Blog

The Kids are Alright Spring 2017 Part I


-Sarah

At the end of each semester, my body image students write a process paper where they synthesize their learning- both personal and academic- for the semester. These papers are always a delight to read and there is so much wisdom in them that I just have to share a fraction of it (with my students’ permission, of course) with you. Here, some wise words from my students this semester. May they give you hope and inspiration the way they did me.   

Body image. Isn’t that exactly what it is? Just a mere image.  It’s not a definition, it’s not a standard, and it’s hardly an expectation. My body image is up to my discretion how I view it. My body image is meant to only supply me happiness, because the rest of the world is looking to make profit from it.  The world wants to make profit off of the unbelievable structure that has carried me successfully through 22 years of life. The body that has blocked me from illness, the body that has offered resiliency and support through the hardest experiences, people are trying to exploit, degrade, and make profit from. No more. No more will I accept society’s belittlement of my home. For my body is my house, my tattoos and piercings making it a home. My body is my safe haven, and it’s time my-self image reflect that. Sarah

Some how along the way, most of us have displaced ourselves from value. We’ve latched on to an idea that beauty and, thus, worth is one path. The ironic thing is most of us are always searching for that path, a path that doesn’t exist. If we are to grow as individuals, we must let go of our preconceived ideas on what makes us less or more worthy than another individual. Devin

I want to encourage and advocate to girls and women that being raw is okay because it is the only time where you can feel your strongest, most empowered, most free, and the most beautiful that you have ever felt. I would tell my daughter to not let society or media determine your beauty. Only you can define your own beauty and that you should never feel like that you are any less than anyone else. I would tell my son to respect women of all diversity, flaws, and curves; to not ridicule, belittle, or degrade women. In the future, I want to live in a society that not only celebrates masculinity but femininity as well. Anika

It’s easy to compare your body size to other girls, especially in college. That’s the normality of society, right? Most people hope to stand out from everyone else, with sole recognition of appearance. But, wouldn’t that make you tired? The spiritless effort of keeping up with the latest trend or trying to meet the “perfect” standard, wouldn’t that make you exhausted? Rachel

Beauty does not come in a one-size-fits-all standard. Truth is, there is no standard. Who says any one of us is more beautiful than the other? Who says what I have to offer the world is any more inspirational than the classmate sitting next to me. We all have a gift waiting to be unwrapped. That sounds corny, but maybe the corny things are what we need to hear to remember our worth. Devin

I’ll be back next week with another dose of inspiration from my students!

Stay woke, dear heart.

stay woke dear heart

We started together at a time when the world was changing– when it felt unfamiliar, maybe even broken to some of us, when it was shifting on its axis and it demanded of us a type of shifting, a refocusing on what was important, what mattered.

Maybe in that moment Body Image felt like the most frivolous thing we could be thinking about or maybe it felt like the most important, like the very thing that we needed to consider so we could resolve it for ourselves and get onto the things that felt most urgent in our soul because we finally came to understand that we are each here on purpose and for every minute that we spend distracted by our hair, our waist, our skin, our musculature, our height, those are minutes that we are stealing away from our meaning and maybe just maybe healing our brokenness would empower us to be one part of the world’s necessary healing.

In the midst of those maybes, here is what I came to learn about you, here is what I cannot help but celebrate:

The way you showed up every single week broken-open and honest. Willing to create the type of earnest, open space and experience that made each one of you feel safe, made each of you willing to talk honestly about race, gender, sexuality, bodies, parents, partners, peers and more, that made each one of you less afraid to bare witness to the pain that permeates our collective existence and the personal brokenness that can sometimes feel impossible to superglue into something new, something that will actually serve us better.

The way you held your brokenness with reverence, not downplaying that it mattered—because it matters, dear heart; you matter– but how with courage and fortitude and hope, you held your brokenness up to the light, allowing the light to perform its service by making things less frightening, by offering a spotlight for a whole new way of seeing things, by putting a shine on your scars in a way that you never could have imagined.

The way you fought for the world with your heart wide open. Not one of you is comfortable with the status quo. Not one of you wants to live in a world that profits off our self-hatred. Not one of you wants your own joy or healing to come at the expense of someone else’s. Each one of you is so eager to do your part not just for your own healing but for the world’s.

