Finance · Food · History · Love · marriage · Money

Valentine Schmalentine

So many people are obsessed with Valentine’s Day.  I am not one of those people.  In fact, I think I’ve always been a bit of a cynic when it came to the holiday.  Most of my adolescence was spent pining after fictional characters (Spot Conlon from Newsies, Mr. Darcy from Pride and Predjudice, Calvin O’Keefe from the Wrinkle in Time series…), and much of my adult life, I was very dedicated to remaining single until “The One” showed up.  While waiting for “The One,” I was still a bit of a cynic when it came to romance and hearts and flowers, and all that lah-di-dah… especially when I moved to NYC.  In fact, I once hosted an “I hate Valentine’s Day” party where we watched scary movies, where cute little couples got murdered.  When I finally did enter into a relationship as an adult, it was a torturous one.  I was super desperate for love, and set my standards way lower than I should have, and thank the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost that it ended.  It was Valentine’s Day break up, and it sucked, but then I did my research and realized that the death of that relationship was exactly what Valentine’s Day is all about.

St. Valentine was sentenced to death on February 14, sometime in 260-80 AD.  He was a Roman priest who married Christians, who were being persecuted during the time of Claudius II reign. He was captured, imprisoned, beaten, clubbed, and then beheaded.  Happy stuff right?  Well, this day was meant to honor and remember him, but like many of our modern holidays, the church decided to paganize the holiness of St. Valentine’s sacrifice. They decided to couple Valentine’s Day with the pagan holiday Lupercalia- and that sh*t was CRAZY, y’all… I’m not so sure that St. Valentine would have approved of his death being commemorated by a drunken boink-fest.  But today, Valentine’s Day is about spending money, eating too much candy, and forced romance.

Yeah, I’m not all that into Valentine’s Day, if you couldn’t tell.

Biltmore Estates

That being said, in 2012, I did have a really lovely day on this commercialized, chocolate gobbling day.  I went to Biltmore Estates with my boyfriend who would later become my husband that same year, and we looked at the pretty house, then got tipsy from tasting all of the wines, and we had a romantic little dinner as well.  It was expensive, and I’d say it was worth every penny, but he paid for it, and I didn’t.

The year after, looked very different.  We were married at the time, and we have/had a combined income.  Since we were and are doing Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University, ain’t nobody got time for spending dolla-dolla bills to see a pretty house and have fancy food and drinks.  We’ve been on a budget of nothing, and since I’ve not really been into Valentine’s Day, in 2013, we took a different approach.

IMG_4922I spent zero money and made a list of reasons why I loved him on a deck of cards, and he took me out to Five Guys.  Nothing says I love you like a Five Guys Bacon Cheese Burger.  This guy knows what I’m talking about.

And this year?  Well, it’s pretty low key.  We’re not going out to dinner because we’re on a strict eating plan right now, but we do plan to indulge in a little snack of home made dark chocolate covered strawberries while watching Austenland.

Dark Chocolate Covered Strawberries  Austenland

I suppose there’s a little bit of romance to that, but really, Valentine’s day isn’t that big of a deal, and I think we’d be much better of a society if it just didn’t exist.

For singles, it’s horrible because it’s makes you feel like you’re abnormal for not being in a relationship, as if being married or having a plus one is all there is to life.  It also causes you to make bad decisions, like hooking up with someone just so you won’t be alone.  I’m just going to let you in on a secret.  About 65% of the time, marriage is really not fun at all.  You have to put up with someone else’s personality and emotional baggage, and figure out how to live with them without killing each other or leaving each other with psychotic tendencies.  If you’re single, you’re not missing out.  There are so many couples who are miserable and wish they could be single, so consider yourself lucky.

