Romance Non-Fiction posted February 9, 2017

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A rescued Mastiff, love and a fire...

My Explosive, Flaming Hot Valentine!

by Mary Wakeford

Valentine's Day, known to some as Single Awareness Day, has never been a holiday my husband or I have embraced, or 'milked' to show our love for each other. Maybe because two-and-a-half years into our marriage, our first child was born on Valentine's Day, so the date has always been about him. 

The year was 1981, and Cupid's big day fell on a Saturday.
I'm not normally a phobic person, but I'll blame the pregnancy hormones combined with my inherited sense of doom genetics gifted by my Irish mother.  I was experiencing a full-blown case of friggastriskaidekaphobia that February. 

was no way in Hell I was going into labor on Friday the 13th. I was determined my legs would not be separated by horizontal stirrups on the unluckiest day of the year. It wasn't happening come hell or high bag of waters.

My water broke a few hours after the midnight chime tolled, early on the 14th. I can be a tenacious little beast when I need to be. I dribbled all the way from the hospital parking lot, up the elevator to the Labor and Delivery floor. 

Our son slipped out a stealth 9 lbs, 21 inches, at 11:08 a.m. that morning. Remarkably, his left ear lobe is shaped like an upside-down heart, which he refers to as being"dog-chewed". I like to think he was kissed by Cupid on his way from Heaven. My husband is convinced his lobe was compromised by his high forceps delivery.

Did I just lose you with high forceps delivery? I'm sorry. I wanted to prepare you for my explosive, flaming, hot Valentine's Day event that took place five years ago on our son's birthday, aka Valentine's Day.

Thanks to Timehop and my incessant need to write about inane happenings, this one comes complete with photo documentation.

So in the spirit of TMI, and in honor of Cupid's big day closing in on us, I present, drum roll please...My explosive, flaming hot Valentine.

For a little backstory and much to my husband's advisement against the idea, I rescued a ten-year-old,110-pound Mastiff/Boxer mix with an oversized tongue from the Humane Society on June 28th, 2012. I've written about Princess before. My big beautiful girl did not come without challenges, like the two times she nearly ate one of our other dogs. Princess was either salivating about golden noodles, or maybe it was alpha-bitch-i-cized soup that whet her appetite, placing Sophie the Golden Doodle on the dinner menu. 

I remained on thin ice for ignoring my husband's advisement to not adopt Princess six months later when V'Day rolled around. My decision to beg for forgiveness rather than ask permission didn't go over so big after the second attack on our Doodle.  I didn't expect a  fru-fru/goo-goo card for at least the next decade on V-day. Veterinarian bills had completely wiped out any chances of a pricey dinner to celebrate our love. Besides, V-Day is all about our first child. 

I'll never regret my decision to bring Princess home, and though we lost her to cancer less than two years later following an extensive surgery, 'Prin' will always remain close in heart.

In every lifetime, there is one remarkable dog who finds a hurt deep inside its master or mistress, and heals that troubled pain. Princess was that dog for me. I can only hope I was that person for her.  This is her Valentine's Day story, and it's a doozy!


I returned home from a long day at work, with the intention of icing the birthday cake I baked the night before, and to quickly get the house in order before family arrived to celebrate our very own Valentino.  

I rolled onto the driveway and pushed the button on my console to engage the garage door. As the metal door lifted, I noticed my husband's oversized shoes looming from the other side. I smiled at his handsomeness, and pulled in as he motioned Casper the friendly Toyota as if directing a 747 to the gate. I've driven through the laundry room on two occasions over our thirty-something years, and he was being overly dramatic, playing on those minor mishaps.  Following my second drive-thru event, he suspended a tennis ball from the garage ceiling to 'kiss' my windshield each time I roll in, avoiding further attempts in adding a drive-thru laundromat to our home.  

I popped out of my car (Brunhilda suggested it was more like a grunt, roll, hoist maneuver), and rounded the rear bumper, my man said in the most suggestive tone I'd heard in years, "Hey, let's get another dog."

I was hoping the rescue Boxer I emailed him earlier in the day touched his heart, too.  

A little flustered by his sexy suggestion, I replied with an over-excitable
"REALLY?"  I'd embrace a rescue dog/cat over a bouquet of flowers, flashy jewelry, or a Hallmark card any day, but especially on Valentine's Day.  

