The Elusive Valentine

Scan of a Valentine greeting card dated 1909.

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As Valentines approaches and the retailers ramp up for the occasion, it makes me wonder what do REAL women want for valentines. For when you are no longer wearing  the catch me attitude or are not still in the newness of a relationship, the dinner out or the fancy card, do they still cut it? I know traditionally the idea is to purchase roses, chocolates and a frilly card but by buying what the market tells you, are you as a spouse actually showing your heart.

Personally I think that after you have had a few years of relationship or heaven forbid decades, or if you have survived raising children valentines might have a bit of a different flavour. I know we all want our spouses to know by osmosis what it is that we truly want, but Not going to happen.  I think some of the nicest gifts are the type of knowing your spouse. One year my man who does not drink coffee ever, stood in line at Tim’s (which he thinks is crazy) and brought me home a java. It was pretty sweet. Or another time, actually made coffee at home and since I was still in bed brought it to me.  Honestly the coffee was see through, basically just hot water with a little flavouring but still a great gesture.

My niece who has a new baby, has dreams of her husband getting up with the baby in the night for a valentines gift. He is a pretty newbie spouse so I can not see it happening……but maybe, sometimes men are surprising.

I read in the paper to-day that lingerie in a good option. Who is that gift for? I can tell you it is for the husband.   Probably some guy wrote that. What the hell! And also that is a landmine of trouble,  what size would you purchase. Do not do it!

A gift card for a massage or a pedicure that might work.  I know a friend who is all about the bling and totally informs her husband, which is a perfect solution. One year for xmas he purchased her a HUGE used slurpee machine, he has since been banned from shopping alone. Now he sticks to the bling.

There is apparently the five signs of love;  acts of service, gifts, verbal praise, physical and quality of time. So the trick is knowing what your spouse is.  The problem with that is I know my type, not a clue on his…..maybe after another decade I will get it. Poor guy. Or maybe the trick is making the gift a combo of all five.  You could wrap the quality of time, physical and verbal praise into one romantic evening, plus if you bought say a great gift and made a great supper. In that one event you could hit all 5 languages of love. TA DA. Might be too much work, need to figure it out.

So my husband is pretty smart, picked up flowers on Saturday, beat the rush and warmed my heart. On the other hand, I am picking up some polish sausage (which he loves) and have downloaded the how to salsa dance moves. Seriously I married the only man in the world who wants to salsa dance, problem is I do not want to be a salsa twosome. 

 But this valentines it is a sacrifice I am going to make ! 



The Wall

It was on her third birthday when Mandy received the biggest most amazing artist kit. It had everything in it, pastels, coloured pencils and markers. There was  sparkly paper, lined paper and paper without any thing at all. It was an artist dream. And because of this gift Mandy started to draw.

2 woodless graphite pencils in plastic sheaths...

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At first she drew on all of the sparkly paper, there was circles, and lines and things that looked just like perfect scribbles. She drew so much that she used all of the sparkly paper, the lined paper and the plain paper. And as she drew she got better and better, soon her circles and lines began to look like something real.

When Mandy had turned four, she received more pencils and markers and paper for she, the artist she was, was in need of more. Mandy also had started to make letters and could write her own name and small sentences. She would practise and practise. She eventually practised so much that there was paper everywhere and her Mom was starting to say things like, Mandy pick that paper up!

So Mandy would pick the paper up, but she would just draw on more and soon there was stacks everywhere. Mandy’s Mom liked a clean house and it was making her CRAZY!  So when Mandy’s paper supply started to get low, her Mom stopped buying extra paper. There stopped being papers and artwork laying everywhere around the house. So this made Mandy sad and her Mom happy.

But Mandy loved drawing and she loved writing. She loved it so much she started drawing inside her closet, she turned the closet into the most beautiful work of art, ever. It had mermaids and princesses and beautiful words written all over the closet. The house remained tidy because Mandy was not drawing on papers she was decorating her closet.

Eventually the closet was decorated everywhere and Mandy did not know what to do. But then she had an idea, she started drawing and writing on her bedroom walls. Her walls began sporting girls climbing mountains, and holding hands and flowers and beautiful butterflies. There were vines of words joining all of the beautiful art work together. Mandy was so happy!

When her Mom went into her room, she gasped the walls were covered and she was not happy. She said in a very stern voice, Mandy, this is not okay, these walls need painted!

Mandy’s Mom took out the white paint and brush and started covering the walls with the plainest, whitest color. The paint was being put on with hard angry strokes. As Mandy’s Mom painted she started looking at some of the words and artwork. She painted one wall and then another, then she stopped. She read some more words. She suddenly realized that Mandy was amazing and her artwork an expression of her heart,

She rushed  to the store and picked up art supplies and artists paint and new brushes for Mandy and gave them as a gift to her. You are a great artist, she told Mandy. and a wonderful daughter.

Mandy’s Mom took some beautiful paint and lovingly wrote on the wall, This room belongs to the artist “Mandy”

For on the bedroom wall in the corner,  it was these  words that had changed  everything, painted in pink was  “I love my family”