Since I profess my love to my kids and my husband on a daily basis, and I have a strong dislike for anything heart-shaped, I won't be celebrating Valentine's Day. But since I don't want to be a complete party-pooper, I thought I'd use the day to express my love for a few individuals that I sorta love, because they make my life easier:
- Happy Valentine's Day garbage man, and thank you for showing up every Wednesday morning bright and early to haul away my crap. Even when I've strategically stacked stuff well over the top of the container and it falls out and lands on the street, you always take the time to get out of your warm truck and pick the shit up. I really appreciate that, because the thought of having garbage in my possession any longer than absolutely necessary makes me crazy. I don't know if you do this extra service because you're good at your job, or if it's because you see me glaring out the front window, ready to scream if you quickly drive away, pretending not to notice the stuff that fell out. Either way, thank you.
- I really like Elle, at Floyd's Barbershop, for always managing to cut Zoe's bangs in a way that makes her look bad ass and cute at the same time, and not at all like an American Girl Doll.
- The non-English speaking table clearer guy that has worked forever at Noodles & Co. has a special place in my heart because not only does he take away my dirty bowl, but he always has a smile on his face and a free cookie for Zoe.
- I love that the tennis racquet stringers at Michael Lynne's have saved our asses by being able to get a stringing job done in less than an hour. In a perfect world, my boys are supposed to monitor their strings and check them for wear, and not wait until we are minutes away from leaving for a tournament to say: "Hey, check it out. This string is about to break." Obviously, we do not live in a perfect world.
- I love any bartender or liquor store employee that has carded me, and went the extra, morale-boosting mile to say "Wow!" after looking at my birthdate.
- I definitely like the people at school drop-off that actually know what they're doing and don't drive around with their head up their ass.
- Since I'm supposed to love my neighbors, I guess I should be extra appreciative of one neighbor in particular for showing me exactly what to do if I ever want to be known as The Worst Neighbor In The World. By all means, keep using your lawn mower/leaf blower/ weed whacker after 9pm, your snowblower at 6am, your Shop-Vac at 10pm and put your screaming, uncoordinated kids in the yard anytime you want to. And speaking of your kids, you should definitely take every opportunity to tell me about how amazing, smart, intelligent, one-of-a-kind, spectacular, gifted and outstanding they are. I can see why, if I have the common courtesy to mutter "hi" while I'm getting the newspaper in my pajamas, you would interpret that as "Oh, you must want to hear all about my kids. And my job. And my wife's job." By all means, neighbor, keep up the good work because the longer you keep acting like this, the more people will talk about you, which will leave them less time to talk about me.