Monday, October 3, 2016

I HopeYou Hate This Post

Yesterday I found myself two hours into a four hour road trip and an hour into an increasingly loud disagreement between the husbeast and our notoriously opinionated friend Peter over the nature of MMORPGS (video games like World of Warcraft). At least I think that is what the discussion was about, I got lost in the seemingly circular argument about twenty minutes in and then tuned them out due to lack of interest. This is a fairly common experience and I have gotten used to not paying them much attention at all. In the end they will agree to disagree and move on, eventually forgetting they were arguing at all.

Later on in the ride, and several subject changes later, we began to discuss how it seems that we have reached a point in our society where disagreeing with someone over anything has become tabboo. Any time someone has a differing opinion it is viewed as some sort of intolerable personal attack, no matter how innocuous the topic is. Then things get ugly. Really really ugly.

If you need proof of this just go look at your social media feed. Every single day I see someone losing their shit over someone with a differing opinion than them. Mostly right now it is over the extremely contentions presidential race, or race matters, but I have seen this happen over everything right down to love of pumpkin spice lattes. It is absolutely ridiculous as you see people threatening to sever ties and end friendships because someone does not agree with them.

Are we in grade school here? I like blue and you like yellow so we can't be friends! I like clove and cinnamon and you don't so I can't talk to you anymore! You have differing political and religious views than I do and I will not tolerate such differences in my life!

What is this?!

Intellectual debate and discourse has been a sign of civilized society and an educated mind for most of human history. The ability to speak knowledgeably on a topic and present differing views to promote thought and change is a basic foundation of how we grow and better our society. It is only through discussion with multiple view points that we can see the whole picture, and without this we are left with a two dimensional view of life that can in the end prove to be disastrous.

Just because I do not agree with you does not mean that we can not be friends. I am friends with lots of people who fundamentally disagree with me on a number of topics. I don't expect these people to come around to my point of view, and I certainly hope they are not sitting around waiting for me to start thinking like them. I also hope we could sit down and passionately speak about our views and afterwards have dinner and laugh comfortably about things we have in common. This is what makes relationships interesting and diverse.

There are always going to be topics that we feel passionately about and are mountains that we are prepared to die on. I understand that if you are homosexual and someone is constantly screaming at you that you are going to burn in hell and need to die, that obviously that is an unhealthy relationship and ties should be severed. I am not saying that you can never disagree to the point of not being able to communicate. That does happen and is valid.

What I am saying is that not every mountain is that mountain to die on. Not every differing opinion is that drastic and awful. Yes I think your candidate is awful, and you think my candidate is awful, but that does not automatically mean that we can no longer speak. On the contrary it means we should talk. We should be discussing the issues at hand like rational adults and try to come to a consensus, or at least civilly agree to disagree. Who knows, maybe I will make  you see a little more what I see, and in turn I will see a little  more of what you see.

We often also have to remember that people base their opinions off of their own experiences. It is because of this that our opinions vary so much. I grew up a spoiled white girl living in the city in a loving home. I will never know what it is like to be anything else. I can hear all of the anecdotal evidence in the world, and feel empathy, but I am never going to know. My only way to see that there is something else to see is to talk and, more importantly, to listen.

We have to stop waiting to speak and instead listen to what is being said. Do not ignore the other person and form an argument for why you are right. Instead listen to what they are saying and see if any of it resonates with you. Respond to their words, do not just recite pre planned rhetoric. This is how true discussions work. Also let the person speak their mind without interruption. There will be time for you to give your rebuttal in the end. What they have to say is as valid as what you have to say.

You do not have to agree with anyone. You do not have to change your mind. You do not have to change their mind. By refusing to allow someone to speak, and refusing to allow them to believe as they want, you are being restrictive and oppressive.

People can live their lives they want and you can  hate it, but you can not stop it.
People can say things you think are wretched, but you can not stop it.

When we start saying that people can not do, or be, or say, or think, then we have become the problem. We do this and polarize ourselves more and more. We make ourselves more intolerant of things that are not "normal". We make ourselves more and more angry.

