Who Needs Hottie Boyfriends and Furniture That Isn’t Stolen From Dumpsters When You Have Love and Approval?

Growing up, I was never one of those girls who dreaded Valentine’s Day because I always knew that I’d get a valentine. Every morning on February 14th, I’d walk down the stairs to find a card, and when I was older a box of chocolates, sitting at my place on the kitchen table. My Dad continued this tradition long after my sister and I left the house- sending us Valentine’s Day care packages in university. Then cards stuffed with thoughtful notes and something special when we became adults. Love was a given, it was unconditional. A hunky escort to the movies with a hot car on that day? Well, that was a bonus.

I played sports only once, but long before then, my Dad was always on my team, sitting in my corner, rooting for me. After university, when my peers were applying to prestigious graduate programs and medical schools, I chose to be an underpaid performer at Walt Disney World. My Dad was the first one to stand up and applaud my decision. My father laughed heartily when I told him that the Disney recruiter had asked whether I didn’t want to do something bigger and better with my life. From the time I was small, I have received my father’s support. It’s a key element of my freight train like momentum whenever I get an idea in my head.

While the love my father shows me and the confidence that his constant approval has built are some of the best parts of my Dad, undoubtedly my favourite quality of my his is the way he reserves judgment. In university, I dated a pot smoking, PHISH loving, wisp of a man. My parents hated him. Incidentally, the PHISH lover’s parents hated me too and were quite vocal about it. But I never had any idea of my father’s feelings. It was only through my Mom that I discovered my Dad’s words about the break up – “Good, now that nice young man who’s been hanging around will have a shot.” I loved that my Dad respected all of my choices, even the ones he didn’t agree with.

So on this day, when everyone is buying the men in their life lawn mowers and power saws, I hope each of you are lucky enough to have a person like my Dad. I’m a stronger, more confident person for having him as a parent. After the men in your lives open their cement mixer or running shoes, make sure to tell them why they’re special because there’s nothing in this world quite like a Dad.

 

Dad, in case you missed the hint in the last paragraph, I didn’t buy you a gift. I got my thriftiness from your mother. This post is your gift. It won’t keep you quite as warm as a portable space heater but last I checked; your furnace is working fine. What can I say? You’re lucky to have me. But not quite as lucky as I am to have you.

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Armpits, Ponies and Mystical Training Bras : The Unsent Cards of Valentine’s Day Past – The Countdown Continues

My family’s nickname for me is “bitey-scratchy” because supposedly I can be difficult to get along with. It was more of a concern when I was younger because allegedly childhood and school are about socialization and learning to be nice to people. Lucky for me, school systems gave up holding people back otherwise I might have spent many a year in kindergarten for being a unsocialable curmudgeon.

I loved this post because it contained elements of that as well as the timeless experience of having to give Valentines to people you don’t actually like or know well. Only one more day of the countdown to my three year blogiversary.

A Heartfelt Valentine

I can’t remember not knowing Nadine*. She’s a family friend that’s been around for so long that she leaped the hurdle of friend and became family. When pushed to describe our relationship we say “mother-aunt” because she is as close as an aunt but she has stepped in to play the role of mother when mine was unavailable. In high school, when I was learning to drive and would get lost returning from the corner store, if my own parents didn’t pick up when I needed directions, I would call Nadine’s house, hoping to hear her soothing tones while frantically searching for missed turns. Her poor husband, Nadine raised two wonderful boys, both of them thoughtful, organized gentleman, while I was a whirling dervish of chaos and even harder to deal with when flustered, sometimes Nadine’s other half would answer the phone. During those fast paced conversations where I would shriek cross streets into the speaker of my cell, demanding when I should turn, it was difficult to say who was more confused by the call, me or Nadine’s soft spoken husband who was accustomed to his calm, mature boys.

Nadine is a person who is set to “warm”. No matter the topic, she has an interested question to ask. In conversations with her, you feel important and valued. It’s a quality I strive and fail to channel. Both of Nadine’s boys have her wry, quick sense of humour; it adds spice to every conversation. Today, on this day that is traditionally reserved for passionate couple love, I challenge you to find someone who has loved you all your life, to send some gratitude and warmth to.

To : Nadine

Happy Valentine’s Day. Yours is among the voices that I hear in my heart, one of the people that no matter how old I am, truly understands and knows me. I value my relationship with you so much. I’ve always felt this way, on weekends when our families would tour gardens together and the four kids; your two boys and Diana and I, would be given the option to ride in either your car or our parents’ vehicle, I would always choose yours. Sitting in the backseat as you asked me questions about school and my friends, I felt so loved. I used to imagine how it would feel to be your child all of the time. It was marvelous.

