Tag Archives: Valentine’s Day

Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Romantic Quotes

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

This week’s prompt is a love freebie, so I decided to share some romantic quotes for it since this isn’t actually a holiday I observe.

How many of the other Top Ten Tuesday participants live in countries where candy conversation hearts are sold at this time of the year?  I enjoy them, but I haven’t seen them around much the last couple of years. Here’s hoping that changes soon.

If you celebrate Valentine’s Day and have a different favourite candy from it, I’d like to know about that, too!

1. “The very essence of romance is uncertainty.”
Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest and Other Plays

A pink plate covered in candy conversation hearts. The six hearts we can read say "soul mate," love bug," "sweet talk," "say yes," "love," and "xoxo."2. “And he took her in his arms and kissed her under the sunlit sky, and he cared not that they stood high upon the walls in the sight of many.”
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King

3. “Come sleep with me: We won’t make Love, Love will make us.”
Julio Cortázar

4. “It’s bullshit to think of friendship and romance as being different. They’re not. They’re just variations of the same love. Variations of the same desire to be close.”
Rachel Cohn, Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List

5. “your hand
touching mine.
this is how
galaxies
collide.”
Sanober Khan

6. “Love is too precious to be ashamed of.”
Laurell K. Hamilton, A Stroke of Midnight

7. “Before I fell
in love with words,
with setting skies
and singing birds—
it was you I fell
in love with first.”
Lang Leav, Love & Misadventure

a hot chocolate topped with whipped cream sitting in a pink, polka dotted mug. There are two heart-shaped cookies sitting on a doily next to the mug. 8. “Love, like everything else in life, should be a discovery, an adventure, and like most adventures, you don’t know you’re having one until you’re right in the middle of it.”
E.A. Bucchianeri, Brushstrokes of a Gadfly,

9. “It is impossible to manufacture or imitate love.”
J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

10. “Giving generously in romantic relationships, and in all other bonds, means recognizing when the other person needs our attention. Attention is an important resource.”
Bell Hooks, All About Love: New Visions

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: My Celebrity Crushes

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews.

Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and here to see the full list of topics for the year.

What a fun topic as we move closer to Valentine’s Day!

My celebrity crushes include:

Red carpet photo of actress Julia Stiles

Julia Stiles.

I’ve thought she was cute ever since I saw her in 10 Things I Hate About You back in the 90s. She tends to play characters who know what they want out of life and go for it.  I really like that.

Nina Dobrev on the set of Vampire Diaries playing the character Elena Gilbert

Nina Dobrev.

A few weeks ago, my spouse convinced me to start watching season one of The Vampire Diaries. Nina plays the main character, Elena Gilbert, on that show, and I immediately thought she was pretty. Obviously, I have no idea what the actor’s personality is like, but her character is so sweet that I can’t help but to have a crush on her.

William Jackson Harper as Chidi
Photo by: Robert Trachtenberg/NBC

William Jackson Harper.

One of my longterm goals with the Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge is to convince everyone else to give The Good Place a try. Yes, I’m joking there. (Probably 😉 ).

Not only is this show funny, many of the characters in it are quite attractive if any of you are looking for eye candy. Wlliam’s character, Chidi Anagonye, is a nerdy, intellectual guy which is something I find irresistible.

Jameela Jamil as Tahani Al-Jamil

Jameela Jamil.

Jameela Jamil plays Tahani Al-Jamil in The Good Place. She plays her role as a wealthy, sheltered, but still incredibly likeable person extremely well. I was surprised by how quickly I developed a crush on her.

Weekly Wednesday Blogging Challenge: Most Romantic Memory

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews.

As I mentioned in yesterday’s Top Ten Tuesday post, I am not a very romantic person. For example, my wonderful spouse and I have been together for going on 15 years now, yet we have never once celebrated Valentine’s Day. It’s simply not a holiday that appeals to either of us.

So you might not be surprised to hear that my most romantic memory has nothing to do with chocolates, jewelry, roses, or whispering sweet nothings into anyone’s ears.

Instead, it’s about wisdom teeth and what happens after you’ve had all four of them extracted in the same surgery. Let’s just say that I was swollen, in pain, dreaming about bizarre things, and loopy from the medications I’d been prescribed for the recovery process. At one point, I was convinced that I’d just seen a terse news broadcast about how Canada had stolen Alaska from the United States and refused to give it back again.

So along with typical, post-surgical tasks like making sure I took my pills at the right time and had soft food to eat until the stitches in my mouth could be removed, my spouse got to have what must have been a pretty funny conversation with me about how our country would definitely be returning Alaska to the Americans. I was not convinced at first that our government was going to be willing to do that, but he reassured me that all would be well in North America the next time I woke up. And it was.