And then we break.
And then horrible things happen.
And then history books grow thick with tragedy.

I challenge you my minions to sit down with someone who you disagree with and talk to them. Talk to them about that topic that makes you uncomfortable. Talk to them and truly listen to them. You don't have to like what they say. You don't have to agree with what they say. You don't have to change your mind about anything. You just have to listen to them. Ask them questions, try and understand them, try and see what it is they are seeing. Then try and let them understand what you see, and why you don't understand what they see, and what you are seeing.

Maybe if we did this more instead of just assuming something, instead of making sweeping generalizations, and painting broad pictures of the 'enemy' we can step back from that precipice of hate that we seem to be teetering on. Maybe we can have the next page in the book be the start of a better chapter in our world.

You have to make the change.  You have to start. You are responsible for you, so be responsible.

And if you disagree with what I have said here, I am happy for that. I respect your right to do so and I would love to hear why.

I am ready to listen, are you?

Wednesday, September 14, 2016


There is a tightness in my chest that I find disturbing and all too familiar. It is not a tightness caused by any medical malady, it is not the sort of thing that makes me wonder if perhaps I have eaten one cheeseburger too many. It is not the sort of thing that one can easily name but can almost inherently understand. Whether I can articulate it or not, it is there, and each day it grows tighter as though it will crush me at any moment.

It is this feeling that finds me when I have been still too long. It is that nagging sensation that I am being idle when there are too many things needing to be done. It is the listlessness that comes from having no focus or goal. It is the feeling of futility setting in when trying to discern a clear path through the forest of apathy and inevitability of the mundaneness that is the average life.

I have felt this since I was very young. Any time I find myself without enough to keep me busy, keep my mind engaged, keep myself excited, I feel it settling in like a stubborn winter cough. It burrows in and takes hold of me. The symptoms of being antsy and restless, easily annoyed, and easily distracted are impossible to miss.

Early September always sees this happening. When I was young it was the end of a long summer where I never seemed to have the stimulation I needed to keep me from feeling listless. Now as an adult it is the end of my 'off season' between faires. At least when I was a child I had the endless time to run and play should I need to, now as an adult I am confined and restricted by day jobs and bills.

I try to fill my time but nothing holds my attentions. Things that I have long loved seem so old and dull, unable to even spark my interest let alone hold it. Things that I would long for in the busy days to come seem to be trivial and unworthy in the slow hours that need to be filled.

I crave newness. I long for something to excite me and energize me. I want that thrill of the beginning and the excitement of all that is still to come. Something fresh that I have yet to experience. It is like longing for a first kiss from the one you have been waiting for for so long.

I find that my voraciousness is intimidating and unequaled. I latch onto an idea and want to run with it as fast as I can, but those around me are moving at an almost stagnant pace. They are not looking through my fresh eyes and can not feel my urgency. They can only offer me a small drop of water when I have an oceans worth of thirst.

I don't want to seem too eager. I don't want to be pushy. I don't want to become that annoying person that demands attention and inclusion. Yet this is all I want. I want to stand on a table in the middle of a crowded room and scream at the top of my lungs that I want, no I need all of this now. I want to be Veruca Salt whining for my golden egg, because the tightness in my chest has become a painful distraction that can not be ignored.

I don't scream. I don't whine. I don't misbehave.

Instead I flit aimlessly from one distraction to another hoping that the tiny little shred of newness will be able to tide me over until I find the next. I hope that I can whittle down my attention span so that I will forget how shiny and wonderful one thing was for another so that I do not feel the withdrawal when my budding obsession can not be fulfilled.

Soon faire will start and I will not have time to think. The pressure will slowly alleviate as my days are filled until I am only wishing for a little silence. I will once again take solace in my stolen moments with those constants in my life which can not hold my attention now. Thoughts of new things will seem like folly that would squander my precious minutes away.

