Browsing Tag

valentines day

Family

Ovens full of lovin’

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Last year Olive and I staged a cheesy V-day photo shoot and sent out Valentine’s Day cards to our friends and family. As Valentine’s Day approached this year, I realized that I’d almost forgotten about this tradition that I’d started and so earnestly vowed to continue.
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Family, Olive

Feeling Love

I have a soft spot for Valentines Day, despite the fact that I, like many, am rubbed the wrong way by the obligatory nature of it – the pressure to produce an appropriate expression of adoration for your partner in an incredibly conventional champagne-and-red-roses-sort of way on this one specific day. Or else.

Valentine’s Day hasn’t really factored into my life for a while now, but I always remember my mom making a big deal of it for my siblings and I. On Feb 14 our places at the breakfast table would be decorated with pink and red, filled with cards and little gifts, and cinnamon hearts would be strewn around like confetti. It was such a special treat to wake up to in the middle of dreary February.

So, if you can somehow get past Hallmark and those schmaltzy jewelry store ads, if you can shut out all of the “buy buy buy! perform perform perform!” noise, Valentine’s Day simply becomes a reminder to bear witness to the love you have in your life, and take a few moments to pay homage to that. (Even if it does mean suffering through tacky advertisements for a full month beforehand.)

Given that we sort of missed the boat on sending Christmas cards this year, Valentine’s Day seemed like the perfect opportunity to play catch up. In late January my sister Hilary helped Olive and I stage a little Valentine’s Day photo shoot – Behold!

Feeling Love - SweetMadeleine.ca

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Humour

Beards and poop.

What my Valentine’s Day cake for Adam would probably say if I were prone to gestures involving either cakes or Valentine’s Day.

I think this is the day that I am supposed to write a mushy post about my husband, and how much I love him, and how right for each other we are. I’ve done that in the past, and will probably do it again in the future, because what on earth is an Internet Blog for if not to brag about your fabulous man when the mood strikes ye?

Today however, I am not going to talk about how much I love Adam, I’m going to talk about how much I tolerate him – and I do tolerate him, because I love him, you see.

Adam,

How do I tolerate thee? Let me count the ways:

  • I tolerate how you never reply to texts or emails, ever, so that our conversations mostly just include me asking a question, then asking it again in ten minutes, then asking in all capitals four minutes after that and then finally spamming you with rage texts and then when you finally do reply and all your reply says is “Call me” I’m like No! NO! I am texting you because that’s the whole point of texting, so I don’t have to call you, because talking to people (even my darling husband whom I adore) on the phone is the worst so no, I will NOT be calling you and then you don’t reply to that text and my head explodes and five minutes later you text ,”You still there?”.I tolerate that.
  • I tolerate how you have a better butt than I do, and likely always will because I am allergic to squats. I don’t know if it’s genetics, or all the hockey you do or what, but you have a delightful and shapely behind, whereas I have nothing but negative space in the spot where my butt should be. My back flows neatly into my thighs with nary a ripple of rump to be found. It pains me to no end to be the lesser butt in the relationship, but it’s no secret, and I have tolerated it for twelve years and will continue to do so. Even as I gaze upon your magnificent backside with a mixture of envy and deep, deep sadness.
  • I tolerate how you hoard cords and wires with a compulsion that is really quite bewildering because, as I often remind you in a very patient and understanding tone, there is not, in fact, a shortage of cords and/or wires in the world. I would even go so far as to argue that there are too many cords and wires in the world, and in my house specifically. Nonetheless I tolerate this hoarding, even as your collection has grown from filling one small cardboard box to spilling out of two extra-large cardboard boxes and a plastic tote. Even thought I have never seen you use a cord or wire from these receptacles because they are so tangled and mangled that you wouldn’t be able to find anything if you ever DID need it. I even tolerate that nonsense. But barely.Seriously, you are on thin ice with the cords and wires.
  • I tolerate, and am beginning to realize that I am doomed to tolerate forever, your status as the fun parent. You can make Olive laugh harder than I have ever seen, whereas I can be busting out the best slapstick routine in the world and she gives me a sweet little smile that suggests she is embarrassed for me and I should really stop what I am doing for both our sakes. You are fun daddy, just like you have been the fun half of our twosome, and I have tolerated that too because it makes me look more interesting too.Without you I am just some lady with an immaculate house and no sex attic. I mean, really, what’s the point?
  • Finally, dearest, I tolerate your facial hair, and I’m not going to say anything else about that except LOOK seriously why do you do this your face your beautiful face!

    Exhibit A: Mustache, far left.

     

Exhibit B: WHAT. IS. THAT.

Exhibit C: This has happened more than once I don't even.

Exhibit C: This has happened more than once I don’t even.

Exhibit FUCKERY: Fuckery edition.

Exhibit FUCKERY: Fuckery edition.

In case you think this very sweet ode to tolerance is a bit one-sided, let me say that I am well aware that I require tolerating, too. Here are some things Adam tolerates about me:

  • My beauty
  • My willingness to shame, exploit and tell tales about him on my Internet Blog
  • How I promise that he will do custom portraits for internet strangers without first asking permission, and then hound him mercilessly to complete said portraits when apparently “You can’t rush this” (seriously, he said that. With a straight face,)
  • Salsa con queso breath
  • My behaviour on any day before noon. Seriously I am the worst. Don’t even talk to me if the time of day doesn’t end in PM.
  • My mockery of the very special relationship he has with Channing Tatum. (Don’t you dare ever mock the Chan around Adam. He will defend him until he is out of breath and then look dangerously close to crying. Their bromance is timeless and should be treated with respect. Except for me. I can mock it. Because we took vows.)

The thing about Valentine’s Day is that while love is a fantastic thing, relationships aren’t always about love. Love is easy. Love is flowers and chocolates and perfectly executed Valentine’s Days performances. Spouses that always agree. Love is hand-holding and good times, and laughing so hard that you can’t catch your breath. Love sits up with you all night when you’re in the hospital ,and never tells your secrets. It’s essential and vital. It’s a basic human need and something everyone should be lucky enough to experience –  but sometimes it’s tolerance that gets you through the rough bits.

So today I chose to celebrate tolerance, in addition to eating a lot of 75% off chocolate. I chose to do this because marriage isn’t always easy, and I’ve always said that I have no desire to perpetuate that particular myth – especially in my writing. If you want high-gloss perfection this is probably the wrong blog for you, because all you will find here is beards and poop. BEARDS AND POOP.

On that note, this post was brought to you by a heartfelt celebration of the love that we share, and the tolerance we muster – and a very Happy Valentine’s Day to the man I hope to tolerate in all his beardy incarnations, for many years to come.

Vintage Madam: Circa 2006. Please note the soul patch.

Vintage Madam: Circa 2006. Please note the soul patch.