyone else.

30 minutes sunning on one side.

A dip in the pool.

30 minutes on the other side.

He got up and left.

The gate clanged shut;

Thirty people exhaled for the first time in an hour.

The party resumed.

But none of us would ever forget.

Because you can’t wash your brain.

Gritty By Grace

When I was little, we moved off the farm and into the city and mom made me wear dresses all the time.  Short ones.  Remember Cindy Brady?  That short.

I wanted jeans.  The cousin, who supplied all my clothes, passed down a pair of embroidered jeans.  I wore them until they disappeared.  When I was in 6th grade, my mom bought me a pair of ‘straight leg’ jeans. In seventh, Hazel took me shopping to dress me like I belonged to someone. I came home with Calvin Klein Jeans.  Shortly, I’m not exactly sure when, Levi’s Shrink-to-Fit 501s came in style.

And stayed awhile.

Through the years, my mom did a lot of things to give me a better education than she’d had.  We lived in better neighborhoods with better schools.  She kept me in church; finally finding the Episcopalians, with alcohol in church and being cool with divorce and incredible networking.  I sang in their whizbang choir and my fellow singers were from the best neighborhoods and attended the best private schools.  We attended the arts festival for the egg rolls.  We went to the ballet.  We ate at the Magic Pan and shopped (without buying) at high fashion shops.

It was bread and meat to a girl who couldn’t have extra-curriculars because working moms couldn’t pick kids up from practices and needed to spend their money on nachos and vodka (that’s her story and she’s sticking to it).

When I was about 11, this guy decided he was going to get to her by spoiling me (WRONG TREE!!! WRONG TREE!!!).  He profiled me– reader, straight As, wearing rags but knows where Balliet’s is.  And sent me subscriptions to Smithsonian and W.

When I began to dress myself I was strictly tailored.

My soul wears navy blue and pearls. It believes the rules are there to help us live like civilized human beings. Manners are to help others feel comfortable; not to manipulate them into pretending you aren’t being ungracious (Target Line Cutter Lady, I am talking to you). Education doesn’t stop at the 3 Rs, but extends to the arts and culture.

When I was in high school, I heard stories of wild parties.  I never was invited to one.

I dated a college guy at the end of my senior year.  On the outside, he was all conservative Republican, Son of a Fundamentalist Preacher.  On the inside, he was a monster.

Navy blue and pearls girl may have gotten a little damaged.

Lesson learned: The outside is for your mama, the preacher, and the person who watches rated R movies but condemns people who curse. The inside is what you are.  It’s what monsters want to destroy.

One day when I was wearing my navy blue and pearls, my jeans got a little rip.  I liked the little rip. Eventually, I’d find a best friend whose jeans had a little rip, too.

When I was in college, I wore my Rockies or my Wranglers when I was feeling like flying my freak flag. Which good girls aren’t supposed to have. But I do.

Jesus knows about the freak flag.

He made it, so I would not have to carry my own books.

I lavishly adore buttoned down; it goes so well with barefoot, ripped jeans, and hair loose.

Because grace is sometimes gritty and perfect love sometimes sees you in your lucky pants.

 

 

I am linking this post with PYHO @ Things I Can’t Say.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grounded. Together.

If you’re new here, and I hope at least 50 or more of you are, my blog is to record things I want my children to know.  Now that my face is actually blue, I need a transcript, so when they say, “WHY DIDN”T YOU TELL ME!!!”  I can say, “See, Honey, I tried.

Another function of the blog is to give a gentle heads-up to the parent of young children.  A significantly filtered look into the future.  An opportunity to prepare, but not enough information to scare.

Or whatever.

This is the first time the girls are completely grounded.  There have been times we’ve removed certain privileges, but never an across the board “cultural lockdown.”

Here is why.

There’s this wise-sounding piece of parenting advice that reminds parents not to punish themselves.

That is wrong and deceptive.

First, that ship sailed when the pee hit the stick.

Second, If you aren’t willing to be inconvenienced to make an impression on your child’s heart and mind, you will visit judgement upon your future self in the form of the kind of sludge I am shoveling now.  It shows what is most important…the child’s character or getting to girls’ night.

–leave Target and take her “I’ll-by-gosh-have-this-Barbie-or-know-the-reason-why” tantrum throwing butt to the car.  Text your husband to bring you a magazine and a hot black coffee and whatever was on your list.

–cancel the play date, skip the birthday party: tell the mom, “Sorry.”  If she asks why, she’s rude.  You can’t make it.

–call the coach and tell him you are missing practice.  Yeah, I said it.  Another day, I’ll climb on my soapbox about young athletes thinking they’re above the law.  Not today.

