14 Things You Have an Excuse to Do on Valentine’s Day

imagesGuess what day is upon us? My most favorite day of the year: Valentine’s Day! YAY! I know…you hate it. “Hallmark made up this holiday to make people feel bad,” you grimace. I don’t care. I love it. You know why? It’s the ONE DAY that you can unabashedly tell everyone you love that you love them! And, you can have an excuse to do the following:

  1. Eat trays of chocolate.
  2. Wear trashy, lacy, bright red lingerie that you find in Spencer’s Gifts on clearance.
  3. Go to Victoria’s Secret and fight the mob scene of romantic hopefuls, purchasing gobs of coconut body spray.
  4. Buy your partner a glossy card that reads, “To My Husband” (or whatever s/he is) in cursive and fill it in with glowing reviews and promises you may or may not keep.
  5. Go out to dinner and order the tasting menu or the prix fixe only available on V-day.
  6. Declare you hate all love and never want to be in a romantic relationship again.
  7. Propose–on the most insane day to propose ever. Then get married a year later, on the same day, and have a heart-themed wedding, donning a pink dress. Make your bridesmaids wear red dresses.
  8. Dress like a tart. Halloween isn’t the only day you need an excuse.
  9. Dye your hair “Rocketfire Red.” (P.S. I did this. Not a great look, except on V-Day)
  10. Watch romantic movies, like When Harry Met Sally, and either cry or be so glad you are married to your best friend (aw, #blessed). Then tweet or post that on Facebook.
  11. Speaking of FB, write a letter to your spouse or significant other on it, extolling your love for them, so we all can see it and guess when you’re getting a divorce, or be totally envious, or just really happy for you.
  12. Spend an entire evening making custom-made Valentine’s for your kids’ classmates. Get so competitive that you shove your kid aside because she is putting the glitter glue on all wrong. You MUST have the BEST Valentines.
  13. Read poetry in bed to your partner, or The Canterbury Tales, despite his plea for you to stop.
  14. Break up because there wasn’t a solid amount of hoopla around this holiday. It just shows that you are taken for granted.

Well, there you have it. TONS of ideas for this Thursday! Get movin’. Excuses galore.










You Can’t Deny Who You Are


“If you can do anything else in the world, do it,” my acting teachers said. They meant as a career choice. Like, if you can not be an actor, if it’s not a part of the fabric of your soul, wherein you are unable to do anything else in the world, then be an actor; otherwise, find something more lucrative and less disappointing to do. It will only make you miserable.

This irked me. It seemed like some sort of challenge, one I wasn’t sure I could match, but which I would damn well try to. Of course I couldn’t do anything else, I’d think. Why the hell else would I spend seven years trying?

But, down deep, in the wee hours, around 3:05 a.m., I wondered…maybe I could.

And here I am, no longer an actor. I get it now. I saw there was a way out and other things I could do for a living. However, what I’ve also learned is that once you’re an artist, whether it be an actor, a writer, a painter, or a musician, you’re always an artist, whether it’s your job or not. It will always be a part of you, an avocation perhaps, instead of a vocation.

I tried to deny my artist when I quit acting. I wanted to be a regular person, whatever that means. Well, no. To me, being regular meant going to work from 9 to 5, coming home to the kids, eventually going to bed, and doing it over again. Oh, and not looking back.

I’m not looking back, because if you look back, you’ll be going that way.

However, I now realize I need to have some sort of art in my life. I need to express myself, I can’t help it. Hence, I write this blog, and I wrote my book.

I remember when I got a new puppy, a hunting dog, I wondered what to do with her, because I didn’t like to hunt. I thought she’d be fine not hunting, despite her giant, capable nose and her magnificent ability to chase. We would take walks in the woods, and she’d play around the house, and I avoided taking her hunting. But, ultimately, the dog found ways to hunt. She’d uproot mouse dens, kill rabbits in the yard, and give any type of critter a run for its money. She couldn’t help herself; it was in her nature.

I read somewhere that not allowing your natural talents to express themselves is like denying an artistic child a set of magic markers. You can choose not to give him the markers, but, when you do, you will see his best self come out. He will make beautiful pictures, and he will be happy.

I’m happy too now, when I’m writing and doing artistic things.

I’ve realized I can be an artist and a “regular” person at the same time!

And, that, as Robert Frost wrote in The Road Not Taken, that has made all the difference.