Just another rambling fool at WordPress.com

Oh, And It’s V-Day Too!




A lovely Valentine’s Day scene.

Unfortunately, this photo was taken in October!


On another note, it’s my birthday. Yup. I was blessed with being born on a Hallmark Holiday. Back when I was a kid, greeting card holidays weren’t so over-the-top commercialized. Now they just make me gag. I’ve always hated being born on Valentine’s Day. During my elementary (primary) school days I was thoroughly embarrassed by it and cringed at the, “And it’s Cheryl’s birthday, too!” announcement that was always the tag line at every V-Day party event. It scarred me for life. To this day I still can’t entertain the thought of doing anything remotely party-ish to celebrate my birthday.

I also have an aversion to anything heart-shaped, red, or cherry-flavored, which is an ongoing joke I share with one of my sisters. Knowing I’d been the recipient of one too many hear-shaped, red, cherry-flavored birthday cakes, my sister sent me a heart-shaped baking pan, a box of cherry flavored cake mix and a can of pink frosting for my 50th birthday. She cracks me up, but no, I did not bake that cake!  As a thoroughly committed Tom-boy since birth, I remain to this day appropriately appalled by the girly-girlishness of Valentine’s Day. I find it nauseating.

From a commercial standpoint, having a Valentine’s Day birthday is a big rip-off. I’m never sure if I’m getting something because it’s a V-day present or a birthday present. And the fact that it’s an over-hyped “holiday” means it doesn’t take very much imagination to find an “acceptable” gift. Flowers? Check. Candy? Check. Are those birthday presents or Valentine’s Day presents? I can never tell. Many years ago I got engaged on Valentine’s Day. Or was that my Birthday present? See? I’m still confused! Want to have an impromptu dinner out to celebrate my birthday? Forget it. Mother’s Day aside, V-day is the most heavily booked ‘holiday’ at most restaurants, which pretty much negates the spontaneity of that idea. And besides, nothing says “you’re special”  on your birthday like eating dinner surrounded by twenty or thirty other couples trying to express the same sentiments … for a different reason.

Most of my birthday cards are actually Valentine’s Day cards with “Happy Birthday!” cleverly penned into the greeting somewhere. Less creative (or rushed) folks  just X out the Valentine’s Day reference and substitute “Birthday” after the word “Happy” Yeah. That says “special” like nothing else! And every year on my special day I have to go out and find a gift and a card for that special someone in my life. I can’t ever really have my “own” special day. Not even if I want to. Because thanks to Hallmark, I’ll come off looking like some kind of heartless bitch if I don’t get something for my sweetie on Valentine’s Day. Yes, it’s so nice to have to share every single birthday with someone else.

So heart-shaped cakes, jewelry and other V-Day tchatchkes aside, what would I really like for my birthday? Well the things that always hover at the top the list really can’t be given. Less (physical) pain. Good health. No more hot flashes. Dogs that don’t bark and carry on every time the alarm clock goes off. A phone that holds a charge for more than an hour. A husband who doesn’t work 13-hour days and 6 hours on Saturday just because. Family members who nurture and support each other in spite of different opinions or remote locations. (And that goes for both sides of my extended family!) The gift of being able to give more love and less judgement. Gosh, I could use two of those!

On a more practical level, I’d like a coffee carafe that doesn’t pee all over my counter every time I pour a cup of coffee or fill the water reservoir. (Who engineered that?) I’d love some new music. I exhausted my workout repertoire ten years ago. If money grew on trees, I’ve had my eye on a new camera lens for the better part of six months. And I’d love to send my horse for more training. But that’s all just wishful thinking.

Basically, there’s nothing I really want or need for my birthday. I’m at that stage where I’m cutting back, not trying to add to the consumption of stuff.  Plus, I strongly believe in not sitting around waiting for someone to figure out what you want. If you truly want something baldy enough, then go out and pursue it yourself. So that being said, I’m starting piano lessons next week! Ha … if mom was still alive I bet she’d be thrilled … and she’d probably make me a pink, cherry-flavored, heart-shaped cake just to celebrate!

12 responses

  1. First, what a great picture with the sunlight catching the top of the snow-laden trees. Lovely.

    Second, having read your post I’m not sure whether to wish you a Happy Birthday (the day I happen to believe is the most important day of the year…when it’s my birthday, that is), Happy Valentine’s Day, or perhaps a simple: “Here’s hoping you have a very fine Tuesday, Cheryl.”