I count on the above activities as a break from being the organ grinder’s monkey who has to perform if they drop a penny in my cup.  Maybe because it’s summer, I hear an endless, “CanI?CanI?CanI?CanI?CanI?CanI?” (Recently, I told them to stop asking coming to me for permission to do things(that call for a ruling) and look around for things they already know they have permission to do.)  They’re hip-deep in pre-qualified, socio-cognitively rich, entertainment options.

I digress.

I was on inconveniencing yourself.

Do it, now.  Just a few startled looks from now, that child will believe you when you talk.

Don’t be like me.

They are just wrapping up week one of a 35 day “cultural lockdown” (it’s the new grounding [Not really, I made it up and hope it catches on]).  I COULD NOT BE MORE GRATEFUL THAT THE ISSUE IS WHAT IT IS. While I am not glad to have “Flaming-Trousered Prevaricators”, I could be dealing with worse.

Currently, I haven’t been alone except to bathe (and then only 77% of the time) in a week.  We started school this week. I did it because if we had more to do we would not have had so much time to come up with stupid ideas (or join our sister on the crew of the SS ‘Ignorificance’).

They are ‘killing me softly’.

Being grounded when you’re a kid, you’re not observing yourself.  I’m watching them, and can tell they don’t get that they took the risk and, by extension, chose whatever happened when they got caught.  They don’t see “this hurts me more than it hurts them” and may cause my death if I don’t get some time away from them.  They don’t see the whole point is that they’re missing things they’d like to do.  And I don’t care.

But I do.

No, I don’t.

It all depends on when you want to put in the time.  You can do it early.  Or later on.

Most things in life are like that.

So we’re all just…grounded.  Together.

 

 

 

 

Back Then Book Review Day

It took the girls longer than I thought it would to get a solid grasp of chronological terms.  Now, however, they have a very specific list of terms that refer to their perception of time past.  When I was a child?  Back Then.

Today, I am employing the sociopathological lawlessness I’m known for and abusing the term.

Today, ‘back then’ means when they were little(10) and we did a lot more read aloud than is strictly called for for educating big kids.

We checked out a Newbery Award winning book from the church library.

A Year Down Yonder, by Richard Peck was a fun read-aloud for 10 year-olds.

However.

I laughed until tears streamed down my face and I had to blow my nose.

In the middle of the Great Depression, a young girl is sent from Chicago to live with her grandmother in a rural community.

Having come from small town people and having personally benefited from the influence of grandparents who lived through the Great Depression, I was reduced to uncontrollable laughter more than once.

Peck turns an elegant country phrase.  Sees through the eyes of a man his father’s age.  Or his mother’s.

One taste and we were hooked.  We ran through all the titles except one in the church library and moved on to the Public Library.  In the research for this post, I found a number of titles the public library had never heard of.  I’m excited to research those online and at the used bookstore.

Our favorites include:

A Long Way From Chicago

The Teacher’s Funeral: a Comedy In Three Parts

Fair Weather

and

A Season of Gifts

We tried an audio book, but agreed that I’m funnier.

It turns out that Peck is not limited to this gentle hilarity, but writes ghost stories and novels dealing with modern life issues young people face. Which we’ll be checking out this afternoon at the library and the used book store.

I urge you to include the titles we’ve enjoyed in your family read-aloud time, or even just your personal recreational reading.  It’s a refreshing break from the heaviness and the self-consciousness of a lot of contemporary adult fiction.

In researching this post, I ran across a Goodreads account I had pretty much ignored for…awhile.  If you aren’t familiar with Good Reads it’s like a giant online baseball card collection only with books.  I have updated a couple of things and would love to connect with you there if anyone’s interested.

While I was thinking of that, I remembered this blog has a Facebook fan page and I nearly gave myself a cardiac event trying to create the widget.  I will try again when I am not administering cultural lockdown on 15 year-olds (YES, IT STILL HURTS ME MORE THAN IT HURTS THEM.)  I beg invite you to “like” the page, if you aren’t going to let facebo*ks widget keep you from liking old ladies’ lame-a** blogs if you want to.

While we’re at it….  you can dig “the accident” on Twit*er. For free, mind you.

I digress.

There are still a couple of weeks of summer left.  That calls for some lazy afternoons.  That calls for a great book.  These are that.

I you’re embarrassed to check them out, say it’s for your niece.

 

 

Yesterday’s Music, Tomorrow’s Dance

If you’ve been following along, SOMEBODY hates a cliche.  That same somebody, is one.

Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen.

Maggie is having a mid-life crisis.