Thus is the dichotomy of me. I am not certain there is a cure or even perhaps a balance that can be achieved. I am not certain if I will always slide between starved for time and starved for stimulation. I don't know that it even bothers me anymore really; it just is.

For now I will just breath through the constrictor that is winding its way around me and know that soon it will be chased away by a flurry of wings that will sweep me away into a near terminal whirlwind.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

War Paint

As I was driving to work this morning I was flipping through radio stations looking for some music like I always do. I am not a fan of talk radio as I find it distracting and also find morning shows are at best eye rollingly stupid to white knuckling my steering wheel rage inducing. It is better for my blood pressure and my driving abilities to listen to music instead. Every once in a blue moon I stop and listen to a morning show, normally because they are doing a trivia segment and I am a sucker for trivia. Every once in a while though I listen because the segment they are doing is actually interesting. This was one of those mornings.

"What happens when a woman forgoes makeup for 30 days, we will hear from our producer who has done just that in a moment."

I was torn. Part of me wanted to change the station because the premise of this bit is insulting. I mean going without makeup is not earth shattering, or at least it shouldn't be. Still there was another part of me that was curious to hear what this woman had to say about her experience of taking off her armor, because lets face it, makeup for a woman is armor.

Now let me be honest here; I do not wear makeup. I have makeup, I like makeup, I know how to apply makeup, but I just don't wear it. Mostly it is because I am supremely lazy. I would much rather sleep in an extra ten minutes than apply eyeliner and mascara. I also am lucky enough that I have a pretty good complexion naturally so I have never really felt the need to go to the effort of foundation on a daily basis.

If there is a special occasion or maybe a fancy date night I will make the effort to put on my face. Otherwise makeup is reserved for when I am performing. I guess it is part of having been a performer so long, but I associate putting on makeup with putting on a character. It is just one more layer to the costume and the performance.

When you think about it though, wearing makeup is always putting on a character.

Why do women wear makeup?

To feel pretty?
To look our best?
To hide blemishes and imperfections?
To enhance our appearance?

All of these things change us, sometimes subtly, sometimes not, but they change our appearance to the outside world and make us different people. A person who sees us with makeup has a different perception of who we are, and honestly so do we.

If I wake up in the morning and look in the mirror and see dark circles under my eyes and sallow complexion showing how tired and bedraggled I feel I can fix that. Some concealer, foundation, and blush and suddenly I look well rested and am sporting a healthy glow. I may still feel like ass, but I look great and can pretend to the outside world I am. This is a character I am portraying; happy healthy well rested me as opposed to what I actually am right now.

If I am getting ready to go out and I feel frumpy and ugly I can fix that. I can pull out the contouring makeup, do some fancy tricks with color on my eyes that I learned on Pinterest, throw on some hooker red lipstick, and BAM! I am a total fox. A little makeup and I am ready to vamp it up all night long. It is empowering almost.

We call makeup war paint for a reason. It is something we can hide behind like a shield or a suit of armor. It protects us from the outside world which is, lets face it, cruel and judgmental.  It allows us to conform to societal standards of beauty and be safe from people who are not so accepting of deviation.

The song on my radio ended and the segment began. I was curious as to whether this woman would feel vulnerable and naked or empowered by her journey. She said that the first two weeks were really hard. She talked about being very judgmental of her appearance the first week especially, but for the most part people had been nice and supportive so it wasn't all that bad.

The guys on the show asked what she had learned about herself and her answer shocked them. She said she had learned that she was beautiful without the makeup, but more importantly she learned that she was full of spite. Yes she said she was full of spite. She went on to explain that she learned that if all of these men felt so free to tell her what was wrong with her physically due to lack of makeup, that she felt much more free to fire back at them. She was empowered to not take their judgy comments as acceptable. Without her armor she learned to fight.

They asked her if she would recommend this to other women and she said absolutely. She said people are going to judge you with or without the makeup, so why not do it? Learn something about who you are or who you can be.

And she is right.

