Relationships

How Roses Can Teach You What You Need to Know About Love…Getting and Keeping It

roses and a book

 

 

I’ve been told this post was the most important one I’ve ever written…it certainly was a critical life lesson for me.  I’m reposting it for you this Valentine’s Day…

 

FTD must have been the original St. Valentine, or the Saint was a hell of an entrepreneur.

 

Roses are synonymous with The Big Red Heart day. Thanks to the media, not a man alive escapes the message that your sweetheart will give you ANYTHING if you remember the roses. And, according to Valentine’s Day rules, the ones in buckets at the local grocery store don’t count.

Well, I certainly believed that my husband knew that, but in case he didn’t, as we strolled by the downtown florist I “oooed” and “ahhhed” over those “roses in the window”. Now, I was SURE he got the message!

Enter V Day in rural Maine. The year, 1983. It was the same year we had purchased our first desktop computer and Dell became a household word. I was like a kid playing in the mud about that computer. A burgeoning writer, the idea of never again using carbon paper and easy editing was almost orgasmic.

I woke up to the second day of a Nor’easter. The lake in front of our house was frozen solid, the roads plowed during the night were now piling up with snow once again. My first thought was that those florist delivery trucks would make it no matter what. So, the titillating wait began.

My husband dressed and shoveled his way to the car heading for the hospital where he worked. I guessed he was preoccupied with weather when he didn’t mention Valentine’s Day, so I let it go. The roses would mend everything.

Not only were there no florist delivery vans on the road that day, but it was hard for a snow plow to stay upright. As darkness came and it was time for my husband’s return from work, I put on a little black dress, opened a bottle of wine and put the kids to bed. On the counter was a lovely crystal vase just waiting for those roses.

The door opened and brushing off the snow, he said, “What’s for dinner?” What???  OK, he was going to surprise me. The roses were in the car and I began to worry that they would freeze, but poured us both a glass of wine. Since he hadn’t said those magic words, “Happy Valentine’s Day, darling.” I took the initiative (It was the era of feminism after all).

He then pulled a brown paper bag out of his briefcase and handed it to me with a smile and a toast. I couldn’t believe what I pulled out of that bag…a book! Are you kidding me, I thought. A book! It was an early version of Computers for Dummies.  That is second only to a blender for your anniversary. I was surprised, disappointed and really pissed and it all came rolling out of my mouth. “You got me a BOOK for Valentine’s Day?” I said. And then I saw his face lose all signs of life and joy. As he walked away, I felt so ashamed and yet, I was still filled with disappointment and confusion.  How could he not know I wanted roses for Valentine’s Day? Remember the walk by the florist window?  Any man with a brain should know his sweetheart wants roses.After what seemed like hours, he reappeared and we sat down to a cold dinner, half a candle and a Golden Retriever who had retreated under the table. “Donna, do you know what I went through to get you that book? I wanted you to enjoy the computer because I know how important writing is to you, so I drove in a blizzard all the way to Boston (almost 200 miles) to get this book for you. I thought you would appreciate it, but I can see you don’t.”

My heart sank. I knew that all the apologies in the world could not make up for the words I could never take back.

That day my life changed in ways that were profound and permanent. For the first time I knew that men want to make us happy. That they have their own ways of showing love. That they cannot read our minds. That our expectations of them are based not on their world, but on our preconceived notions of what love looks like.

That Valentine’s Day love came from Barnes and Noble, not from TeleFlora. It came with such beautiful  intention and thought. All I had to do was be open to what HE called love. It changed me forever and though I am still waiting for those roses, I know that one day a new love will bring them my way.

Please post this on your social media sites if you think it will bring a better Valentine’s Day to those you know and love! Thank you.

 

Happy Valentine’s Day

If you are tired of spending Valentine’s Day alone and ready to find someone to share this next amazing chapter of your life, let’s talk about how to get yon there!

Call 510-817-4242 or email me at donna@donnasbigredchair.love and I’ll send you my Love Readiness Quiz!

Donna Bailey, M.S

Coach, Speaker, Writer and Expert in Dating and Relationships for “Grown-ups”

Donna’s Big Red Chair

www.donnasbigredchair.love 

Valentine’s Day Can Be a Bear!

 

Valentine’s Day memories go way back for most of us.

Does anyone remember those packages of flimsy cardboard Valentines that we bought at Walgreens, making sure we had enough for everybody in our classroom? It was such fun cutting with our blunt end scissors, making those heart-shaped pockets that would hold all the “love” and glitter from the Valentines that the other kids would surely give us.  Did you ever come to school before the BIG DAY and peek into your pocket to see how many were in there? 

 

This day, touted as the “day of love”, is loaded for most of us, both men and women. It is an “either/or” kind of holiday, a holiday of anticipating and waiting to see if and how much you are loved, and when we are not in a relationship, Hallmark tells us that we are NOT loved…at least this year.

