For some reason, my husband is in a competition with himself. He thinks he has to “one-up” himself every holiday. We’ve been together for 18 years and our first Valentines was spectacular, so you can imagine the three-ring circus he feels pressured to produce each year.  He’s really close to burning himself out. I mean, aside from buying me a seat on the space shuttle while Elton John sings “Rocket Man” from the seat beside me…how can he keep up this pace every Valentines Day?

I’ve tried to talk him down off the “Best gift ever” ledge many, many times. I think I may have gotten thru this year. And, not coincidentally, it was one of the best Valentines we’ve had in quite a long time. Imagine that!

Thank goodness he was swamped at work designing all the plant Monsters for EPCOT’s Flower & Garden show because he had ZERO time to train doves to spell out “I love you, Maryellen” in the sky.

Instead, he heard an add on the radio for a show I’ve wanted to see and secretly bought tickets. I was brought to tears when we drove up to the Bob Carr Performing Arts Center and I saw the sign:



It’s one of my favorite things. Sitting in a theater, curtain opens and I get to watch something. Someone or something entertaining ME! Awesome. Kids with our babysitter, sitting next to my honey, watching Witches sing their hearts out…


I was so happy and overwhelmed, I couldn’t wait to tell Mark. We both know baby sign language from teaching it to our boys so I laid my head on his shoulder and put my hand on his leg in the “I love you” sign:



Mark looked at me and smiled. We watched the rest of the show in what I thought was the warmth of our little, unspoken “moment”.

After the show, he turned to me and asked,

“Hey, during the show, why did you give me the Spiderman hand?”



Happy Valentines Day….no pressure.