As we left our heroine, she was apologizing to the mother of a grown man for the accuracy of her remaining vision-the simple ability to discern an attractive adult male from a troll in the visual field.  Having forgotten almost entirely that the man in question is 10 months older than someone she’s been shooing away from her daughter for a year. She joined her 15 year-olds watching interviews on You Tube.*

Finally registering the distant sound of tires screeching and horns blaring.

HEY MAGGIE.  IT’S GONE.  THERE IS NO GOING BACK.  Step back and look, Darling.  No one will ever sing to you again about your flipping hair.  You worry about being that mom who is acting like her teen.  This is her.  She thought she’d take a break in the fun to raise some kids and then go back to charging around being spontaneous and irresistible.  Now her kids are approaching that time in their lives, she’s thinking she’ll just dust off her dance moves and join the fun.

Then she takes a new picture.

And. Sees. Her….  Jowls.

No, that wasn’t her, that was me.

Let’s tally up the score.

1) Face it.  You aren’t getting around like you used to.

2) You are old enough to be the ‘cool aunt’ for people who own their own homes.

3) You are appalled by little kids singing, “we-broke-up-but-Imma-stalk-you-or-you-stalk-me-K?” songs.

4) You keep thinking you’ll get back down to the weight you were in college.  No, Girl. You need that last ten pounds to fill in the loose skin.

5) Barring accident or injury, you are halfway to death.

6) Go quietly.

Back in my time, we had a saying,…

“Like hell.”

ACCIDENTAL MANIFESTO FOR THE SECOND ACT

Grow up. Stop thinking magic works like that.  Magic happens when the callouses on your work-hardened hands click together and make sparks.

You can’t be the cool grandma, when the time comes, if the baby gets scratched on your navel ring**.

Nothing is as sexy as dignity.

 

By the time you were your daughters’ age, you were managing your life.

Stop complaining about them expecting to be waited on, if you won’t let them do the job.

All your “reasons” are legit.  If you don’t move on, they become “excuses”.

Do NOT pass that on to your kids.

Quit being vain.  Take care of your appearance.

If you won’t exercise because you’re embarrassed, the arthritis will come for you.

If you won’t take care of your skin and hair because of money or time or “those products don’t really work”,

the mirror will not pull any punches. Don’t complain about the lighting.

Get over your boobs.  No one cares.

There’s no promise you’ll get to keep them.  Appreciate them.

Keep them under control, but don’t apologize.

Dance.

Work.

Feel Beautiful.

Love.

This second act, unlike the first, which was largely written by others, must be entered on purpose.

Head up, eyes open.  Because you learned in the first act what you can trip over.

Enter strong.

This is when the reviews are written.

 

* If you are dancing in the 100th row, with a phone you just fished out of Chelsea’s Sprite, the video sucks; be ashamed to upload it.

**This is not to say I’ve ruled out the navel ring, but there will be no ink and a granny must categorically never sport a bare midriff.

***photos have been removed because I can’t

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fifty Shades of… Cake?

Um, yeah.  I won’t be reading those books.  Let’s just say, that I’d bet dollars to donuts that none of the characters in the steamy little series is the least little bit like me or like I want to be.

However.

There’s this cake recipe that the midwestern church ladies make.  They don’t say the name in mixed comp’ny.   When they do say it, they blush and giggle.

It’s called…Better-Than-Sex-Cake.

There are actually two cakes I’ve been offered under this name.  One has Cool Whip and crushed pineapple.  The other is chocolate.

I’ve had sex and I’ve had cake.  I can only conclude that the poor old gal who named this cake hadn’t.  Or what she’d been offered had been a product of the least possible competence and effort.

Cake!  I’m talking about cake.

So the reason I bring this up is I’ve been thinking lately that since the vittles around here have improved mightily in the last 2 months, there are a few foods that I consider BetterThanBetterThanSexCake.  I probably should add a disclaimer than I don’t typically choose cake if cookies or cinnamon rolls are available.  And I don’t compare desserts with…

Never. Mind.

THE ACCIDENTAL GUIDE TO FOODS THAT ARE BETTER THAN CAKE.

1) Hamburgers. Grilled at home over charcoal. You know I’m right.

2) Bacon. We still have several pounds.  This isn’t number one, because there is just a freaking limit.

3) Fried rice.  When I am making ordering it, I think, “Ah. Whatever.  I guess rice.”  When I taste it, I am all like,”Dang, that is just good!!!”

4) Peach Pie. From. Scratch.

5) Tea. Unsweet, Iced, Withlemononasunnydayridingaroundwiththewindowsdownandnochildreninthecar.

6) Pioneer Woman’s Cinnamon Rolls. Believe the hype.

7) My Spaghetti Sauce.  Over angel hair pasta.

