Valentine’s Day

Recommended Movies For Valentine’s Day

As I’ve made abundantly clear,   I’m not a big fan of this day.  For one thing, I lost my niece Holly in a car accident on February 14th, twelve years ago and to be honest, the day lost all of its appeal after that.    It’s been hard for anyone in my family to think of love and hearts in combination with abject loss and heartache.

And even if the day hadn’t been sullied by tragedy, I’ve never been one of its biggest fans.  Love has always been an ephemeral state for me; never lasting long enough (in spite of the years) to ever ” seal the deal”.  Yes, it’s true…I’m currently working on a duopoly that  I’m beginning to think will develop some staying power….someday.  This is good because in spite of having  horrendous luck in previous relationships,  I am indeed a romantic.   I want desperately to believe that this age-old notion still exists and is out there floating around waiting to pounce on everyone in the market for it like some ugly nebulous alien with tusks and decent arms; a 20th Century Fox film kind of Predator who comes  to Earth to hunt down emotions and make them his own or to make them hostages….or ‘to serve man’  or did Predator make  Arnold and company hostages or did he just kill every living thing?    Can’t remember; haven’t seen the movie in years.

While my Valentine’s Day will be just another Monday,  I want you to have a joyous one. If you’re thinking of doing something low-key, like enjoying a nice quiet dinner at home and a movie, I will recommend romantic movies you can Netflix.  Is that now a verb???    

Come on now,  I can hear the collective groans from guys who hate and loathe and abhor ‘chick flicks”, but come on fellas, you can tolerate a  ro/com (a romantic comedy)  just this once.  It is Valentine’s Day. 

Besides, these are  Hollywood celluloid efforts that havee moved “The Laurie” at one  time or another and if you’ve been reading my blog , for any amount of time, you know I’m a broad’s broad, right? 

What?   Would I lie to you??  I don’t lie.

You trust me, right?

Ignore the photo.   It was taken on a day when my allergies were flaring up.

Now then…

Here are the suggested romantic movies  and they’re listed in no particular order:.

First up:   Creator  

I saw this flick while on a date in San Antonio.   Not too fond of the guy; LOVED the movie.      

Harry Wolper (played by Peter O’Toole) is a Nobel prize laureate in biology,  obsessed by the possibility to clone his beloved late wife, Lucy. Helped by the student Boris Lafkin (Vincent Spano) and an eccentric egg-donor girl, Meli (Mariel Hemingway), Dr. Wolper finally succeeds in the cloning process, but the events leading to this achievement create strong bonds between himself and Meli, and also between Spano and his schoolmate, Barbara (Virginia Madsen). In the end, Harry realizes that he is in love with Meli, and he then decides that Lucy can’t ever “be”. 

It is funny, tender and poignant.   

SCORE:  Get your date drunk first and you just might!

 Doc Hollywood is all about Dr. Benjamin Stone (Michael J. Fox) who’s this hotshot young doctor who longs to leave the drudgery of the emergency room and finally gets his change and more money and less work at a glitzy, high dollar plastic surgeon’s clinic on the West Coast. On his last day, Ben’s relationship with his co-workers is presumed to be anything but a warm one, as none of his colleagues will join him for a drink afterwards, and a celebratory cake in his honor has an iced portion of the phrase “Good Riddance, Asshole” sliced out of it.

Ben’s cross-country drive in his 1956 Porsche 356 Speedster is interrupted when he crashes through a new fence in the rural hamlet of Grady, South Carolina. . Unfortunately for Ben, he crashes through a fence surrounding the yard of the local judge who penalizes him to community service at the local hospital. Though Ben offers to pay the judge for the fence in lieu of the community service, the stern judge increases his community service each time he talks back, eventually to a total of 32 hours.

It’s a take on the classic “fish out of water” theme, but still romantic and funny and  conveys the quirks of small town Americana in a fairly accurate, but loving way.

