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Posted on Feb 16, 2013 at 07:45 AM

Mason Olivera bought me chocolates for Valentine’s Day. I remember being so impressed as he stood there looking up at the counter, a wad full of cash in his hand. The box was classic, a heart made of crushed velvet, trimmed in satin and lace. I wondered about the money, if his parents made him earn it, mine would never hand me cash for such a purpose. I wondered if it was his idea, or theirs, as I excepted the gift which was an addition to his first, a small silver necklace in the shape of a heart.

 Mason Olivera was my Valentine in middle school and before that he chased me around the playground trying to steal kisses at recess. I had the greatest time running away from him, squealing with delight when he’d catch me, but not letting him win. I often left him standing there holding nothing but my coat, which I could slip out of like snake’s skin when he caught me, which he often did. I loathed the fact that boys were faster; almost near as I despised the lack of air. My asthma was a bother, and so was he. I didn’t really like Mason, but he sure liked me. I was in love with the chase.


 It is 7:16 in the evening on Valentine’s day 2013, over two decades have past and I am still grateful for that chocolate. I remember standing there feeling like I owed him the world for such thoughtfulness. It was a grown up thing to give a gift like that; I didn’t even realize that he liked me. We were really just friends….



I was married for fifteen years, though the last year we lived mostly separate. The judge wanted to finalize our divorce today, Valentine’s Day, but I asked her for an extension. She asked me if I still wanted the divorce to which I said, “Yes, mam.” She was visibly annoyed because we filed over six months back and still had not met our obligations to complete the process. “What exactly is taking you so long??” She directed the question at me, so I answered.


 “I am sorry your honor, but romance just has not been my priority right now. My focus has been on making money… business….”



I wouldn’t let my husband buy me flowers and if he got them for me on Valentine’s day I was pissed. Flowers on Valentine’s day were the biggest insult there is because he knew better. We started our lives together dirt poor and my way of expressing love was “practicality,” my request in return was the thoughtfulness to notice.


 “Don’t buy me flowers! They are a waste of money; they last a week and then they die. There are so many things we need….”


 I did all sorts of crazy sh*t to make “NO FLOWERS” a creed in our relationship, including throwing them at his head because he usually had his memory lapse on Valentine’s day, which I already mentioned as a cardinal sin. Flowers on Valentines day was the WORST offense because it meant that he put ZERO thought into the gift.


 “Just get me a card and tell me your thoughts. Your words mean everything to me. Take the time to tell me what you think.”


 That is what I do…… I talk and I think….. I think and I talk….


 My thoughts today.



Giving up flowers was a romantic sacrifice, but it was also plain out retarded and completely unnecessary.  Flowers are f*cking beautiful and they are also inexpensive. I bought my daughter’s teacher a STUNNING bouquet at Safeway today for $20 and another for my friend Heidi Klein who gave up half of her Valentine’s day to come help me with this house because my marriage fell apart and seventeen years worth of crap got abandoned for me to sort through by myself. There was a point I looked for a match….




It took me nearly a full year to finally make this place a home again, an irony because we will move in a month. I will be honest, I couldn’t touch it, could hardly stand to clean it, and I was out the door as soon as I was able. I hated this house because it was supposed to have a family inside. We cemented our name at the end of the driveway, THE GARIBAY FAMILY, 6611 Columbine Crt Se. We were going to grow old here. I remember chuckling because I knew that we would need to move eventually. Old people do not do stairs well. We would need to retire somewhere closer to the earth....


(Story Continued Below)


The Life You Live is a CHOICE- I choose HAPPY :)
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Posted on Feb 16, 2013 at 07:50 AM

At night we slept in heaven….

We would lay in bed on summer nights listening to the frogs singing at the edge of the pond and soon after a train would pass. We were worried about the train at first, not really thinking about the noise when we made our purchase, but in the end the hum and eventual roar became a part of the chorus, the twilight serenade of our dream home. We slept with the window’s open, myself looking out and into the night, to the light of it. It danced like a pixie sprite gaily along the wall. I traced the pattern with my mind as I wondered if I could make enough money to keep it; this dream that unfolded each night. My daughter’s feet slid up and down my leg in constant movement, like a cricket to fiddle. I was surprised that they could still be cold.

“Mommy…. She whispered snuggling closer… “Are you afraid of the dark?”

“No, baby girl, I am not. The dark is safe because people can’t see you. You just have to be careful about the noise. The smallest noise can give away your location and then you become prey. Do you hear those frogs out there?”

“Yes… they are singing.” she was enchanted, rightfully

“Yes, they ARE singing. Those frogs are talking to each other Sapphire and their conversations let us know that it is safe. It is the quiet you should consider. Silence send a message.”

So does sending flowers.

My friend Heidi tried to complain when I gave her her bouquet today.  Her protest, just the same as mine. "I even tell my husband..." she started to say before I cut her off.

"Shut the f*ck up and put your flowers in some water Heidi Klein. I give gifts because I want to. You don't get to pick what you get and FYI... I am the girl who brings flowers, like it or not."

I will never again complain about getting flowers and I give them as often as I can.

The Life You Live is a CHOICE- I choose HAPPY :)
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