The way you woke up to what your heart, body, and soul needed. The way you shifted into the type of profound awareness that will not just keep you safe in this world but will make this world safe for every single one of us.

And so here is what I want you to know as we gather together for one last time in this space and experience that we joined souls and hearts and hands to create together:

You have everything you need inside of you to heal yourself, to help others, to offer comfort and courage and conviction in our efforts to reconcile the world’s pain. You are already worthy. You are always enough. And you are, unequivocally, a radiant light that is needed.

When the day ahead of you is hard, when the voice in your head is unkind, when the person before you is trying to pass off their pain to you, I want you to stop in that moment and revisit these words, remember this truth:

You have within you a type of light and magic that creates safe spaces and your magic is available to you and your community at any time. Get quiet. Remind yourself of all that you have done and created and experienced. Remind yourself of the deep truth of your purpose. Set your intention. Then begin. Never stop beginning again. Stay woke, dear hearts. Stay in your magic.

At the end of each semester, I write my students a letter that is unique to their class.  This was the letter for my body image class this semester.

Want to read some past letters?

The struggle is for you.

You can change us. 

The world is aching for you to show up. 

The world needs your lightness 

We hunger to be known.  

Answer the call into your own greatness 

Radiate Love 

Do the world’s work 

And here is the letter I share with them on the first day of school.  

May You Always See the Beauty in Being Good to Yourself

Unknown

I am so excited to share a post from Rebecca Scritchfield, RDN, author of Body Kindness.  Body Kindness has been one of my go-to gift books this year and I was thrilled when Rebecca agreed to sharing her thoughts here as well as provide a book for a book giveaway!

Unknown-2

By way of quick background, Rebecca is an award-winning registered dietitian, certified health and fitness specialist. Lauded by The New York Times Book Review as “Simple and True,” and called “a rousing guide to better health” by Publisher’s Weekly, Body Kindness helps readers create a healthy, happy life with mindful decision-making and choices that fit their interests.  Now, enjoy this wisdom from Rebecca and details for the book giveaway!  

scritchfield-cooking-girls

I dedicated my first book, Body Kindness, to my daughters, Audrey – age 4 and Isla – age 2 and this was my wish for them: “May you always see the beauty in being good to yourself.” I want them to understand that it’s not our appearance that makes us beautiful, it’s in the kindness we give ourselves each and every day.

Our culture has it all wrong when it comes to beauty. With images of unattainable ‘ideal’ beauty bombarding us daily, we are taught that the most worthy thing we can do is to put all our energy into trying to “fix” our appearance. Weight loss is usually at the top of the list. I believe treating yourself with kindness and compassion is beautiful and weight is just a number. Weight should not be used as a label to define who you are as a person or the value you bring to the world.

The diet and beauty cultures are designed to always leave us feeling not worthy enough, so most of us mistakenly associate weight and shape as evidence of good health. We spend our hard earned money trying to correct our “problems”. From beautifying our skin with abrasive chemicals to going to any measure possible to lose weight. We are the victims of beauty ideals and the diet culture that teaches us to believe that our bodies are problems in the first place. Our bodies are not problems. Diet culture is.

 

As a nutrition and fitness expert, I strive to help people become truly well (mind and body) by establishing self-care habits they feel really good about. There are a lot of great things that come from eating nutritious foods, exercising in ways that feel good to your body, and making time for good sleep to tie it all together. But there is such thing as overthinking it and expecting perfection — perfect behavior, perfect body — and then criticizing yourself when you don’t measure up. That’s a trap! Be aware of it and carve out a kind, compassionate path to better habits.

You can opt out of diet culture and be good to your body at the same time. That’s where happiness and health converge. Over the years I’ve learned that real beauty isn’t found in any particular size, but it can be found in every size. You can be healthy and beautiful with cellulite, thick thighs, junk in the trunk, or virtually any body shape. Emotional health is an equal part of the equation.

