Janet Sumner Johnson
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Valentine’s Day

Darling Husband’s Guest Post

Feb

14, 2011 |

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As a special Valentine’s Day treat (for me), my Darling Husband has laboured over a blog post to give me a break. It took some doing, but I finally convinced him to let go and let me post it. 😀

And here we go:
In an effort to produce a truly great gift for Singleness Awareness Appreciation Day (oops I meant Valentine’s Day), I am going to write my wife’s blog. Sorry to all those of you who would have preferred a more literary bent!  
Valentine’s Day (if you have someone) or Singleness Awareness Appreciation Day (all those of you who don’t, and Lenny [you’re too young to have a significant other. Play and have fun until you are at least 25 ;-)]) strikes me as a holiday of stark contrasts. On the one hand, you have those commercial entities pushing onto people the idea that you HAVE to get something for that special someone. While on the other, a truly Lovely message (pun intended) of showing those you love you care. I for one love the idea of showing love. I like Valentine’s Day most likely since I have a significant other, my wife.
Which is why, even after 9 years of marriage, I still struggle to find the perfect gift. The radio tries to sell you pajama grams, roses, Vermont teddy bears, chocolates, diamonds, jewelry, smartphones, etc, all in an effort to say I love you to those we love.  Whatever happened to doing something for that person that they couldn’t do for themselves to say I love you?  
Now my wonderful wife, who makes our family run, might want a 5 day vacation on a Caribbean beach and I am working on that. In reality what I manage most often is when I am home trying to clean the house, playing with the kids, and making dinner while she writes. Well that’s the plan anyway!  
As with even the cards, candy and flowers, the best laid plans often go awry and usually my Valentine’s Day gifts end with something crazy happening or me picking some crazy gift. Which reminds me, I think the craziest Valentine’s Day gift I received was a phone call at 3 am from some friends who had (after years of searching) found a song with my name in it.  I personally would have preferred the sleep, but the memory of that call still makes me laugh. Maybe just maybe the crazy gifts—or more appropriately the memories they give us—are the best gifts on a day that for many is really just Singleness Awareness Appreciation Day. 
What was your craziest gift?

Well, I digress! To my wife my best gift is my love for you, Je t’aime, and to my children, I love you! 

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In Memoriam . . .

Feb

26, 2010 |

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Dearly beloveds, we are gathered here today in memoriam of yon Valentine’s Day plant. We must bear the shock that death brings—especially poignant when in the rose of bloom.

In life, it gave of itself for the pleasure of others. Never seeking for self. And though its leaves have yellowed in shrivel haste, our memory lives on that we might have roses in March. And in April. And in May. And all the way to December, whereupon we can finally forget.

And though the tragedy strikes harsh, we find comfort in knowing it has moved beyond this cold, cruel world to the pastures of a better place. A kinder place. A place where black thumbs exist no more.

And thus, “I hold it true, whate’er befall; Despite outrageous valentine cost; ‘Tis better to have loved and lost/Than never to have loved at all.” -Alfred Lord Tennyson (with a slight adjustment by J.S. Johnson).

Rosebud Johnson
R.I.P.
February 14, 2010 – February 25, 2010

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Chocolate and a Little Valentine’s Help

Feb

04, 2010 |

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With Valentine’s Day coming up, chocolate seems to be a favorite subject. It’s like an unwritten law that you should give chocolate away to the one you love. Cause who wouldn’t like chocolate, right?

Right.

My father-in-law practically lives off chocolate (or at least he likes to give that impression. But I’m on to him. Snickers are replacing the pure stuff). My own mother loves chocolate. Particularly dark chocolate. She used to keep a stash of Hershey’s in her closet. My dad can down his fair share of a Special Dark. My sister always jokes about getting her chocolate fix. And my second son would eat it all day if I let him

And it’s not that I don’t like chocolate. Exactly. I just don’t like PLAIN chocolate. Seriously, I can’t eat it. Put it on something else, add something to it, and I can usually eat it, no problem. Even in brownies or as cake. Fine. But plain? My stomach just turns.

Every few years, I tell myself this dislike is just in my mind. That surely if I tried some really good chocolate, I would like it. I mean, who doesn’t like chocolate?

But nope. I can’t even make it through a square. I have to spit it out and rinse my mouth.

I can see you rolling your eyes. But alas, there it is. Now I personally don’t mind so much, but my husband bemoans holidays such as Valentine’s Day for this reason.

Being the sensitive, amazing husband that he is, he wants to do something nice for me for Valentine’s Day . . . nothing expensive, but something to show me how much he adores my fantabulous awesomeness, 😉 BUT, here’s his dilemma:

Chocolate is so out.

Flowers die (that’s from me not him). Not that I’d hate flowers, of course. But they die. And then I have dead flowers that I forget to throw away, sitting in a vase with brown, crusty water. And who want brown, crusty water?

I’m a plant killer. Black thumb. (At the moment this is literal, too, since my kids played with markers today. Big mistake.) Then I have a plant with brown wilted leaves and flowers that I FEEL GUILTY throwing away because it’s like hiding the body. Plantocide. I keep thinking, if I add water it’ll come back to life. Maybe if you’re a plant whisperer. But otherwise it just creates mold. Just so you know.

I don’t like jewelery. Yeah, I know. . . . diamonds are a girl’s best friend and all that, but no. I don’t even remember to wear my wedding ring.

Clothes would work if only he understood my complicated sense of style. (“These jeans may be the same brand, cut, and size, but don’t you notice the different shading of dark blue?!”)

Gift cards are too impersonal (his thoughts, not mine).

And what does that leave? So really, that’s what I’m asking you. What do you suggest as a perfect Valentine’s gift?

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