The Love of Your Own Life

Ah, Valentine’s Day.

I do. I love me.

The day of love so many tend to loathe while others welcome the warm fuzzies with gigantic appetites that rival my admiration for wine.

The feel of Love Day for certain peeps.

As a kid, I carefully crafted a Valentine’s Day mailbox for school every year (you know, back when you could celebrate shit in school without the worry of the teeniest tiniest chance of offending someone). Students weren’t required to participate but I can’t remember when a kid didn’t. Everyone in class gave everyone a Valentine. If a kid didn’t have a Valentine’s Day box, my teacher always had an extra shoebox or two wrapped in red paper. No one was left out.

Will you be mine?

I was always lucky that I had a family who liked to celebrate everything, so no holiday was left out. Not even one that I often hear guys claim is “made up” for women to get gifts. (Well fellas, if you treated your gals “special” all the time, grand gesture days wouldn’t be needed, now would they? You could simply just get a well meaning card or write a note from the heart any day of the year but I digress). We’d wake up to little Valentines on our chairs at the kitchen table, maybe along with a box of chocolates. Always excited for the party to take place that day at school.

Fast forward to high school when the day of admiration became a sport of sorts.

If this high school Glamour Shot doesn’t make you want to be mine, I don’t know what fucking will.

The Honor Society sold carnations for a dollar and the members would drop the carnation off to your designated Valentine anonymously. Some peeps had armloads. Some had none. I just wanted a pink one.

Some girls got called to the office and paraded delivered – delivered in a vase and everything – flowers around school. It didn’t matter if it was from their dad, grandparents or boyfriend. I was one jealous bitch. Then, in an instant, that all changed.

Because I became that girl.

Oh hi. I got the flowers…and then some.

The Honor Society members delivered carnations during first period. I was in concert band every morning with my sweet silver Doc Severinsen trumpet at my side. Open flung the doors and our band instructor stopped our warm-up. A group of kids came in hauling carnations in large buckets for their soon-to-be owners. While I was hoping to get a flower or two, my eyes laid sight on the mother of all Valentine’s day hauls. A gigantic, white stuffed teddy bear with a red bow around its neck, holding a bag of Hershey’s Kisses. So enormous, you couldn’t see the person transporting it.

About as big as this dog I gifted Princess B a few years back.

I think I literally turned green with envy at whomever was going to be the recipient of this stuffed animal. I mean, I thought I would get a flower or two because my girlfriends and I always sent them back and forth. But this, this shit was different. This was the stuff that warm and fuzzy, cheesy as fuck Valentine’s memories were crafted.

Being in the brass of the band, I sat in the last row of the room. And I’ll be damned if that fucking bear didn’t inch its way closer and closer. I kept thinking…which girl had a boyfriend that sat near me. I couldn’t wait to see who was going to get the pristine bear.

As the hidden stuffed animal transporter walked behind me, I almost gave myself whiplash looking to my left. But to my unabashed chagrin, that motherfucker was lifted over my head and sat into my lap. Hershey’s fucking kisses and all. To this day, that is one of my best Valentine’s Days (which may seem a little sad since my day of love peaked in high school but I mean, it’s true).

And it didn’t come from a love interest. Or the non-existent boyfriend I had at the time. It came from a friend. From a best friend who (although didn’t take me to his senior prom and I will never, ever let him forget it) remains a bestie to this day.

Oh the bangs. On both of us.

The teddy bear came from Scooby.

We share a love of stuffed animals. Obvies.

Relationship game still on point today.

This gesture seemed like the grandest of all gestures in the universe at the time. All of these years later, it still does. My gay best friend gave me the best Valentine’s Day memory. Why? Because he didn’t have to do anything. But he loved me and wanted me to know. Isn’t that just a simple thing to do?

Grand gestures aren’t needed (but if any of you have a Louis Vuitton en route for delivery today, professing your love for me, I am not going to turn it down). A single flower is nice. A card will do. A simple text message. A smile, a hug, a thank you. Whether it’s love or like in today’s climate, bringing happiness to any and all of those around us isn’t really that hard. We just have to be kind to let one another know that we like – or even love – them.

If force dancing with your head taller than you female cousin at your uncle’s wedding isn’t a grand gesture of love, what is?

More importantly, regardless of whether we are madly in love with our kids…

I mean…

COME ON.

Regardless of whether we are madly in love with our romantic partner…

Thank you boyfriends of yesteryears.

Regardless of whether we are madly in love with our friends…

Regardless of whether we are madly in love with our careers, jobs, co-workers….

Regardless of whether we are madly in love with extended family…

Regardless of whether we are madly in love with our fur babies (which you all know I’m bat shit about)…

Regardless of what it is in your life that you love, be madly in love with your own authentic self first.

Yep. This about sums it up for me.

If you don’t love – let alone like – yourself as your own #1, no one will love the you who is meant to be loved.

Bitch, I’m a Queen. A Queen Bitch Supreme. And I know it.

Be your own damn Valentine.

Make some snacks.

Toast to yourself.

Appropriately colored libations required.

I’m taking myself out with First Mate tonight – same as we did last year – to not only toast to our love of one another but also to how bad ass we both are in our own right.

Now treat yourself to your version of a stuffed teddy bear this Valentine’s Day. You deserve it.

Be the love of your own damn life.

Love ya, mean it.

CBXB

CBXB!

 

 

 

 

How to Be a Four Eyed Drunk Girl

One of my many blessings in life is my eyesight from hell.

Without aid from the wonders of optometry, I can’t operate a vehicle, I can’t see the alarm clock from my bed and I can’t find a contact lens when I’m drunk.