Look people are going to judge you. We seem to be hard wired to look at a person and critique them. I am not saying this is right. I am actually pretty sure this is completely wrong, but it is a habit we all seem to have. It is most likely a learned action that is ingrained in us from an early age through the likes of media and social interaction with already judgy people. Who knows.

The point is people will judge you no matter what.  

You can put on makeup and they will think you are trying too hard and wonder what you are hiding. You can forgo makeup and they will think you are lazy and should take more pride in your appearance. There is no winning in the battle of public opinion.

So armed with this knowledge, why not explore yourself. Let down  your walls, take off the war paint, and see who you really are. Learn to see the beauty in  your own skin, dark circles and blemishes and all. The makeup does not make you beautiful, or who you are, you do.

There is nothing wrong with wearing makeup. If you like it that is great. Just remember there is nothing wrong with not wearing it either. It is about being comfortable in the skin you are in, no matter what you do or do not have on it.

Confidence is the most attractive feature any of us possess. It is a light that shines through you and there is no cream or solution they can sell to you in Sephora that will create that sort of radiant glow. Being able to walk out of your house in your rattiest clothes, your hair a mess, and your face as naked as the day you were born, and still knowing that you are amazing is by far the best you will ever look.

Confidence is the only armor  you will ever need.
Go out and be brave, be beautiful, and just be you.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Illusions of Time and Reality of Love

We measure our lives in time. Whether it be the smallest second or decades we only know this unit of measurement for telling how long it has been since an event has occurred.

The problem with time is it is not accurate. Sure you know technically how many minutes or days have passed but when was the last time when you were waiting for time to pass that it felt accurate?

We have all lived through the two hour second or looked back on a single year and were unable to fathom how you could do so much in just a year. Time really is just an illusion.  It is what we do in that time that is real.

Today, for me, 10 is the number that matters. Ten years to be specific. Ten years which marks almost 1/3 of my life. Ten years which encompasses so much more than that measure of time can describe.

Ten years ago today I said I didn't care about pretty dresses or girlish dreams. Ten years ago I said that all the fluff and trappings didn't matter.  Ten years ago I said the only thing in the world that was important was being married to my husbeast come days end; and it still is the only thing that matters.

Since that night ten years have passed but I am here to tell you that it has been so much more than that. Truly I feel that a lifetime has passed in this time. I can not wrap my brain around how we have shared so much love and so many adventures in such a short amount of time.

I know there are people who would argue that a decade is a long time. Surely in an age of famous celebrity marriages that last barely a month ten years really is a lifetime. For me though it seems like a drop in the bucket.

This last decade has been hard at times but more often it has been good. Together in this time the husbeast and I have gone on many great adventures, done many scary new things, and laughed enough to power the world for ten generations to come. I don't know how we managed it all in just ten years.

What I do know for certain is that time might not seem real but everything that has happened is certainly the real McCoy.  It doesn't matter how long they took it just matters that they happened.

You say ten years. I say an immeasurable lifetime.

To my love, my friend, my husbeast; here is to this lifetime and so many more to come no matter how it gets measured.


We choose.

We choose what to wear.
We choose what to eat.
We choose what to watch.
We choose what to read.

We choose to love.
We choose to hate.
We choose to hope.
We choose to despair.

We choose to give.
We choose to take.

We choose to help.
We choose to hurt.

Your choices effect those around you. The louder your voice and the larger your presence the more influence you have.

When you choose love, those around you learn love.
When you choose hate, those around you learn hate.

Shape your world, our world, with love. Choosing hate shapes our world with fear, and no one wants to live in fear.

Choose to accept differences, embrace them, love them, live them.

There are things we do not get to choose. You do not get to choose the family you are born to. You do not get to choose your sexual orientation. You do not get to choose the chemistry in your brain.

You can choose to separate yourself from negative influences. You can choose to accept people unconditionally. You can choose to love yourself. You can choose to help people feel free to be what and who they are. You can choose to get help. You can choose to get help for others.

You can choose to look at the greater good. You can choose not to be narrow minded or short sighted. You can choose to learn from the past. You can choose to hear the truth. You can choose to see manipulation.  You can choose the high road. You can choose the hard road.  You can choose to compromise.