8) Real Homemade Mashed Potatoes.

9) Oatmeal Cookies.  Great-grandma’s recipe.

10) Taco Salad.  My recipe at home.

I am still pro-cake and pro-sex.  I am, however, anti-allowing-virgins-to-name-desserts.

photo: food network

What sounds good tonight?

It’s Monday and I am SOOO MissElaineous!

 

 

Valentine’s Day Emergency

I have the thing that is going around; however, because I hope to impact the world for good before I die I am keeping the life support plugged in long enough to save your Valentine’s Day and possibly your relationship.

Men, I am referring to you.

Statistically, we know there is an inverse relationship between length of time you have been in a relationship and the amount of time you spend planning Valentine’s Day.  The longer you’ve been together, the less thought you give to stoking the fire.  Is it because you get smarter, funnier, better dressed, more thoughtful, and sexier every 365 days?

I think not.

With a few glaring exceptions, you got lazy.  She takes care of everything else and you forgot this is on YOUR list.  Along with taking out the garbage and…  Well, that’s about it.

Today, you Fortunate Bassmaster, is your lucky day.

With my assistance, you will go down in history as Valentine’s Day Guy and radically increase your chances of getting lucky.

THE ACCIDENTAL GUIDE TO NOT GIVING YOURSELF THE SHAFT THIS VALENTINE’S DAY

1)Flowers.  Dear God In Heaven Above, know who you are dealing with.  There are exactly two kinds of women.
–The first type is: “Dozen Long Stem Red Roses” type.  She expects her flowers in addition to whatever else you are doing.  Like the Christmas Tree at Christmas, this is the symbolic requirement and by no means all that is expected.  You do it to show her you are paying attention. She doesn’t want daisies, carnations, or tulips.  Get. It. Right.
–Everyone else is the second type.  Our flowers must relate to who we are as a person.  If we can plant the bulb out in the yard later or if our flowers are in a framed print, flowers speak to us in our hearts.  Even if we are allergic and can’t have them in the house.  He is a lucky man, indeed, who is in a relationship with a Daisy or a Tulip girl.

2) Perfume.  We live in truly shocking times.  The classics are falling by the wayside as starlets on their way to rehab allow their name to adorn stuff that smells like a sanitary puck.

This is not your problem.

Your task is to find something that smells great and doesn’t remind you of your mom.  If you don’t know her favorite, go for a scented candle or bubble bath or a gift card to S*phora or something .  Like “Your Song”, do this right and you will make your life easier.

Forever.

No pressure.

3) Candy. Hooray for candy.  Does she love the “heart shaped box” and the crap shoot of finding a good one in the midst of the weird?  Go for it.  If you had started earlier, you might have ordered specially written candy conversation hearts. Since you didn’t, I recommend the candy store at the mall and filling a clear container with bulk candy.

Her favorite.

Not yours.

4) Jewelry.  Unless you are buying an engagement ring or already married, you are setting your self up for trouble.  Earring boxes and ring boxes look too much alike.  If she is expecting a ring and gets a bracelet…that sucks.  Seems like dangerous territory to me, but I am not a jewelry girl.

If you have a jewelry girl and have been in the relationship any length of time, your needs are beyond the scope of this blog post.

5) Practical gifts.  Depends. You want out?  My dad once bought my mom an over/under shotgun for her birthday.  He got a gun and out of the relationship.  Win-win for him.  Other gifts to avoid may include but are not limited to:  small kitchen appliances, exercise equipment, tickets to watch YOUR team, fishing tackle (even if she says it is what she wants; this is Valentine’s),  and over/under shotguns.

6) Cards, handwritten letters.  Mandatory.   READ THE CARD.  If you can cop to what is written there, you’re in business. If you can’t be bothered to read the card, hand write the letter yourself.  It doesn’t have to be long.  It has to be true. Does not include texts, email, e-cards, fb wall posts, or tweets.  If you think you rock because thousands of other people listened in to your innermost feelings, you are too young to have a valentine.

7)  Lingerie.  Only if she will be proud to wear it.  If you will never see it again, why bother?Me?  I like nice warm socks.

8)  Economy Sucks?  Time is money, Hondo.  Start earlier.  Use your imagination.  Make her life easier.  Arrange for a reliable sitter yourself.  Clean the house. Cook the dinner. Wash the dishes.  Let her hold the remote. If Hershey and Hallmark are still in business, so are you.

9) Under no circumstances should you tell her what you wanted to do but didn’t have enough time.  If there was no question of Valentine’s Day being canceled this year, you have had 365 days.  Don’t. Tell.

Hurry up, Valentine’s Day is not a day for anyone to go without.

Go.  Now.  While there is still time.




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