♦ 

A Little Romance stars a very young Diane lane and a very old Laurence Olivier.  It was her first film and his last one.   Sweet and a real tear jerker unless you’re a cold-hearted son of Britannia with absolutely no soul.

Lauren King (Diane Lane) is 13 years old, highly intelligent, and rich. She’s an American Girl living in paris with her mom and stepfather., the sixth in a series.  They live in Paris.   Stepdaddy is the CEO of some vast American conglomerate currently stationed in the City of Lights. 

Young Lauren spends her free time in reading Martin Heidegger and philosophy.   Daniel Michon (Thelonius Bernard)  is also 13 years old, highly intelligent, but poor. He’s a French boy from a poor Parisian subdivision who loves Hollywood films and who uses his talent with mathematics to make theoretical bets on horse races.

When the two meet and fall in love, Lauren’s flirtatious mother(Sally Kellerman) fiercely objects and tries to split the two up. Lauren and Daniel decide to run away to Venice, in order to “kiss under the Bridge of Sighs at sunset while the bells toll”, which they’ve been told will mean that they will be in love forever.   They’re aided in this plan by Julius (Laurence Olivier), a kind elderly gentleman.

Beautiful movie and one of my all time faves.  It can still makes me cry, some 31 years after I first saw it. 

I’m one of those women who has a funny bone and if that’s appeased in the proper way, can a “funny boner” be far behind?   The biggest erogenous zone on the body (male or female)  is the brain.     And for me, nothing can get me going like laughter.  A couple that laughs together, can more than likely endure just about anything together.   THIS, I firmly believe.   

If your significant other is anything like me (and God help you if he/she is) then think “comedy” this Valentine’s Day.  A few suggestions are as follows:

 The Big Bus is HILARIOUS.    You have to trust me on this one, Kids.

This movie is a 1976 comedy spoof from director, James Frawley (no relation to  Fred Mertz) starring Stockard Channing and the brilliant, Joseph Bologna (as Dan Torrence, a very popular b driver with a bad rep) .   It, along with Kentucky Fried Movie, was one of the first spoof movies.   It gave birth to Airplane three years later.

It follows the maiden cross-country trip from New York to Denver, of an enormous nuclear powered called “Cyclops”, equipped with a bowling alley, swimming pool, formal dining room, piano bar (“The Oriental Lounge”), Automatic Washing System (“AWM”), Automatic Tire Changer, and The Flags of All Nations. A bomb planted by a saboteur (hired by the oil sheiks to discredit non oil-powered transport) and mayhem ensues.

The Big Bus was notorious for its mostly bad reviews and disastrous performance at the box office. Nevertheless, it has gained something of a cult following among fans of spoof comedies.  

Here’s a little sampling.   Film noir-ish and very, very funny!!!!

Dig Vic Tayback (TV’s Mel) !!!!

I first saw The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming as a child.  Loved  it then and I still adore it.  It’s rarely ever played anywhere on TV; not even AMC and frankly, that’s a damn shame.  

A Russian submarine draws too close to the New England coast when its captain wants to take a good look at America and runs aground on a sandbar near an island off Cape Cod. Rather than radio for help and risk an embarrassing international incident, the captain sends a nine-man landing party headed by his second-in-command Lieutenant Rozanov ( played perfectly by Alan Arkin, one of my favorite actors of all time).  The come ashore to find a boat to help free the sub from the sand bar.

The men arrive at the house of Walt Whittaker 0 Carl Reimer), a vacationing playwright from New York City. Whittaker is eager to get his wife Elspeth (Eva Marie Saint) and two children, obnoxious six-year-old Pete (Sheldon Collins) and three-year-old Annie (Cindy Putnam), off the island now that summer is over.

Failing to convince the Whittakers that his group are Norwegians (all of the Russians are conspicuously dressed in sinister all black clothing), Rozanov draws a gun and promises no harm if the family provides information about military on the island (none) and police force (small), and gives them keys to their car. 

It just gets better from there.