You can choose to act.
You can choose to be brave.
You can choose to be outspoken.
You can choose to be compassionate.
You can choose to be decent.

You can choose to value all life.
You can choose to care about strangers.
You can choose to respect everyone as they are.

You can choose.


Life is a series of choices.
For all our sake, choose wisely.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

The Perils of Praise and the Artistic Ego

At the end of the day everyone wants to be appreciated and admired. We all work hard. Whatever it is we do, we work hard at it day in and day out. Sometimes there is a lot of tangible reward to our work and sometimes there is not. When there is not a tangible compensation for our work, like a pay check or some sort of award, we look for the intangible; praise.

Everyone wants to feel appreciated and like all of their hard work was worth all the effort that was funneled into whatever the project was. It is amazing how far a "Good job", "Well done", or "That is amazing!" can take a person. When these words come from the mouths of those in positions of power or from the well respected in your community it means all that  much more. Someone who is considered the best giving you even the slightest praise can send a person dancing on clouds.

Lets face it, it also feels really good to be praised and admired. It is a sort of endorphin inducing experience to be lauded for your efforts. When those moments of praise come in a public forum it is an even bigger high. Not only are you being appreciated but you are having your work publicly justified. Justification of your hard work is important and for many is the difference between soldiering on and quitting.

I mean who wants to work hard all the time with nothing to show for it. If no one in charge cares why should you care? I mean isn't that why we are all doing this? To be loved and adored by those we admire and respect?

Sadly this is the point many of us find ourselves, especially artists.

Artists are not necessarily unique in the world, but they seem to be some of the most praise dependent people there are. Without some form of affirmation and acknowledgement it is hard to tell if what you are doing is worth it. When your medium is completely subjective it makes everything you do potentially both a failure and a success all at the same time.

Whether you are creating physical works of art, writing stories, making music, or performing there is a high chance that what you are doing will be loved as loudly as it is hated. You can have a gallery opening with people sneering at what they see while critics are writing 10 inches on how inspirational your work is. You can have patrons giving you standing ovations while the review the next day is nothing short of insulting.

It is safe to say that this sort of hot and cold reception can be nothing short of maddening. For artists, who lead what is often a manic and maddening existence to start with, that sort of commentary on what is our passion can be positively devastating.

Artists egos are fragile things. You find your artists mostly in two flavors; tough as nails and don't seem to give a damn what anyone thinks of what they do, and so fragile that the most insignificant tangential online comment can send them into a self loathing spiral of doom.

When actual awards are involved, and not just a nice pat on the back, things get even worse. We get so wrapped up around the concept of this hunk of metal or pottery that we will become all consumed in the pursuit of this thing. This one bobble that somehow will justify all the pain and misery we have suffered through for our art. It is the one thing that proves that we are worthy.

I say 'we' because I am an artist over several mediums, and I am just as guilty of chasing the award as pretty much everyone else is. I want that award and praise, I crave it even. It is natural to do so. We are after all only human; human artists who thrive on praise.

The sad thing is that it is all an illusion. As I said art is subjective. Certainly an 'expert' or 'authority' in a field has more 'credibility' in their words, but they are  not the end all be all of your medium. Their opinion is just that; an opinion. You know what they say about opinions right?

I feel that when we get caught up in the vicious pitfall of praise we are cheapening ourselves and our work. It is easy to lose sight of why we are doing this thing in the first place. It is easy to forget why you first picked up a brush, a camera, an instrument, or stepped on stage. We forget the passion that drives us and in that loss of focus, our art suffers.

I don't perform or write for the praise. The praise is a nice by product, but it is not why I do it. It is not why I ever did it. The first time I stepped on stage it was not about the audiences approval, it was about telling them a story. It was about being in that moment under those lights and being the story. Living out those lines so that maybe someone watching would fall in love with the words the way I had. The mere chance that I would evoke something inside of someone was more exhilarating than anything I had ever experienced before.

