heart days

I know Valentine's Day is a commercialized, ridiculous, excuse of a holiday but it's a good excuse, I think, to acknowledge that I'm lucky. I was lucky when I was single and had girl's nights out, cursing Cupid and the idea of a Love Holiday. I was lucky because I was surrounded by people who got me, who weren't afraid of my passion or intensity. I was lucky when I was dating to be an object of someone's affection, to get chocolate hearts and flowers, but mostly to be told "I love you," or some romantic equivalent.

My first V Day with M 5 years ago was sweet and low key. She gave me a really cute red bear, one that I still have, not knowing that I'd never been given a bear before as a romantic gesture. We made t-shirts for one another with iron-on stickers and watched the premiere of the L Word. Last year we were snowed in and begged our friends to help us dig out of our parking lot so we could eat McDonald's and buy a shovel. The year before (2 years ago) we went to Peoria and had an awesome time just being together. And so I planned our Valentine's weekend for another trip to Peoria. At first, when I thought of doing something I considered going to Indianapolis because it's a place we haven't really explored. But I didn't want to go for Valentine's Day because my friend from grad school lives there and I wouldn't want to be in her neck of the woods and not see her but then it's Valentine's Day and it might be weird so... I decided to go back to Peoria for a fun weekend.

But most of all, I wanted to spend time with M. Our lives have been so busy lately, there's not a lot of time to just hang out. Any free time is usually filled with something. As far as Valentine's days go, I think just getting away and being together was worth it. But then again, we would have fun no matter what we did. And that is just one of many reasons I'm in love with M. I feel no pressure to plan some big to do and we don't compete when we plan trips or romantic nights out. Just setting time aside for us is enough of a gesture for me. And so when I saw the heart shaped box of chocolates with a card with a message inside that said, "Happy Heart Day," I felt incredibly and absolutely lucky.

I hope that no matter what you did to celebrate heart day that you felt lucky, too.

Chocolate truffles...yummy Chocolate truffles...yummy

letter to the end of February

Oh, February. Imagine me sitting here sighing as I write you. Imagine me under covers with the cat at my feet, wondering when you will give up the bitter ghosts that I know must haunt you. I realize you tried to make amends with the fluffy and romantic powdering of snow you offered last week. You have been relatively mild lately, perhaps in an effort to see if I could love you.

Alas, February, I don't know if it is meant to be after all. We're both trying here but there's something cold like ice between us that I just can't get over. It isn't your fault, really, with all you must contend with but I am tired of bare branches and frost. I need green, February, and that is something you cannot give me no matter how hard you try.

I'm sorry I cannot be fond of you the way I am those months that bring me flowers. You have given me hope, February and that is significant. You offer a promise of something else, something... not you and I appreciate your self-awareness and willingness to step aside while March sweeps in. She can be fierce, as you know but no matter how much freshly dewed grass and flowerbuds she gives me, I will still think of you and the time we had together. You have made a warrior of me, February, steeled me against the cold and bitterness of winter. I will try very hard not to be seduced by April this year but you know how heady pollen and butterflies and light touches of breeze can be.

I won't lie to you February nor expect much from you in the short time we've left with one another. Maybe you can relax, instead and not feel the need to go out with a bang or in your case, snowstorm.