The evolution of Valentine's Day

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Ahh. Valentine's Day. The day where lovers everywhere proclaim their adoration and gift each other chocolates, flowers and cards written by someone else. They go out to dinner, sip adult beverages and gaze into one another's eyes like it's the very first date. 

#dating.

Or...they make a beef stew in the Crock-pot and wonder if their partner remembered to get them a card.

#marriage.

Thing is, I always liked Valentine's Day, but I never really loved it. I'm not on the "you should show your love EVERY DAY" and "It's such a fake, commercial holiday" team, though. Valentine's Day is fun, and besides -- it's something to look forward to in the long stretch from late December to Spring. It just changes a bit over the years, doesn't it?

Remember being in elementary school, waiting, wondering and hoping you'd get a bunch of Valentines from your friends? And then junior high/high school -- when your crush/first boyfriend/girlfriend got you flowers/a gift that left you swooooooning and omg if they said "I love you" for the first time?! Heart explosion! Except, my HS boyfriend got me a fake rose in a plastic case that played the theme song from the Broadway show Cats. Some of us aren't so lucky, I guess. 

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Then, you hit your 20s and maybe you're in a long-term, serious relationship and V-Day rolls around and you're like, will he propose? - even though you don't know what you'd say, and you're trying not to think about it so you don't look disappointed/let out a nervous laugh when it's a heart pendant from Kay Jewelers. 

Then, of course, there are Februaries where you don't have an SO and you gift yourself something special for Valentine's Day because hey...if you don't love you, no one else will. You order sushi, throw back a bottle of wine and watch Maid in Manhattan and wonder how it's possible that Jennifer Lopez has zero visible pores on her face. FUN FACT: My tuxedo pearl necklace remains my most favorite Valentine's Day gift of all Valentine's Day gifts. I always know what to get me.

And, personally -- now that I'm all grown up - and a wife and mom - and know what true love from another person feels like, all I want is a card with some personal words as a Valentine's Day reminder that someone else agrees with me -- that I am just simply awesome.

Happy Valentine's Day to your awesome self!

Best concert/worst concert

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While scanning through my Twitter feed, I saw some tweets about the best concert and worst concert you've ever been to. And, it got me thinking. 

What makes the 'best' concert? Of course, the music - but it's also the vibe, the venue and the people you go with. It seems if at least one of those things is less than awesome, the concert is...meh, at best. Speaking of best:

My BEST CONCERT was -- hands down -- Red Hot Chili Peppers at what is now the Times Union Center in Albany, NY. It was 2003. The RHCPs were soooo high-energy and the crowd was happy and dancing and it was just non-stop fun. Plus, it's RHCP so the actual music was great, too.

Runner-up: Any DMB concert. What would you say? (get it?!)

My WORST CONCERT was definitely Eve 6 at The Coach House in San Juan Capistrano, California. OK, so - a little background: I listened to Eve 6 pretty much every day when I was a teen and I had almost no real cares in the world, but was still angry about something but didn't really know what. So, I would lay by the pool, headphones on, and listen to their 1998 album, and then when Horrorscope came out in 2000, I was HOOKED. And, I had a HUGE crush on Max Collins, the lead singer. Anyway, when I found out they were coming to The Coach House, which was like, 5 minutes from where we were living at the time, I was super excited. 

I blame most of this let down on the venue. It's the oddest venue I've ever been to. It's like a medieval dining hall, with loooong tables that block the stage area and they have very strict rules against being happy and...dancing. They do NOT allow dancing. You read that right. They don't allow dancing at a concert. You can't even stand. You have to sit in your seats, order food (a requirement to be seated at a table) and fight back the urge to dance. While there is music playing. It's torture. BUT...here comes the hilarious drama...

can you see the weirdness of this?!

can you see the weirdness of this?!

So, my husband and I are the kind of people who can make friends anywhere we go - especially when we go to concerts. So, we didn't think anything of dodging the assigned seating rule and snagged two seats at a table in front of the stage where there were like, 10 open seats. There was an older man and woman there, as well as a younger guy and girl in their early 20s. I got the feeling they really didn't like that we sat down but they didn't say anything and I figured we would win them over once the band came out. Music has a way of bringing people together, ya know? 

I was so excited for the band to come on and when they did, I of course stood up to clap and dance but was told to sit down. So, I did, with a hmmpf. Now, as I'm seated, the older woman and younger woman are talking over me, loudly - and truly just ruining the whole experience. So, I ask the older woman if she could switch seats with me or something and she WENT OFF ON ME. So did the younger girl. Turns out, thanks to the younger girl yelling this at me - the older folks are aunt and uncle to the drummer and the younger guy she's there with is his cousin. UM. BIG DEAL. Also, why are you sitting front and center, and talking (yelling over the music) through his band playing, then? They yelled that they had reserved this table and are only letting us sit there. I asked why there were so many empty seats. That didn't go over well. But, I seriously wanted to let them know how lucky they were that this band had fans like myself, who not only care to come to the shittiest venue ever, but also who care enough to break rules to enjoy the music as much as possible. But, I held that back. The older man calmed them down and the younger dude looked at his girl and said, "Seriously? You're doing this again?" 

LOL. Oh, to be 24 again.

Anyway, while I try not to let that crappy venue and dramatic experience ruin my thoughts when I hear an Eve 6 song, it kind of does. It also doesn't help that after that heated exchange went down, I felt like such a bad ass that I...wait for it...stood up to dance! I got about 10 seconds in until I got told by a grumpy bouncer to sit down - three times. Sigh. 

After they were done playing to the seated crowd, I almost asked my two new friends if they could introduce us to the band.

But, I swallowed my pride and I choked on the rinds, instead.

Your turn. What's your best & worst?

When to drop the 'baby on board' sign?

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Kind of on the same topic as yesterday...

I got 2 "Baby On Board" signs for my CR-V when O was born. One for the rear window and one for the left back side window. It made me feel safer, like people wouldn't tailgate and make better, safer decisions when driving around me. Some didn't, but overall -- I noticed that most did. We were living in Orange County, CA at the time - and folks out there LOVE to tailgate and often drive very aloofly. Beach vibes, I guess!

But, now that Owen is pushing 18 months, I've been wondering if/when I should remove those signs, or replace them with "Toddler On Board" or "Child On Board." I drive from NJ to Upstate NY semi-frequently, and traveling the Thruway can be...aggressive, at times. But, I don't know. He's not technically a baby, anymore...even though I admit -- I still refer to him as such from time to time. 

Am I...false advertising by keeping the baby on board signs up? Do I need any signs at all?