Beware the Ice Weasels.

Yesterday we didn’t set our alarms because the district called a snow day by 7pm the night before. We woke up at 9am, a blissful lie-in. As we watched the remaining defining landmarks around our neighborhood continue to lose shape and disappear under the snow, CC looked up from his computer and confessed.

CC: Umm, your flowers aren’t going to make it here tomorrow. Because of the weather.

Me: Flowers?

CC: Yeah, for Valentine’s Day. None of the trucks delivering fresh flowers are getting through. They all have notices up.

Me: Oh. You won’t be receiving your gift, either. It’s kind of a project that involves me leaving the house. That isn’t happening except for the digging out to go to work part tonight.

I’ve long held the view that Valentine’s Day is the largest BS, commercially-fabricated holiday, surpassing even “X-mas”. However, I am a huge fan of chocolate, and flowers. And finally, later in my life, I am a fan of love. So in honor of Valentine’s Day, here are a few thoughts about love.


“Love is a snowmobile racing across the tundra and then suddenly it flips over, pinning you underneath. At night, the ice weasels come.”-Matt Groening


I told my son that I loved him so much it almost hurt. He said, “I love you more, so it does hurt.” If he keeps suggesting that he can outlove his mother, I’ll show him hurt.


At work, I usually take a moment when things get intense or low or too quiet to ask: Have I told you today how much I love my dog? To which they answer, I don’t think you have yet, today. And then I say: I love my dog so much, it’s stupid.


My mom, happily married to my stepdad for 18 years: “Let your spouse be him/herself. Keep your sense of humor. Encourage each other’s interests. Learn the skill of listening and patience.”

My stepmom, happily married to my dad for 30 years: “A sense of humor and lots of prayer… not always in that order.”

Me to #5: What do you think is the key to a happy marriage?

#5: umm…I don’t know?

Me: Why?

#5: Umm… I’m eleven?

Me: Okay, what do you love more than anything in the whole world?

#5: Ummm…. I don’t know.

Me: Dad? Jack? Video games? Bacon?

#5: I don’t know. Can I go now?

I love chocolate so much, I don't care if it has 5 different kid spits on it.
I love chocolate so much, I don’t care if it has 5 different kid spits on it.

Happy Valentine’s Day. What do you think about love?


It’s Giving Me Nightmares

Okay, fine. I’m one of those people who’s all  jaded about Valentine’s Day. No need for justifications and rationalizations; you’ve heard them all already from everyone else. I’m just not a fan.

But when you have kids, you’re not allowed to not celebrate the holiday.

My parents always gave my sister and I each a card and a little box of chocolates for Valentine’s Day. Some years, my mom made a heart-shaped cake (we had a special pan) with pink frosting and candy hearts pressed into it.

This year I thought, why be all bah-humbug to cupid? I decided to make heart-shaped chocolate crackers for everyone at work, homemade bath sachets with eucalyptus for my writers group, and a heart-shaped cake with pink frosting and candy hearts pressed into the edges for the kids, even if I don’t have a special pan.

Then I remembered who I am.

There were lots of doctors appointments, significant snow, and a shitload of paperwork that had to get done right now. Instead of staying up late to bake, I stayed up late watching Iron Maiden’s Flight 666 and Rush Beyond the Lighted Stage.

Because they’re awesome. And I didn’t want to do my paperwork.

I had a work call and two shows the day before Valentine’s Day. The florist shop was out of eucalyptus. There was no baking. There was no crafting.

Let’s be honest: there never is any crafting.

Two days before Valentine’s day, I was in the city and went to the drug store for gifts and cards.

Doesn’t two days before Valentine’ Day seem like a good head start? You’d be shocked at how few cards the average drug store in New York carries for such a commercial holiday. You’d be even more shocked at how few are left by February 12.

You’re standing there with all the other poor bastards who also think that two days is a good head start, maneuvering for leverage in front of the two and a half feet of shelf space where the last twelve cards are.

I needed exactly half of them.

I found two semi-sappy cards that didn’t make me want to strangle kittens and set those aside for #2 and #3. I found three cards that were supposed to be funny but weren’t that I thought could be salvaged with written modifications.

(I was remembering a birthday card my assistant had given to me years ago. It was a truly awful rhyming birthday card that was supposed to be from a husband to a wife, and everywhere it said “wife” he just crossed it out and wrote “boss”. I die laughing every time I remember it.)

