You’re My Sweetheart

Yesterday was a terrible day. It is rare that my mother can affect me, but it does still happen occasionally, and yesterday was just one of those days.

But today…today I got notes, texts, and emails from friends telling me they love me. My mother-in-law did the sweetest thing and deleted my mom from her friends. Today I played with kittens, snuggled my husband, had lunch with my family, read a book, wrote a synopsis for my NaNoWriMo novel, signed up for a launch party, looked at knitting patterns to take to the knitting retreat next weekend, ate egg salad sandwiches for dinner, put away laundry, and wrote a long letter to a friend while laying next to my husband on the bed.

At some point, Ron went into the kitchen and came back with a handful of smarties. He unrolled one and set it in the middle between us. I was busy typing and not looking; I reached my hand over and felt the now empty wrapper, then started feeling around for another roll. I let out a frustrated yowl and Ron quietly pushed an unopened roll between my searching fingers.

This is love. While fancy dinners, unexpected flowers, and expensive chocolates are nice, it’s the smarties roll gently nudged into your searching hand when you’re stressed out that lets you know you’re special.

While my husband is far from what most women would consider to be perfect, he knows how to love me and he does it well. He knows when I need to rant or when I need to just be held in silence. He makes me laugh, but lets me feel my feelings before trying to distract me from them. He makes me toast and tea and laughs at my “your face” jokes that really aren’t funny. He listens to my weird dreams but knows the difference between those and my dreams of what I want for my future, our future.

Smarties. They are better than flowers.

 

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How Lovely Are Thy Branches

christmas_waveI love our tacky little Christmas tree. It’s an old artificial pre-lit tree, and for the first time, the lights failed this year. While Aubrey managed to get most of it working, there were still two strings that just wouldn’t light up. We wobbled back and forth on whether to run go get a new tree or just add a loose string of lights to this tree for now, and get a new tree next year so we don’t have to store it. We finally went with option two, so Ron put up some lights and it will definitely get us through this year. I’ll hit up a Black Friday sale next year.

Aubrey made quick work of decorations this year. Thanks to allergies, flu, and work schedules, none of us has had the energy to deal with even going through the boxes, let alone actually hanging things and setting out all the snow people, pillows, table toppers, and stockings. Aub got all the ornaments on the tree, dug out the stockings and holders, and arranged the few wrapped presents under the tree. Those are the ones that we get each other, whereas the “Santa” presents aren’t seen until Christmas Eve after everyone goes to bed. We all agreed to keep the decorations to a minimum so that I can have everything put away in time for me to leave on the 29th.

For the first time in ages, Aubrey is off on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Matt and Amanda (his girlfriend) both work on Christmas Day, so we had to figure out our windows of opportunity. Because no one wants to wait until dinner to open presents, Matt and Amanda are coming over crazy early for breakfast and unwrapping. It’ll be almost like they are five and ten again, up at the crack of dawn, peering into the tree and counting how many boxes they have.

Once I got into that whole Christmas spirit, time started flying. Magical boxes arrived almost daily from Amazon, Etsy, ebay, Staples, and Woot (which I discovered is now owned by Amazon). Ron and I wrapped for hours last weekend, as did Aubrey and I, so no Christmas Eve marathon of wrapping. I remember one year, we finished wrapping at around 3 am, and the kids woke up and started unwrapping at 6am. Ugh, all that work for three hours of sitting and ten minutes of tearing open. That was insane.

There was one year when I actually had my shit together. I started shopping in October and was done by the week after Thanksgiving. I even sent out Christmas cards on Black Friday. Then I just sat around and had nothing left to do. It was awful and I swore I’d never do it again.

I’ll never be the Martha Stewart or Hometalk kind of woman, with the designer tree, home made pillows, cutesy decorations everywhere. That’s just not me. I admire their end results, but I wouldn’t want to live in them. We are not monk-like lemon eaters, with no signs of life in any room. At any given time, there’s at least a pound (or two) of pet fur on the floor, coats everywhere, shoes strewn by the door…in other words, we live here.

However, today is our day of frantic cleaning. Ron is tackling the kitchen, and I’m supposed to be sorting through Christmas stuff (with the intent to give away a large portion on the 26th). Aubrey is wrapping the last of the gifts including a giant container of Jolly Ranchers for her quasi-boyfriend (that’s a whole ‘nother post!). We’re fighting the post traditional-Christmas-Eve-Chinese-lunch crash, and obviously I’m procrastinating by writing a blog post. Even so, enough will get done. Will it be perfect? No. Do I care? No.