The rest of my memories from those first few days after that surgery are pretty hazy. As soon as the latest dose of medicine finally kicked in, I’d slip in and out of sleep for hours. When the meds started wearing off and the pain grew stronger, I’d wake up enough to eat or drink something. At one point, I do remember being spoon-fed applesauce. It was more delicious than any applesauce I’ve had before or since then. I was so grateful to not have to do complicated stuff like hold the spoon or guide it into my mouth without spilling.

Falling in love is amazing, but long term relationships are about so much more than the butterflies you feel in the beginning. I think it’s a beautiful, romantic thing when people take good care of their spouses/life partners every day of the year, especially when it involves eating applesauce and convincing Canada to give up her thieving ways. 😉

How about all of you?

Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite Couples in Books

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

I’m not a romantic person in real life, and I don’t generally find myself that interested in romance novels or stories spend a lot of time talking about characters falling in love. (Y’all, how on Earth did I ever manage to get married? Ha!)

So this week’s list required some thought, and I was a little short of the full 10 books we were supposed to come up with once I finished it.  Honestly, I like it when blog hops make you think, though. It’s nice when you can automically come up with a dozen or more books to fit a Top Ten Tuesday theme, but there’s also something to be said for digging deeply to get one of these posts put together.

You’re going to see several friends-turned-lovers on today’s list. On the rare occasions that I get excited about a fictional romance, a friendship evolving into something more than that is often the biggest reason why I’m thrilled. Most of the people I’ve developed crushes on or fallen in love with have started out as friends first, so it’s always nice to see characters have that same wonderful experience.

1. Jo and Laurie from Louisa May Alcott’s “Little Women.”

I really like it when characters who have similar personalities end up in flirtatious or romantic situations. Jo and Laurie not only acted a lot alike, they had some of the same flaws. That can be a good thing for certain couples! If you both struggle with the same bad habit, it can be easier to show empathy when your partner messes up in that area.

2. Alice and her partner in Claire Kann’s “Let’s Talk About Love.”

To the best of my knowledge, this was the first book about an asexual character I ever read. (I’m purposefully not mentioning her partner’s name for spoiler purposes). While there were parts of the plot I didn’t find so interesting, I was fascinated by the idea of someone having a romantic relationship without ever wanting to have sex with them. It’s not something that’s talked about very often in mainstream fiction, and I don’t know anyone in real life who is asexual to the best of my knowledge, so it’s nice to see an example of how these types of relationships work.

3. Ron and Hermione from the Harry Potter series. 

Most people seemed to think Hermione would end up with Harry. I personally assumed she’d end up with Ron’s wickedly intelligent older brother, Percy, because they were both so bookish in the very best sense of that term.

I do see the logic in Ron and Hermione ending up together, though, and I like the thought of them raising a couple of bright and probably terribly mischievous kids.

4. Annie and Liza from Nancy Garden’sAnnie on My Mind.”

There’s something about young love that’s always interesting to read. I developed crushes on others so rarely when I was in school that my dating history was almost non-existent until I was in my 20s. It was nice to read about girls who had a totally different adolescence than mine.

5. Anne and Gilbert from L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables series. 

I did not like the thought of Anne and Gilbert dating when they were teenagers because of how fiercely competitive they were, but my opinion changed once they’d both had a chance to grow up and experience life a little more. They were both smart, compassionate, and very kind. I don’t know about all of you, but I always cheer at the thought of these sorts of folks ending up together.

6.Valancy and her partner in L.M. Montgomery’s “The Blue Castle.”

Once again, I can’t say who the main character ended up with for spoiler reasons, but I thought Valancy and her lover made a wonderful couple. Valancy’s life had been so drab, strictly controlled, and sometimes even peppered with emotional abuse when we first met her that this twist in her fate was a true breath of fresh air.

7. Josh and Emma from Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler’s “The Future of Us.”

Imagine getting glimpses of your possible futures through the Internet! I loved this premise just as much as I did trying to figure out if these two friends were actually going to one day end up together. The fact that it was set in the 90’s only made it better. There haven’t been too many contemporary stories set in that decade yet, so I’m happy whenever I find one.

8. Jane and Mr. Rochester from Charlotte Bronte’s “Jane Eyre.” 

The romantic subplot wasn’t one I knew about in advance because I read this book on my own for the sheer joy of it instead of  for a class assignment. Due to this, Jane’s relationship with Mr. Rochester came as a huge surprise to me. Her neglectful childhood was oddly a nice match for all of the troubles Mr. Rochester had been through. I hope they’d find some happiness in each other after all of the hard times they’d both know. There’s something so emotionally satisfying about that, don’t you think?

9. Ennis and Jack from Annie Proulx’s “Brokeback Mountain.”

I saw the film version of this tale long before reading the short story it was based on. Ennis and Jack’s gruff and pragmatic personalities worked so well together. They were perfect for each other. If only they’d live in a time and place where it was easier for two people of the same gender to share a life together.