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A few points of interest regarding this film, if I may.  According to director,  Norman Jewison, the film, released in 1966 at the height of the Cold War, had considerable impact in both Washington and Moscow.  It was one of the few films of its era to portray the Russians in a positive light.   Senator Ernest Gruening (D-Alaska) mentioned the film in a speech in Congress, and a copy of the film was screened in the Kremlin.

So, there you go.   Movies are great.    Romantic movies are great and guys, you really need to understand this about us chicks. You see,  much of our romantic behavior and beliefs are hard-wired innately.  This is bolstered by behavioral research into the effects of two crucial chemicals, norepinephrine and dopamine.  When humans fall in love, researchers say our brains create dramatic surges of energy that fuel such feelings as passion, obsessiveness, joy and jealousy, but somehow this just seems more prevalent in woman…namely, because I’m one.   Movies stimulate this in our brains and if you’re lady-love is mentally stimulated in this way then, well…uh, you get my drift.    That said, you’d do well to sit down and sacrifice a meager 90-minutes out of your life watching a movie for her and with her.  A  movie in which romance and love makes everyone happier  than shoot outs, car crashes and slow-mo shots of greased up, pendulous ta-tas. 

At least on Valentine’s Day♥♥♥

Think about it and uh, while you’re at it…

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My Valentine’s Day Covenant With You

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………………………...“Covenant”  by Juliette Aristides

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It is Valentine’s Day; the 50th one I’ve endured as a hominid on this planet.   I have no one special in my life this year and in many ways, since I’m a work in progress and I do think that someday–even as my hair continues to turn gray; my eyesight goes and my butt and boobs sag south, pointing penduously toward Tierra del Fuego, I  will find the love…that love…  the one that Browning wrote about;  that Keats thought about and the Archies sang about.     

And when I find him; I will show him this tome, which I wrote more than two years ago, and he will love it and undeoubtedly give it an 86 for the beat, Dick Clark. 

Here ’tis.

♥♥♥♥♥♥

Contract law as it pertains to coupledom..

It’s about the contracts we unwittingly make everyday with other human beings. Especially the contracts we enter regarding relationships; those one-on-one things that signify all that’s right in love, which would be Love.

And all that’s wrong which would be the tedium of relationships that so often makes us feel stuck.  Maybe even trapped.

Sadly, that’s an unavoidable reality of love and relationships.  The way love  shifts and morphs into something so different than it began.  In the beginning, you have two sentient, rational thinking adults entranced by that giddy, wonderful, endorphin producing feelings of the first few weeks,  months…years (if you’re really lucky) of a relationship with its shiny new car luster.

Then comes reality….maybe a few kids.   Loss, money issues..  More reality.  Another kid.   Dad’s blocked aorta.    Jimmy Jr.’s car wreck.   More reality.   Jenny’s braces.   Jim Sr.’s layoff.  Helen’s hysterectomy.   Jim turns 48, starts dressing younger, then hires a 24 year-old-secretary, with big boobs that like they should have Spalding imprinted on their sides.   

More reality.  

It may not look the same no feel the same from couple to couple but it’s one commonality is that reality changes every couple it touches, one way or the other.  But all isn’t lost.  If a couple can work together and  try to be flexible enough to change with it, survival rates are higher.

But basically, love and relationships start out the same. 

In the beginning, we’re all a twitter.   Oooooh, shared carnality, which has its own language, spoken in sensual whispers by two people who feel it to the core.

Sex is frequent and ubiquitous. In the front yard, car, the kitchen; the dining room table; by the dumpster behind the Stop-N-Shop.  It’ll be exciting because we are excited. Love has sprung a leak.

It is substantial.

We back that up by always looking our best. You shave closer and I guess, so do I. You groom your hair more carefully; I actually apply make-up with the precise artistry of Emmet Kelly.

We still hold our stomachs in while we’re around each other.

And then, we turn “that corner”; the one that in time, every relationship approaches.

There’s morning breath. Dreaded morning breath with its nasty, “slice and bake” density. The kind that a dragon produces  and uses to incinerate everything in its path.   Morning breath is its own force field and form of birth control, you know.

