Love Through The Xbox

I'm straddling the fence when it comes to Valentines day. Which, to be crude, because why not, will likely be the only straddling down this commercial holiday. I can't decide if I love it or loathe it.

My husband, bless his cotton socks, has done his best with my ambivalence about V-day. He's taken the middle road, the high road, the low road and every path in between.

This year, he's taken no road at all since he's stuck in a three-day workshop and all but forgotten what day it is. I'm okay with this. I've grown. We've been together almost 22 years, married for almost 16 and I no longer judge my value to him by the size of the box of chocolates he buys at the gas station for me.

Our romance runs deeper than that.

Like if he'll accept my game invitation when playing Call of Duty online. That's love, people.

My Valentine

 Jumby's Valentine to his father and I this morning. 

Fun fact: I dumped my husband on Feb. 10 when we were 16 years old because I wanted to avoid Valentines day. I still liked Boo but I didn't have a gift for him and I wasn't sure if his older brother was going to let him see me that day and I was just kind of over dating drama. So I dumped him. AND BROKE HIS HEART.

That decision, made as an immature, scared 16 year old has come back to haunt me more times than not in our long history together.

It turns out, older siblings have long memories when they see their baby brother heart broken and oh, there's nothing quite like giving your husband leverage for the rest of your lives together.

"Oh hey Tanis, remember that time you dumped me out of the blue, broke my heart and killed romance all because you didn't want to get off your duff to buy a two dollar Hallmark card for the boy who wanted to give you the moon? Ya. Good times."

He's forgiven me but he will never ever let me forget, either. It's a Taylor Swift song just begging to be written.

Yet, I can't just roll my eyes and write off Valentines day as an old married cynic either.

This year, I get to witness Valentines day through a new filter.

I'm watching my 16-year-old daughter go through her first Valentines day with an actual Valentine contender. Puppy love is contagious, as Abbott will confirm, but there really is something magical about young love, and hope and joy.

It's all so innocent.

Of course, it may all crash and burn on her in a few hours and thus another Valentine's cynic is born, but for right now, with all her blushing and school girl giggling, I'm able to experience this holiday in a way that I was too scared to do myself, all those years ago.

I'm not going to closely examine what it says about my life that I'm living vicariously through my children's teenage lives.


I'm just going to wrap myself in the knowledge that I am, in fact, so incredibly lucky to have loved as well as I have and I'm going to hope that my children love just as well. Regardless of how any of their Valentines days turn out.

As for my Valentines day, well I'm going to steal any candy my kids may receive, pour myself a glass of wine and see if I can't connect with my husband via the Xbox.

Nothing says love like kicking his arse in a game of violence.


Four years ago, my husband and I gave received the best Valentines present ever:

Our Valentine

We love you kid.

Fifteen Years

15 years ago I stood across from a young man and promised to spend the rest of my life with him.

He was really good looking. He still is.

I was really pregnant and just thrilled to know I wouldn't be knee deep in babies all by myself. Misery loves company and all that. It still does.

My daughter recently asked me how I knew her dad was the ONE. The man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. My response? I didn't really know. But what I did know was the idea of spending the rest of my life without him in it beside me was completely unacceptable.

It still is.

I wanted to compose a beautiful essay about how much I love him but it turned out I only really needed a few words.

I love you B. Still, always and likely forever.

And I still can't ever imagine what my life would look like without you in it, right beside me.

Happy fifteenth B.

Spousal Wishes on a Birthday

I don’t have any idea when we first met. None what so ever. You’ve always been a constant in my life, thanks to our fathers’ friendship. You have simply always been.

I remember you as a boy with feathered hair and a grimy face, wearing an orange and brown striped tee shirt and dirty jeans.

I remember you as a flirtatious teen wearing blue denim and a smear of grease on your cheek.

I remember the way you rocked our first born to sleep while holding her in the palm of your oversized hand. And the way you tossed our babies up into the sky to hear them squeal with delight.

I remember the way you looked when you slept beside our Shale, the two of you snoring softly.

And I know I’ll always remember the image of you holding Jumbster as the two of you sit on the couch and yell “Goooo!” at the hockey players on the television screen.

You haven’t changed much in the lifetime I’ve known you. Yes, you’ve grown taller, and seemingly you sprouted whiskers and chest hair over night. But besides the crinkles in the corner of your eyes and a pound or two around the waist, you are still the same boy I once knew and fell in love with. You are still generous and kind; mischievous and good natured; intelligent and irritatingly rational.

You are still my Boo. And no matter how you age I will always see you as the young man I fell in love with so very long ago.

Happy 37th. I love you. Still. Always. Forever.

14 years ago. When we were babies raising babies.