To us, Christmas isn’t about decorations, lights, trees, or a clean and organized house, although yes, those are all great to have. It’s not even about the presents…it’s about us being together, doing all the same things that we’ve done every year, eating ourselves into food-comas…it’s about playing games and Matt whining about what he didn’t get and Ron whining about what he did get and Aubrey being happy with whatever. It’s about the watching the dogs with their new squishies, someone burning the cinnamon rolls, and me drinking too much champagne (although not this year thanks to an ear infection and amoxicillin). Our traditions are strong, and despite the kids being adults now, those traditions continue. I guess that IS what makes them traditions, isn’t it?

So do what you do, and do it with love. If you are a Martha Stewart kind of girl, rock it. Wear those antlers, eat too much, and do something with that stupid freakin’ elf if that’s your thing. Most of all, have fun. Enjoy your loved ones, especially the kids because they grow up way too fast. Either way…

Do what you do. And do it with love.

Happy Holidays to one and all.

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Here Comes Santa Claus

Ugh. I’m really starting to hate Christmas. The endless conservative bullshit about the non-existent “War on Christmas,” “Jesus Is The Reason For The Season,” “Keep CHRIST in Christmas,” and the fave of the past few years, “It’s Merry Christmas, NOT Happy Holidays.” It’s enough to make me want to stand in the center of the Santa Claus display at the mall and scream, “GET OVER YOURSELVES, PEOPLE!”

Christmas was the pagan holiday of Winter Solstice long before it was deemed Christ’s birthday by the Catholic church in an effort to get the wild naked people out of the woods and into the church. Christmas trees? Pagan. Candles? Pagan. Feasting? Oh! Pagan! Giving gifts as tribute? Wait, sorry, that one is Roman. Because guess what? CHRIST WAS JEWISH! If you really want to celebrate the holiday the way Christ would have, light a Menorah.

Sorry. Now that I’ve gotten my seasonal rant out of the way, on to other things.

forget-christmas-and-bah-humbug

This Friday night is Ron’s boss’s Christmas party. Well, she was actually only his boss for the short time that he was the acting director. Now she’s back to being his boss’s boss. Anyway, Ron has been living in mortal fear of my opening my mouth at any time during the party, unless it is to put food in it. I’ve been given a strict list of safe topics (blogging is not one of them, surprisingly enough…because someone might actually read it!); knitting, crochet, photography, and real estate. I may also mention that Aubrey is an aerial acrobat, and that Matt is a musician. I’m not allowed to discuss religion, politics, medical beliefs, or reproductive rights. Under no condition am I to attempt a conversation with a doctor’s wife. So why am I going, do you ask? Because I love a challenge. I will be doing my bestest to channel Maggie Smith for the evening. Oh, you took that as a compliment? I must have said it wrong.

I can’t believe Christmas is so close! Just two weeks left. This year, I did not even attempt to do cards. I shopped almost exclusively online. The mailman hates my guts, and the dogs are slavering to get at the UPS guy, who also probably hates me. Hey, at least all my stuff is light. The heaviest thing I ordered was a circuit board set for my niece.

This morning, Matt woke me up to come outside and show him which boxes are the Christmas stuff. I stumbled out to the shed in Saturday’s pajamas (I had a cold all weekend) and was awesomely surprised because he had not only already gotten out all the supplies, he had emptied the shed, organized it, and replaced everything. Yay! I can actually walk around out there without fear of tetanus. While I won’t be able to enjoy it until I get back from Connecticut, it will be waiting for me and all the projects I hope to do next year.

Since Matt was here and Aub was off for the morning, we got the living room cleaned up somewhat, moved the sitting chair into my bedroom, and rearranged a few things. There’s still more to do before we can put up the tree, but we should be able to do that by Saturday night. We all agreed that our only decorations this year would be the tree and ornaments. Since I’m leaving on the 28th, there won’t be much time for me to take things down and put them away, especially since I’ll be frantically packing my yarn and other stuff.

I’m hoping that the closer we get to the holiday, the less cynical I’ll feel. For the moment, I hate everything about the most wonderful time of the year. If I actually had to go out and shop, I would likely get physically removed from stores for being rude to other customers. It sucks being blue in a red state. It really, really does.

 

A Perfect Day

Considering that I’ve had zero sleep (trying to reset my screwed up internal clock again), way too much caffeine, and not enough real food, I had a fantastic day.