I still needed a card for CC. I had one in my hands made of thick black paper with red metallic script. Gorgeous. And hands-down, the single worst godawful rhyming card I’ve come across in a long time. It had real potential. In fact it was so bad and so long that I couldn’t even finish reading it. I got him a Chinese New Year card instead. Which I then lost.

The card that referenced chocolates I gave to the kid that hates chocolate (#4). The one that was made for a toddler with a picture of a bee and the obligatory Bee Mine! we gave to #1 (the 19-year-old), with hand-written references to VD. Because that’s the kind of thing you can write in a 19-year-old’s Valentine.

#5 got this one:


Inside I wrote: Dear god, I hope that cat doesn’t eat you. Because I love you! Happy Valentine’s Day!

His father wrote: Dear Son, She’s Nuts. Love, Dad.

#5 woke up before everyone else (as usual) on Valentine’s Day and opened his card. Then he texted me: Dad’s right. You’re nuts.

When I tucked him in he informed me that the cat’s smile was big enough and bright enough that when he wakes up in the middle of the night, he can see it in the darkness even without his glasses.

#5: It’s creepy.

Me: Excellent!

On the way home from work Saturday night he sent me the above picture with the accompanying text It’s giving me nightmares.

I believe my work here is done. Clearly I have a future career in greeting card modification.


Huh? (A Valentine’s Day Post)

We’re leaving for work, going out of the house through the garage. It’s cold. CC is wearing a ski cap that covers his ears. I have on the purple fox earmuffs he gave me for Christmas, a gift selection he made without fully considering the ramifications of having to appear next to me in public when I wear them.

The button that opens the garage door is mounted high on the wall. My hands are full and I’ve been having physical therapy on my shoulder since before Christmas and still can’t reach overhead some days.

Me: I can’t hit the button.

CC: Do you want a water?

Me: Do I have a flyswatter?

CC: A water! Do you want a water?

Me: I have a water right here.

I wiggle my water bottle at him. But only at waist level, cause I can’t lift it higher. At this point he practically runs into the garage door, realizes I didn’t hit the button and goes back to push it. We get in the car.

Me: I have a water and I would be willing to share it with you.

CC: You’re in love with the shipwreck of me?

Me: No! I have a water and I would be willing to share it with you!

CC: Oh, good. ‘Cause that was sounding like a Loudin Wainwright song right there.

Me: A Tom Waits bong in midair? Huh, I guess it does kind of sound like Tom Waits. I like that house.

CC: A light mouse?

I point to a house we’re passing in our neighborhood.

CC: Yeah, I like that one too. I really like that tudor behind it though. I’ve always had a fondness for tudors.

I look at him sideways.

Me: Does this mean you’re sleeping with Lucia Roga?

CC: What? No, I’m not sleeping with My Sharona.

Me: No, Lucia Roga! The math tutor?

CC: Why, does she live there?

Me: Tudor? Tutor?

CC: I didn’t know she lives there. That’s ironic.

He smirks. I smack him. I hate it when he turns my own joke back on me.

I flip on the seatwarmers and, as I always do, I sing their theme song. Which I made up. Which goes to the tune of the orginal Transformers cartoon theme song. And also steals most of its lyrics from it.

Me: Ass-warmers! More than meets the eye!

CC: That doesn’t make any sense.

Me: What?

CC: You always sing that song and it doesn’t make any sense.

Me: I’ve been singing the seat warmer theme song since we got this car four years ago and you’ve never known what it is?

CC: Yeah. Because it doesn’t make any sense.

Me, incredulous: It’s the Transformers theme song. You know, the cartoon?

CC: Oh. Now I get it.

Me: I can’t believe you’re just now telling me you never got that. Is this part of your newfound commitment to us improving our communication?

CC: Yeah. Remember when you said back there in the bathroom, ‘I look crazy!’ and I agreed with you? That saved me like twenty minutes trying to argue with you that you don’t look crazy. And you do look crazy, so it’s honest.

Me: Asswarmers! More than meets the eye!

CC: I can see the monkeys, jumping from tree to tree in your eyes.

I adjust my earmuffs.

Me: I can’t hear you. I have foxes in my ears.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

image by cellar_door_films via WANA commons
image by cellar_door_films via WANA commons