Happy Sweetest Day!

Happy Sweetest Day!

Wait, you have never heard of Sweetest Day?  That’s okay, no one else really has either.  It’s a Hallmark Holiday, although Hallmark didn’t invent it.

Here’s the back story: In the early 1900s, a bunch of confectioners got together and thought it would boost sales if they introduced a new holiday, which they termed “Sweetest Day.”  The original premise was to give sweets to someone who was a little down and out– an orphan, an elderly person, or someone convalescing– to boost morale.  A great idea that never took off and never went farther than the Cleveland area, from what I have come to understand.

When I started dating Tom in 1996, I thought everyone celebrated Sweetest Day.  My father would go to the Malley’s store on Brookpark and wait for hours to buy my mother chocolate covered strawberries.  Of course, he would stop at the florist as well.  To me, Sweetest Day was the second half of Valentine’s Day, and to share something special with the one you loved seemed like a wonderful sentiment.

Tom was in Wisconsin on our first Sweetest Day.  I baked homemade chocolate chip cookies and mailed them to his hotel.  When he received them, he called me.  “Umm, thanks for the cookies, but I don’t know what Sweetest Day is,” he said to me.

What?  How is that possible?  Did he live under a rock?

“It’s the third Saturday in October,” I said.  “Everyone celebrates.”

“Sugar (He likes to call me Sugar when he is being condescending), no one I am working with knows what it is either.  But thank you.”

I was a tiny bit miffed, until I talked to a few other people who did not grow up in the area, and I realized that unless you are from Cleveland, you don’t really celebrate this holiday.  Huh.  I was flabbergasted.  How could such a lovely holiday be a local phenomena?

Fast forward seventeen years, and I still like Sweetest Day.  Since that first holiday, Tom has never missed.  Each year, I have gotten flowers or candies or some little treat because I am his Sweetie.

006This year, however, Tom is in Green Bay.  He took a little road trip with “the guys” for a Browns game.  Yes, it will be exactly what you are thinking– a whole heck of a lot of drunken middle-aged men pretending they are twenty-somethings.  Before he left yesterday morning, he ran to the grocery store to pick up supplies.  He got snacks, beer, and a special treat of donuts for our girls.  For me?  Nothing!  He forgot.  And even though I received two carnations from a Secret Admirer at school that were strategically left in a vase on the kitchen counter, he didn’t think about what he was missing– so excited about his weekend, he forgot about me.

“You forgot,” I said.

“Seriously?” he said.  “I promise I will make it up to you next week.”  He left, and I felt a little sad.  I secretly hoped he was running back to the grocery store to buy me an overpriced bouquet.  Nope.  When he left the house, he left for good.

In the scheme of things, I knew it didn’t matter.  We have been together for seventeen wonderful years, and Tom surprises me with flowers every-so-often, and I know the random flowers “just because” mean more than the made-up-Cleveland-only-holiday flowers do.

But, I cannot say that I wasn’t a little bit giddy when the delivery truck pulled into our driveway late yesterday afternoon and delivered this beautiful bouquet.

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Think I’m Joking? Try me!

I have always been a neat freak, however, for sanity purposes, I learned that with a husband, three kids, and a dog, I needed to lighten up.  I needed to reduce what I expected to mitigate my anxiety when  the house was slightly messy.  Yesterday, after picking up three cups, a dirty bowl, wiping out a sink, placing the dirty dishes in the dishwasher, picking up not one but two pairs of socks from different rooms, removing a wrapper from under the couch, picking up two old batteries and throwing them away, and straightening the basement, I had an epiphany.  I was standing in the kitchen and I grabbed a butcher knife. I watched my hand tighten around the handle.   I felt my blood surge.  I raised my arm above my head, and I drove that knife into the cutting board.  It stood straight up.  A glimmering, sharp final stroke.

Knife-on-Cutting-Board

The indulgences and corruption that have led to my servitude need to stop!  I need to be liberated from these shackles.  I am not your slave.  I am not your cleaning lady.  I deserve more help, and I should not have to scream like a loon to get it.

I declare a Mother’s Reformation!

1. Socks should not be left wherever they are removed.  I  do not want to see socks under the desk, under the couch, under the bed, or in the middle of the living room floor.  You all have hampers in your closets– use them!