In order to stay awake all day so that I can sleep tonight, I started my day out by slamming down two cups of Starbucks Christmas blend. Of course, my coffee is actually about a third Coffee Mate, but Starbucks is stronger than your average grocery store bean, so I figure it evens out. As soon as I finished my second cup, I jumped in the shower and did a second round of the sulfur cleanser, which apparently is the trick to getting rid of ALL the sulfur smell. Meanwhile, Will was blowing up my phone with, “Dammit, aren’t you on your way YET?” calls. He should know by now that I’m always at least a half an hour late.

After begging Ron to at least have breakfast with us (he refused on the grounds that Will’s and my conversations are boring and irrelevant to him, to which I have to agree), I gave up and jetted downtown to pick up Will. Neither of us had eaten yet, so we went to the famous taco place where I had the most incredibly awesome bean, cheese, and bacon tacos ever…and more coffee.

When we finished breakfast almost an hour later, thanks to a very busy kitchen that took forever to get out our order, I dragged Will to my favorite little slightly overpriced antique shop, where I fell madly in love with a vintage metal typing table that was a bit too precious at $40. Will found a HUGE 1962 stereo system that had the receiver in the center, a turntable on the right, and a reel to reel on the left, which he plans to put on his birthday list to his mom.

A few days ago, he was cut off by an 18 wheeler while riding his bike, and sprained his shoulder pretty severely. Between breakfast and shopping, his meds had worn off, so we headed towards home with a stop at the hardware store for more rollers. Once we got settled and Pinky was appeased with massive attention, we started in on the back wall, ceiling, and trim in the playhouse. We were singing along with Bob Dylan, Steve Miller Band, Cream, Lynard Skynard, and the Beatles while we painted, and marveled once again that we both know the lyrics to a ridiculous amount of music of all genres. Will is the only guy I know who likes the same music I do (although my friend from college, Sean, also shared my musical tastes), and while Aubrey knows quite a bit of oldies (OMG, I am seriously old!), she doesn’t know ALL of them. The only song that I hoped for but didn’t get to hear was “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.”

The weather was gorgeous, breezy and overcast, although a bit humid, making the paint slow to dry. In between coats, we read texts from Will’s latest insane “lay of the day” (this woman is a bunny boiler for sure) and threw the squishy for Pinky. She really just wanted to play keep-away, and Will obliged by chasing her around the yard. She was a happy puppy, and was running around with her tongue lolling out. Meanwhile, Amy sat on the basketball court, perfectly still, with her eyes closed, her head up to the sun, and a huge grin on her face. She loves sunshine and a cool breeze, and all the spring smells in the air.

Just as we were wrapping it up for the day, Ron got home and saw the project in progress. He had no idea that we’d been secretly working on the playhouse for three weekends, so it was a big surprise. It will probably be the world’s smallest, chic-est man-cave ever, but he agreed it will be a quiet place to study. He liked the color a million times better than the previous cascarone palette, so that was a huge win for me.

We three sat on the back porch and enjoyed the pre-rain air while we talked about the next few projects on the list. Will and I kept the conversation away from people we’ve known since grade school and toned down our normal vulgar senses of humor, and Ron actually laughed and chatted with us! Another win!

I will not explain exactly why we found this so hilarious, but you can use your imagination.

I will not explain exactly why we found this so hilarious, but you can use your imagination.

Finally, I took Will home (note to self: on days where there is a major event going on downtown, take Will home early) so he could get ready for his date with a different woman than the one that we’d made fun of all day. We were both grimy, sweaty, and covered in paint, but felt very successful.

My only wish is that I’d had some pear cider and a designated driver. Days like today call for frosty (gluten free) alcoholic beverages; few things beat sitting around and shooting the shit with a friend with a cold beer (or cider) in hand. But, with neither of those things handy, I settled for hanging out sans alcohol. It’s better for my weight loss, anyway.

I’m really glad that Will and Ron get along, although I wish Ron were better at making friends with people. It’s nice to have a friend who shares my love of home improvement, antiquing, and off-color humor. Everyone needs a friend who can laugh when you tell them to fuck off because they’re being an idiot. There just aren’t enough of them to go around.

