Tag Archives: valentine’s day

Sayin’ “I love you”

14 Feb

When I was growing up, my family was never the type to say, “I love you.” It just wasn’t done. I went to Catholic school and once we had a mass in the gym where the priest gave a homily that I don’t remember much about, except that he inspired and encouraged us to go home and tell our families that we loved them.

I went home and nervously approached my mom in the kitchen and sheepishly mumbled, “I love you.” Because I did, after all. She came right over and gave me a hug, looked at my sympathetically and kindly asked, “What did you do?” Needless to say I didn’t try that experiment again for a long time.

Over time, different forces changed my family so that we did, in fact, begin to say “I love you”, and now we say it often and naturally. It’s important to me to mean it, to ensure that it’s not just a throw-away phrase at the end of our phone conversations.

I guess it’s always been important to me to be truthful or at least careful about using this particular phrase, maybe because we didn’t say it much when I was growing up. I remember the first time a boyfriend told me he loved me. We were standing in the entrance of my house and I was completely stunned and didn’t say anything back, which must have been rather disconcerting for him. But I didn’t want to say it if I didn’t mean it, and I hadn’t figured out yet what I was feeling. Poor guy.

A friend in university had a boyfriend with similar feelings of restraint. I love the story she told me about how they were parked somewhere one evening and he was compelled to say, “I… I… LIKE you STRONGLY!” Ahh, there’s nothing like a little conviction to sweep a woman off her feet.

It’s only in the last year or two that I’ve been able to start saying, “I love you” to the rest of my family — by which I mean the family I married into. It’s not that I haven’t loved them for years, it’s just that I don’t often hear them saying it. Michael’s not too mushy with his parents, and his dad in particular is not given to flagrant displays of emotion. But with distance and Granny’s battle with cancer, we’ve all become more able to say it. Well, at least the women have. I’ve told Marian and Lindsay and both Granny and Pop that I love them. But I have a feeling that Jim would squirm. And so would Tim. So for them, I just feel it; perhaps we’ll grow into it eventually.

I’ve been promising to post my latest song (which isn’t even my latest song anymore), but I’m still having some issues with my throat, so haven’t been able to record it. Here’s a little something in the meantime, in the spirit of Valentine’s Day. It’s the song I wrote for my sister and her new hubby (hi Pedro!) for their wedding this past November. I admit that it doesn’t exactly have the deepest lyrics, but I wrote it as a way to say “I love you” to them, and so I share it with you today as a way to say “I love you” to all my family and dear friends.

The song is called “Together” and I’m accompanied by Mani Mobini. Please feel free to watch him instead of me in the video. (He’s cute, isn’t he? Sorry ladies, he’s already spoken for.)

Romance, fluff, and other stuff

13 Feb

I can’t quite remember when I first started reading Harlequins; sometime in my late teens, I think.  I had never thought of them as worthy reading material until I saw that they were regular fare for one of my smartest friends.  Oh yes, and I had a roommate who had to read one and analyze it for a university course.  So I gave them a try and they soon became an occasional part of my reading diet, sorta like a literary bag of chips: not much substance, done with quickly, and guiltily satisfying.

The trouble with reading Harlequins is that consuming too many is unhealthy.  Seriously.  One summer I was reading quite a lot of them and I could actually feel my view of the world getting skewed.  I knew that the way relationships are portrayed in these books was completely unrealistic, but I was getting sucked into the idealism.  I decided I’d better leave off the Harlequins if I didn’t want to damage my real-life relationship, and I went back to my staple of children’s literature, which is at least wholesome.

I still occasionally read a romance novel on holidays, though usually ones with a little more substance to them than the Harlequins.  And these days, there’s always some “chick lit” available if a different kind of fluff is called for.  But, just as healthy meal preparation has become more important since Jade started eating with us, reading choices in these times of limited leisure time are also more — I don’t know, what’s the word? — nourishing.

I guess that makes me a bit of a snob, but when faced with scarce resources — and time is certainly that — one must be at least a little picky.  Of course, one of my main sources of reading material these days is not from books at all, but from the 40 or so blogs I’m subscribed to in my feed reader, the majority of which are mommyblogs.  The neat thing about it is the ability to interact with the “characters” I’m reading about, getting to share ideas and to commiserate, which is something I find truly nourishing.  Even when I end up going to bed late after catching up with everyone.

What are your favourite reads?

First kiss controversy, my eye!