There will be evenings when we’re too tired to even count to six, much less have sex. I’ll make spaghetti that will taste the way feet smell and you’ll eat it, then end up making stinkies in the bathroom that smell like Chef Boyardee died in there three weeks ago.

We’ll try to pretend not to notice, but our collective gagging will prove otherwise.

Oh yes, things change.   They always change.  Suddenly, the glamor of us wears off and we’ll become very real in our eyes.

Very real and very flawed.

Suddenly, we’ll start noticing things that our “love goggles” once obscured .

You’ll one day focus on this long hair thing that I have Rapunzelling off my chin.

I’ll obsess over a skin tag on your neck that to me, looks a lot like Fred Thompson, (R) Tennessee.

Cursed familiarity and it’s damned ability to breed contempt—-BUT ONLY IF—we let it.

That’s why I’m presenting you with a covenant, Sire.  Our relatively new relationship is rapidly approaching a mile stone.  And this…this covenant,  is my way of conveying to you and reassuring you that I fully intend to be a willing participant in roughly 47-percent of that which we share in this relationship.

Sure, I’m authoring it and yes, it’s one-sided, but you can always use this against me as a point of jihad at one of our more rancorous Kendrick family reunions–or as we call them:  Mogadishu with potato salad.

MY COVENANT:

  I will always consider your feelings. I will put you first where applicable. For example: I’ll ask you what you want for lunch or dinner…except on those occasions when you’re buying.  Breakfast?  Fend for yourself.

  I vow to be covert with regard to all the secret things that I will surreptitiously do behind your back.

•  I will try to get along with you at all costs. I will celebrate our differences and revel in what we have in common and will make every effort to increase said commonality, in spite of your nose hair.

 I will  do my part to quell the toilet seat up/down argument. With that said, I will make this concession: I will learn to pee standing up, IF you’ll learn to pee sitting down.

•  I will NEVER ask you your thoughts about love and especially, about our relationship. Why should I? You certainly don’t know any more than I do.

  I will rarely ever color in the lines you’ve drawn for me.

  I will forgive you for being imperfect and more importantly, I will forgive myself for being equally flawed.

•  No matter what happens, we’ll have one thing in common: We’ll both always love you.

•  When Copernicus calls to insist that you are NOT in fact, the center of the universe, I will defend you by not agreeing with him—for at least an hour after he hangs up.

•  I will never, ever be of the ridiculous mindset that you “complete me”, the one that cursed Jerry Maguire regurgitated on to our nation’s emotional landscape.  Instead, I will always believe that you contribute to me.

•  We will be disappointed in each other; that’s unavoidable, but with your help, it will only be sporadic and never permanent.

•  I will try my best to be your friend first and foremost. I won’t always be successful at this and make no mistake–I will make mistakes. I will probably fudge the truth on several occasions. I’ll annoy you, infuriate you with my stubbornness and there will be times when you’ll completely understand why some people premeditate murder. It is likely that I’ll whine from time to time; get in a nagging needle or two regarding your work schedule. I’ll make your crazy when I lapse into “a mood” every once in a while. I will perfectly exemplify my imperfection. But I promise that I will work with you in order to work together. You have my word that I will try. We will have many common objectives. Reaching them won’t be easy, but then again, we do better when the odds are against us.

  Speaking of odd, you already know my family, right?

•  Lastly;  I am a grown up; responsible and self-sufficient. I do not expect you to rescue me or come to my aid every time I struggle. I am a smart, mature woman….but a woman nevertheless. I NEED to know I matter.

•  BUT…. if your ego demands that you prove this every once in a while, by instilling in you a need to slay a metaphorical dragon or two, far be it from me to obviate your gender’s natural order which is of course, hardwired in that rather fetching little fuse box I call your head.

 All I ask is that you please refrain from the inherent urge to kill the next time I kiss you with dragon breath.