The beautiful truth I strive to show my daughters every day is the power within us all to make the very personal choice to be good to ourselves. But I didn’t always see this truth. In fact, I dieted most of my life and I was one of those body-shaming experts who put people on diets. All that time, I was a pawn in the diet culture that created me. Now I cringe at the harm I undoubtedly caused people thinking I was being helpful. I’m well aware that the majority of health experts are out there acting like the “old” me. Unfollow them. Unfollow anyone whose mission involves your body oppression, not your liberation.

Eventually, I hit a diet “rock bottom” and I gave up dieting and changed my values. I now support the Health at Every Size principles that encourage respectful care and weight inclusivity (duh, I know!)  Everything I do, whether it’s engaging readers in Body Kindness, sharing people’s stories through videos, or conversations on my podcasts, my mission is to dismantle diet culture in the hopes of my girls and future generations are empowered to invest in things they actual need and want, rather than live a life of always feeling not good enough and overspending on needless crap.

We can choose to realize that beauty is not defined by weight or size and together we can be leaders for our daughters and anyone we influence. Imagine the good we can create in our world if we help others find the beauty in being good to themselves (and resist and reject anything else telling them they’re inadequate).

Want to win a copy of Body Kindness?  Enter my giveaway by sharing one way that you practice (or wish) to practice body kindness with yourself by Friday, May 12th at 5 pm EST.

what would you do if you believed that you were enough?

enoughness_FB

I know how prevalent the belief that “you are not enough” is in our society. Sometimes in direct ways but most often in subtle ways, you are fed the lie that if you change “just one thing” you’ll feel better about yourself.

So you start chasing that “one thing” and before long you end end up physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted from doing all the things you think will make you feel like you’re enough.

But it doesn’t work, does it? Each attempt to “fix” yourself only causes you to feel more insecure about yourself. And constantly nudges that goal even further out of reach. And in the back of your mind is the nagging fear that you’ll never measure up no matter how hard you try.

The truth is (even if this is hard to believe) you are ALREADY enough and if you could see and celebrate this, I know you will feel less stressed and more at home with yourself. You’d be energized and excited about life, not to mention experiencing a whole new level of confidence.

That’s why I’m excited to share about The Enoughness Challenge my friend Makeda is doing. Makeda knows first hand the power of the “not enough” message. She once turned down a promotion she was more than qualified for because she believed wasn’t good enough or smart enough for the role.

She also spent many years hiding her gifts because she believed she needed to be skinnier to be taken seriously. Makeda has done a lot of work to let go of those messages. The result has been more confidence, courage, and boldness in her life and work. She now wants to support other women in discovering the power of owning their enoughness.

For The Enoughness Challenge, she has pulled together a team of women (including me and, just to be clear, I am not being paid to do this and I don’t get any kickbacks.  This is just something I believe in!) to help you own and celebrate all the ways you are ALREADY enough. She’ll be covering enoughness in 6 different areas: at home, at work, in your body, in your relationships, in your creativity, and in the messiness of life.

I’ll be covering enoughness in your body and I will be sharing a little bit on May 20th. I’d love for you to join me.

The Challenge kicks off on May 18, 2017 and runs for 6 days. Then on May 24th, Makeda is hosting a special bonus training on the topic, What to Do When You Forget You Are Enough.

The Challenge and the training are totally FREE. All you have to do is sign-up and you’re in– you’re worth it aren’t you?

Click here to get all the details and to sign-up.

I know it will inspire and motivate you.

Permission Granted

permission granted

 

Once during a high stress period in my life, I found myself racked with anxiety over the pressure I felt to do something that I just did not really want to do. Navigating the stress of not meeting expectations when I had a lifetime of being a good girl under my belt was eating at me and so I scheduled an appointment with a therapist.

When I shared all the details she looked at me with such gracious kindness and said, “of course, you don’t have to do that. Your body is telling you everything you need to know about the fact that this isn’t a fit for you and, intellectually, you knew that you were right. Now, you just need to give yourself that permission.”

She then walked over to her printer, grabbed a piece of paper, and said,

“I want you to write yourself a permission slip that you do not have to do this or anything that doesn’t feel right.”

Before I lost my nerve, I grabbed her paper, and wrote, “I give myself permission to use my cues and intuition to guide me to the decisions and experiences that are best for me without worrying about what is expected of me by someone else who doesn’t know my whole” and then dated and signed it.