For couples, it’s puts pressure on you to waste money and to try to recreate a fictionalized version of love.  Oh, no, if Johnny doesn’t order me two dozen roses, it means that he doesn’t love me.  For people like me, who are living on a dime and a prayer, wine, godiva, diamonds, and roses are not in the budget.  Romance is good and fine, but sometimes, you just aren’t feeling it, and when it comes right down to it, faking it ’til making it is the worst advice anyone can give you.  I am very grateful for my husband, and I do love and appreciate him, but real love isn’t all hearts and flowers.  Real love can mean working two retail jobs to pay the bills, and having zero energy most of the time, just so that you can make your rent for the month.  Real love can be taking the time away from playing video games to clean the house and do the laundry instead of expecting your spouse to do it.

In the end, Valentine’s day, is just another day.  Can we just appreciate and learn to love one another each day without this obnoxious holiday’s existence?

Self Improvement

Birthday and New Year Resolutions

Okay, so in this new year of life, I’ve decided to make some resolutions.  I want to turn things around and make things better for myself.  I’ve been tired and grumpy, and lonely, and friendless for far too long now, and it’s about time some things change.  I cannot change where I live (yet) or my ethnic background, but there are a few things that I can do to be a better human and have a better life while I’m on this earth.

01. Love God
I want to love God, with a true love.  I would never say it out loud, but I really haven’t felt a deep love for God for what seems a long time.  There have been a few moments, but my love has been fickle and fleeting.  I was happiest when I was all out for God, but I let myself be drawn away by painful experiences.  I’ve stopped trusting and depending on the supernatural, but it’s time for me to start believing again.

02. Give Unto Others
I wish to be more generous with others, especially the ones I love- being more thoughtful, giving gifts, sending cards, letters, thank yous, and thinking of yous.

03. Take Care
I must start taking care of myself.  Eating right, exercising, all of that.  On top of that, I have decided to get therapy for my anger and grief issues which have been spilling into my beautiful marriage.  Also, I’ve decided that I need to start getting massages regularly to help reduce stress and nerves.

04. Study
I plan to begin learning new languages (Spanish, Italian, Hawai’ian, restudy my Korean, Japanese, and French), watch more foreign movies and documentaries, read more books, do some maths, study some philosophy, look at stars, and things like that, so my mind won’t rot or turn into jello.

05. Create
I need to continue creating things– whether it’s writing, journaling, making mix CDs, playing the uke/guitar/piano/melodica/kazoo/recorder, painting, costuming, doodling, taking pictures… it’s what motivates me and inspires me.

06. Dream Big
I’m ready to open up my possibilities book again and start mapping out some new possibilities.  Being here in this small town with people who are satisfied with mediocre has been making me a bit cynical.  I didn’t like this place when I was growing up in it, and I like it less after having seen the world.  We are the music makers, we are the dreamers of dreams.

Conflict · Love · marriage

Let There Be Peace

My intent is not to start a fight, but I am a person who struggles with letting my emotions overwhelm me and cause me to act irrationally.  I have a very bad temper, and I got problems all over the place.  These past three months of marriage have been a wonderful battle for peace.  Two people with two view points and different backgrounds, habits, worldviews, living together in matrimony isn’t the easiest of things to do.  Especially with two strong willed people such as myself and my husband.

Before now, I went about, living for myself, not having to answer to anyone else, doing my own thing, living however I wanted to live.  It’s so much different.  I can’t just live for myself and continue on in a selfish manner.  I can’t just do things without communicating.  I can’t be selfish.

It’s hard work, and I am probably going to have to get a therapist or someone to help me through theophostics to really tackle some of the issues and emotions that I don’t know how to control.

Love

Dance Me to the End of Love

ImageWho could have guessed that when I came back to my hometown that I would end up meeting the love of my life?  Both of our lives were going through redefinition, and both of us were kind of a mess.  But when we first met, he asked me to dance.  Now, I have the privilege of spending the rest of my life dancing with him.

Dance me to the wedding now,
Dance me on and on,
Dance me very tenderly,
and dance me very long.

We’re both of us beneath our love,
We’re both of us above.
Dance me to the end of love,
Dance me to the end of love.

-Leonard Cohen