Signed on this day, February 14, 2010

I remain,
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More On Valentine’s Day Gifts and Stuff

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Yesterday, we learned all about traditional items which are often given as gifts at Valentine’s Day. 

We learned about the basics of giving and the options we have.   Even though I’m not a fan of this Ponzi scheme of hearts and flowers,  many of you are and well, I’m nothing if not generous.  Therefore, your education continues today with ways to approach gift giving.  Having been on the receiving end of Valentine’s Day “gifts”, I’ve learned the hard way, that often it isn’t what you give that’s important; it’s also what you don’t give.     There are things you must keep in mind when pondering the perfect gift to give.   So, to hammer that point home, this particular post has been written for men, by a man.

 I’d like for you to meet my ponderous factotum, Jimmy “The Neck” Fratianni….

He’s the rotund enforcer er…uh…rather, he’s a Public Relations and Waste Management expert here at Laurie Industries.  He compiled a specific list of  the do’s, but mostly the don’ts of giving gifts to women on Valentine’s day and  he should know–he’s been married for 17-years, he has three goombas (is that a Cajun seafood stew??) , he’s the father of three girls and he’s endured a decade of employment as my faithful Man Servant and major-domo.

Plus, he’s good with a baseball bat and exterminating pests and nuisance critters. He has problems with “dirty rats” and
“stool pigeons”.   Vermin I get, but birds?  I’m not sure why he hates birds, but he does.  His reaction to them is visceral.   They make him crazy.  

He doesn’t even like Jose Canseco!!

But he’s loyal to a fault, he wears velour jogging suits and gold zodiac medallions like no one’s business and can make a mean gnocchi.

OK Jimmy, this is your cue.

“Uh, thanks a lot, LK.  Now as many of yous know, most broads is complex and easily offended when it comes to gifts so don’t do or give your woman nuttin’ dat’ll offend her or it’s my nuts. Yous understand what I’m sayin to yous here? Aight den….dis here is my official, “She’s A Woman Dammit, So Don’t Buy or Get Her None of Dis Shit” list for Valentine’s Day 2010.” Deez is good rules to follow when thinkin’ about buyin’ any broad a  gift, no matter what da holiday.

So listen up, Nitz…

1. Don’t get nuttin’ that reminds her that she ain’t in her nymphie twenties no more. You know, like nuttin’ that lets her know she ain’t perfect no more. A gym membership is completely out of da question. And for da love of God, no-self books and no appointments to get lipo. None of dat shit.

2. A bathing suit? Are you fuckin’ crazy? Unless dem two tiny samples of material you call a two piece come wit a trip to Bali attached, don’t bother.

3. Don’t get her no toys, neither. Most women don’t want video games. Now, she might ask for Botox, but dat ain’t an X-BOX. So, open ya ears jackass–listen to what she says to ya’s!!!! And if she do ask for da Botox, for da love of God, argue wit her dat she don’t need it or nuttin’.  If you do, you could get some az later.

4. Don’t get her no gift certificate to no place. That’s what you do when you don’t care none and dat means you’s a lazy sumbitch.

6. Food?  Nah, fuhget about it, unless you’re Emeril or a real butch Paula Dean. But you ain’t, so don’t cook or bake nuttin’. Food just ain’t a good idea. Mainly since most broads is already worried about her ass width and shit.   Besides,  when her friends ask her whatchu got her for Valentine’s Day, she don’t wanna have to lie……or trow up or nuthin’.

7. Get her a magazine subscription and it’ll be de last ting you get her. 

8. Avoid getting dames a DVD box set of  her favorite show, I don’t care how much she asks fer it.   She’ll watch it once…maybe twice if she’s home fronm work wit da flu or she’s mendastraightin or what ever bitches do every month.  Udderwise, she’ll just end up using it to help prop open da dining room door  or maybe to pound out a veal cutlet.