Hello Gorgeous

Hello Gorgeous.

Since gracing earth with my presence I’ve worn glasses and adapted to doing all kinds of activities in the lovely plastic specs that took up half of my facial circumference daily.

Dancing in tap class? No problemo.

Tapped my

Four-eyed Ginger Rogers at her finest.

Eating birthday cake in gigantic red goggles? Got it.

Cake

I wish I may, I wish I might have glasses that cure my poor eyesight.

Playing catcher for a girl’s softball team? Easy peasy.

Putting a catcher’s mask over my subtle, cherry red eyewear was about as much fun as you can imagine. Especially when I’d dramatically rip off my  mask (and also accidentally tear my glasses off in the process) in an attempt to catch a foul ball behind home base, which never happened as I couldn’t see shit without those Coke bottle sized lenses in front of my eyes.

Catch this.

I got it! I got it! I got it! Wait, I can’t see it….and now I have dirt in my eyes. Help.

When I was presented with the opportunity to swap my daily face accessory with contact lenses, I jumped at the chance. Surely, by getting contacts I would magically turn into a gorgeous mini version of Cindy Crawford, Heidi Klum or Gisele Bundchen.

The transformation was amazing…

That's it!

From totally geek….

Yeah...didn't make that much difference.

…to totally geek.

But that didn’t thwart my attempts to be a Midwestern model.

Eat your heart out Gisele.

Eat your heart out Gisele.

While forcing plastic lenses (gas permeable, mind you) into my eyes as a kid surprisingly didn’t turn me into a supermodel, they did help the moderate to high astigmatism that plagued my eyeballs.  Having contacts also taught me the importance of routine, as I had to clean the teeny tiny lenses morning and night which years later is as much a part of my daily activities as sipping a Skinny Pirate.

Speaking of routines and alcohol, I never ever go to sleep without taking my hard contacts out. So even when I’ve had five two cocktails too many, my body goes through the motions of removing my seeing aides.

One recent evening after happy hour, I popped my left lens out and instead of having it fall into my palm as usual, it suddenly disappeared.

Into thin air.

Scene of contact crime

Anybody see it?

Thing is, hard contacts are about half the size of your pinky nail. And my contacts are clear.  Upon realizing my mistake, I immediately became a statue, trying to not move a muscle while reaching for my trusty old spectacles.

Then I started to slowly gaze over the mounds of beauty products in an open drawer next to my contact case.

No luck.

Then I lightly combed the vanity with my fingers hoping to recover the hard piece of plastic.

No luck.

Ugh

Yeah, it takes this many pieces to put my puzzle together.

Then with a slight pit in my stomach, I looked toward the floor covered in khaki carpet.

No luck.

Little. Clear. Carpet

Anyone see it?

Slightly drunk, kinda blind and after crawling on my hands and knees for half of the evening, I threw in the towel on trying to locate the little bastard.

Classless and contactless.

Swapping gas perms for goggles.

The next morning, I was getting ready to hop in the shower and went to grab my towel that hangs on the door directly behind the sink where my contact went missing.

Shower time.

A witness to the great contact caper.

And what to my wondering eyes did appear?

Grab'n'go.

My mother fucking contact.

There was a miracle that morning, folks. My thumb slightly brushed up against the piece of modern medicine that makes my eyes happy on the pink terry cloth.

So how did my contact end up on a towel that was behind my head when I popped it out of my eye?  It will forever be a mystery to this slightly drunk and kinda blind gal.

I’m just happy I don’t currently have four eyes.

CBXB

CBXB!

Two Geeks in a Pod

Ever had a friend who has zero problem making a gigantic asshole out of herself with you? On a college Friday night while everyone else is out and about drinking copious amounts of beer but you wanted to stay in and make cards with rubber stamps (I was such a slut in college) and your bestie did, too (I think the love of craft making on weekends kind of sealed our friendship forever fate). Or instead of putting your best black pants on for a Saturday night out (with no coat on in an Iowa December while walking to the bars), you two decided to give being in a band a whirl instead and play air drums and a mean air guitar to Journey songs?

Friday night fun night in Slater Hall

Friday night fun night in Slater Hall. Yeah I know, we oozed hip and cool.

Ever had a friend that hid what you thought was a double chin (WTF was I worried about back then? Now, I might need the assistance) in photos for you?

It ain't easy being cheesy.

It ain’t easy being cheesy.

Ever had a friend dork out with you while studying in the sun, trying to scope out boys on Sunday afternoons (I apparently thought that washing one’s hair and putting makeup on was not necessary while trying to land a boyfriend – and I didn’t even have a booze hangover – I had a crafting hangover. Jesus).

Fashion forward study buddies

Fashion forward study buddies.

Ever had a gal pal who didn’t mind that you framed a picture where her eyes were shut (I’m such a sweet friend) because you thought the rest of the crew looked like they were having fun (and extremely schnockered up) on her birthday?

Eyes wide shut

Eyes wide shut.

Ever had a friend where you thought it necessary to share the same hairstyle?

Grown up?

I know! Let’s cut our hair so it looks like we’re trying to grow it out.

Ever had a friend that loved the holidays as much as you – making them all the more memorable?

Christmas

Santa, where the F are you?

Ever had a friend you don’t get to see very often but when you do, you pick up right where you left off no matter how much time has passed between visits?

Ladies who lunch

Ladies who lunch like they just did it yesterday.

Ever had a friend who knows your best stories and lived a lot of them with you? Lucky us.

Happy Birthday Tdawg!

CBXB

CBXB!