The cold weather seems that much colder. My body looks that much pastier (and feels that much creakier). And the daily grind seems that much more soul-crushingly tedious.
The newness of the new year has worn off; the desire to make it different, special, and maybe even somewhat organized, faded. And the stress of the holiday rush from which I craved respite two months ago is now but a distant memory, replaced by monotony (and dry skin).
This is February – the most dreary and depressing month of the year. And yet, it’s also the month in which we celebrate what is supposed to be the most romantic of all holidays. Which is only one of several reasons why I consider Valentine’s Day to be a crock of BS (the lovely mini-celebration I enjoyed with my husband and daughter withstanding).
Clearly, I’m not really feeling the love. But this is no pity party, so let’s move on to some tapas…
What I Say
• On Sunday night, we took Lil’ Bit to Sweet Frog as a reward for great behavior – she had earned all five stickers on her sticker chart every day for an entire week. Unfortunately, she didn’t fare quite so well the first two days of this week (although she’s since pulled it together). It broke my heart to see how embarrassed and disappointed she felt at having not done her very best job. But I suppose that’s just part of being a parent – watching your kids fail only to observe them [hopefully] learn from their mistakes and work to improve upon themselves. At the same time, however, I couldn’t help but reflect that it would certainly be nice if my biggest concern each day was whether or not I was going to get all my stickers on my sticker chart.
• So, the pope resigned this week. And according to the NBC Nightly News, speculation is that an American likely won’t be chosen as his successor because the European Cardinals are wary of appointing a pope from a country that’s considered to be a superpower. This, in turn, prompted my husband to cry “popeism.” He really should have his own section in Friday Tapas. (My husband, not the pope.)
• In other momentous news this week, the Circle of Moms 25 Funny Moms popularity contest finally came to its blessed end. Can I get an Amen! from the congregation?
What She Says
• Did you make a box for your Valentines today, Mommy? No… no, sweetie, I didn’t. Because I’m damaged and jaded, having been led to believe in my youth by several emotionally unavailable men that Valentine’s Day is a largely manufactured and commercialized Hallmark holiday. But you? You continue to bask in the purity and joy of its true meaning for as long as life will let you. Because at this point you know nothing but love, on Valentine’s Day and every day. And that’s just the way it should be.
• One of Lil’ Bit’s favorite bedtimes stories is The Gingerbread Man, the tale of a precocious little gingerbread boy who runs away from the childless couple who make him, taunting them all the while. The couple give chase to the cocky little shit, along with a butcher, a cow, a muddy old sow, and maybe something else, before he’s finally outwitted and eaten by a fox. Every time I read this book, I can’t help but wonder… why doesn’t that nice old couple just go home and bake another gingerbread boy? As I pondered this following our latest reading, Lil’ Bit spoke up. Pointing at the sad couple on the last page, she said, “But maybe now they can go home and make another gingerbread man and that one won’t run away?” And then I hugged her.
• “We all have necks!” Lil’ Bit announced at dinner one night. Startled, Jim and I looked at each other as if surprised to realize that we do indeed all have necks. “Well… yes,” Jim said. “We do!” But Lil’ Bit wasn’t done. “Let’s play We All Have Necks!” she continued. “And how do we play that?” I asked. Lil’ Bit grinned and pointed at her neck. “I have a neck!” she said and looked expectantly at me. “I have a neck,” I said and turned to Jim. “I have a neck, too,” he agreed with a shrug, and Lil’ Bit smiled triumphantly. Because that, apparently, is how you play We All Have Necks!
What They Said
• In Sex and Candy – The 8 Rules of Engagement, Kiran at Masala Chica celebrates the more practical aspects of Valentine’s Day with a letter to her future teenage daughter in which she covers all the basics – keep your head on straight, don’t get an STD, don’t get pregnant, and basically just don’t have sex until you find a guy who will love you like John Cusack loved Ione Skye in Say Anything. I took notes for the day many, many, many, many, many, many years from now when I have to have this same talk with Lil’ Bit. Because I want to do it just like this.
• And speaking of getting freaky, Leslie of The Bearded Iris had some choice words over at In the Powder Room this week for a woman who tried to send her husband out with a bang in She Tried to Kill Him with Her WHAT? And I’ve gotta say, the various and assorted euphemisms for oral sex in this piece damn near killed me. Leslie, where do you learn this stuff?
And that wraps up this rather cynical Valentine’s Day edition of Friday Tapas. Fortunately, I’m kicking off my weekend with a much-needed haircut followed by a much-anticipated date night – both of which are automatic mood-boosters. And cheers to that.
Have a great weekend!
What’s on your mind?