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Belated Romantic Twaddle, The Best/Worst Edition

v day 3 Here was our worst Valentine’s day: I was a newish Mom. Sam was about to turn one, and he was eating a lot of solid food and weaning himself.

I’d had a year of zen-nursing hormones. While on that heady brain cocktail, I’d felt lush, lovely, generous, and magic. I lolled about, MAKING FOOD WITH MY BOUNTEOUS LOVELINESS. I exulted in my physicalness, my true animal self, looking at Scott all bright-eyed, my baby in my arms, saying, “I REALLY AM A MAMMAL! LOOK! I WAS A MAMMAL THE WHOLE TIME!” in delighted, reverent tones.

As Sam transitioned to people food, the hormone-crazy swung the other way. Suddenly, lush changed in my head to huge and swollen and lumpy. Magic was replaced by sour and smelly and repulsive. I felt suddenly about as kissable as cattle, as enticing as a milk cow.

Now, anyone who knows me well knows I am not a big DATES girl. I don’t remember birthdays and I don’t much care about MY birthday. I have no idea when Mother’s Day is. I forget that October ends in Halloween EVERY YEAR and have to scramble up some candy at the last second and my kids always had to pick through the costume leavings in late late late October. I used to know my anniversary because it was engraved in my ring, but then I got a tenth anniversary band, and that tenth one was the last anniversary I ever noticed happening.

Scott is the same way. Well, he KNOWS what the date is, but he doesn’t CARE about that studff. Between my date-challenged nature and his apathy about holiday traditions, even Christmas can sneak up on us. We never even got a TREE up last year. Our collective family will get nothing for a slew of birthdays and then a sudden bouquet 3 weeks after the fourth missed one. They all either love us anyway or just keep their loathing kindly to themselves.

SO Valentines day happened. This was not a day where we had EVER done things for each other. I never knew when it was and he didn’t care. But that year?

v day 2 I got Scott a card and some gummy hearts. And I gave them to him that morning, and in my crazy UGLY-FAT-MILK-COW-feeling head, I had this thought that he would WITH NO HINTS OR WARNING FROM ME THAT IT MATTERED do something crazy romatic and great to let me know HE still wanted to kiss me, anyway. Because I needed him to.

He looked up from the card, stricken, and said, “Oh, I didn’t realize we were doing anything. We don’t usually do anything…I mean we never…”

And I said, “Oh, that’s okay. I know we don’t. It isn’t important. I don’t care, really. Not at all. No big deal.”

And then I burst into tears and cried and cried and cried and cried and cried until I threw up.

SO! That was fun.

The next year, I got up on Valentine’s Day to find the kitchen had been transformed into a pink and red streamer-coated balloon filled gooey love wonderland and he had made a mix tape and written me a really for true love letter and gotten me flowers and a HUGE thing of delightful chocolates, and he presented all this with MUCH love (and a teeny bit of lingering terror) in his eyes.

Valentine’s Day has kinda been a thing we do, ever since, and THANK GOD for the big displays they do at Publix or I would never know it was happening.

This year, SNOWMAGEDDON PART 2: THE ATLANTAN UNDOING happened, and he couldn’t get out of the HOUSE to prep anything. SO we went out to dinner and canoodled and made eyes over delicious crab fritters at Float away Café, and he told me about this fellow we know —Let’s call him James—who had an even worse one.

A couple V-days ago, James was dating a lady, and he realized he was feeling very serious about her. Very serious indeed. He realized he was wanting this relationship to deepen and stay, and that he was in it for real, for life, for marriage.

So for Valentines day, he got her a card, and in it, he helpfully wrote her a helpful list of ALL THE THINGS SHE COULD DO BETTER IF SHE WANTED THE RELATIONSHIP TO CONTINUE.
v day 1 Bahahhahaha. I love boys. Like, it came from a place of, NOW I AM SERIOUS and THINKING IN TERMS OF FOREVER. But how do you think that read to her? She took the card, read the list, stood up, looke d at him, and just got up and WALKED silently out.
Well it has a happy ending. The next year, he made her a different list—everything he loves best about her, everything that makes his heart go all sparkle- pop when he looks at her.

They are married now.

This is LATE, I am backed up on blog entries because THE BOOK IS GOING and I have been writing it like crazy. But do belated love with me, please? Tell me your best or worst?.

