My Valentine Is Bigger Than Yours

It happens every year, on pretty much every occasion—I get outdone by Ken. It’s bad enough that I have a terrible memory and Ken writes EVERYTHING down:

Ken: Guess what day it is today??!!
Me: Oh, god, no. What day is it?
Ken: It’s the 33rd year anniversary of our third date! Here, I got you a little something…
Me: Sigh.

But it’s worse on the major occasions. We’ve been married for almost 32 years, and Valentine’s Day is no longer a big deal. Of course, when we were first dating, and then married, it was a week long celebration of our love, complete with red roses, special dinners, and flirtatious lingerie, and let me tell you, Ken looks wonderful in boxer shorts decorated in hearts. After a while though, as it does, the excitement died down a little. Twenty years in, it became less of a surprise and more of a competition, which Ken inevitably won:

Ken: Is it OK if I drop you off at the grocery store? I went to three different places yesterday, and I can’t find the thing I want to get you for Valentine’s Day.
Me: What? You don’t have to get me anything. It’s not a big deal.
Ken: No, I have this thing in mind. You’re really going to like it.
Me: All I got you was some chocolate…
Ken: That’s OK. I just want to get you something special. Do you want to know what it is?
Me: Um…OK?
Ken: It’s a digital picture frame!
Me: But that’s really expensive. All I got you was chocolates.
Ken: But you’re worth it. Don’t worry about it.

On that Valentine’s Day, he presented me a beautiful digital frame so I could have pictures of him, Kate, and all kinds of flowers, clouds, fences, and trees that I could look at while I was working. But I won in the end though:

Me: Here’s your chocolate. AND YOUR CARD.
Ken: Oh no! I forgot to get you a card. I’m so sorry.
Me (a little smugly): That’s OK. The present was enough. Don’t worry about it.

In recent years, it’s been a little hit and miss—sometimes we just have a great dinner; other times Ken gives me something special and I get outdone once again, and I can never predict what’s going to happen. So this year I decided to nip the whole thing in the bud and announced last week, “Here’s what we’re doing for Valentine’s Day. I’m going to buy you chocolate and you’re going to buy me wine. No cards. Cards are a waste of money, and we just throw them away now anyway.” Ken agreed.

Then, the day before Valentine’s Day, I had completely forgotten about it, and I was driving home from work when it hit me that I had nothing to give him in the morning. Luckily, the local liquidation store was open until 6, so I drove there quickly and grabbed him some delicious gifts—a giant peanut butter cup AND a more pricey tin of Bailey’s filled chocolates. I was feeling pretty good about everything, so the next morning while he was at work, I put them on the counter with a piece of scrap paper that I had lovingly drawn a heart on in crayon. When he came home, I dragged him over to show him his presents:

Ken: I have your present in the car, chilling. I’ll just go and get it.
Me: Ooh!

And he brought in not one, but THREE bottles of wine. I was flabbergasted. Outdone once AGAIN!.  And then he said, “Oh, hang on, I forgot your card!” He ran upstairs with me yelling behind him, “We said no cards!!”

“It’s okay,” he reassured me. “It’s just a piece of paper with a heart drawn on it. I mean it’s bigger than yours and more card-shaped….”

Outdone, indeed, but my heart was drawn more symmetrically. I may have snickered a little to myself at that point. But don’t tell Ken. He’ll always be MY Valentine.

My Week 230: Gaffes and Guffaws


So if you know me at all, you’ll know I’m prone to gaffes, blunders, faux pas—whatever you’d like to call it, I regularly have super-embarrassing moments either of my own making or someone else’s. This week was no different.