9. CDs or iTunes??? You romantically retahded or what???

10. If you get her appliances, den yous gotta death wish or somethin’, stugots!!!! If she says she wanna waffle iron, dat don’t mean gettin’ her one, especially for Valentine’s Day. Jeez, if you do, you’s just tryin’ to make your life bat shit crazy. So yeah…if you’s insist on getting her an appliance, make sure it’s a meat grinder. Cuz if you do, look down and pucker, cuz you’ll be kissin’ your two fuzzies ARRIVEDERCI when she uses dat meat grinders on your figs, know what I’m sayin’ Sizzle Chest?”

11. What if you decide to go cheap ass and give her a gift you once bought for an ex-girlfriend. WRONG!!! Look…I know how most broads tink, dey WILL find out. Dey always do and when dey do, dey’ll punish you, BIG TIME. How so, you ask? Reference #10 above but den add Mr. Happy Dangly to da beefy mix.

Now, all of dis is nullfied if your dame actually DOES want some of this stuff, but it ain’t likely. Dis holiday is one in which women wanna be spoiled and whatchu call, “indulged in” or some shit, so be prepared to spend some dough.

OK??

Any questions?  

Good.

Now,  all you’s go out and have a happy freakin’ Valentine’s Day or somebody gonna get whacked.”

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Loving

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And really, don’t we all???

But seriously…

I am currently involved with a brilliant man. He’s also a very complicated man.

This makes my relationship with him cook and sizzle on this magnificent emotional stove but sometimes, this relationship infuriates me to the point where I want to exit the kitchen…

Permanently.

Then, I think about what he does, who he is, who we are together, my contributions and his, then I realize that the way we react is part of that unspoken covenant we have with each other; the non-verbal contract we signed when we agreed to try this relationship on for size all those months ago.

We’re happy, but as weird as this sounds, it’s the little fleeting irritants that actually make our relationship what it is. I was asked not long ago to describe the relationship we have. It occurred to me that it’s witty and rife with smart ass come backs and sarcasm. If I have to exemplify us, I’d say what we have closely resembles the feigned adversarial repartee between Dr. Perry Cox and Jordan on “Scrubs”.

Somehow, we make passive/aggressive kind of hot.

This en guard attitude might make some couples uncomfortable, but it seems to fuel us. God knows why, but it gives this relationship the piquancy it needs and in our case, that it MUST have.

We work and to be honest, I don’t understand how or why. It is inexplicable.

All I know is that I am ridiculously happy with this man and with this relationship. I am content and happy and a willing participant. It is on almost every level, completely different from any relationship I’ve ever had. That’s good in that all the previous ones resulted in utter failure–this one gives me much hope–but it’s bad in the sense that nothing that I have ever employed in previous relationships, works in this one. I can get nothing past this man.

With him, I actually have to use my smarts, my cunning and believe it or not, my by God advanced education. I actually have had to apply things I learned in college to in order to level the playing field.

No man has ever made me think as he does.

So, when I think about this relationship and the sheer bliss in a cup it represents, I can’t help but hearken back on all the previous relationships I’ve had. Every last one of them left a body count in their wake…

And usually, the corpse was mine.

But I was lucky. I was resurrected and given the chance to find complete redemption.

But those aren’t the only reasons why I’m here today. Gratitude and hard lessons learned are the real reasons why. I’m grateful for the fact that not a single man I was with, ever took the time to get to know me. Not really, anyway. Had any one of them made the effort, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

But had they tried, they would’ve learned that I only read biographies and loathe romance novels BUT I am an incurable romantic. If any of them ever really knew me, they’d know I want Louie Armstrong’s “Wonderful World” played at my funeral.

Any man who really knew me would know of my kindred spirit with England and Ireland and how I want to connect with nature and a great, great, great, great, great, great grandfather by sitting on a cliff side overlooking a Scottish moor.

He’d know that don’t like candy and that I hate raisins and Lima beans and Indian food.

He would’ve known that I love University of Texas Longhorn football and that as the fanatic I am, I need to ingest more drugs than that which was found in Heath Ledger’s system JUST to watch a game without climbing the walls.