17 comments to Belated Romantic Twaddle, The Best/Worst Edition

  • My best love story is my parents. My mom (Kathy) was married to my dad’s (Terry) best friend (Randy). Kathy and Randy had a little boy and then they moved to Germany. Randy was a helicopter guy in the army. He died there in a helicopter crash while my mama was pregnant with my sister. So Kathy moved home to Virginia, had my sister, then moved to Texas where she owned a little house. My dad was stationed in Oklahoma at the time as an Air Force pilot. He drove down every weekend to help my mama with the babies because he secretly loved her the whole time and promised Randy that he would take care of his family if anything ever happened to him. Then a year later, my papa married my mama. He said that he loved her and her tiny babies and wanted to take care of them. Two years after that I came along. 30+ years later they are still happily married.

    Maybe that’s why I have such grand romantic notions.

  • Oops, I forgot my worst. Worst was when I got a new haircut I loved right before Valentine’s day. I styled it and wore it on a date with my boyfriend at the time and when he saw me the first words out of his mouth were, “You look like a lesbian.”

    I ended up marrying that guy aaaaaand now we’re getting divorced. Go figure.

  • Melissa

    My husband directs operas. Valentine’s Day always comes right before a show, so he’s super busy and almost always forgets until THE day. Then he buys Godiva chocolates and all is well. This year, sixteen inches of snow came along with Valentine’s Day, and he could not make his mad dash to the store. So at rehearsal that night, he found out that one of his singers had just returned from Italy and happened to have a box of chocolates in her car. He bought them, brought them home and left me a carefully worded note. “To my valentine: I brought you these imported chocolates. From Italy. Please love them (and me).” I did and I do.

  • We don’t spend a lot of time on V-Day because it seems to be a set-up for something bad to happen (haha). Our tradition is a good bottle of champagne (which one year begat my son). This year, we were going to gorge on our champagne and then attend a party at some friends’ house that included a fire pit (Passion Pit). But instead my hubby walked in the door from work Friday night with the flu. So. I drank the champagne anyway.

  • Holly Gault

    I’m so glad that there are other families like us. “Huh, look at that! Our anniversary was last Tuesday.”

  • Our most memorable Valentines Day we weren’t even together. We were engaged, and my hubby was stationed out in the country. This was in the days before mobile phones and email. He used to have to drive in to the tiny country town from his motel and stand in the public phone box every night to call me. We also wrote actual paper letters to each other.

    For Valentines Day I bought a cute fluffy white teddy bear that was holding a box, filled the box with Smarties (one of his favourites) and sent it to him. A couple of days later I received a fluffy white ear, complete with blood stains, and a ransom note, its letters cut from the newspaper: “Send $10,000 in unmarked bills or this ear is all you’ll ever see of the bear.”

    (Don’t worry — no bears were harmed in the making of this extortion attempt. He took the bear into a local craft shop and asked the lady behind the counter to make an ear. She thought it was a great joke!)

  • One year, I’d been married about two or three years, and my husband was in the middle of a crazy work season. He traveled every Thursday – Monday, worked his day job every Monday – Thursday, then recorded an album at night. He did this from January until March. Some weeks I literally only saw him as I was getting ready for work.

    By mid-February I was OVER it. I told him he could either quit all of his jobs and just stay home and be my Valentine, or he could get me a dog, because I needed a reason to come home at night.

    That Valentine’s Day, I got a golden retriever puppy.

    So I’m counting that as my best.

    (I had that sweet dog for 11 years, by the way. He just died last November).

  • Corey

    This probably counts as the worst: emergency eye surgery for detached & torn retina on 2/1, and had to be facedown for 2 weeks, ending on 2/15. So I just had to yell “I love you and you and you and you” at my family instead of going out to buy cards and heart trinkets and stuff.

  • DebR

    Our anniversary is Feb. 18th (yes, today! 25 years today and we’re still married and haven’t killed each other – yay! LOL!) and so we tend to sort of lump together Valentine’s and our anniversary into one Thing and we’re not much into cards, prezzies, etc. but we usually have some sort of date to celebrate.

    I’m not sure I’d call it either our best or worst but the one I think was our weirdest was the year we spent our anniversary ice fishing on a frozen lake in Canada. We weren’t in Canada to fish, but the opportunity presented itself and even though I’m not normally too into fishing it was so weird (to me, at least!) that I figured why not! We also road snowmobiles (skidoos!) which was fun. I was convinced we were going to die when the person we were with drove us across a frozen lake in a pick-up truck to drop us off at what looked like an outhouse on the ice, but we lived and it was, um…interesting. Not anything I’d do again, but it’s off my bucket list. :D

  • kathy

    One year, many many years ago, I got a watermelon. And a keg party. With all HIS friends showing up. Oh and I was pregnant and couldn’t have any of the keg. I did get to clean up the next day though. Joy. Needless to say, that marriage didn’t last….