Now the excitement of the day has worn off, although the excess adrenaline is still making me feel somewhat shaky. I look pretty awful, with entire sets of luggage under my eyes (not just bags), and my eyelids are doing their nightly bargaining ritual…”Please let us close just for a second. We won’t let you fall asleep, we promise. We just want to rest for a tiny little smidge, and then you can get up and brush the teeth.” Considering that my eyelids lie like dogs on rugs, it’s a good thing that it’s late enough now that I can take my sleep meds, brush my teeth, put on my face lotion, and crash big time.

I wish every day could be this carefree, pain free, fun, and productive. Since the goal of the day was to reset my body back to its regularly scheduled programming, I can honestly say, “Mission accomplished!”

Yeah, I agree it sucks to randomly lose an hour.

Yeah, I agree it sucks to randomly lose an hour.

They Talk About Us

images (2) For those of you just joining us, a little background information is necessary:

When I was a kid, my parents did something a little unusual for the time (not so unusual now), and moved into a specific area just for the public school district. They couldn’t afford private school, and my dad had graduated from this high school, and they wanted me to have a good education.

While I did indeed get the best public school education that our city offered, it came at quite the cost. No, not a financial cost, obviously, but a social one. Although my mom is now Republican, when I was a kid, she was extremely liberal. For years, my parents were the managers of an eight apartment building, where half the apartments were occupied by gay and lesbian couples. I would often go with the guys from upstairs to the tennis courts and play with their golden retriever while they played tennis, or I would go down to “CarmenAndYolanda’s” apartment to play with their little girl, with whom I shared a great love of all things Barbie. I’ve spent almost my entire life as a liberal in an area populated with stereotypical Texas Republicans.

In kindergarten, things were still somewhat socially equal, as five year olds in the 70’s weren’t so label conscious as today’s five year olds, and only judged people based on who was interesting or funny. I was interesting, and funny, so I was friends with pretty much everyone in my class (minus a few of the boys). I spent weekday afternoons and weekends at my friends’ mansions (that is NOT hyperbole), where old money seeped from the pores of the houses themselves.

However, the older we became, the more my friends were influenced by their families, and the fewer friends I had. By the time I graduated, I had a core group of about seven people, and another handful or so of close friends who belonged to other groups but weren’t snobs. It was both a blessing and a curse that my parents moved twice, but within the school district, and also that the district was rezoned once. That meant I attended three of the four elementary schools; I was also in the Gifted and Talented program, so for two years, I spent one day a week at the high school with all the GT kids from the other schools. I knew most of them (because geeks can sniff each other out, even at the youngest of ages), and this also allowed me to get to know people from the one school that I hadn’t attended.

One of the GT kids, whom I shall refer to as LL, was one of the two-faced ones who would be nice to me as long as no one saw her doing so. We were decent enough friends in third grade, and then again during 5th and 6th, but by the time we hit 7th grade and everyone was wearing Pat Magee t-shirts, Izods, Laura Ashley, and embroidered dresses from Oaxaca (pronounced Wha-ha-ka), I was no longer acceptable to her. I had one Pat Magee shirt (a birthday gift from a friend), dresses made from Laura Ashley patterns, and a dress that my mom machine embroidered for me that was gorgeous. However, that was not enough to allow me into the seventh circle of hell that was the second highest social group, nor did I ever desire admission. LL was Latina, and while it was fine for the clones to say they were diverse and allow her to be their friend, there was no way she would ever be allowed into the 9th circle of hell, where blonde hair was (and still is) a requirement. Perhaps that’s what made her meaner?

Zoom a billion years forward, and enter the era of facebook. I found myself becoming friends (real friends) with people I never bothered with in high school (and who never bothered with me). Oddly enough, I’ve also found myself NOT friends with people that I used to be friends with, because they kinda grew up to be assholes, although I’m sure I fall into that category for plenty of other people. My best friend and I have a three day rule; no matter who you are, we will accept your friend request and give you three days. If you’re still who we think you are, then you are quietly deleted on the fourth day.

This is how I came to be fb friends with LL’s older sister, whom I shall refer to as BSC, because I’m too lazy to continually type out “bat shit crazy.” She is one of those people who friends every single person who ever attended our high school. However, after a day and a half of her irritating self-aggrandizing posts, I deleted her, never realizing that I had just released a Pandora’s box full of crazy.

One afternoon shortly after having deleted BSC, I made a comment on a post by a mutual friend. BSC took the opportunity to hijack the post. She called me “dear” and “sweet’ and said she remembered my always being at their house because I was such good friends with her sister. It was the phoniest, smarmy piece of bullshit that has ever been directed at me…on facebook at least. I commented back that I was not friends with her sister, that she and I had never met, and that she had me confused with someone else. I stopped following the post after that.