My therapist signed it as a witness and I tucked that permission slip into my purse, a constant reminder in the following weeks that I did not, in the words of my beloved Mary Oliver, “have to be good” but I did need to be true.

I was reminded of this permission slip the other day when I was talking to a new friend about her work experience and she was talking about how it took her a little while to move from one profession to another even though she had long known that the old profession was no longer for her. Even with that knowledge, the old profession had been her childhood dream and she wasn’t sure that leaving it was right. Was she abandoning her dreams or had she just outgrown her dream and found another one? Ultimately, after lots of consideration, she realized that she was growing and that her old career no longer served her needs. She gave herself permission to leave her childhood dream, acknowledging that she had actually fulfilled it even if it wasn’t the last profession she would ever have.

Ever since that conversation, the idea of permission has been circling in my mind.

What do I dare give myself permission to dream? To consider? To do?

What am I too scared to give myself permission to consider?

What permission do I most need right now?

How can I harness that permission into my power?

Are you aching for permission in your life? How can you offer it to yourself?  Start now by declaring your intention on paper, tuck into your bag, and watch as you expand into the possibility it offers.

 

To what are you saying yes?

worthy. enough

On Saturday, March 11th, I spoke at She’s Brave, a conference put on by Nourish CLT.  My topic?

You Have to Say No to Say Yes.  

We teach what we most need to learn now don’t we?

For those who have followed me for a bit, you know that I have a love/hate relationship with saying no. It is the thing that I MOST need to do.  It is the hardest thing for me to do.  And I am constantly trying to get better at it so I can live my yeses more deeply, profoundly, and un-distractedly and with a little bit of room to breath between them.

As I was preparing my remarks for She’s Brave, I kept thinking about how our excessive yeses can often be a symptom of our sense of worthiness (or lack of sense of worthiness). We too often say yes to all the things because we don’t believe that we are already worthy and always enough and if we say yes, yes, yes to all the things, we accumulate and prove our worth.

If the idea of this resonates, I encourage you to really analyze your yeses in the coming days. Why have you said yes to this and that and the other? Is it because it is something that you can do wholeheartedly and even MUST do because of how it makes you feel in your soul or is it something that you feel obligated to do or are doing to curry favor or worth?

As your answers come to you, reevaluate your yeses and see if there is a way to make room in your life for your most pure passion and purposes.  We have a limited amount of time and energy and our yeses have the most profound power when we can do them wholeheartedly.

Announcing Find Your Center!

picmonkey_image
Do you have a daughter who is 11-14 
would love a pottery + self-acceptance day camp?  
Find Your Center (June 26-30) might be perfect!  
Have your daughter join Melissa Reddick and Rosie Molinary for a fun and creative journey into her center. From exploring one’s own thoughts and feelings in journal exercises and thoughtful discussion to finding center on the potter’s wheel, from claiming our intentions out loud to declaring them in our hand built work, participants will enjoy this creative embrace of who they are and where they are right now.
Our days together will be guided by these themes:

Finding Your Joy: We’ll start camp by exploring what bring us joy, how we offer joy, and taking joy in our self-exploration and creative process.

Finding Your Hope: What are our biggest wishes? What do we want more and less of in our lives? What do those things reveal to us about ourselves, our hopes, our dreams, and our possibilities?

Finding Your Heart: What are our values and loves and how do we want those things to guide how we show up in the world, our decisions, and actions?

Finding Your Voice: How can we be our most authentic selves in the world and share what we have to say in meaningful ways?

Finding Your Way: What intentions do we want to guide us moving forward and how can we practice them?

Dates: June 26-30

Time: 9 am – 1 pm

Location: Black Seed Pottery Studio in Davidson, NC.

Ages:  11-14

Cost: $300 includes a journal, clay, glaze, and firing costs.

What to bring: A nut free lunch, water bottle, and a sense of adventure!

For more details and to register online, visit www.blackseedpottery.com

Questions? Contact Melissa at blackseedpottery@gmail.com .  

 

Join me on March 29th at Park Road Books!

In the Greater Charlotte area?  
Mark your calendars! 
I’ll be at Park Road Books on March 29th to talk 
Beautiful You and self-acceptance 
and you are invited! 