8 Feb

Have you read my husband’s version of events for Valentine’s day 10 years ago? No? Well, I’m just responding to his silly story, so if you want to follow along, go on over and have a look.

Go on, I’ll wait right here for you.

(Hums a tune. Whistles. Looks around at all the paper scattered on the home office floor. Right, I really should file those.)

You’re back? Hi! Welcome back. Okay, so here’s the evidence:

Damning Piece of Evidence #1
Yes, we were all sitting around in Loeb lounge and conversation turned to Valentine’s Day (I don’t think anyone broke any silence to start the conversation, actually, but that’s not important). Yes, Michael offered to make dinner. But when he says I “hesitated”? No, no, no. There was no hesitation there was outright refusal. Adamant refusal. For several minutes, at least. I was not interested in any serious dating after the relationship I’d just ended.

But Michael was insistent. Persistent. Pesky, even. Finally, I didn’t have much of a choice but to give in. What kind of guy spends this much time wearing down a girl he’s not romantically interested in?

Damning Piece of Evidence #2
Cornish hens with a red currant glaze? Wild rice? Sparkling juice and mood music? Candlelight and a dark room? Excuse me, this is your idea of NOT a date?

So yeah, do you blame me for thinking he was looking for a kiss when he reached his arm up with his head in my lap? So maybe I’m responsible for kissing him first, but still, he started it! Isn’t this obviously a deliberate attempt to set the mood and lure me in?

Not to mention the fact that saying he really wasn’t interested is pretty darned insulting. Nyah, nyah! So there.

Aren’t we a romantic pair?

Anyway, the point is, you have no choice but to find him:

  • GUILTY: of plotting to get me to date him (and eventually marry him)

If you somehow think he’s not guilty, well, then you must think he was one naïve young man or something, so I’d like to hear exactly why you think he wasn’t scheming.

    It’s up to you to decide.  Have your say!

    Thoughts on Valentine’s Day

    8 Feb

    Jade came home from daycare with a note in her lunchbox this week.  It was a list of names of all the toddlers at the daycare, her “classmates”, if you will.  The list was entitled “Valentine List for Upstairs Toddlers”.

    When Jade was in the baby room last year, she got about half a dozen Valentine’s cards to take home with her.  They had been filled out by the daycare staff on behalf of all the kids, and it was a fun if somewhat superfluous gesture.  I must say, though, that I hadn’t given a moment’s thought to Valentine’s cards for this year.  I guess I didn’t think I’d have to worry about doing Valentine’s cards for Jade until she started school.

    I’ve gotta say, from the vantage point of an adult, I have a somewhat jaded view of children’s Valentine’s card.  It seems like a waste of a lot of paper and a lot of insincere sentiment.  In the “old days”, kids just gave cards to the other kids they really liked (poor Charlie Brown), and often a lot of time and energy was spent picking out the right card or hand-crafting them.  Of course, it all gave rise to some justifiable concern over Valentine’s Day being a popularity contests and damaging to some kids’ self-esteem. 

    By the time I was giving out Valentine’s cards in elementary school, it was understood that you gave a card to everyone in your class.  So you just had to make sure you didn’t pick anything too sappy to give to the kid you didn’t really like that much.  I remember how much time and energy it took to fill out all those Valentines, a chore I didn’t particularly appreciate.  On the other hand, I do remember how fun it was to read all the different cards I’d received, to see what “extras” some special someone might have written on their card, the excitement of the disruption from the regular school routine, and the joy of pondering endlessly whether that little boy I liked meant something special by the card he had chosen.  ‘Cause that’s what girls do.  Okay, maybe it was just me.  And I guess I should say boyS, since I’m the girl of perpetual crushes.


    It was fun.  But how much can it really mean to a bunch of two-year-olds?

    I know some people don’t like the idea of Valentine’s Day at all.  I don’t mind it, really.  I think we can rise above the capitalist brouhaha and take it as a gentle reminder to count our blessings and appreciate those we love.  You might argue that we should do this every day, but sadly most people don’t have the energy to be that thankful all the time.  Life happens, you know?  For me and Michael, Valentine’s is a bit of an anniversary, marking our first date and our first kiss (which was completely his fault, the schemer) so Michael is always in charge of cooking us a fancy dinner that day.

    So I don’t mind Jade growing up with Valentine’s Day being a fun day for celebrating friendships.  I just wish she were old enough to fill out her own damned cards.