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Posts Tagged ‘Valentine’s Day’

I’m a real pushover. When I was little, Daddy Jim presented me with a big heart-shaped box of chocolates, and that was that. Every year, I was his Valentine. We didn’t have candy, or ice cream in the house, I had a no-nonsense upbringing. But on rare, special occasions Nell would bake a cake. And except for Halloween, Valentine’s Day was the bomb!

Of course I tried to replicate that feeling for my young family. The hearts, the cards, the whole shebang. I even became a crafter, cutting out little Valentine cards for their schoolmates. Unfortunately, Bob thought of this date in February as a “Hallmark Holiday.” Oh he could be romantic alright, but nobody was going to tell him when, where or how he could show the world he was mine. Or I was his? Whatever. I mentioned it was his iconoclastic nature that first appealed to me right?

Not being a sexist, I proudly took on the mantle of celebrator-in-chief for Love.

Well this year he will be working on Valentine’s Day. I said it might be like that reality show, “Sex Sent Me to the ER.” Granted we don’t watch a lot of reality TV around here, not counting the Voice of course, but I did happen to see an episode or two of Er Sex. And it is pretty funny. http://www.buzzfeed.com/scottybryan/sex-sent-me-to-er-should-be-your-new-favourite-tv-guilty-ple#.kk9B79Awwa

Of all the sexcapades Bob has come across over the years, the one that sticks in my mind was the older man who was brought in by ambulance from a motel, naked and unconscious, after suffering a cardiac arrest during coitus. The older woman who came in with him was answering questions for the staff, until the actual wife waltzed in and took over. Needless to say, the emergency department in that cold Berkshire winter started heating up with gossip!

Years ago, we were in California at an EM conference when I met two of the producers of    “Untold Stories of the ER” in a hotel bar. We really hit it off. When they heard Bob was a Director, they wanted to meet him and see if he’d be interested in participating in their new reality show. Come to think of it, they must have been trolling for ER docs. When Bob and his colleagues showed up, they had some fun talking about the possibilities, after which Bob said, “Thanks, but no thanks.”

Here are a few things to avoid over Valentine’s weekend:

Try staying out of the ER;

Keep crafting to a minimum; and

Remember if you screw up, there’s always President’s Day!

myPopart

 

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What d’ya know! We actually did get a foot and a half of snow just in time for Valentine’s Day, and the next day it was sunny and melting. Unfortunately, I gave away my beloved cross country skis a long time ago, the pair I had kept in a sacred shrine in a NJ garage. In the Berkshires, I would just strap them on and take off into the trails behind our farmhouse at the edge of a bird sanctuary. Eventually, I gave up hope. We just never got enough snow at the Shore to matter, and I figured that moving to VA would be the end of my snow sporting days. Little did I know.

We do have a small ski resort here in Central VA. Really, I was surprised too. Wintergreen is where some people will go for the weekend with their kids and snowshoes and skates. It’s one county over, and a few miles higher in elevation, a short car ride although we’ve never been. I guess when you come from a landscape that was filled with snow and winter activities, the idea of actually paying for fun in the snow – snow that was mostly manufactured anyway – just wasn’t the same. And let’s face it, our knees are a bit rusty too. Still, watching athletes compete in Sochi…

I have to ask, what makes somebody want to hurtle themselves down an icy track at 60 miles per hour, face-down on a sled the size of an old iPad? The Skeleton, kinda crazy right? But it was one of those events, like car accidents, you can’t seem to stop watching. And the US beating Russia in Ice Hockey, brilliant! But Figure Skating left me switching over to House of Cards on Netflix. Now that was a rush, holey moley. Frank Underwood is the newest Soprano-like villain; a man you love to hate.  

I celebrated Valentine’s Day last night with my man, since he was working on Cupid’s night. He shoveled a path to the grill and we had an amazing dinner; some surf and turf, some cauliflower gobi with sourdough bread and of course Ben and Jerry played a supporting role at the end. We Virginians also celebrated a major victory in marriage equality. Our 2006 ban on same-sex marriage was struck down by a woman judge on Valentine’s eve: http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2014/02/virginia-same-sex-marriage-ban-ruled-unconstitutional.html For a state that was supposed to be “For Lovers” and made its name in history by finally ruling that interracial marriage was in fact, constitutional, it was poetic justice.

