Photo by Oscar Gloria on

I know February is drawing to a close and I don’t know if it’s the month and all the forced Valentine’s Day lovey-dovey hooey but it’s been a rough ride for a few people I care about.  Is it a ‘thing’ to become more introspective in the winter about relationships?  Is it the hibernation that some of us endure in the gray haze of February? 

A friend asked me recently if I had secrets to share.  I thought she was prompting me for cooking tips, you know, because I make a fairly fab pumpkin bread (even without the heinously decadent cream cheese frosting).  When she continued and said “No, stupid – not your baking skills.  I wanna know how you’ve managed to be with the same guy for 40 plus…YEARS.  I can’t manage 40 days and nights.”  Whoa there, Noah!

Maybe I was influenced by the pumpkin pancakes in front of me, intent on enjoying a visit with an old friend without serious talk.  I frowned at her.  Then I chewed and swallowed, followed by a swig of too-sweet-and-too-creamy coffee, and said, “It’s an unspoken thing.  He knows my sh*t and I know his…we balance each other out.  That’s it.”

Our server, Janet, was standing by refilling water glasses and laughed, adding, “If you’re talking about how to stay married, I’d say that’s it.  Thirty-two years for me and some days I hate my husband so much…but I’ve learned to breathe and move on.” 

At this point I’m thinking three things:

  1. Maybe Janet – our server — should sit down and join us?  She’s got better advice than I do and she’s not talking with her mouth full.
  2. Just because I like referring to people by name, when they have a name tag on, doesn’t mean I’m a fast friend… JANET!  But still…I smile and nod. She means well and I brought my happy face to breakfast.  My fault.
  3. My damn pancakes were getting cold and I wished Janet had brought more syrup, less advice. 

Chewing and nodding, I used my fork as a pointer and mumbled to my friend, “See, even Janet knows.  You’ve gotta put up with stuff.”

Thank God my friend has loved me for-ev-er and doesn’t expect me to be “Dr. Vicki” when we hang out.  No, no.  Never with my friends.  I’m just me.  But still…I know her and in her wildest, 20-something dreams, she had a particular type of guy in mind.  A Mr. Perfect and despite my periodic cautions about her rigid expectations (only when she’s asked for my input) no one’s measured up to her wild list of qualifications.  She’s got a well-worn and established pattern…a chronic ‘fall in love…realize he’s flawed – duh – aren’t we all – and fall out of love’ sequence. 

Which got me thinking.  As she sighed and changed the subject, talking about the new boots she just bought, I realized I love her for her quirks and I know she’ll find her way, eventually.  We’ll enjoy breakfast now and then banter/fight like sisters and bid adieu for a few weeks.  Why? She always knows she’s just an inch away from provoking me, taunting me enough to summon my favorite Joseph Campbell quote.  She’s heard it a million times and somehow, she knows just when to pull back before I hit ‘play’.

Curious about which Joseph Campbell quote?  I’m being sneaky…you’ll need to saunter over to Heart of the Matter, to check out another love story.   Different friend…situation…but lovelorn nonetheless…and yet…ever, ever hopeful.  And worthy of some quintessential Campbell wisdom.

Is it March yet?

Vicki 😊

48 thoughts on “Fearlessly in Love

  1. Thank you, Victoria (ahh-gain) for another wonderful post. Somehow you manage to bring an aliveness to the writtern word and bring us into your scenes. You are “in” the words.

    I like the vibe that I get about the relationship that you and your husband share. It seems real. As you shared about your friend, and her expectations about a partner, I couldn’t help wonder if she also has very strict expectations about herself and her own behavior.

    The quote? Yes, damnit–I wanna know! Is it the only one of Mr. Campbell’s that I know? “The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.”

    Guess, I’ll have to check. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Oh, Art! Your comments are bringing the smiles this morning! Thank you for the ‘ahh-gain’ chuckle…that’s, um…ahhh-maz-ing! And for getting the sense of me in the writing. That’s one high compliment and I’ll hold on to it for a long, long time. And yes to your perceptions about the ‘vibe’ between the hubster and myself AND my friend. You nailed it — she’s quite hard on herself. Good observation! And ha-ha — thank you for falling prey to my tricks…and for rolling over to Heart of the Matter…you’ll see a different, cherished Campbell quote there. But for the record, I like the one you’ve offered! 😊😊😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m glad that the comments are bringin’ smiles, Victoria. Did you “hear” the Forest Gump drawl, like when he said, “And then I met the president, ahh-gain.”? I was hoping you would.
        I just read your post at Heart of the Matter. Wonderful quote there! Thank you for sharing!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh! That’s why it sounded familiar…and friendly…and fun! Do we call you Forrest Art now? Thank you for taking the time to bring the smiles this morning…and for reading in two places. I’m so demanding! 😉😉😉

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Victoria, you have summed up the secret to a relationship perfectly. ‘He knows my sh*t and I know his.’ It is the tough moments that define a relationship, finding that person that, when a ship is sinking, you are prepared to go down with them. The snowdrops and daffodils are smiling through the writing den window. It must be March 😎. Thanks for the mid-afternoon thoughts. (Here in the UK at least.)

