The Valentine’s Post

I don’t remember what I was doing a year ago tomorrow, or two years ago yesterday, but because our culture tells us that TODAY is important, I remember what I was doing.

Two years ago, I went on a low-key date and the next day celebrated the Valentine’s Day holiday for real with a man who I thought was going to propose and the thought made me want to puke.

Last year, I went out with Rebel and we had a huge fight, which he thought was just another fight, but opened the door allowing me to fully pull off the band-aid of that relationship, leaving him a little stunned.

I went back and looked at my posts from last year at this time (totally a good reason in itself to keep up with blogging) and holy shit, I kind of treated poor Rebel like crap. He thought we were Facebook status-ready and I was dating whoever, whenever I wanted and actively trying to meet new guys!

We’ve been talking recently and I really feel bad for him because he tells me he misses me and other things that make me realize that “relationship” was so much bigger to him than it was to me and it’s such a reminder that I’ve been on that side of unbalanced relationships before , which on one hand makes me think I need to get over them, but on the other hand, I’m all about feeling my feelings and if that’s how I felt about them, that’s okay.

I am over those past relationships and I guess I’m just trying to figure out where my relationship with Lucky falls in the spectrum of balanced/unbalanced relationships.  At different times, for different reasons, it feels like both. 

When I think of these last two “boyfriends”  I’ve spent VDay with, I remember that they were volatile relationships with real fighting.  Lucky and I have had our ups and downs, but it’s never been because we don’t like each other or are mad at one another or someone has done something the other didn’t like.  Our ups and downs are because we’re future-thinking and see trouble ahead because of family issues (well, he does anyway). 

So, right now we’re up.  Last week, what was, I suppose, meant to be a booty call turned into a talk…a good talk, a catch-up talk and then a talk about where we’ve been and where we’re going.  We didn’t even get down and dirty at all.  It was what we needed. 

And now? We’re dating.  We’re hanging out.  We’re having fun.  That was the essence that got us off to such a great start and we’re getting back to all of that. 

And because we reconciled right before this cliché holiday, I’m kinda all about it.  We’re low-keying it tonight and doing an official celebration next weekend.


If You Really Love Christmas…

…you should probably stop reading right now. 

Disclaimer! I’m not a grinch, swearsies.  I like Christmas!  I like Christmas smells, Christmas socks, Fa-La-La-La-Lifetime movies, Christmas goodies.  But, for some reason this post came out with a bit of a negative spin.  Why pretend I’m dancing around with the ladies and leaping with the lords if I’m not? 

Shortly after Thanksgiving,  I was trying to get my sister to nail down her Christmas plans because she and her fiance try to coordinate multiple families and celebrations, so we plan around her.  She skated the question and then two days later I got a handmade invite to her house for Christmas. 

There are three reasons I went all bratty little sister on her for this:  1. She obviously knew what she was plotting, but didn’t want to acknowledge it because she would rather 2. passive aggressively 3. hijack Christmas. 

I get WHY she’s hijacking Christmas.  She’s trying to create her own Christmas traditions and she’s taking a stand.  The invite was basically like, this is what we’re doing and if our families would like to see us on this family holiday, you will get your asses in the folding chairs gathered around our poker table that is awkwardly placed kind of in the dining room, kind of in the living room and covered in a red plastic cloth. 

Oh, and you will bring whatever lame dishes I assign to you.  I got hot appetizer and rolls.  A.  She spit out the hot app I brought to Thanksgiving because it had cayenne in it and it literally was hot.  I like spice and my Artichoke Bites recipe I found for this weekend has it too.  Just remember, dear sister, you signed me up for it.  B.  She makes awesome rolls.  She has a honey crescent recipe that she lovingly makes from scratch using her fancy breadmaker.  I bought frozen rolls, two bags for $5, at Fry’s.  And they’re wheat because I’m healthy like that, even though no one else in attendance is.  Again, you signed me up for it.

I claimed to be “over” this issue with my sister before, but apparently, there may be some lingering resentment. 

I’m excited for Christmas, but not EXCITED like I was for Thanksgiving.  There will be food, family and of course, forced family fun, but I think Christmas in the traditional sense is for the kiddos and we have none in the family, so our celebrations have tempered and that’s okay.