FOUR YEARS LATER, about five days ago, I find a message in my fb inbox from BSC. Other than removing the names to keep from granting her the attention she so desperately seeks, this is what I read:

February 15, 2013 New York, NY USA

Dear Carolyn-

My apologies…

I had once mentioned on FB that you and my sister LL were good friends in Texas. You were taken aback by the suggestion. It was your classmate (perhaps relative) CB I was referring to in confusion. (Adorable girl and yes, my sister’s friend)

Again, sorry for the confusion. We laughed about it. Since I didn’t know of you and your names are similar, it was a simple mistake. Best. -Marisol

This brought to mind several points:

1. Who the fuck puts the date on a facebook message? FB oh so graciously already does it for you.

2. Typing out the city, state, and country in a facebook message? Really?

3. The not so thinly veiled suggestion that I am neither adorable, nor worthy of being her sister’s friend.

4. The idea of my being her sister’s friend was SO ABSURD, they laughed at the impossibility of it.

5. I was too insignificant for her to know who I was/am.

While I would never, ever respond to her message, I did find myself writing a response in my head:

Dear (BSC),

Thank you so much for writing to tell me about the confusion of names from four years ago. I am relieved to have the entire thing straightened out! I’ve often woken up in the middle of the night with a strange niggling fear, only to realize that it must be because BSC has me confused with someone else, therefore all is not right with the world. Now I can finally rest easy after reading your thoughtful explanation.

I appreciate you taking the time to not only apologize for such a horrifying transgression, but for also being so kind as to remind me what day it is, what city you live in, and what country that state is in. I often lose track of the days and what states are part of the continental US. Since I’ve only been to New York City five times, I can see how you might worry that I’ve forgotten where it is.

By the way, I was sorry to hear about wikipedia deleting the entry about you and your chosen career path. It was just cruel for the editors to say that you have no demonstrable cultural significance, with no discernible importance or visibility in the industry or culture as a whole . Ouch!

I do hope that the acyclovir is working for you. Your ex-boyfriend is one of my best friends, and although he shouldn’t have been telling tales out of school, he let it slip that you were having a few issues with your medication.

I wish you all the best! -Carolyn

“Can you hear them? They talk about us, telling lies, well that’s no surprise. Can you see them? See right through them. They have no shield, no secrets to reveal. It doesn’t matter what they say in the jealous games people play. Our lips are sealed. Careless talk through paper walls, we can’t stop them, only laugh at them Spreading rumors, so far from true, dragged up from the underworld, just like some precious pearl. Pay no mind to what they say. It doesn’t matter anyway. Our lips are sealed. There’s a weapon, we must use in our defense: silence. When you look at them, look right through them. That’s when they’ll disappear. That’s when you’ll be feared.”  

There You Are

Life can never be all good, but it can certainly be almost all good. Poor Aubrey’s had a pretty crappy week, but yesterday was the start of a whole new week, so it’s got to get better, right?

In spite of having to suck up my severe sacroiliac pain until Friday the 8th, things are going relatively well. Ron and I have actually been getting along much better, which has put a circle of sunshine around all the other things going on. He’s been rubbing my back with Pennsaid every day, and taking care of all the house stuff as usual. Plus we’ve been talking a whole lot more, mainly because our bed is the only spot in the whole house where I can sit comfortably for any length of time, so I’ve been in the bedroom where he is instead of us being on opposite sides of the house.

Yesterday as we were making breakfast, I realized how much I love Sunday mornings. We often cook breakfast together on Sundays…omelettes, sausage, pancakes, fried potatoes, toast, scrambled eggs…a wide selection of combinations, always with freshly ground and pressed coffee. Ron makes the best coffee, although my omelettes are better than his by far (he admits this freely). When we cook together, we joke and talk, laugh and throw playful insults around. He always defers to me when I’m cooking, as everything he’s learned to make, he learned from me, except for spaghetti, of course.

I stopped stirring the potatoes and wrapped my arms around his waist to give him a hug. I told him how much I enjoy cooking with him. I never tell him these things anymore, but I’ve expected him to say them. He laughed and hugged me back, then gave me a kiss. It’s amazing how much a change of attitude can cause a change in perspective.

