Thursday, February 14, 2008

It's Almost Valentine's Day!

Tell me kids aren't hard on a woman. Here's a picture of me @ 9 months, with my daughter who is now almost 23. She weighed 10 lbs. 2 oz. I can give you a 100% guarantee that not even "going under the knife" will help a woman's stomach that has been stretched beyond the far horizons of normalcy. I do remember my doctor telling me that it was possible to have big babies without weight gain like mine, but at that point he was talking to my hand. I promptly lost all 60 lbs. within 6 months... or was that 12 months? No matter... what the hell did he know? He never actually had a baby & women have been having them forever. Besides, both of my children were practically potty trained & through w/ teething by the time they arrived in the world and, of course, only pooped roses. How cool is that? Oh, and the next picture after the preggie pic (yes, I used to be a brunette until I turned gray w/ children) is of the little darlings of whom I speak... all grown up and livin' large. Actually, it's a picture of two of my three favorite people in the world.... my daughter & my son (he did his share of damage as well, lol).

So, it's almost Venereal Disease Day!!!!!... Ooooops, make that Valentine's Day. That was a serious "old fart moment". Anyway, I consider V-Day the most overdone holiday of the year, in my opinion. I mean, did you ever think about how many people declare their undying love for one another every year... only to retract those sentiments & no longer be with that person the following year? So why does almost everyone put Valentine's Day on a pedestal & act as if it were right up there with Christmas? Because once upon a time... long, long ago, men were required, by the dictations of society, to "court" ladies and once the verbal bond was made, a gentleman would certainly never go back on his word (which was actually about the time the word "cad" came into play). Men & women used to have long courtships, then agree to make a committment to one another about sticking together through thick & thin. Back then, V-Day was a huge deal because most people honored their word and romance was truly romantic.

Today, I look around at all of the failed marriages & relationships just in my "little world" and it just makes me think that V-Day is almost a joke. Frankly, back in the old days, people married someone they knew they liked & would grow to love and that would be someone they could live with when the sex was gone. As archaic as that may seem, it's actually the perfect formula for a good marriage. Being stubborn helps a little as well (as long as you're both stubborn). As in: "You go first"... "No, you first..." Noooooo... you. NNNNooooooo... yooooooouu, and so on.

I can say this because I've been married to the same guy for 30 years now & we're both in for the long-haul. Our's has not always been a perfect or even an easy marriage, as we've weathered many storms that would have thrown most couples overboard into divorce court. There were times we both wanted to give up in total exhasperation, but deep down inside, we've always really liked each other, even though the child-rearing years would often leave us in question of that fact. Let's face it... kids are hard on a marriage, to be sure. Maybe we were just some of the "lucky ones", maybe it was fate, maybe it was an accidental union. Me? I don't really give a hoot as long as our lives continue getting better & better.... like now. The best part of all is when the kids are grown and you can finally be friends again. Life is good!

You know, we always joke & tell people we're each so spoiled that no one else would have either of us, but the truth is that once the kids were gone from home & we began the process of getting to know one another again, we were both pleasantly surprised to find that we still really fit together. Seven to ten years earlier we certainly didn't feel that way. It always seemed like the kids were constantly pulling us in opposite directions with their sports & all of the dozens of other activities. Since we had two children, one of us was always in attendance with one kid while one of us was with the other. We used to pass each other coming & going with a quick peck on the lips & a promise to talk later. It was almost like living with a roomate instead of a spouse. Those were the toughest years, but we somehow we made it through the fog to where we are today. Ten years ago I might have been subconsciously entertaining fantasies about a spousal upgrade, but so was the hubby, and somehow we weathered that storm too. So, tonight I just had to lean over & give him a gentle kiss on the forehead because the man who never even so much as grilled a steak during the first 23 years of marriage, informed me that he is making grilled lobster tails, Caesar salad & some crazy, decadent dessert called "chocolate purses" for me for V-Day. All I can say about this is: "Damn, I'm glad we weathered the storms, because this sure feels like Heaven". You see? He has finally begun treating me as if I am the princess I've always thought myself to be. Smart man..... ;-)

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