    The best: Again many years ago, that pregnancy resulted in my daughter who when she was about seven made me a card “Roses are red, violets are blue, no one loves you as much as I do!” Sweet!

  • Susan

    My worst would have to be the one in high school where I discovered the secret admirer who’d been leaving sweet notes in my band cubby was in fact an elaborate hoax perpetrated by my best friend. Thirty years removed, it still makes my heart quiver to think about it. To this day, I’m not sure which was worse, losing a best friend or finding out I’d been had.

    My best was definitely after I refound my one true love (sometimes, the first boy you kiss really is the one you should hold onto). It’s a tie between the first year when we were so broke, we exchanged homemade cards with cheesy poems, or this year which was spent on a gifted cruise in the Bermuda Triangle (or, as most everyone else called it, in and around the Bahamas).

  • Leslie M.

    I guess my worst Valentine’s Day was the year I was engaged to be married. It was the first time I’d been in a serious relationship on Valentine’s Day and I approached the day with visions of complete romance. We were just weeks away from our wedding and my fiance had bought me a dress for our honeymoon the weekend before. I had a single red rose sent to his office and all day I waited for the bouquet that I was just sure was coming to me. It didn’t help that I worked in an office full of women who were constantly asking me if my flowers had come yet. By the end of the work day, I knew they weren’t coming. I tried to shrug it off, but I couldn’t conceal my hurt when we met up after work. He didn’t understand my hurt and compounded it by saying, “But I already spent money on you this week when I bought you that dress!” The next day, feeling terrible that he’d hurt me, he went to the grocery store and bought me a dozen roses. While he was checking out the cashier made him feel worse by shaking her head and saying, “Oh honey, did you forget Valentine’s Day?” : )

    The best Valentine’s Day was the next year when we were still newly married and in graduate school. We had no money for flowers or gifts or even a nice dinner out, so he wrote me a sonnet. It was lovely and I still have it.

  • We don’t do a lot for any holidays either. This year Valentine’s day fell on a Friday and our favorite band was playing at our favorite Mexican restaurant. Not exactly “romantic” but we had a blast!

  • SillyMe

    My 2 worst Valentine’s days happened in a row. The first year, my dog died (on V-day). Then 2 weeks later my mom died. The next year (on Valentine’s Day) my husband tells me we won’t be celebrating because it would just remind him of our dead dog. I felt like I had been punched in the stomach. Like I was being punished for having sad things happen to us. I don’t even know how I got through those years without medication.

  • What is this Valentine’s Day you speak of? I sort of developed a horrible distaste for the whole thing in high school and to this day, Valentine’s Day is like Chinese New Year or Columbus Day or Wednesday, It’s just a day that may or may not mean something to other humans, but means nothing much in my house.

    This year The Last of Us DLC was released on Feb. 14 so that was cool.

  • Ruth

    I have never been much for Valentine’s Day, but I had a nice one this year. I was out of town, helping my mother prepare to move out of her house — and I was emotionally a bit strung out from trying to support my mother through the loss of my father, who died shortly before Christmas, while dealing with my own grief and while we went through every blessed thing in her huge house packed full of antiques, heirlooms, junk and every other thing accumulated in the decades of their marriage. On Valentine’s Day I took a break in the middle of the afternoon and logged onto Facebook, where I discovered that the kind, smart, generous, lovely man I have been seeing had changed his status to “In a Relationship” and tagged me. Having dated so many clueless and/or commitment-phobic men, I was a bit taken aback — he didn’t have to be TOLD that, yes, what we’re doing is called a RELATIONSHIP. And then when a friend of mine wrote a teasing comment about us being in the horribly cute-as-baby-ducks phase of a new relationship, he doubled down and posted the cutest picture of two baby ducks ever seen on the interwebz. And when I finally got back after getting my mother settled into her new place, he had me come straight to his place where served me dinner — a real meal, with side dishes and dessert and cucumber in the water.

  • Elizabeth J

    Once upon a time (in college), I gave my boyfriend a card that I thought was very funny:
    (outside) what’s Valentine’s Day w/o sex?
    (inside) you’ll find out if I don’t get chocolate!

    He later gave me a gift certificate to the mall* (or possibly the drug store in the mall) to buy my own chocolates. And no, he wasn’t being funny or ironic.
    Also, this was a desperate little mall in central PA, not today’s malls w/Godiva’s and super cvs-es.