Those who believe “settling down” is an apt description of what occurs with age are delusional or doing it wrong.
The last five years of my life have been my most adventurous by far. There’s a sense of terror and exhilaration wrapped up in all of these potential life-changing decisions.
One week from today, I’m getting married.
Everything about this war on women’s reproductive rights is fucking ridiculous.
Just ordered my wedding shoes!
What I’m supposed to be doing right now is getting ready for work, exhausting the pugs, straightening the house, and doing some quick homework.
What I’m actually doing is spending far too much time on Modcloth adding sundresses and statement necklaces to my Modcloth wish list.
The thought of a sexy and sweaty August vacation to Philly and DC has me desperate to update my wardrobe with all things summer and skin-exposing.
I have been thinking lately about how the best things in my life are things I have fallen into, unplanned and unexpected.
My career, my relationship, my pug mama-hood.
All decisions made with spontaneity and a sense of adventure.
I think sometimes I forget about that. It’s important to remember it.
Even in a loving, functional relationship, I am a Valentine’s Day skeptic.
As women we are marketed the fantasy of Prince Charming — someone who thinks everything we do is perfect, who never asks us to lift a finger to do anything for ourselves, who anticipates our every need and want, who showers us with material tokens of his affection. Valentine’s Day excess is part of that Prince Charming package, a myth perpetuated by the media machine along with the stereotypical scene of the glamorous woman at home excited over the prospect of gifts while the man is poring over Hallmark cards on his way home from work, scrambling to throw together an afterthought. So special!
All over my social media yesterday, beautiful/talented/hilarious/incredible women were bemoaning the lack of a Prince Charming to give them an epic Valentine’s Day. It’s bullshit.
Ladies, I’m here to tell you that Prince Charming does not exist. When you find the right man to make a life with you may come close, but he will never be the myth. Any vibrant and interesting relationship will have its disagreements and straight up battles — how boring would life be if your spouse never challenged you; challenge improves character. He will not do everything for you — and you are a fool if you let him because you will miss acquiring life skills and will handicap your ability to function without him. It is unrealistic to expect anyone to intrinsically know what you want — just like in anything else, if you want it you must ask for it. Material gifts mean nothing — any bozo with a credit card can lavish you with stuff, but you cannot build a future on piles of teddy bears and chocolates.
Any man who thinks a wonderful Valentine’s Day exempts him from proving his commitment the other 364 days of the year does not deserve you. (And any woman who thinks it’s only a man’s job to prove his commitment is a bitch — he may not be Prince Charming, but you aren’t Marilyn Monroe meets Betty fucking Crocker.)
I put a moratorium on Valentine’s Day in my relationship from the very beginning. Yesterday consisted of running out for snacks at 6pm when stores marked the candy down to half price. We then ate it snuggled up in bed together watching IFC on Netflix, which is part of our usual week. We don’t do Valentine’s Day because we do Valentine’s Day all the time.
It’s Valentine’s Day every time I come home from a 12 hour shift and find that on his day off he cleaned the apartment so I didn’t have to worry about it on my day off. It’s Valentine’s Day every time I get up early on my day off to pack him a lunch. It’s Valentine’s Day every time I stand outside in the cold with the dog before he gets home so he doesn’t have to, and Valentine’s Day every other time when he won’t let me take the dog out because he doesn’t want me in the alley in the dark. It’s Valentine’s Day every time we designate an hour to put down the study materials and cuddle on the couch, enjoying each other’s company.
If you truly love one another you do not need a commercial holiday to make love feel special. It’s the little everyday acts of caring and respect that say “I love you” better than any sugary heart ever could. And, unlike roses, they won’t begin to wilt in a few days. They last a lifetime.
As far as the flowers and chocolates and jewelry — I’ll just buy that shit myself.
"I don’t love you as if you were the salt-rose, topaz
or arrow of carnations that propagate fire:
I love you as certain dark things are loved,
secretly, between the shadow and the soul.
I love you as the plant that doesn’t bloom and carries
hidden within itself the light of those flowers,
and thanks to your love, darkly in my body
lives the dense fragrance that rises from the earth.
I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,
I love you simply, without problems or pride:
I love you in this way because I don’t know any other way of loving
but this, in which there is no I or you,
so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand,
so intimate that when I fall asleep it is your eyes that close."
Pablo Neruda, 100 Love Sonnets, Sonnet XVII, 1960 (via bookmania)