 

No matter how many ways my brain tells me that this is all a manufactured holiday and that real love is not buried in chocolate or expensive dinners, my heart still aches every single year I find myself “alone” on Valentine’s Day. It is in my bones, this message about February 14 and I am angry about that.

 

What do I recommend to all my readers as a way of coping with this holiday? Find a good friend who loves you even without your make-up, with dirty hair and in your ratty pajamas. If you are a man, celebrate not having to figure women out on this holiday! But, make a plan! Avoid restaurants at all costs and if you enjoy wine, buy yourself a nice bottle and enjoy every drop. No conversation is off-limits, but be sure they contain words of love, acceptance and joy for all the love that IS in your life EVERY YEAR.

 

Don’t fight the feelings around this holiday. Give advertising and marketing its due for being the King of Brainwashing. And remember, soon it will be over for another 365 days! The holiday, not love!

 

Are you a hopeful romantic, tired of watching those sunsets alone and ready to do the work to find YOUR VALENTINE? You can do it, and I will show you how? 

You’re only 90 Days to Love...so let’s talk about beginning that journey NOW!

 

Donna Bailey, MS
Donna’s Big Red Chair
510-817-4242  donna@donnasbigredchair.love
www.donnasbigredchair.love

 

Big Red Chair

The Day I Married Myself

Photo from NPR.org

 

 

Some years ago during that predictable time of the year when big changes always seem to come whether I request them or not, I was winding my way through a divorce. If you’ve been there, you know the crazy mixture of  joy and sadness it brings. The weather in the Northeast echoed it in full color. Those beautiful autumn leaves reminding me that change was part of the deal of living.  So, as the leaves fell to the ground and wafer-thin ice appeared on the lakes around my house, the reality of  once again, being single came crashing down.

 

This was the second time a relationship had “failed”. I hadn’t yet learned that no relationship is a failure unless measured by the yardstick of marriage. And unless I believed that it had all been pointless and a waste of time, I only needed to look at this beautiful son of mine who had been one of many gifts from this man with whom I’d spent 13 years of my life and who had been a wonderful parent to my older son too. He’d taught me many things that would change my life forever, including my now keen awareness that I had skipped a step that had affected every day of our relationship. I had failed to marry myself.

 

When we don’t know ourselves, what we want or need, or how to ask for that from another human being, we lean on them like an oak tree in danger of falling over. We look into their eyes for all our comfort, reassurance and love to fill those empty parts of us which long to be filled.  And so, I had been looking for that someone to love me, not so much like a partner, perhaps, but unconditionally, like a  parent. And for me, when my husband didn’t deliver,  I was angry, disappointed and of course knowing it was his problem, not mine, I was out the door.

 

Some months passed, Maine’s cold winter arrived right on time and I found myself staring at beautiful gold rings in the goldsmith jeweler’s window in a sweet Maine town that I frequently visited. My favorite restaurant was there and it buzzed with bright, vibrant professionals talking about legislative issues. Mothers met to stay sane, some having sent their kids off to school with sandwiches made of Wonder bread, while other “Earth Mothers” wouldn’t dare. Tables for one welcomed those with a book and that  was my salvation during long winters.

 

I stood in the cold in front of the goldsmith shop, my engagement ring in a little velvet box in my pocket. It was time to get rid of that reminder and the jeweler had offered to look at it. So, kicking my boots on the steps, I stepped inside to wait until he could see me. In one of the glass cases there was a beautiful gold untreated turquoise ring. Untreated turquoise is soft, beautifully dark and somehow calming, but not enough to calm that deep sadness that was washing over me. Feeling the sting of tears, I got out of the shop and walked along the river. As I walked, I realized that before I could love another, I needed to love myself, to be able to meet my own needs, take care of myself for awhile…”to love, honor and cherish” ME.

 

I went back to the jeweler, removed the diamond ring from my pocket and took that turquoise ring home. The following day I said my vows to myself, to that child part of me and the strong, capable woman too. I learned to honor and love myself, always knowing one day, I would take more of myself to meet a man who would love me too.

If there’s someone you know that really wants love in their life, forward this post on to them…

 

Are you tired of watching sunsets alone? Ready to find someone to love and enjoy this next chapter of your amazing life? Don’t know how to begin, or if to begin? That’s why I’m here…to show you the way from loving yourself to loving another.

Email or call me today for a copy of my “Love Readiness Quiz” and a complimentary 30-minute session. Begin as a Valentines Gift for Yourself…and by next year, you might just be kissing the one you LOVE!

510-817-4242  donna@donnasbigredchair.love

 

Donna Bailey, MS

Coach, Speaker, Writer and Expert in Dating and Relationships for Grown-ups

Donna’s Big Red Chair

510-817-4242  donna@donnasbigredchair.love

www.donnasbigredchair.love

Big Red Chair

 

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