Now that I am older, I appreciate when you accompany my mom and I to our artisan shows so I can try on beautiful clothing for both my Mom and my mother-aunt. And best of all, it gives me the opportunity to listen to your sage words. You give the best advice of anyone I know.

From : The Great Unwashed

*Names have been changed to protect the identities of ones whom I hold so dear,I am want to share with the world.

We’ve Upped the Ante, Forget Days of the Week Underpants, We’re Bringing Out A Valentine For Friday

To: Friday

You’re awesome, You really should come around more. Monday seems to come by all the time. And I never invite that jerk . But seriously Friday, even when you’re the thirteenth, you bring good things like scary movies. In essence you are the cool catch all friend that everyone wants to hang around with, but always seems to have something better going on, so you leave abruptly. Luckily your closest bud Saturday isn’t too bad

Getting back to the point of this card, Friday, you are amazing, I like you, I’ve liked you since I was in grade one and refused to speak with all of the other children and the weekend was a break from being encouraged to talk to my classmates. Friday you are the signal that all day pyjamas and lounging about doing nothing starts NOW.  Which is why I’ve decided to up the ante and throw out the traditional saying “Thank God It’s Friday” for this week and cheer “Happy Valentine’s Day! It’s Friday!”

From : The Great Unwashed

Valentine From a Random

Ok I’m not a random. But I might as well be; when push comes to shove, I haven’t spoken to these people in person in well over six years. That being said, the ability to stay abreast of events in peoples’ lives whom you haven’t spoken with in years is one of the few benefits of the internet. This Valentine is for a family who I know(ish). I worked with the husband quite a bit for a couple of months and worked one memorable evening with the woman who would become his wife. Together they are quite possibly the most adorable couple I’ve seen, at well over six feet the gentle smiling man towers over his four foot eleven wife. The only thing cuter than their appearance is the warmth they obviously have for one another. It comes across even in pictures and short updates.

To : The Smiths*

Happy Awkward Valentine’s Day. I know we haven’t spoken in eons and I know that it’s early but I just wanted to say that. Your happy little (soon to be bigger) family brings me joy so I wanted to give some of that back.

I wish good things for your family. On electronic screens, I’ve watched the two of you and then the three of you move about the country, trying to find a place to call home. Though I never “Liked” any of your triumphant updates about jobs and opportunities, inwardly I cheered you on, egging the universe to bring more and better doors for your family to walk through. Because you both deserve it.

Though I only had the opportunity to perform a lot with one of you, the experience left an impression on me. Each day with that gentle giant was a reminder to always put forth my best effort, no matter what and of course to smile and be courteous (that’s one that I definitely need a reminder about). The two of you are so lovely, that when you found each other I think the world smiled. I still smile when news is shared about your lives. So Happy Valentine’s Day, may your enjoyment of that day be as great as your enjoyment of one another.

The Great Unwashed

*Names have been changed to protect the identities of innocent bystanders from my work live’s past.

There’s So Much Cheese It’s Like a Wheel of Gouda

Life has been good lately, so I decided it was time to send some thanks to the cosmos.Welcome to Day Ten of the Great Unwashed’s fourteen days of love and Valentines month.

To : The Universe

Happy Valentine’s Day. I just wanted to send you a short note to remind you how awesome you are and to thank you.

Universe, your habit of making kittens that are always cute is purrrrfect. Also when I’m in the woods, I enjoy listening to hoots of nocturnal birds. As long as you create those night-time musicals Universe, owls be yours. While we’re on the topic of animals, whenever I visit petting farms, I adore the hogs and kisses I receive from the pigs. It’s so good of you to express your affection that way.

Moving away from the topic of animals, I just wanted to say that just like Saturn, you are out of this world! I’m sure that I’m not the only one telling you this, I imagine the forests are asking in their tree voices “Wood you be mine?” In this month of love and affection I could even see inanimate objects like cars expressing positive sentiments, their tires turning safely over the snowy roads humming “I wheelie like you Universe!”

I once ate a pound of brie in one sitting. It sat in my middle like a rock-hard chunk of abdominal pain for three days, so before I give you a stomachache, I’ll end my card here by asking you one last question. Orange you glad it’s almost Valentine’s Day?