When I write I do not do it to please others. I want people to like my stories and this blog, but that is not why I write. I write because the words live inside of me and are tearing me apart from the inside so that they might get out. I just want people to read my words, because they were meant to be heard. Not loved, not hated, just heard.

My art exists to exist. I know not everyone will like what I do, and they do not have to. That is the beauty of art and performance. If everyone loved it then it somehow would be cheapened. It would mean that I have nothing else to tell or achieve. I am not trying to appeal to everyone, I am just trying to be honest and true to my art, and in that I should not meet everyones approval.

I am not perfect. I have days when I fall back on my instinctual need for praise and admiration. I still crave those words of approval from those that I look up to. I still want those awards and trinkets that validate these things I do. I am human. Those days are fewer and far between though.

When those feelings of inadequacy start to seep in and I begin to claw at that ideal of recognition for validation I make myself stop and take a step back. I stop and remember the gleeful look on that little girl when I crouched before her and shared the magic of faire with her. I remember the small voice of an almost stranger thanking me for words I typed from the heart. I remember a new friend laughing uproariously at a story that was never meant to be. I remember that what I do matters and is good.

I remember that it is good for me. I remember that I have done the best that I could at that moment and that every day I become better at this thing I do. Every time I try I succeed simply by not giving up.

I do not begrudge the person who does win the awards or praise. I do not think that they are undeserving because that is not true. They are deserving just as I am deserving. Today was just their day. They crave that attention as much as I, and who am I to deny them that? I am no one. I am just an artist with a fragile ego just like they are.

Today I will bask in their triumph and give to them their well deserved praise. Mine might come tomorrow, or it might never come, but that is alright. I will still  be here creating, because that is all I know to do.

If you are an artist, do yourself a favor and stop chasing the praise. Stop and remember why it is you do whatever it is you do. Remember that fire and passion and let that drive you again. You might find it freeing in a way you did not know possible. Let that weight go.

And me?

Well, somewhere someone is better for what I have done, and that is praise enough for me today.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Expectations of the Day

Typically when I go to the office break room I keep my head down, avoid eye contact, and mostly just try and get through it with as minimal interaction with my coworkers as possible. Most days I can make it out with little more than a pleasant smile or a mummbled 'hello'. This makes me extremely happy because I really don't ever have anything to say to random coworkers, especially since most of them are not even from my department. 

Today I was not so lucky and was forced into an incredibly awkward bit of small talk with two women who did not even look remotely familiar. We were all standing around waiting to get water behind a woman filling up a giant jug. 

The two women were chatting casually about Valentines day. They were comparing restaurant choices, flower deliveries, and jewelry selections. It was your basic generic Valentines day prattle. I tried very hard not to engage, but they seemed to want to involve me for some unknown reason. One turned to me and smiled and asked "What are your plans for Valentines day?".

"I don't celebrate Valentines day." I politely replied giving her a tight lipped smile.

Her smile faltered. It was as if I had just told her I didn't breath oxygen. She glanced down to my hand and eyed my wedding ring before looking back to my face. She schooled her expression so she wasn't looking at me like I was an alien, and asked me why.

I sort of shrugged and told her that it just wasn't something that we celebrated. I didn't feel like explaining to this stranger why, I just wanted her to stop talking to me. She sort of gave me a pitying look and nodded. Thankfully it was my turn for water and I made quick work of getting my drink and getting out of there before she could pry into my life any more. 

I get this every year and it kind of drives me crazy. I say that we don't do Valentines day and people look at me as though I am somehow being deprived. Or perhaps they are looking at me as though I am depraved. I think I would get less strange looks if I told people I don't celebrate Christmas. That at least can be reasoned through; religious reasons typically. 

Here is the thing, I am not being deprived of anything. This isn't the husbeast deciding to  be cheap or lazy. This isn't some sort of statement against the system or anything else. I am not saying that Valentines day is a bad thing, or that people who celebrate it are wrong. This is simply a day that does nothing for me.