Brunhilda popped in again with her own take on the scene, "Well fooooookin'-A, thirty-five years later he finally gets you!  Don't you feel terrible you didn't get him anything?  Maybe we can make him a hand-made card between taco production and blowing out the candles." Before I had a chance to fret over my lack of a last minute gift or card for him, he followed up with a snide, "Princess left you a Valentine."

I can't fully describe the assault Princess's multiple gifts of Love Potion #9 scattered throughout the house had on my sniffer the minute I entered through the garage and past the laundromat.

I found her multiple hot and steamy love deposits in the family room, the dining room, and the anique parlor. My aunt Mimi's mahogany sofa demanded a return trip to Boston, post haste.  

Princess obviously wanted me to feel super-duper-dumper loved.

Following cleanup (me), my husband began a mission to light every Gold Canyon candle we had in stock to "Freshen up the joint". Our house smelled like a mix of Cinnamon Vanilla; Sweet, Tart & Juicy; White Cotton Sheets; Sweet Pea and Smell My Nuts. The Smell My Nuts aroma was made by an off brand, and likely a gift.  

I can't help the candle scents read like a B-Erotica movie--Brunhilda says its a gift we have that comes out of nowhere. 

It wasn't long before I heard my husband yelling at the top of his lungs in a most exaggerated tone, 

When I realized he wasn't speaking to how hot his Valentine (me) looked or smelled at that moment, I turned to see what had him sooooooo excited.

As I began the rotation from pile of dog dung potion #4, I caught out of the corner of my eye a bright flame extending toward the ceiling from the middle of our dining room table. It seems the Smell my Nuts candle had ignited my once beautiful table arrangement, and the flames were quickly closing in on the chandelier.

My husband was now fully engaged in his sexy dance--I've witnessed it a few times over our decades together. It's deployed in stressful situations, like when I turn blue while choking on a large vitamin, or when we're driving down the interstate and I begin choking on a popcorn kernel.

Our then six-year-old daughter was in the farthest rear seat of our Chevrolet Suburban, affectionately called the USS Enterprise, when the popcorn incident was (not) going down.  She refused, after multiple requests, to pass forward a water bottle from the cooler in the hold behind her. To do so would have interfered with the score she was achieving on her GameBoy. As a six-year-old, she didn't grasp that crashing the 'Burb would also have interrupted her game. I didn't find my husband's sexy dance all that sexy as we barreled down the interstate at 70 mph, while choking.

No worries, we pulled off the highway and a roadside Heimlich crush did the trick. All these years later, I can't erase from my memory his sexy boppity swag as he crossed the headlights to assist me from the passenger door. Have you ever seen a penguin in flip-flops taking tiny steps very quickly while rotating in circles?  There you have it.


Back to my flaming V-Day story...once the fake hydrangeas were doused, the smoke alarms began their own 'anything but romantic' concert. Princess freaked out, along with the rest of our four-legged herd when the alarms sounded.  She began shooting the squirts again as I opened the door to the non-carpeted backyard.  Princess didn't quite clear the patio in time, so clean-up love potion #5 ensued.  

With our son's taco celebratory birthday night just minutes away, my husband and I broke into hysterics as we pulled out the backyard fire hose and sprayed down the patio..

2013 was a very memorable Valentine's Day, thanks to the love of a Princess, a dog I continue to miss very much, and my husband of nearly forty years who always makes me laugh.

Happy Valentine's/Single Awareness Day!  Just think, instead of chocolate and flowers you could be receiving...Love Potions delivered in hot, steamy piles of ...



In the U.S., an estimated 17 to 21 million people suffer from a fear of Friday the 13th, according to a study by the North Carolina Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute. The phobia, known as friggatriskaidekaphobia, is not uncommon. The word comes from Frigga, the name of the Norse goddess for whom Friday is named, and triskaidekaphobia, or the fear of the number thirteen. It is also sometimes called paraskevidekatriaphobia from the Greek Paraskevi for Friday, Dekatreis for thirteen and phobia for fear.

Timehop is a free phone app that brings up photographs taken on your cell phone each day, as far back in years as the app was engaged.

TMI - Acronym for too.much.information
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