What would you recommend I add to my list to bring it to up to 10 books? I tried so hard to think of one final couple, but I just couldn’t do it.

Minimalism and Valentine’s Day

After my last two posts, it might come as a surprise to some readers to be reminded that my spouse and I don’t actually celebrate Valentine’s Day. We’ve been married for over twelve years now, and we’ve never done anything out of the ordinary for this holiday other than possibly showing each other clever gifs and memes about it if we find some good ones.

No, this post isn’t going to be a rant against Valentine’s Day as a concept. I’m all for showing someone how you feel about them on February 14 as well as on every other day of the year. No one knows for sure how long they have left on this Earth, so I’d never discourage anyone from make their loved ones feel appreciated.  If celebrating Valentine’s Day in the traditional way with chocolates, flowers, jewelry, and a fancy dinner makes someone happy, good for them!

I believe in living a simple and minimalist lifestyle for myself, though. That belief sticks with me no matter what date is on the calendar or how much advertisers try to convince me to buy things I don’t need.

Minimizing Waste

 Buying something you have no use for is a waste of time, money, and emotional energy. Spending more than you would have spent if you waited a few more weeks to purchase the same exact product is equally wasteful.

Every year, I watch the price of romantic items like  flowers and chocolates rise sharply before Valentine’s Day only to fall back to their normal prices shortly after that holiday. For example, there is a fancy type of dairy-free chocolate I can eat that costs about $20 for a dozen pieces during most of the year. That same quantity of chocolate is sold in pretty boxes for about $25 during Valentine’s Day season.

These prices affect everyone who purchases these products, so it always surprises me to see people pay so little attention to them.

If you’re going to celebrate Valentine’s Day in a traditional way, why not buy silk flowers and pick out the card, wrapping paper, and other non-perishable stuff for next year when all of that paraphernalia goes on sale this year? Or, better yet, why not celebrate it at the end of February when everything is deeply discounted?

Given my over-active immune system, Valentine’s Day would also be a wasteful holiday for me for a few reasons that don’t apply to everyone. I’m mildly allergic to milk, so 99% of the Valentine’s Day chocolate out there isn’t something I can actually eat. I’m also mildly allergic to flowers, so any bouquet of live flowers is going to make me sneeze and cough uncontrollably until I throw it away.

Minimizing Clutter

Even though I live in a very small home and regularly try to donate or throw away things that are no longer useful to me, I still own more stuff than I need.

(My mother used to complain about this same phenonemon when I was a kid. I didn’t understand it then, but I sure do now!)

Other than the winning lottery number, of course, there are very few non-consumable things in this world that I would like but don’t currently own.

While I’d appreciate the sentiment if my spouse bought me something like a stuffed animal or jewelry for this holiday, I never want or expect anything like that. It’s not my style, and I’d much rather save the majority of that money and maybe splurge on $20 worth of fancy chocolates once the price for them finally drops again.

What I really want is to have an uncluttered home as much as is possible given our small living quarters and need to store the things that we do use often enough to keep.

If someone wants to give a Valentine’s Day gift, I know exactly what I’d recommend to them.

The Best Valentine’s Day Present of Them All

Love is the best Valentine’s Day present of them all. When I say love, I’m talking about every kind of it you can imagine:

The love that two or more people share when they’re in a romantic relationship. 

The love of a parent for their child.

The love of a family – whether chosen, biological, adoptive, or foster –  for everyone who is part of it.

The love shared between friends.

The love a person feels for their pet. 

The love a pet feels for their human. 

The love a stranger feels for another stranger.

The love we feel for ourselves.

Unlike chocolate, nobody ever suddenly runs out of love. Love doesn’t require batteries, lose pieces every time you move, or need to be protected from the elements. There is no manufacturer’s warranty for it, and you can’t find it in any store.

Love is free. Love is precious.

If I were going to celebrate this holiday, I’d do it by telling all of the people I care about how much they meant to me.

Thank you for reading this blog, followers. I deeply appreciate every single one of you, and I hope you all have a wonderful Valentine’s Day.

 

Saturday Seven: Characters Who Need a Date

Saturday Seven is hosted by Long and Short Reviews. Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, so today I’m thinking about characters who could really have benefited from going on a date. None of the characters I’m about to discuss had romantic storylines. They were far too busy looking after a disabled friend, exploring a… Read More

Suggestion Saturday: February 10, 2018

Here is this week’s list of comic strips, articles, studies, death notices, short stories, poems, and other links from my favourite corners of the web. I thought it would be interesting to collect Valentine’s Day themed posts for this week because I don’t actually celebrate this holiday.  It’s fascinating to see the world through the eyes… Read More