When I was a kid Valentines day was just a day where we got chocolate, which was AWESOME! I mean free chocolate, who is going to argue with that? It was a lot of pressure though. I was in Elementary school just before they started requiring all kids to give a Valentine to everyone in their class. I am pretty sure my mom made me give one to everyone, which didn't bother me. I was well aware of the fact though that some people, sometimes me, did not get a card from everyone. I also noticed that not everyone got as good of treats as some others. 

You are never too young to feel slighted I guess. 

As I hit my tween years I began to see the other implications of Valentines day, and I quickly began to dread it. This was a day about couples and it served as a moment in time to highlight the fact that you were single. Of course in middle school when girls are just starting to be flooded by the evil hormone, this is particularly brutal. Tween girls can be especially vicious when flaunting that they have a boyfriend and you do not. 

I remember in 6th grade there was this thing the student council did as a fund raiser where you could have a flower sent to someone on Valentines day. The flowers were delivered during class, and if you got one it was super embarrassing because everyone wanted to know who sent it to you. I very unexpectedly got a flower during homeroom from a 7th grade boy that I had a huge crush on, who also happened to be one of my brothers friends. As I was walking down the hall between class this boy found me and I discovered he had gotten a flower which was labeled as being from me. 

Most likely this was a prank perpetrated by my brother, but I had no end of evil tween girls who hated me, so it was really possible one of them had done this. What I did know was that it was an incredibly cruel joke. The boy was so embarrassed by the gesture that he confronted me in the hall, threw the flower at me, shouted at me in the hall (in front of EVERYONE) how he didn't like me, and how I had embarrassed him, and he thought I was pathetic. 

It was pretty well one of the most awful moments of my school career. He was more cruel than he needed to be, but kids that age don't handle emotional things and embarrassment well. At the time I was devastated, but in retrospect I actually don't blame him. I am not saying it was cool, I am just saying I get it. 

I spent the rest of my younger years single on Valentines day. I like many would celebrate it in some form of Single Appreciation Day, and try not to let it bother me that I was single. I was always more than a little disappointed, but I swore that someday I would not be single on Valentines day and it would be amazing.

The husbeast and I had been dating about four months when we got to have our first Valentines day together. I was SUPER excited about this day. I had been waiting my entire life for this it seemed. It was going to be magical and amazing. 

We got all dressed up, he bought me a gorgeous tanzanite and platinum ring, we went to our favorite little Mexican joint for dinner, and finished the night cuddling on the couch watching romantic movies. It was exactly what a Valentines day was supposed to be except that it wasn't actually magical or special. Hell I think it was one of our worst dates ever.

The restaurant had brought in extra tables for the night, and the room was packed so tight that you couldn't hear each other, and you couldn't move without hitting someone with your elbow. The service was super slow because of the sheer volume they were trying to accommodate. The movie was good but it wasn't actually what we wanted to watch and so half way through the husbeast got up and went to play on his computer because he was bored. The whole thing was just so forced that it was ridiculous.

I realized that there was nothing romantic about the day at all. It was all of this pressure and all of these expectations for something that should never be forced. It was only a thing because I had made it a thing in my head. I discovered that it wasn't even a thing I wanted. 

Turns out I much prefer it when I get some daisies on some random Tuesday because he knows they are my favorite and wants me to smile. He likes it when I leave a Reeses cup on his side table for no reason more than I know he likes them. We like a quiet romantic dinner just because we can.

I am not saying that having a day to celebrate your love is bad. I am not saying that people who like Valentines day are wrong. I am not telling anyone how they should or should not enjoy any particular day.

I am just saying that it is not a day that means anything to us. It is just another day that we love each other, and we celebrate that love every day, so there is nothing overtly special about it. Our relationship works on random acts of love with no expectations and we are happy with this. 

So if you are celebrating Valentines day on Sunday I hope it is a wonderful and magical day. If you are not celebrating I hope you have a wonderful and magical day anyways. 

Most importantly I hope that every day is filled with love to celebrate whether it is romantic love or another form love, because love is what is important.