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Davy — thanks so much. I’m happy to hear about daffodils…anywhere! LOL! And I so appreciate you for reading and sharing your thoughts. Yes, yes. If the ship’s going down, we’re still together…no matter how choppy the sea. Love is love! And, given the time in the UK….enjoy a good cuppa as if I’m there smiling at you! 😉😊😉

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I like that…go along to get along. Just a few words but very useful, I say…and applicable in endless circumstances! And thanks for the giggle. Yes, yes. You’re right…. relationships can be just that way! 🤣😉🤣

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I do not think there has ever been ‘balance’ in my relationship. One side of the scale is always tipping one way or the other. We are imperfect beings, but when the off-balance only tips to one side, I would suspect a much bigger problem.

    As a side note, ‘big’ conversations should never get in the way of panakes. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love your description that she knows when you are about to unleash the Joseph Campbell quote – which is brilliant by the way. And your musing about February when we think about relationships and love – maybe we are more introspective when things are gray. What an interesting observation! Beautiful post and companion to your HoTM post!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Janet’s advice is fine, but I like yours better. “He knows my sht and I know his…we balance each other out. That’s it.” I’m not sure I could sum it up better than that. God knows my wife knows my sht, she knows my ins and my outs and she still loves me. The same for her, but we’re better together. That’s how you stay together. I think my wife and I were “lucky” to have some tough challenges early on in our marriage. We learned that Mr. or Miss Perfect looks great on paper, but when the sh*t hits the fan, you want someone who’s got your back and loves you warts and all. Love both of your posts today! 😎😎😎😎😎😎

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ah! I love that — yes — experiencing bumps and hurdles early on was our experience, too, and you’re right – maybe that solidifies the partnership – weathering a few storms? What a great point, Brian! Thanks for reading x 2 and sharing that awesome comment. 😎

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Great story Vicki, but maybe next time meet with this friend over a meal that isn’t one of your favorites?! There is great wisdom in the realization that no one is perfect, not even oneself no matter how much we want the hearts and flowers and ideal life and partner. It just doesn’t happen without work, and compromise, and comfort food to help on the stressful days!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Deb! Yes! Comfort food always helps and you’re right — next time maybe we’ll switch things up and take a walk or something other than munching?! I like your prescription for partnerships…work, compromise and comfort food. 😘😉😘

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Great post about friendship and long lasting marriages. Hubs and I have been married for almost 33 years. And there’s a lot of truth to the notion of “balancing each other out”. I think we do; I also think the more time that passes, the more like each other we become.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I agree on both: the post, and the notion of “balancing each other out.” I don’t remember where I read/heard this one for the first time, but it came to mind as I read your balancing-each-other out: “We find rest in those we love, and we provide a resting place in ourselves for those who love us.”

      Liked by 2 people

  8. A fun post to read on its own and a nice teaser for the Heart post- well done! 😎😎
    As far as it being a thing to be more introspective in winter – I say yes! It’s part of Winter’s charm and is healthy for us just like a little sunshine in the spring. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for that, Todd — the phrase ‘winter’s charm’. I think I needed to hear those two words! Good reminder…and thank you so much for reading and enjoying. Means a lot! Cheers and smiles to you today! 😎😉😎

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I like it when you talk to yourself! LOL — No, no — honestly, thanks for that addition. It makes sense to me. I shared with Jane F. yesterday that I love the Japanese practice of ‘shinrin yoku’ – forest bathing – as an example of immersing myself in nature because there’s something spare and gorgeous about winter trees, branches and limbs, prompting reflection. I’m with you all the way. Need those moments to balance out all the sunshine…when it comes. You’re the best, Todd! 😎

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi Victoria. I read your post last night on my phone and tried to respond then – I have the darndest time figuring out WP on my phone. Anyway, as my husband lightly snored next to me (yes, I was reading your post late at night, in bed) I smiled and nodded. THERE IS NO PERFECT PERSON OR RELATIONSHIP. There is love, yes, but it changes over time. From a hot spicy pepper, perhaps, to a sweet juicy watermelon. Less passion in some ways, but more in the years we share together. Compromise is the key and understanding each other’s sh*t as you so elegantly put it. 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Pam. Sounds like you and I do the same things…read at night while the hubsters snore a little (or a lot…depends!). I love your thought about compromise being a key…a more delicate way of saying what I did about his sh*t and mine, LOL! And… I’m with you about the pesky WP app on my phone. Very glitchy for me and I don’t know why. Sending Friday love and hugs to you. Grateful to you for reading and commenting! Means a lot. xo! 😘


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