Much fondness and far too much dairy,

The Great Unwashed

An Ice Cream Cone Boob Shaped Valentine

Sorry, that title was really awkward. Almost as awkward as the set of knockers that rode around on the city buses for over two years. If bus signs can be 3-D and interactive, these totally were. The advertisement itself was for a radio station and the star sporting the rack in question was Katie Perry whose marketing people must have decided that if the Coneheads were successful than why not slap two giant pointy shapes on the popstar? Mind you they looked pretty wonky on her head so they strapped them to her chest then took a photo.

The end result (Photo Credit: lfpress.com)

The end result (Photo Credit: lfpress.com)

To Katy Perry,

Happy Valentine’s Day. No offense but I’m glad that we’re not friends, because you’d be the super hot girl and I’d be the dumpy wingman. Only exchange “super hot girl” for “person with the best costume” and “dumpy wingman” for “kid who didn’t wash his face for a week and went out calling himself a hobo”.

Katy, I picture your life as being a perpetual Halloween. On day you’re dressed all in lollipops, the next your hair is green, the day after you’re covered in sequins. Like the chubby sidekick, I just can’t keep up, I mean like any good weirdo, I have a couple of wigs in the closet but after a couple of days any rapid, different hair colour is coming out of a bottle. And that’s just too much work. Also sequins look a little weird after thirty.

That being said, I hope you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day and dress up as a candy box or possibly climb into one. I feel like that might float your boat too.

From : The Great Unwashed

P.S. My mom likes your song “Teenage Dream”, for whatever reason this creeps me out. It’s one thing to suspect your parents were wild partyers. It’s another thing to catch them jamming to music and all but reliving the ruckus days of their youth. This may explain why my mother never enforced my curfew.

Facebook Thinks I’m Fat and Lonely

Dear Facebook,

Thanks for your recent concern regarding both my love life and physical appearance. I’m not sure where your information about my dating status came from but it’s wrong. Facebook, clearly you haven’t been keeping up with my blog. It’s ok, I get it, you’re a busy social media site; it’s difficult to keep tabs on everyone.

I don’t think I’d be nearly so offended by your consistent campaign to snag me a man if the guys on the dating sites you keep advertising to me were my type, which for the record is nerdy crossed with outdoorsy, but when those advertisements are followed up with “articles” about how to lose 10 pounds FAST, I start to question whether the problem is you or me, Facebook.

However in the spirit of love which includes the act of forgiveness, I forgive you Facebook. Happy Valentine’s Day. Thank you for trying to help me; my enormous rump, Erasmus and I will be celebrating the fourteenth with Tex, my hottie hottie boyfriend. So you can ease up on the number of dating adverts I’m shown. Unless of course I start googling “How to eat an entire tub of ice cream while crying in your pyjamas over a break up” in which case you need to send me flowers on Valentine’s Day, and perhaps a personal trainer. At this point, the phrase I will most likely be googling next Saturday is “How to make homemade bacon ice cream that’s supposed to be a gift for my beau not taste like salty bike tires?”

From my heart to your electronic innards Facebook, Happy Valentine’s Day,

The Great Unwashed

Armpits, Ponies and Mystical Training Bras : The Unsent Cards of Valentine’s Day Past

Every February, without fail, I would painstakingly write out all of my classmates’ names and then sign my own on the Barbie/Ninja Turtle/ Rainbow Bright pre-cut Valentines my mother bought. It was a painstaking process. Mostly because I didn’t like the majority of the people I was giving them to. A fact that concerned my parents, “Unwashed, we’re sending you to therapy, you don’t have any friends, so you need to learn how to play nice.”

The biggest problem was that I didn’t want to play nice. However that argument didn’t work on the playground or in heart-covered, impromptu, paper bag mailboxes. So every year, I dutifully wrote out all my classmates’ names on individual tiny cards and signed my own.

Here are the Valentines I wanted to write.

Nothing says affection like crime fighting reptiles and bad puns. (Photo Credit : tumblr.com)

Nothing says affection like crime fighting reptiles and bad puns. (Photo Credit : tumblr.com)

To : Jimmy

The sound you make when you blow your nose is super gross. Also please stop putting your used Kleenexes in my desk, that’s grosser.

From : Unwashed

I never figured out whether it was dye or some sort of life threatening disorder that made the horse's mane multi-coloured. (Photo Credit ; pinterest.com)

I never figured out whether it was dye or some sort of life threatening disorder that made the horse’s mane multi-coloured. (Photo Credit: pinterest.com)

To: Janice

I like your pony bracelet. I liked it less after you beaned me with it. I hope ponies bite.

From : Unwashed

To: Joshua

My feelings for you are ambivalent- my mom made me write this card.

