Happy Valentine’s Day After!

Whether you’re a couple, single, divorced, widowed, or single by choice, this is a day of love for everyone.

I was single for a lot of Valentine’s Days, folks. I hated it. Nothing made you feel more like a loser than sitting at work, seeing every other female in the North Tower of the “Twin Towers,” across the street from the old W Dale Clark Library in Downtown, Omaha than Valentine’s Day.

I didn’t mind women receiving flowers. But when I heard women say things like, “He’d BETTER send me flowers!” Like they insist on it, or they’ll be hell to pay. I just thought there’s no way I’d tell a mate that or even behave that way. I thought it was terrible.

Kind of like when a woman said, “My husband makes my lunches for me every day,” then cussed him out because he forgot lettuce. Really? How ungrateful is my take on all of that.

Sometimes, I receive flowers. Other times, I buy them for the Babe. Sometimes we don’t get out to get each other cards. It’s nice to be remembered. But what is love at this point in our lives?

We’ll be married 25 years this October. Truth be told, I’m just glad the Babe hasn’t had a heart attack/etc yet. I’m tickled to have him still here with me! He’s happy still being here, too! What did we do today?

I’m piecing together the big appliqued dog row, and couldn’t get something right again. We were sitting on the couch, I was holding the quilt and the row of blocks sewn together. The Babe said, “Let’s go lay it out on the bed!” Ok, I scurried into the bedroom. We laid out the part of the quilt that was already together, and I laid another row across. Checked the directions, he provided feedback, I agreed, decided which part to trip out, and my problem was solved.

What other husband, a former labor supervisor, concrete block delivery supervisor, manly man who managed the facility at 144 & Giles Road, Omaha, NE, who is a man among men, Vietnam combat veteran, and not afraid to love his wife, would help me out this way? No one, I got the best one for me! That made up the best Valentine’s Day gift I’ve ever had. I have no photos; there was no delivery fee, no up-charge for delivery, no price increase just because, and won’t have to throw it away when it wilts and dies.

What I do have is support in my work, a second opinion where it’s needed, and a calming force when I’m about to lose my mind. That is what love is. You want the best from your partner, because the better they are, the better your relationship is. The better your relationship is, the better you both become. And I do the same for him. Even when you can’t imagine loving your person more, it happens; love deepens and grows. There is room to fill in your hearts.

I hope that for each and every one of you. Have another beautiful day of love. See you tomorrow!

From Bitter to Beloved

For starters, this header photo isn’t us, it’s a stock photo. We’re not those ages yet.

I spent a lot of years making bad choices for boyfriends. I allowed certain behaviors where I convinced myself all the good men were married or buried. It kept me in a vicious cycle of continuing to make those choices. It was an awakening when I was very ill in 1995-1996 with a disk infection, IV antibiotics for 6 weeks at home, and a huge laminectomy on my spine. I was bedridden except for 45 minutes a day while wearing a giant body brace. Really sexy, let me tell you.

I had a critical attitude about Valentine’s Day. All the unattached single women did. In the beginning, it was hard to work where every woman around you received these giant, expensive bouquets of roses. Interesting. Many of them read the card, saying it was their husband, and made the comment, “He BETTER do this for me.” Talk about a poor attitude! IMHO, getting flowers because you will make your other’s life hell if you don’t receive them is not out of love. It’s out of fear. I don’t want my love to fear my wrath over a bouquet.

I knew too many women, divorced, raised their kids, and hated men. They went out together and bashed men. I’ve never joined in. I like men, I don’t hate them! So negative. I never wanted to become like that. I could have.

I’ve told the story over and over about the Babe being so kind to me, despite still recovering from that back surgery. I met him in March following the December surgery. He just quit smoking in August after losing his dad to heart disease. Good thing; the Babe was a 3-pack a day smoker and I cannot tolerate smoke. See how things work out?

Convinced all men were the same, my ego in the garbage with a nasty breakup the year before, I believed no one would ever love me. Mom told me what I wanted was not possible. I should have stayed in the terrible marriage. Nope. It was exactly what I always wanted. Amazing. He was attentive, caring, patient with my recovery, and patient with me.

The most important factor in our love is the trust we have in each other. We both feel infidelity is a deal breaker. There is too much of that in the world, IMHO. We get angry with each other, but we clear the air. I sometimes have a hard time with his contented silences. In our house, if Mom was quiet, she was angry. Angry silences were not good. Once in a while, I still need some reassurance about the silence, and the Babe assures me. It’s a weakness I haven’t overcome as yet. We’ll get there.

Learning to love yourself is a key factor in breaking dependency. I grew up during a time when women were incomplete without a man to take care of them. When I got divorced, I was determined to finish college. A lot of men thought college was not even a possibility. Why was I going? I’d find someone to get married. Way to not have a second date, dude. Way to end up in the friend category, man.

The Babe never felt less of a man if I earned more money that he did. He has always been supportive of when I worked, went on LTD, and now as I write. His support knocked me over when he told me my writing was important to him, too. I asked why. He said, “Because it’s important to me.” Wow. Jackpot.

I can tell you if you’re by yourself this Valentine’s Day, it’s ok. I didn’t get flowers either. We’re not going out to dinner, we’re having leftover chili. Neither of us had time to get cards. We talked about what we mean to each other. We talked about how comfortable as we’re doing nothing. Life is an adventure, and it can content us sitting on the deck. That’s what true, trusting love is. Build the trust while you’re in the physical attraction stage. Build the trust while you’re getting to know each other. Talk. And learn about each other. Baby steps turn into a marathon of marriage when it’s right. We’re celebrating 24 years this October. I wouldn’t have missed this for the world. I am now beloved. And it’s perfect for us. The Babe is beloved, too. It is worth the wait.

Enjoy your day, your company, your solitude and silence. See you tomorrow!