    That said, Happy Birthday, Cheryl. And I was thrilled to hear you’ll be taking piano lessons. I believe I mentioned to you I began taking piano lessons a few years ago and I am having a blast! As you might imagine, I’m wishing I’d started 55 years ago, but no worries, it’s so much fun to say, “Here’s the piece I’ve always wanted to play” and then, after learning how to play it, offering up, “But no. Wait. This other piece is the one I want to learn to play.” I bet you’re going to love making music.

    Again, great picture and enjoy the day, sans heart-shaped cherries.

    February 14, 2012 at 11:34 AM

    • Thanks for the Birthday wishes! I’m excited to see if the piano lessons are something I enjoy. Since my mother was a music major, all of us were dutifully enrolled in piano lessons at a young age. I stuck with it (often under the threat of death if I didn’t practice) until my early teens, when I pretty much ditched anything that required any fortitude or persistence. I should have kept at it. Time will tell if anything ‘stuck” or not! I’ll let you know!

      February 16, 2012 at 10:15 AM

  2. Like it or not, facts are facts and everyone must celebrate their special day even if it is just for a moment.
    Happy Birthday, hope it is truly an amazing day for you.
    Thanks for posting such Awesome photo’s.


    February 14, 2012 at 12:16 PM

    • Yup, you’re right … another year older! Glad you like the pictures. I like the snow much better when it’s just in a photo!

      February 16, 2012 at 10:16 AM

  3. Ouch – obviously a lifelong sore point!
    So here’s a present for your birthday. In France, people used to celebrate their saint’s name day more than their actual birthday and still do even though saints’ names are less popular and it’s usual to go for the nearest sounding name. As Cheryl is unusual in France (though apparently there are several hundred!) the nearest name to go for is Cerise for Cherry. Couldn’t find any similar sounding saints, but, the French Revolution threw out the Gregorian Calender and the saints and for a few years used the Revolutionary Calender, when they renamed days, months, etc …..after the natural world; long story short your name day this year is 19th June (it changes every year, but there are conversion charts should you want to go with this crazy idea). Well if the Queen (of UK) can have an official birthday ……! I like the idea, as I’m stuck with Halloween, but my saint’s day is in July – and my mother loathed being at Christmas and made a huge deal of making sure there were carefully demarcated celebrations; she was always muttering darkly about choosing an “official birthday” in the summer – I wish she had. Hey, it’s a winter evening, I had time on my hands..! “Happy Birthday” all the same.

    February 14, 2012 at 1:34 PM

    • OK, so I have to try to remember to bake a cake and lift a toast on June 19th! That’s only a couple of months away, so perhaps I’ll have a shot at remembering that! The French might be on to something! Thanks for the well-wishes!

      February 16, 2012 at 10:19 AM

  4. I hope you have a very wonderful birthday!!! I was just saying today I thought it would be neat to be a “love child” ❤ born on Valentine's Day, I guess I am sadly mistaken…. 😦

    February 14, 2012 at 2:44 PM

    • Yeah, I don’t know about the “Love child” notoriety. It’s kinda over-rated! I mean, my poor mother ended up having to spend one V-day in the hospital and all the ones after that making sure her daughter has a nice birthday. I think she got ripped off too! Thanks for the well-wishes!

      February 16, 2012 at 10:21 AM

  5. LOVE this, pic & blog, and not just ’cause I’m supposed to be today!!! Excited you’ll be taking piano, I can hear mom tapping out the rhythm already…and I can smell cherry cake baking too….. YUM!
    Hope your day way event-less! LOVE you!

    February 14, 2012 at 9:16 PM

    • Cherry cake NOT!!! But yeah, I have way too many memories of Mom standing at the kitchen sink or making dinner while I practiced and calling out, “You’re not playing that right!!!” Grrrrr! Good times! (For her too, I bet!) Love you too, and glad you dropped by!

      February 16, 2012 at 10:24 AM

  6. What a lovely pic- from the Halloween blizzard? Happy, happy birthday. I’m excited that you’re taking piano lessons!

    February 14, 2012 at 10:01 PM

    • Oh yeah. Gotta love Halloween blizzards in New England. Sheesh. Thanks for taking a few minutes out of your insane schedule to drop by!

      February 16, 2012 at 10:26 AM

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