Learning the lesson the easiest way possible

www.rosiemolinary.com

A few weeks ago, I lost my breakfast. This is not some euphemistic way for me to say I was sick. Nope, I literally could not find my breakfast when I got to the Sugar Shack after carefully packing yogurt, a piece of cheese, and two Cuties to eat at my desk. I tore my backpack apart and it was nowhere. I went back to the kitchen to search for it and found nothing. It was like I had never packed it. Except I knew I had.

Then, the next week, I lost my keys. I resorted to using my single spare key for the car, not even actively bothering to try and find my keys because I knew it would be futile. Given how long gone my breakfast was, I figured there was no way my keys would be in a reasonable place.  Sure enough, several days later, I found my keys in our garage, on top of our grill. I had laid them on top of the grill while loading my trunk one day and then never thought twice about them.

The next day, I thought I lost my debit card. I hadn’t. The friend I was out to lunch with had to point out that it was right in front of me. The next week, I was making fun of myself thinking I had lost my debit card while at the same restaurant with another friend and I left the card there.  I called the restaurant as soon as I realized what I had done and they insisted they didn’t have it. I drove to the bank and cancelled the card.  At closing that night, the restaurant called back to say they had it.

Back in the Sugar Shack, I went to put away some receipts in my tax files. I keep my tax files in one of those magazine holders.  There, I found my breakfast from three weeks ago. As you might image, it was not in good shape.  A flash of memory came back to me. I lost my breakfast on a Monday, the first work day after I had spent the weekend getting my tax documents together. I had brought my trusty little file box into the house to work on it.  Clearly, I had tucked my bag of breakfast into it before my ‘commute’ that Monday morning and then promptly forgot about it when I got out to the office, placed the file box on the shelf where it lives behind me in the shack and totally forgot about it.

I have this theory that life keeps handing you the lesson you need to learn until you learn it.  Miss the lesson the first time and you get another little prod. Miss it again, the prod turns into a nudge.  Again? The nudge into a shove.  Again? The nudge into a tackle. I have missed big lessons in my past- the nudge eventually turning into hospitalization and worse so now I try really hard to be attentive enough to learn my lessons much earlier so they aren’t quite so painful.

A couple weeks ago, at a visionSPARK workshop, a participant who is also a dear, inspiring friend shared that her word of the year was regenerate.  When she shared it, a flash of recognition fired through me. I desperately need to regenerate. For a while now, I have felt creatively and energetically bereft. My anxiety is up. I have had a sinus infection since mid-December that I just can’t shake. My to do list is way too long. Going back to teaching this semester after taking the fall semester off (my first semester off in eight years) has really taken the last little bit of stamina in me. Between the constant search for stuff I shouldn’t have lost (in addition to the anecdotes I regularly share, I am constantly back tracking into stores where I left my phone or keys on the counter while checking out), the flash of recognition when my friend mentioned regenerate, my understanding that I was being given the opportunity to learn a lesson early and less painfully than it might become later, my deep desire to be as intentional as possible, I stopped for a few minutes and made a plan to alter my course.

The plan:

