Best defense: Say it with flowers! And a few things more. . .

This week, when people think of defense they might think of Super Bowl Sunday. At my house, we’re skipping ahead a week and planning some Big D for a truly difficult day.


Someone, somewhere, once said that the best offense is a good defense. George Washington is rumored to have said this (with a few extra words thrown in) as early as 1799. The sentiment has also been tied to military operations in general and attributed to basketball phenomenon Michael Jordan. I, myself, have spoken this mighty speak, as recently as today. The context: Valentine’s Day.


I believe I’ve mentioned a few times that, as a single person living alone in a pandemic-restricted world, I dread holidays? My social pod (I call her Cheryl, because that is her name) and everyone else I know retreats into their family and/or pod units and do whatever they can to make these artificially scheduled days off (I’m looking at you, President’s Day!) as normal as possible.


Honestly, who can blame them? Normalcy, especially regarding festive experiences, is hard to come by these days. But in my case the holiday shift amplifies not only my sense of isolation, it makes me feel superfluous to the world at large.


Would you please stop inferring that you are alone?


Yeah! You have us!!


Hi Lily. Hi 9. You are completely and totally right, and there are worse people to hang with than your inner fourteen- and nine-year-olds. Think about it, though. Valentine’s Day. Can either of you remember even one Valentine’s Day that was remotely fun?


Sure. The one when Mom and Grandma Mary hosted a party for us and some of our friends when we were little.

It was at Grandma’s house. The dining room table was set with a lace cloth and her best plates. Everyone got a handkerchief with a heart embroidered on it.

And some of our guest were sisters, the same ages as Ann and me. The Boggs girls and the Olsens- –


Everyone wore fluffy dresses, mostly red and white.


Good example! I can’t imagine how Mom and Grandma pulled off this masterpiece. We were all certainly expected to behave like “little ladies”. . . it was a very different time than now.


There’s been a lot of water under my personal bridge since. Romantic expectations and (often) disappointments have made me cynical. These days, Valentine’s Day in the middle of a 3-day weekend adds insult to injury.


But Lily, 9, we’re tough! And what we do when the going gets tough?


See a play!

Eat chocolate!


Yes! And, with relevant adjustments, we’ll up our game to vanquish the Valentine’s Day doldrums. For chocolate we will bake one or more new brownie recipes.


I vote for “or more.”


Unfortunately, live theater isn’t an option right now. Last year, I had the incredible good luck to snag the very last ticket for the very last performance of Murder on the Orient Express at Little Theater of Walla Walla. On Valentine’s Day night, no less! This year, I’m stocking up on DVDs from the local library. The theme: murder, of course! First on the list is Double Indemnity. What better choice than a dark double-crossing psychological thriller for a romance cynic? This will pair perfectly with Martha Stewart’s Dark-Chocolate Spelt Brownies. For intermission, we’ll have a nice soak with the Bath Bomb that Glenna gave us for Christmas- –


Who’s she?

Our niece.

We’re too young to have niece!

Not for long.

Hey, I’ve got the talking stick, you two! After our soak we’ll bundle ourselves into a quilted down bathrobe and enjoy the rest of the evening watching The Thin Man with a side of Suzanne’s Peanut Butter Brownies. I wrote that one down in my recipe book in 1979 and haven’t made it yet!

Beefing up the defense: flowers plus brownies plus bath bomb.

It calls for an entire can of chocolate syrup. That is so not you.


Not anymore, Lily, but for one night why not do a little time traveling? After all, that’s how I rediscovered you and 9.


Are we going to have to deal with a 19-year-old us, too?


It could happen, 9, but I’m hoping the brownies will appease her. She wasn’t exactly at the happiest time of life.


For those of you who adore a traditional Valentine’s Day, have at ‘er! I hold nothing against you for enjoying that particular day with your loved ones, and you can probably use the extra day off on Monday.


One more piece of the defense puzzle for me is reaching out to friends and family, especially those who are in my situation but aren’t lucky enough to have the perpetual company of two younger inner selves.


Because Lily and 9 can play some awfully tough “D” ., . .

Flowers + bath bomb + brownies + video =Total defense package!

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