Monday, February 9, 2009

Continued crock pot adventures/Valentine's lament

Since adding the second boy to our clan, I've been the lame-o bringing Costco chips and hummus to every single potluck playdate we attend. It's all I can possibly manage, and it almost throws me over the edge to even get that together. My humble offering always pales in comparison to the beautiful and creative homemade treats filling the smorgasbord table. 

But not today. For our Valentine's themed playdate I got to proudly use my new "Little Dipper" mini-crock pot warmer that came with the big kahuna I purchased at Costco last week. Damn have I turned into a cheeseball. But I was so excited to use it. Consulting the handy dandy user's guide and cookbook, I threw together a mean little bean dip that could stand proudly next to the homemade quiches, biscuits and banana cakes. 

After grazing and gabbing, I got to make Valentines for my mother and my husband. One of our fantastic mommies brought all of her sumptuous card-making/scrapbooking supplies for us to use. I quickly crafted a valentine for my mother, then hesitated on one for my husband, flashing back to his underwhelmed response to last year's handmade card. I stalled staring at the gorgeous glittery papers wondering if I should even bother making him a card again this year...

(((sigh))) How sad am I? ... being in a new-baby-challenged marriage with Valentine's Day approaching - trying to pretend I don't care Valentine's Day is coming? Trying to talk myself out of caring whether husbandman does anything for me. And if he does it will probably just be a hasty, duty-driven stop at Vons for a token mylar balloon that's been looming overhead for weeks anyway. And I can't eat sugar so you don't have to bother with a last minute box of chocolates. And I know you don't really want to have to do anything anyway, so really don't bother and let's just pretend this whole damn holiday isn't approaching.

At this point, poor husbandman can't win for losing. 

But of course I really do want Valentine's day to come. And I of course want him to be premeditating some incredible escape for two in which he whisks me off to a beautiful place where we sip Pinot Grigio and nibble smoked gouda while holding hands lazing on big cushioned outdoor couches under the stars next to a fireplace while listening to a live flamenco quartet. (The place is called La Estancia, and it is to die for in my opinion.) Oh to feel his big strong hand want to hold mine would be heaven. And for a long time. Not just the half-minute before the next baby duty demanded two-handed handling. But to intentionally be holding my hand without anything else to do but hold  my hand in his... this simple pleasure would be a Valentine treat beyond balloons, chocolates and flowers.

A friend (you know who you are) relayed to me that none of this matters to a man - all the "romance" is for women only. I believe that. I really do. But this is not me as a single woman fantasizing about how to lead into the perfect fantasy sex with the perfect fantasy man. Rather this is me as a whole woman, a whole wife, a whole mother needing to feel beauty between us. Needing a small magical moment of re-bonding, a re-affirmation of our commitment to one another outside of our all-consuming parental duties. And I don't need this to happen on a regular bi-weekly date night just yet. (I can just hear our marriage counselor reiterating this marriage-saving must.) Just one sweet Valentine date could get a lot of mileage for now. And of course I know that Vday is a totally commercially driven fabrication - but it is my culture and it is real... 

So I made him the card. And I packed up the boys and the almost-empty Little Dipper and drove home through the wind and rain remembering a mere 4 Valentine's Days ago when I was lonely as hell driving through the pouring rain in LA to attend a singles mixer in a cheesy hotel ballroom. Then I snapped back to my husbands' words this morning, "Drive carefully Mommy. It's dangerous out there." And I felt his love for me fill me all the way up again. At least for today. 

But come Saturday... 


  1. That's sweet! My husband isn't the romantical type, but it's some of the random things he says that are the mushiest. I have had to learn to look for little comments in the everyday jargon that really mean something.

  2. Oh great!! Does this mean I'm going to be the only one not bringing homemade, fresh from frickin' Martha Stewart's kitchen goodies?! Damn it Rachel, I mean, your bean dip WAS pretty damn good (in fact, I wished I'd had more before you absconded with it!) but seriously, I feel a little abandoned, the last, lone member of the "store bought" club. Sort of like in 10th grade, when the itty bitty titty committee was left with no one but... me! Whatever.

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  4. I have no idea what Mark is talking about.