  1. Get back on B12. I had a significant deficiency years ago that led to some cognitive issues. I took a B12 supplement for years but took myself off of it when recent years of blood work showed it was normal again. I probably shouldn’t have (and my annual blood work in a couple weeks might just prove that although hopefully restarting the supplement will be a valuable course corrector?).  Note to self: just stay on the B12.
  1. Manage the anxiety. I have actually been really proactive about this in the new year. My phone goes to bed super early (and far away from me) each afternoon because taking in news after about 7 pm was giving me heart palpitations. I am letting people know when I am just not in the place for a particular conversation, and I am journaling about things that fill me with optimism and hope.
  1. Being less productive.  My to do lists are exhaustive, but, if I am honest, I am doing lots of things that aren’t important in the grand scheme of things. I am trying to be cognizant of those things and just not adding them to my list, but I am also keeping a list so I notice even more of these things as I go. My list simply says Nourish at the top and has two columns one with a + at the top and one with a – at the top. At the end of the day, I jot down that day’s activities, classifying them in the right column. What am I doing that profoundly nourishes me or someone else? What am I doing that isn’t?  I hope to make wiser decisions about my choices in the future because of this list.  Also, our weekend used to always start with me leaving first thing Saturday morning for the grocery store. I would get home mid morning, and we unload the car, get the groceries unpacked and then practically be starting down lunchtime. Dragging my hyper-productivity into the weekend is a drag. For all of us. So even though it messes with my work time, I have moved grocery shopping to Thursday or Friday sometime during my work hours since I have the luxury of being able to do that. It is giving us more time to have fun as a family or be leisurely on the weekend.
  1. Really stopping my work day.  I pick up Happy at 3:30. Typically, I would worry about how much work I still had left to do because while I have full-time work, I don’t have traditional full-time hours available to me. This used to mean that I would sneak in work during homework time or after bedtime. Not anymore. I might answer a quick email and I usually have one evening meeting a week, but, other than that, I am honoring the work hours I have available to me.
  1. Working to feel better. My sinuses have been a key hindrance in my life. While I typically don’t get sick in any other way (I have never ever had strep throat for example),if I get a sinus infection, I will have it for anywhere from 1-3 months. Sinus infections greatly impact my forward progress—I feel like I get stalled right after making some sort of momentum when I am well. I want that to be less and less true. I am more than a year into allergy shots and while they probably have reduced my number of infections,  they don’t reduce the lenth and severity of the infections when I do get them. I am still fairly sick for at least half of each year. I’ve recently added a few more sinus wellness practices to my life and am actively researching other things I can do to improve my overall health.  If 2017 is the year of defeating sinus infections, that would be alright with me!

Now, I am not telling you all this so that you can be intimately in touch with what’s going on with me. I am sharing this with you because I want you to see how I go about seeing things in my life that I don’t love and intentionally trying to change them. My hope is that in sharing how I do this for myself, it might inspire you to consider if there are any lessons life is trying to teach you and, if so, what you need to learn and how you might implement those lessons in your own life. It’s not lost on me that in the dailyness of living, our intentionality can get lost and the only way that we can get back to it is by deliberately reminding ourselves of what we most need and guiding ourselves to it.

Here’s to learning our lessons the easy way.

it is not about the cupcake

photo by Jill E. Williams

photo by Jill E. Williams

As has become tradition here on the blog, every Valentine’s Day, I tell the same story.  It’s the story of one of the biggest fights in my marriage to BF.  And though it seems like it is about a cupcake, I cannot stress enough that it is NOT about the cupcake:

This is the funny thing about our marriage.  BF and I are about as different as two people can be.  I mean, we are seriously different.  But this has worked to our advantage because it means we have to communicate and compromise about everything.  Anyway, because of our differences, we know that we’re not going to feel the same about most things, and so we just go into every discussion knowing there will be lots of communication until we get to the other side.  Since we don’t expect to see eye to eye on everything, we rarely fight.  Except when BF takes something that is mine. Without asking.  Because I just think that is disrespectful.

The most common thing I don’t want to share without being asked is my dessert.  Not because I want the sugar so badly (okay, maybe a little bit is that), I swear, but just because I think you shouldn’t take something that is not yours.  It would be one thing if he asked.  It would be another thing if I didn’t ALWAYS say, “I have a cookie in there I really want to eat, please don’t eat it.”  But I always do, and he never listens.

It’s enough to drive a woman who once won a Holly Hobby cake in a raffle as a four year old but was sick the day it came home and her family devoured it without saving her a piece bonkers.  No, there are no issues here.  Move along.  I just want to explain that my territorialness about sugar, I mean asking, has deep roots.  And I am forthright about it.  You’d think a boy would learn. But he hasn’t.  Or maybe he has, because just last week there was a mini-sugar situation in our house.  But this time BF didn’t eat my cookie (I made him his own set of cookies as a surprise and just asked to have one that I sealed away in aluminum foil for later), he threw it away.  And we survived it, and everyone went to bed happy at our house (or maybe I’ve just learned that there is no guarantee that one will enjoy any sugary goodness that lands in our house).  Unlike Valentine’s Day 2007.  Speaking of Valentine’s Day, happy day, BF.  I wouldn’t trade you for the world.  Or even a cupcake which I know is kinda hard to believe.