I’m sure I’ll be snorting candy canes of Christmas glee as the day gets closer, presents arrive and get wrapped and treats are made while watching A Boyfriend for Christmas  (a Fa-La-La-La-Lifetime movie) and probably Love Actually (collective sigh for the part where the adorable Brit holds up the signs at Kiera Knightley’s door). 

But for now, I’m stuck working for the week despite having the attention span of a chipmunk.  And my tummy hurts, making my inner hypochondriac assume I’ll be laid up with the stomach flu until the new year and I’m mostly upset about how that would effect my training schedule.  I should not be allowed in public when I’m cranky.

Thanksgiving Traditions

[I shared this Thanksgiving post on The Coupon Project’s Thanksgiving Mr. Linky…did you share yours?]

We’re shaking up our Thanksgiving traditions a bit this year in the Jaye household, but not too much.  Mostly it just means welcoming more people to our usually very small celebration…my parents, my sister, her fiance, his parents and potentially his sister + potentially her boyfriend. Surprise, surprise, Em is the seventh or ninth wheel. What else is new?

We’ve actually been shaking up our traditions ever since my sister and I moved out of the house because growing up means more responsibilities, obligations and other distractions.  I’ve had to work on Thanksgiving, my sister has had to work on Thanksgiving, our parents have traveled and we’ve had Thanksgiving on a Sunday, one wonderful Thanksgiving, we had a three-course meal at a lovely little trattoria in Italy.

But, traditions are traditions damn it and when I think of our Thanksgiving traditions I think of: 

Cranberry Orange Bread.   My parents are of the mindset that on Thanksgiving you eat the Thanksgiving meal, usually around two or three o’clock and that’s it.  Maybe around seven or eight it might be time for more dessert or a mini-plate.  Little ones can’t NOT eat all day until two or three, so we would always wake up to freshly made cranberry orange bread.  Yes, it was from a box (obviously, there were much more important things to be making from scratch) so it’s not anything special, but any other time, it would be blueberry muffins, but COB is for Thanksgiving.

Please excuse the diatribe on healthy eating + Thanksgiving that follows…

I realize now this is actually pretty unhealthy.  It sets the precedent that it’s okay to starve yourself if you’re going to binge later. And that it’s okay to binge.  Thanksgiving is a meal of relatively healthy, at least more natural and wholesome foods than most of America eats on a daily basis.  That will not do for Americans.  They find a way to make this wholesome food unhealthy – marshmallows in sweet potatoes, deep-fried turkey, and A LOT of EVERYTHING. 

Even if the food is delicious, who really likes to feel STUFFED afterward? No one. That’s who.

Eat like a normal person, eat a normal breakfast, eat enough at “the big meal” to taste everything and feel satisfied and have leftovers to enjoy again. They’re just as good the next time around. Enjoy the people you are with.

Forced Family Fun.  Everything about Thanksgiving screams forced family fun, which sounds worse than it actually is.  I love my family and enjoy spending time with them, but during requisite events, I have no choice but to enjoy it.

Hiking.  We used to hike every Thanksgiving morning. I hated it. Now I’d love to get my family out there. My mom will be too concerned with making everything perfect, even though our guests are just as relaxed as we are, like us and are mostly stuck with us at this point. My dad might not be healthy enough for it and I don’t want to be the one responsible for trotting him around a mountain trail to find out. Oh, and my sister will no doubt have popped the champagne upon waking up, okay, maybe she’ll wait until she’s at least showered, but drinking and hiking just don’t mix.

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  I love it.  I don’t think anyone else in my family does.  I sneak it on the TV.

Ignoring football.  Hate the Cowboys.  Enough said. (I find it funny that I managed to work in my distaste for America’s football team in back-to-back posts.  Go me.)

Being banished from the kitchen.  I’m the baby of the family and I’m just not as into food as the rest of my family is, so generally I get designated as the table setter.  I think last year I got to put the rolls in the oven.  This year we’re doing a quasi-potluck and I’ve been put in charge of appetizers.  I’m pretty sure they’re expecting a cheese tray and a bag of baby carrots.  Little do they know I’ll actually be busting out a smoked salmon and creme fraiche hors d’oeuvre and stuffed mushrooms!

Board Games.  Again, this might be just a me thing, but with even more participants this year, I am so making this part of the forced family fun.

T-minus four days.  Can’t wait!