Judge Allen began her opinion by quoting Mildred Loving, the plaintiff in the famous Supreme Court case Loving v. Virginia, which declared bans on interracial marriage unconstitutional, and went on to quote Abraham Lincoln, who said, “It can not have failed to strike you that these men ask for just … the same thing—fairness, and fairness only. This, so far as in my power, they, and all others, shall have.” She then applied his message to same-sex couples: “The men and women, and the children too, whose voices join in noble harmony with Plaintiffs today, also ask for fairness, and fairness only. This, so far as it is in this Court’s power, they and all others shall have.”  

Thank you Judge Arenda Allen! VA joins the progressive march to freedom for lovers everywhere. Proving it’s not who you sleep with, but the slow, sleepwalking pace of justice that will win in the end. So there you go Putin.  

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We are traveling again. Can you tell where we’ve landed?

Touchdown makes Bob laugh

Birds and builders compete for attention

Vaval has been burned on the beach

Colors of the sea range from indigo to periwinkle

La cuisine est magnifique

Oops, did I give it away? Time is standing still here. The people are the most welcoming of any island paradise. It’s a place to slow down and breathe, read, knit, swim, and refresh ourselves. Thank you for my Valentine’s flowers.

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I have not got my divas mixed up. This is one of my favorite Tina songs, my generation’s “Rolling in the Deep.” What’s love got to do with it? On this Valentine’s Day, amid all the saccharin sweetness, I’m reminded of the underbelly of passion; about breaking up, breaking hearts and spirits in the process. When the news broke about Whitney, some talked about her demons, her drugs, but I thought about her ex. You stay with your codependent, coaddicted, abusive partner too long, and you sink into the abyss. Whitney, you really could have had it all.

In the Yeardley Love murder trial, the jury has been hearing evidence from the medical examiner. This beautiful girl, tried breaking away from George Huguley. They lived in the same area, right up the street from a favorite bar, both played lacrosse for UVA, and had an “on again, off again” relationship for the last two years of college. It’s too simple to blame alcohol for his brutal attack, for the bruises on Love’s neck and the bleeding in her brain. We also can’t blame the victim, as the defense is trying to do, to reveal a justification for smashing in her door and smashing her head on a wall – was he jealous, did she take too much adderall? This is unconscionable in my book.

At some point we all grow up and take responsibility for our actions. In a perfect world, date violence could never happen. The girl says “No,” the boy says, “OK.” The first time the boy slams her into a locker, or puts a choke hold on her neck, the girl says, “So Long, See Ya, Goodbye.” But what’s happening to our girls in college? These young women grew up under Title IX, they work hard and play hard. They are under tremendous pressure to compete on the playing field, make the grades, AND look beautiful/thin/happy all at the same time. The Center for Collegiate Mental Health (CCMH) cites nearly one third of all students are seeking mental health counseling.

Sometimes a peer-run group can do a better job at catching those students who don’t seek out counseling. Yeardley Love’s friends and team mates must have felt tremendous guilt after her killing. We always ask ourselves what we might have done. Did someone hear her pleading? Should I have called her Mother? Was she not eating and sleeping normally? To Write Love on Her Arms http://www.twloha.com/ is a non-profit that seeks to help people with anxiety, depression, self-injury and body dysmorphic disorders. It has charters on many college campuses, in fact there is one at UVA. So if you think your roomie is suicidal – or drinking too much and blacking out – or being abused by her boyfriend, instead of doing nothing, you can gently engage them in this charity. Fostering empathy and compassion in a booze-fueled, fast-paced, “hook-up” culture is a good thing.

Whitney we will always love you. Tina you will always inspire me to dance like no one is watching. And Yeardley our community will remember you always. And to all you lonely hearts out there, Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to suck! Buy yourself some tulips, spring is right around the corner.

A Valentine Breakfast

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