From : Unwashed

Poor Josh, he didn't even warrant a brand name card. Only I would have crossed out the love and wrote "from". Don't want to give him any ideas. (Photo Credit : ivillage.ca)

Poor Josh, he didn’t even warrant a brand name card. Also I would have crossed out the “love” and written “from”- wouldn’t want to give him any ideas. (Photo Credit : ivillage.ca)

To : Ainsley

I noticed you wear a training bra. Is this because you have breasts? How did you grow them? Please send me instructions.

From : Unwashed

To : Damien

Farting with your armpits is only funny sometimes. You don’t seem to understand this based on the daily fake flatulence symphonies our class is treated to.

From : Unwashed

I would have added the words "Once a week, maybe twice but only when pretend to fart the flight of the bumblebee." (Photo Credit : pinterest.com)

I would have added the words “Once a week, maybe twice but only when you pretend to fart the flight of the bumblebee.” (Photo Credit : pinterest.com)

To : Jordan

You scare me. Sometimes I wish that a piano will fall on you. All the other times I run when I see you coming.

From : Unwashed

My eight year old thought process "I'm not sure whether the Power Ranger tattoo with make Jordan more or less scary. At least this one is temporary, however that is one kid that is destined to be covered in ink." (Photo Credit : blog.samuraicast.com)

My eight year old thought process “I’m not sure whether this Power Ranger tattoo will make Jordan more scary or less scary. At least this tattoo is temporary, however that is one kid who  is destined to be covered with ink.” (Photo Credit : blog.samuraicast.com)

To : Austin

I like you. I think our wedding should be teddy bear themed.

From : Unwashed

After three sessions I decided I liked talking to the therapist even less than the kids at school, so I cut a deal with my parents that I would make friends if I didn’t have to go to therapy anymore. I think this process wouldn’t have gone nearly as well had I expressed my true sentiments through my Valentine cards.

The Infamous “Furry” Post

A couple of days ago I joked on Facebook that one of my love letter posts was going to be about furries. Though my next Valentine is for someone with fur, it thankfully is not about people dressing up as hedgehogs and bumping uglies because that would get me into a lot of trouble with my Aunty Camelia* “Hey! Do you mind? This is a family blog.”

Dear Whiskey,**

You are the nicest, best cat that I’ve ever met in the whole wide world. I think this might be because you are not actually a cat. Your adorable, stubby tail gives you a bear-like appearance so you might be a Bearcat, in which case, I have amazing news- there’s a song written about you. However your habit of meeting me at the door when I arrive home leads me to believe that you might actually be a dog. Whiskey, your assumption that everyone wants to pet you further supports this theory. It’s as though every hour I spend at home is snuggle o’clock. What’s even better is that when I’ve had a rough day, you seem to sense this and up the cuddle ante by trying to share tiny chairs with me. We’re both going to pretend you don’t do this solely to eat my dinner. Again, you might be a dog.

I must confess though, your insistent need to clean me, makes me think you are in fact a cat. Or at the very least have OCD. I’ve never known another animal to painstakingly scrub my hands and sometimes my face with their tongue. This is partially why I won’t allow you to sleep in my room- I fear waking up, to you restyling my hair after your kitty senses conclude that it is too dirty.

Whiskey, my lovable friend, even your bad habits are endearing; the way you wash your dirty paws in the toilet after hunting mice in the dirt floored basement? So cute. Almost as cute as the muddy footprints you leave all over the bathtub afterwards. We won’t even touch on how amusing it is that you also bathe your filthy paws in people’s drinking glasses. A fact I learned only after living with you for two months. Whiskey, I also believe that “a peck of dirt never hurt”, that being said, I didn’t actually intend to consume a whole peck, you’ve helped me with that significantly. Regardless of how much soil you have me unintentionally imbibing, I love you Whiskey and to show this I shall do something special.

Seeing as you’ve eaten all the mice that once called this heritage house home, (And worked off the accompanying weight gain that eating an entire colony of rodents causes. Good job by the way.) for Valentine’s Day, I shall invite the furry pets from the neighbouring houses to come party here. You’re welcome.

The Great Unwashed

This post is dedicated to my roommate, owner and fellow lover of Whiskey. But only because Whiskey can’t read.

*Names have been changed to protect the identities of family members who are regular readers, the rest of you – take heed; I could spill the beans on that awkward family picnic and publish your real name if you don’t start reading my blog yesterday. Actually last month- look in the archives.

**Names have been changed because Whiskey is so lovely and unique that he’s almost a person and I change people’s names on this blog.