Friday, February 4, 2011

Dear Saint Valentine: Shut Up.

February Challenge: I think the title pretty much speaks for itself.

Seriously. I am the old-chick on this blog. Russo and Maegan could be my dau . . . um . . . much younger sisters. I can't even remember Valentine's Days from the early blooming youth of my fluttery heart. Well, there are a few vague memories. Like making a little foil covered valentine depository, in whose box top I carefully cut a slot for the notes of love and candy to be slipped into. And then doing some funky thing with watercolors and glue to make designs on the outside.

There was staying up all night hand cutting little red construction paper hearts and gluing sticks of Wrigley's Spearmint gum on them for the arrow-through-the-heart-thing, and hoping the little dude I had a crush on would just know I'd done it for him. He had curly red hair and freckles. And he was quiet (the sad opposite of me.) He was also stupid-smart. Boy could spell every word in the third-grade spelling bee. Every. One. Including "Cavalcade." (Yeah. Words were different back then.) He knew all of his times tables, and a goodly share of his divisions too. He could recite the names of all of the U.S. presidents, and knew "Myself," by Edward A. Guest, by heart. What was not to love?


Sadly, he did not love me back. Never said a word about my Wrigley's Spearmint gum-through-the-heart-valentine, or my awesomely tricked out V-Day box.

But a few good memories are fading in for me now. Like the boy who gave me a rose as he asked me to the Sweetheart Ball in high school. That made my month. And the young man in college who gave me a pair of fuchsia hose with a little line of hearts up the sides. That was . . . awkward. But also . . . sweet. And romantic. And weird. Made my legs look like cherry-flavored candy canes. I loved them.

And then there was the boy who married me because I said yes. Also because he had a wicked crush on me. And I him. I've had years of roses and chocolates since then. Not hugely imaginative, but I happen to love roses and chocolates, so who cares, right? 

There've been some years where Saint Valentine was completely smacked-down; like when the boy with the crush joined a non-profit whose annual retreats were held during Valentine's week every year. Yeah. They were that retarded. But then so were the wives, because it took us as long as it did to say, Um, No. Reschedule.

But the most memorable year was the year that I was three days from delivering my last child, and Oh My Holy Heart what was I doing having a FOURTH child at the age of thirty-freaking-eight! And I was so far beyond waddling that it could only be called road-grading. My belly looked like I'd duct-taped a torpedo to my hips, and I swept every flat surface at belly-level clean as I walked by. Oh yeah. As I road-graded past my husband on Valentine's Day that year I shot lasers at him with my eyes, making it clear I wanted NOTHING to do with romance. Like EVER. I was dilated to a 4, fully effaced, the baby was bobbing around at my knees, and I swear he was hanging onto my ribs by his ankles, because there was NO REASON he shouldn't have fallen out by then. Nothing was holding him in.

I was finally relieved of my darling yet burdensome burden by watching the figure skating competition during the Salt Lake olympics. The French judge had accepted a bribe from the Russians, and voted against the Americans. Made me so mad I went into Labor.

Um. Sorry. What were we talking about? Oh yeah. Valentine's Day.  I'm not pregnant this year. I'm fully married. There's no non-profit retreat going on. Nobody holds Sweetheart balls anymore. And the heart-hose are long worn to death. I've survived a lot. I'm pretty sure the boy with the crush needs to get me a twenty pound box of Mrs. S's chocolates and a trip to Ireland this year. For his Valentine gift? He can come with me if he'd like. I might even kiss him.

Here's my funny Valentine saving me from aliens. If you look at the scores you will see why evolution made him the husband and me the wife.


scott.densley said...

Like the pic, wish I was at Disney. Nice work, Janiel. I laughed.

Janiel Miller said...

Thanks Dens- er Scott! :)

sueallen2546 said...

I really smiled when i read this challenge of the month, i love valentines, can't get enough, hopeless romantic and you three have come up with funny ideas, I like this blog, can't wait to see what next month challenge is.

miadavis29 said...

Janiel, hits a home run again. When you three gnomes get published you should do a co book signing. I wanna meet Maegan and Janiel. Russo, I love you but I see you day after day.

Maegan Langer said...

Janiel, you're the coolest den mo- um, big sister ever!

Janiel Miller said...

Sue, we can't wait to see what next month's challenge is either!

Mia, thank you! We are not only doing a co-book-signing, we are doing a co-world-tour. Amen.

Maegan - DEN MOTHER?! I'm traumatized. That's like, my greatest nightmare: that I'd ever be asked to be a den mother. You know me. You know my freak-outs. Can you imagine that with a pack of 8 year old boys? Don't even say it out loud. I'll take the big sister-thing. I appreciate the compliment, though. Now I've got to go find some Ben & Jerry's and calm down . . .

Ari2525 said...

I personally love the picture, you both look handsome together.

Janiel Miller said...

Aw, thank you Ari. We're doing that thing where you're married forever and start looking like each other . . .

Sara B. Larson said...

I was at the pair's finals (my dad was a vendor so we got lucky and got to pick what events we wanted to go to, and I picked that one). If you think it made you mad watching it on TV, you should have been there! I thought those judges were going to get killed. I was so furious... luckily I wasn't pregnant. ;)

Great post!