He’d know that I eat a cold orange before I go to bed and think drinking a glass of cold, fresh squeezed orange juice on Sunday morning is manna from Heaven.

A few shots of Vodka is optional.

He’d understand what it means when I sing–that I’m happy and that I love to watch “Jeopardy”….

And win.

He would’ve known that I believe in ghosts and that I’m fascinated by tornadoes; that I’m turned off by arrogance and intellectual bigotry and those who can’t or won’t fend for themselves.

He would’ve known that I love to laugh and for me, laughter releases stress and those oh so vital Laurieland-approved endorphines.

Had he taken the time, he would’ve known how I crave touch and how important it is for me to know that I’m loved.

And how important it is for me to express it.

He’d know that giving makes me incredibly happy.

And every one of the men in my life should have known that betrayal and infidelity kill my soul.

But apparently, that’s the one thing none of them could comprehend.

My “failure to launch” has been all about me, but my life isn’t. There are other components; living, breathing parts that comprise who I am. My family and friends. Therefore, if I’m learning to be a better me; to respect my authentic self and revere my elevated one, then the object lesson that entails must include the people I love.

What do I know about them?

He doesn’t want me to “hover” when he’s sick or mentally or emotionally preoccupied. He adores steak and He reads the damndest books and has a million of them. For Him, it’s imperative that I be self-sufficient in every way–but what I know and what He won’t admit, is that He wants me to be self-sufficient, but never to the point that I don’t need His help, His advice, His wisdom or ultimately, His love.

In spite of his brilliance, he’s still a man. He also needs to be able to trust and know that He’s trusted.

He can and he is.

For Her, I know she loves Cokes, Chico’s clothing and comfy shoes and could spend the rest of her life watching reruns of “I Love Lucy” and “The Andy Griffith Show” (black and white episodes only).

I know She loves diamond jewelry and shopping and she believes a new house will make Her happy. She wants to be treated like a queen. My prayer for Her is that someday soon, She will be.

I know She loves beer and Bloody Marys and experienced too much pain in Her life. Someday, I hope She’ll drink her favorite libations strictly because She enjoys their taste and not as an indulgent means to incapacitate life. She can’t keep it from unfolding around Her, no matter how bad it gets.

She is getting older and will not be told what to do. She refuses advice. She continues to be limited in Her ability to love and can only do so on occasion. She can now only express it incrementally and with currency. This is all she knows; all she’s capable of doing. Part of my loving Her requires that I forgive Her for this.

Are any of the people in my life; these loves of my life, perfect? No, but their imperfections represent this wonderfully powerful amalgamation of strength and hope and support. Collectively, they serve as my touchstone.

They are parts of my whole and to keep these people in the pivotal roles I’ve cast, I have decided that on this Valentine’s Day 2008, the greatest gift I can give them is my attention and focus.

You see, time has been both friend and foe to us all. They’re not who they were 20-years ago…not even who they were a year ago and certainly not who’ll they be in five years.

But I take some comfort in knowing that my evolution as a human, also includes theirs. We’re all changing and the process is continual. So yes, I know them as the the people they are today, but it’s also my job as a friend, a girlfriend, a sister and a daughter to maintain a relationship with the people they will become.

They’re worth this effort and so am I.

Love is worth the effort.

You see, what I now know on this Valentine’s Day that I didn’t know before is that real love– authentic love– is given life and sustained when we make the conscious decision to feed and nurture it with passion. Knowing how to be loved is one thing; know how to love is another. Passion helps make the distinction. Our souls are nourished when our friends, family and partners realize we know how to love them. Well, from this point on, my soul will then get a much needed B-12 shot because I intend to start asking more questions and then, I’ll listen to what’s being said. I want to see who my friends and family really are. And I want to understand how they they feel from all angles; from their perspective. I want to see my world through their eyes.

Fore the first time in my life, I want to create incredibly tender moments that tell these wonderful people I love them by knowing exactly what “I love you” looks like to them.