Here is what happened on Valentine’s Day a decade ago:

I love cake.  Grocery store cake to be specific.  Give me some grocery store vanilla cake with vanilla icing and you have a girl who doesn’t need any other sustenance.

Anyway, for Valentine’s Day 2007, BF’s aunt gave us two cupcakes.  Grocery store cupcakes.  With a lot of icing.  I was so psyched about the cupcake that in the car, on the way home from dinner at his aunt’s house, I was talking about when I was going to eat my cupcake.  Yes, I am simple; I don’t play otherwise.  I know this about myself, but, here is the thing, I don’t ever get grocery store cake or cupcakes and so a little part of me was dancing inside from the rare impending sugar rush.

BF looked at me nonchalantly and said, “You can have my cupcake.”

“Are you kidding me,”  I asked.  “Because if you are, that is just cruel.”

“I am not kidding you,” he answered.  “I don’t need to be eating that.”  He actually said that line with a hint of self-satisfaction, as if he were mature enough to rise above the cupcake trance that I was so clearly in. But I ignored him because I knew that I needed the cupcake– both cupcakes.  Whatever, dude, be self-righteous.  I just want the cupcakes.

So I started planning, aloud in the car, when I would eat each cupcake.

“Thank you, thank you, thank you,”  I exclaimed, as if he had given me something gold and shiny.  But this was better than gold and shiny.  Sugar is my gold and shiny.

Back home, I dropped my cupcakes off in the kitchen and then retreated to my office to work on whatever deadline I had approaching, and BF went to bed.  Finally at a good stopping place a couple hours later, I walked through the kitchen on the way to our bedroom.  My eyes darted to the cupcakes that I had so lovingly wrapped in tin foil.  Panic struck.  Even through the tin foil, I could see that one of the cupcakes was missing.  I opened up the foil.  Just one cupcake looked back.

Mercury rose through my spine.  I marched into the bedroom and noisily opened my dresser drawer, stomped my way into the bathroom, threw on every light, hummed my way through my bedtime routine until BF woke up with a jump.

“What?”  He asked, as he always does when he is awakened from a deep sleep (except for that one time I elbowed him to wake up his snoring self at the NUTCRACKER and he said something very different and not appropriate for the Nutcracker audience.  We have not returned to the Nutcracker. I think his picture might be somewhere on a wall saying “Do not let this man in.”  It was that bad.).

I turned to him, put my hands on my hips, and said “I can’t believe you would do something so tacky as to eat my cupcake without asking.”

“It was my cupcake,” he tried to reason.

“No it was not,”  I said.  “And that doesn’t matter because this is not about the cupcake.”

“It is too about the cupcake,” he insisted.

“It is not.  This is about you offering me something and then regretting the offer and rather than coming to ask me if you could have it back like an adult, you just did what you wanted.  That is no way to be in a partnership,”  I sneered.

“You’re just mad that I ate MY cupcake,” he volleyed.

“This is NOT about the cupcake,” I fumed and ranted and raved until we both just went to sleep.  And I promise it wasn’t about the cupcakes.  It was about what eating my cupcake without asking symbolized.  I swear.

In the morning, he looked at me when I hopped out of bed.  “I am sorry that I ate your cupcake,”  he offered.

“It’s not about you eating the cupcake,” I tried again.  “Don’t you get that?”

“Yeah, I do,”  he answered before leaving for work.  But I wondered all day if he really did get it.  Sure, I love cake, and I love the anticipation of cake.  But I also (kinda) love sharing things I love with people that I love, and I would have been happy to give the cupcake back if he had just asked (this part is true, I promise).  That night, he walked into the house with a six pack of grocery store cupcakes.

“What’s that?”  I honed in, my cake-dar on high.

“A peace offering,”  he answered.  “Now, you have five cupcakes all to yourself.”

I did a double take, clearly counting six cupcakes in the container.  “But there are six cupcakes,” the greedy little cake hoarder in me said.

“And one of them is mine,”  he smiled before walking into the kitchen, opening the case, and savoring his cupcake.

Wishing you the happiest of Valentine’s Day as you celebrate the love- whether it comes from partnership, child(ren), parents, siblings, friends, colleagues, yourself- you have and give in your life.  May nobody eat your cupcakes.