Hearts and Flowers


How about we get real and call it Valentine’s Day Pay?

This Hallmark holiday has never been a favorite of mine. I am crazy madly in love with my husband, but he’s never given me a flower, a card, or a box of chocolates on Feb 14th.

And I like it that way.

Instead, we celebrate his half-birthday.  We are really serious about  birthdays.  Mine lasts a week.  Or two.  I also have a second birthday — the day he did the Heimlich Maneuver on me last summer and saved my life. I won’t be having steak to celebrate that “birthday”.

My regular birthday is in January – usually celebrated in Florida.  After our first winter here, Rollo (whose birthday is in August) decided he was getting ripped off.  Hence, the half-birthday was born.

February 13th is his half birthday – now also celebrated in Florida.  This year it even falls on a Friday…13 being lucky for those born on that day.

So we celebrate.  Hell, we celebrate Sundays because there are waffles, Saturdays because Delores has chicken verde tamales at the Farmer’s Market,  Fridays because the yoga class is awesome (and easy enough for me), and any day the wind comes from the east and the paddling is easy.

Rollo spoils me all the time and I appreciate every day I have with him.

Every day’s a holiday when your lips meet mine
The music’s keepin’ time with our love
You are here, so am I and weather’s quite divine
So pass me round your wine, lovely one

~ Dennis Deyoung, Styx

 sorry I got carried away…what can I say, St.Valentine made me do it.


I ignore the hallmark version. I also try to ignore the news, because it’s never good news.  I do like the Sunday paper.  I stick mostly to the section that has book reviews, horoscopes, Dear Abby,  and around-town happenings.

Last Sunday morning, I was kicking back with the paper (after waffles).   My usual happy section had “How to Win the Valentine’s Day Wars” as it’s headline.

I don’t know why I read it.  I was irritated from the first sentence.

“How do I love thee?  Let me count the ways..and means.”

I knew the article would sum up the reasons I don’t like this holiday, but I kept going.

The story counts down the “rules” to have a happy Valentine’s day. Obviously, right? Rather than the ways you love your person or peoples.

It was an ad for the places to spend your money to prove your love.  As if there’s some sort of love tax.  The tax is  higher if you’re in some sort of trouble, apparently because the article gives tips in case you are looking to “get fancy. (and that depends how far in the doghouse you are.)”

Some of the rules (in no particular order):

~ Get reservations early. For dinner.  I”m all for dinner, so ok there.

And for spa treatments.

 “Do your spa treatments early so you have time to repair the damage if something goes wrong.  Don’t attempt to primp, cut or curl”… one could assume waxing falls in with these dangerous activities…”at home.”

No worries there for me, my primp-er is disabled, but I’m sure there are those of you that are quite capable of curling your own hair.

~Ladies love flowers.

Not men.  Just “ladies”. I do happen to love flowers, so I was ok with this rule until it went on.  If you want them to count you can’t pick wildflowers from the ditch (IMO the best kind) or order from 800-Flowers.

Damn. Cancel my account.  I guess I never cared about the people I have sent flowers to from those sites.  The Merry Christmas’s and Happy Birthday’s didn’t count because I didn’t pay enough love tax.  I bet the recipients were crushed.  Maybe they threw the flowers down and stomped them?

~Be sure to send the flowers to the office.

Because all these “ladies” are so shallow they care more about the appearance of being loved than the real deal?

Why don’t we all just bypass the significant other then and send them to our own office?  Actually, that’s not a bad idea.  There’s nothing wrong with a little self love.

~Thou shalt not give a gift card (bookstore please), a chocolate sampler, or a bath set or you will get the cold shoulder.

Why the hell not give these?  Hey, all you “ladies” whose inconsiderate partners got them any of the crap mentioned,  send it to me. (keep reading for better ideas)

The newspaper writer must have taken the same gift class as the folks who tell you not to get your partner an appliance for a birthday or Christmas gift. I missed that day of school.   For my first wedding anniversary, I got a waffle maker, a Mrs. Potato head doll, and a bottle of bourbon.  I was ecstatic.

Next rule.

~ Thou shalt not be seduced by Valentine’s increased commercialization.  It’s the thought that counts.

Huh?  Nice try.  What if the thought was a bath set or 800-Flowers?

Valentine’s Day is a 19 BILLION DOLLAR industry.  Think of the good that could be done in the world with that handful of change.

Is anyone else even slightly offended yet?

I think you should be – “lady”, man, single, married, gay or straight- but maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I’m the Grinch of Valentine’s.

I was offended.  But, I kept reading the newspaper article.

And got to this rule.

I saw red pink.  I hate pink. I’m not judging you if it’s your favorite color.  If we all liked the same colors I guess there would be no rainbows.  The palette would be boring.  I guess.

~ Be smart.  Don’t drink and drive.

Really? Good advice.  Just on Valentine’s day?  So,what should you do?

The rule goes on…”up your game by rolling around town in a rented ride.  Try to find four wheels in shocking pink.”

For the love of St Valentine, please don’t, I say.  The article recommends a pink Hummer or Bentley.

“Pink is not just for girls anymore…You step out of a Barbie doll car with a Barbie, you’re golden.”

I think I’m gonna puke. Please do not tell me I just read that in the paper.   I was momentarily speechless and that is not an easy thing to achieve.

What’s wrong with Barbie?

I doubt you have to ask.

My apologies if your name actually is Barbie or you love someone named Barbie who happens to love pink.

Artist Nickolay Lamm used the proportions of an average 19 year old woman to make a doll with, well, real proportions.  And that was an average 19 year old. Next, I hope he will make a bodacious one?  How about a 50, 60, 80 year old doll?  How about some real man-shaped dolls?

These are the dolls that I hope are getting some love on Valentines Day. Real people.  Primped or un-primped. Getting out of whatever ride gets em where they’re going. Hopefully, mostly sober.  They might be eating at Micky D’s or the finest white-linen-tablecloth establishment, but they are sharing time.

On I ramble, so to quote Dr. Phil “How about we put some verbs”…into our V day?

I believe love is best used as a verb.


What if we love our planet, ourselves, our neighbors, and  generations to come – by consuming less stuff ranging from Walmart M&M’s to Tiffany diamonds?

Let’s fill ourselves up instead on more service to each other, more connection, a little sunshine and the wind on our faces.

How about we show some love by bringing those gift cards, bath sets, and 800-Flowers roses to someone that will appreciate them – maybe a homeless shelter or nursing home.

How about feeding a hungry person?

Make it Generosity Day.

Or rescuing a dog from the shelter? Find the one for you.

Name your new dog Barbie and paint her nails pink if you must.

But love her.

In case you still think I’m the Grinch of Love, I do enjoy hearts and flowers – just not pink ones – every day. I scattered them throughout this post.  Just for you.




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