Writing prompts for your Valentine’s cards


There are few things I adore more than a handwritten card.  I love to send them and I display pretty much every damn one I receive.  The intention and care taken in every step of a handwritten card just makes me swoon.

So if you are staring down the blank belly of a greeting card to your Valentine, may I suggest the following prompts, ripped from my personal experience:

You have beastly calves

One night, a gentleman I had been seeing for a few weeks delivered the above humdinger, effectively killing a sweet moment after I VERY LOUDLY asked for a clarification on that comment.  We are still friends, but it baffles me that he thought this was going to go over well.

According to him, this was simply a celebration of my self.  I am the product of strong, self-sufficient people and I spent years hauling water to pigs and helping to chop down fallen trees on the farm I owned.  In the spirit of his extreme honesty, I invite you to recognize and celebrate the true self of your loved one.  Does that person have adorable earlobes?  A truly fascinating taste in music?  A laugh that will disrupt everyone else’s meal in a crowded restaurant?  Let’s go into detail in that card.

I’m glad it’s my job to help keep you alive

There is no way I am the only person who has specific people I reach out to regarding truly questionable life decisions.  I have the person who reminds me to drink water.  I have someone who tells me not to destroy my eyebrows.  I have someone who frequently tells me NOT to cut my bangs over a garbage can and reminds me that boys are dumb and finally that I really should plan something ANYTHING when traveling and also that I should blog more.

Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to write to those people who keep you alive and tell them thanks.  Because, at least for me, this life is an endless barn-raising.

You are my favorite

This one is pretty simple.  Of all the people and snacks and pets and streaming services and hot alcoholic drinks, of all the lovely things and all the ways I could spend my limited time: you are my favorite.

I gave this a lot of thought and I have decided you are a mixture of the following characters from pop culture

One day, a dear lifelong friend sent me a detailed breakdown of which combination of Sex and the City characters she thought I was.  Turns out I’m mostly Miranda with a hefty dose of Charlotte and an unfortunate splash of Carrie.

So whether it’s the SATC ladies, Dickens characters, Biblical figures, Spice Girls or whatever is your thing (or maybe all of the above hot damn that would be amazing) — take some time to consider all the qualities of your beloveds and fill that card with your explanation.  This gesture shows a deep understanding of your person, and also is ideal fuel for your next argument.  Guaranteed that card will have a treasured place on their kitchen bulletin board that they will frequently re-read when boiling water for the butter noodles they will eat directly from the pot while watching “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”, which is approximately 90% of her evenings at home.

I can’t decide how many interventions I need to schedule

Yesterday I popped into my boss’s office to tell her I was stepping out to:

  • get a tuberculosis test
  • get my California driver’s license, just shy of two years of residency and on the same day I decided to cut my own bangs while hunched over my garbage can which was going to look PRECIOUS in my license photo

To which she replied, “I can’t decide how many interventions I need to schedule”.  As a woman with a hectic schedule, this was truly a heartfelt gesture from my supervisor.  Additionally, this person could have half-listened and said, “ok be back in time for the meeting” without considering the absurd path my life continually follows.  Also, interventions are a logistical nightmare (organizing friends and family, buying Kleenex, reserving a hotel room resplendent with truly haunting artwork) so telling someone you are prepared to schedule multiple is a sincere gesture of care.

I would happily order another slice of pie for us to share at 11 p.m.

I was recently on a date that involved a trip to San Francisco where we saw a concert, then decided to hit up a 24-hour diner.  My date was the superior orderer of the night, getting a truly heavenly boysenberry pie.  Which he finished.

Now, I have a quirk where I like to be informed of the last bite.  I don’t need to eat the last bite, but I like to have the option.  This could be because I am a control enthusiast, but it’s best not to be examined.  I spent years breaking my husband in to this courtesy, but my date was not aware of this absolutely reasonable request.

So he ordered another slice of boysenberry pie.  And I got the last bite.

I love hearing about the quirks of peoples’ relationships: she likes the yellow and orange Starbursts so sharing is a breeze, he will happily pick up our kids from daycare and learns all the names of their little friends in the toddler room, they don’t care about video games but will sit in the room with me and read just so we can be close.

What’s that adorable quirk that may go unnoticed?  Now’s the time!

You’re a problem

As previously mentioned, I attempted to get my driver’s license the other day and it was extremely unsuccessful.  One of the many hiccups was I needed a debit card to pay for the new license.  However, my debit card tumbled out of my pocket during the aforementioned date in downtown SF and the cranky, almost certainly undervalued DMV employee with Duggar Hair was NOT willing to entertain any creative workarounds for my predicament.

So my dear friend hauled her ass from the next town over to join me at the DMV during her lunch break.  After successfully running her debit card, she bid me farewell with a new portmanteau that is a true declaration of love:  “You’re a problem”.

She attempted to say “you’re welcome” and “not a problem” but this truer sweet nothing was born.  It’s very real.  It’s very honest.  And it only occurs when someone truly sees all of you, and loves you wholeheartedly, unconditionally, unambiguously.

So to you, dear reader, and all of my Valentines: you are such a problem.