1) On Monday, I was in a meeting. We were having a discussion, and towards the end, just to emphasize my own position, I made a statement in which I somehow used the word ‘penis’. I can’t give you a lot of context because I work for a secret agency and this was something that would be considered part of the secret, but rest assured, it wasn’t particularly necessary for me to have used that particular word IN that context. Anyhow, I realized to my horror that I had just said the word ‘penis’. Now, there’s nothing wrong with that word but it’s just that I was in mixed company, and it was a rather high level meeting. So I did what any normal person would do—I said, “Wow, I’m so sorry—I can’t believe I just said ‘penis’!” Because if saying it once is bad, saying it twice will make a situation infinitely better. One of my male colleagues said, “That’s OK—I’d stopped recording” and I was like “You were RECORDING?!” because then I had to think, ‘My god, what else did I say?’ The meeting was pretty much over by then, so I stood up and turned to ostensibly stare out the window, but the truth was that I was trying not to laugh in that hysterical way that people laugh when they’re hoping they don’t get fired for saying ‘penis’ in a meeting. Twice.

2) On Tuesday, I went out for a little retail therapy. There’s a tiny store across the corner from work that sells really cool clothes—I don’t know what it’s called, but I just refer to it as “the store at the bottom of the escalator” and everyone always says “Oh yeah—I know that place.” I went in and found a few things that I liked and went into the change room. The change room is actually a tiny, triangular closet and the mirror is on the OUTSIDE of the door, so you have to put the clothes on, then go out and see what they look like. So I struggled to get all my winter clothes off, and then struggled to put on pants and a top, and then opened the door and almost hit a woman who was literally just standing there. So I said, “Excuse me” so I could look in the mirror. It was hard to see myself with her blocking my view, but I caught a glimpse and I looked ok. Then I said, “What do you think?” hoping that she would take the hint and realize I was trying on clothes, and she looked at me and answered, “Meh.” MEH?! What the f*ck, lady?! So I said, “You don’t think this looks ok?” and she looked me up and down, shrugged, and said, “No, not really.” And I was like, ‘Screw you!’ (in my head, because she was bigger than me), and I bought the outfit anyway. Then I wore it to work the next day, and when I went to the bathroom and caught sight of myself in the mirror, I realized she was right.

3) I pretty much completely forgot Valentine’s Day. I went home on the train a day early because I was working off-site on Friday, and Ken picked me up from the train station. We both said “Happy Valentine’s Day” to each other and I thought that was the end of it. Then I walked in the house and there was a huge bouquet of flowers, a card, and gifts waiting for me. And I didn’t even have the wherewithal to say “Oh damn—I forgot your card and present in Toronto!” Ken looked at me expectantly, and all I could do is sigh and say, “I’ll make dinner.” Luckily, the local grocery store still had cards the next day, because nothing says ‘I love you’ like a belated Valentine’s day card. But I do love you, Ken, even if I get sidetracked and forget important occasions like Valentine’s Day, birthdays, the fourteenth anniversary of the day we met, the seventeenth anniversary of our first date, and whatnot, because you’re awesome at remembering for both of us.

4) I got an email from one of our senior execs while I was off-site yesterday, and I was doing something else on my laptop, so I used my phone to reply. When I signed off, my phone autocorrected my name so that it said, “Thanks, Suzo.” I hit send before I realized it, but now I’m hoping that he thought I did it on purpose and that he starts a trend by referring to me as Suzo all the time, which is much cooler than ‘the weirdo who says penis a lot’.


Here are three things that made me laugh insanely:

Terrifyingly realistic for a zombie baby.

1) This ad was posted on our local Buy and Sell page. Take a moment and do what I did. Look at the picture and description and think about ALL the babies you’ve ever known, and consider the great discrepancy between the ad and reality. This is the kind of doll that lives under your bed and crawls out at night to chew your arm off. The only detail I’m interested in is “Does it eat brains?” I mean, what kind of life are you living if you think THAT is a life-like representation of a small child?!

2) Ken and I were in an antique mall a while ago, and I saw this suitcase. “Have Wang, will travel”, am I right? Am I juvenile? Obvs.

Sounds like a fun time.

3) In the same antique mall, I saw this old box. I started laughing and said to Ken, “Cold punched nuts? That is indeed a special screw—that’s some real S and M sh*t right there!” and I kept snickering like a twelve year-old and the people wandering behind us with a small child probably wondered how I manage to hold down a job. I wonder that sometimes too. Penis.