2. I would like to walk into your rooms and be able to see the floor.  Taking off your clothes and throwing them in the corner of your room makes for an unsightly mess.

3. Because you did not put your clothes in your hamper, I did not wash them.  Do not criticize me that you do not have tights for dance or that your gym shirt is dirty.

4. After washing, drying, and folding nine loads of laundry on a Sunday afternoon, please do not stomp your foot when I ask you to put your clothes away.  Also, do not just take the basket and throw it in the corner of your room.  Open your drawers and put said folded items into them.

5. Contrary to popular belief, I do not like picking up nineteen cups and bowls from around the house every morning.

6. If you need something washed that badly, learn how to turn on the washer!

7. Dirty dishes look better when they are clean.  We have a dishwasher; learn how to load it.

8. Clean dishes look better when they are in the cupboard.  We have a dishwasher; learn how to empty it.

9. When you’re not in your bed, make it.  Yes, I know no one is coming over.  I don’t care!  Make it!

10. Linus sheds.  Am I the only one who can vacuum the carpets so that, it does not feel like we live in a zoo?

11. Just once, I would like you to do something around the house without me asking!

12. If you eat something that comes in a wrapped package, throw the wrapper away!

13. Garbage looks better in the garbage can, not on the floor next to the garbage or in the kitchen sink (Tom, I blame you for this bit of laziness!).

14. Any person who can walk can take the cans, glass, and cardboard to the recycling can in the basement.  It does not need to pile up on the kitchen counter.

15 The kitchen table is not a place for junk– old school papers, toys, etc.  I would like to be able to sit down at the table and share a meal without having to go through the contents trying to figure out what is needed and what can be recycled or put away.

16. If you see the hall closet is low on toilet paper, walk downstairs and get some more.

17. Toothpaste droppings in the sink are disgusting.  Wipe up after yourselves.

18. After your showers, hang up your towels.

19. After your showers, pick your clothes off of the bathroom floor.  (Especially when your undies have what appear to be skid marks.)

20. Hang up your coats and jackets.  Backs of chairs, couches, and floors are not the coat closet.

21. When you trip over all of the shoes by the back door, do not yell and scream.  Had they been placed on the floor of the coat closet, it never would have happened.

22. Don’t ask, “What’s for dinner?” and then complain.  You don’t like what I make, learn to cook!  (Heating frozen chicken nuggets in the microwave is not cooking, Lizzie!)

These are my demands.  If they are not met, I will be forced to go on strike, and you will fend for yourselves.  I will take care of ONLY myself.  You think I’m too OCD, don’t you?  You don’t think I can handle walking over dirty socks or walking past dirty dishes.  Oh, but I will.  You cannot enslave me; you must stop taking advantage of me; you must pull your weight!

Think I’m joking?  Try me!

Why My Marriage Works

I have been told that I have a relationship that many people envy.  Tom and I are happy together, really happy, and for whatever reason, our marriage is sometimes the topic of conversation.

Recently, a new acquaintance said to me, “You compliment each other perfectly.  It is obvious you are truly happy together.” I was flattered.  “How do you do it?  What’s the magic?” she asked.

Well, it really isn’t magic.  It’s agreement.

  • Neither of us is a jealous person, so when the other wants to go to drinks with co-workers after work, neither thinks the other is cheating.
  • We are both natural flirts, so it does not bother either of us when we catch the other in conversation with the opposite sex.
  • We parent together.
  • We make major decisions together.
  • We celebrate each other’s accomplishments.
  • We encourage each other’s dreams.
  • We work together and play together.
  • And most importantly, we laugh– together, at each other, at each other’s expense– it does not matter; we laugh.

What makes our relationship magical?

This Does!

The start of our texting about the night's plans.

The start of our texting about the night’s plans.

Not realizing that auto correct and slippery fingers left my original message unintelligible.

Not realizing that auto correct and slippery fingers left my original message unintelligible.

And when I responded, "Funny," I meant it.  I actually snorted in line and Target.  That's right, people turned around and stared.

And when I responded, “Funny,” I meant it. I actually snorted in line at Target. That’s right, people turned around and stared.

Yep.  It’s love.