Matt had a fantastic week. He was offered his own radio show on the college station, so he has the late Wednesday night time slot. He’s excited because he didn’t think he’d get any air time this semester, between working two jobs and taking a full course load, including video editing, which is supposed to be a killer class. He got an A on his first project, and enjoyed doing it, so now he’s thinking of going that direction rather than talent management. He has plenty of time to decided, and he may find he hates it by the end of the semester.

Meanwhile I’m going through Matt music withdrawal. He hasn’t recorded anything in ages because he needs a new audio interface. He plans to get one with his tax return, so I should only have to wait a few weeks, but it sucks. The day his interface died, he had said he’d give me two new songs by midnight if I bought him a pizza. I ordered one online and had it sent to him, but by 10pm, I still didn’t have my songs. That’s when he gave up trying to get his interface to work and officially declared a time of death.

While weekend before last was a bust as far as finding Aubrey a car, we managed to get one last Friday. I found a 97 Honda Accord station wagon with only 125,000 miles on it (REALLY! The odometer does work!) for a whopping $2000. I took it to our mechanic for a once-over, and he said it’s in fantastic condition except for some oil seepage and a refrigerant leak. Other than that, he said I got a screaming deal, since this model is supposed to be an excellent, safe, reliable model with decent gas mileage. Considering Aubrey and I judge vehicles by the number of bodies that can be crammed in the trunk (this one could hold probably a dozen or more with the seats down), we’re both happy with it, although I want to switch out the factory radio, ASAP.

In general, things are looking up. Or maybe it’s just me. At least I am old enough to know that wherever you go, there you are. I know I can’t run away from problems, and instead, have to at least try to work them out. Moving across the country will be great, but it’s not going to make my marriage any more magical and sparkly than it is here.

“When I’m looking for the light in the middle of the night, searching for the brightest star…there you are.”

I Feel It In My Toes

Two years and a bit ago, Isaac and I were emailing back and forth as I gave him secret advice on how to win Aubrey back. We’d been conversing for about two weeks at that point, and on paper, he was perfect for her, unlike the guy that she was dating at the time. Just before we planned her ambush at the ice cream parlor, I told him that no girl can resist the GRAND GESTURE. Of course, he had no idea what that was, much like most men.

Few things top the GRAND GESTURE when making a play for a girl’s heart. At the top of the list of gestures that girls dream about and swoon for would have to be Heath Ledger singing “You’re Just Too Good To Be True” on the bleachers in Ten Things I Hate About You, closely followed by John Cusack holding a giant boombox over his head as he stood beneath Ione Skye’s bedroom window, blasting “In Your Eyes.” Yes, be assured that GRAND GESTURES and public humiliation go hand in hand.

heath-ledger-10-things_large

Yesterday, I watched Love, Actually twice; once by myself and again later with Aubrey. Now there is a film filled with GRAND GESTURES. Who could possibly not root for the little kid racing through the airport followed by the police, as he runs to tell the girl of his dreams that he loves her? Or Hugh Grant going door to door, searching for the girl that he let go? And of course, who couldn’t cry as Andrew Lincoln holds up poster board note cards to declare his love for the unattainable Keira Knightley?

It took Isaac a few days to consider whether or not Aubrey was worth humiliating himself in public, and then another couple of days to figure out what to do. Finally, he took her out on a “real” date, starting with presenting her with an alpaca teddy bear and a box of extremely expensive chocolates. They went to dinner and a movie, and then wandered around the shopping center, eventually ending up at the center across the street from where they started, and Isaac casually shepherded Aubrey down the walkway towards a very large fountain. There, he sang “Fly Me To The Moon” as he danced her around the fountain. As he got to the end of the song, he pulled her close and sang the last line, “in other words…I love you…”, thereby sealing Aubrey’s doom.

Sadly, no matter how grand the gesture, it doesn’t guarantee lasting love, as evidenced by Isaac and Aubrey breaking up six months later. Lasting love takes small gestures, every day. It’s the simple things like Ron bringing me a cup of coffee every Saturday morning, or doing the laundry, or making dinner. It’s being there, even when you wish you were somewhere else. It’s my making sure there is toilet paper next to the toilet, mouthing off sarcastic comments about his day to make him laugh, or paying the bills on time every month.

As Christmas looms just 12 days away, you may be considering a GRAND GESTURE…perhaps a public marriage proposal, or a flashy gift presentation. That’s sweet and wonderful, and she’ll more than likely love it. Just don’t forget the small stuff, the every day things, the things that you don’t WANT to do. That’s the way to ensure that she’ll stick around.

“Love is all around us…”