Happy Valentine's Day [ 2006-02-13, 9:30 p.m. ]

I love my mother for genuinely believing that there is nothing I can't do. I love my father for never being disappointed when I don't live up to my mother's expectations. I love my brothers for being boys, for preparing me to live with a man, for eventually growing taller than me just like my mom promised, and for sharing the same history as me, no matter how different the viewpoint.

I love Em for her energy and animation, and for the sparkly pins she wears on her coat that are so deeply unhip and yet so charmingly her, clearly serving as a beacon for the soccer mom she is bound to become. I love that she points out my frequent use of the word 'proper' and I love that she is probably the only friend of mine who will call just to chat, even when email is so much more convenient.

I love Brit for always being my champion and for never failing to make me feel like a better and more interesting person than I fear I am. I love that she will be candid with me and I love that she always thinks her apartment needs to be cleaner when in fact it is immaculate, and I love that she calls this site my "column," as if I were a proper (threw that in for Em) writer.

I love Caroline for making a Boob Cake with me, and for making plans to have lunch with me before her 4pm train and instead leaving the next day, wearing my clothes and shoes. I love that she understands my anxieties and fears about marriage, because in many ways we married the same person. I love that she can find designer clothes for under $10 and I love that she and I have an ongoing dialogue that never really ends.

I love Beck for being completely easy and without pretense. I love that there is an unspoken agreement that even when we swear we will call each other on Sunday and make plans to see a movie or go for a walk, neither is actually obligated to call the other because downtime is precious. I love her laugh, and I love that she makes gossip feel classy. I love that she tells me everything and that she holds nothing back, and I love that she and her husband are so clearly best friends.

I love Emilie for being the one who taught me that you can meet someone special on the internet, and for being the most genuinely kind person I know. I love Emilie for being half of Emilie and Jake, because Emilie and Jake are terrific. I love her for befriending Caroline in a strip club, and subsequently introducing Caroline to me. I love the way Emilie talks, and I love that she once offered to start a scholarship fund for promising drag queens in South Carolina.

I love Sara for being so unfailingly generous, and for being eensy weensy tiny but still being so strong. I love Alexis for being so warm and open, and for being one of the few women who can sit on my husband's lap without it bothering me at all. I love Renee for being quietly hysterical and being okay with the quiet part, which makes the hysterical part all the more special. I love Vanessa and Monica for being what was missing from our family, and I love Jay for being the family I didn't know I missed.

I love my little dog for being sleek and sweet and for always wanting to sleep with half of her body on mine. I love my yoga teacher for pulling my hips juuuussst so, because it makes me feel special and a little bit naughty. I love the internet for introducing me to so many fun and cool and weird and awesome people, and I love getting emails that remind me how connected we all are. I love that Jecca and I just had our one year anniversary and Caroline and I are about to, and that neither of them will think I'm weird for pointing it out to the internet at large.

I love the internet for being sweet to me when I write about getting mad at my husband or being unable to deal with my inlaws, and for linking to me and making me feel very popular and accomplished. I love that there is someone I email with on a regular basis in every time zone, and I love the internet for giving me things like Flickr, which is blocked from my work but provides much entertainment nonetheless. I love the internet for giving me friends who are no longer prefaced with, "from the internet," and I love that my husband only last week told me he had heard about this "thing called Typepad" in one of his business school classes.

I love my husband for being patient and for being kind. I love him for loving me. I love him because he likes to cook with me and because he lets me yell. I love that he listens to me say I WANT MORE ROMANCE in one breath and I NEED SPACE in the next and can shrug it all off and make sure that when I fall asleep on the couch he covers me with a blanket. I love that he calls me and our dog "his girls" and I love that he can spend hours looking at shoes, watches and dress shirts. I love my husband for being nice to children and dogs, and for always erring on the side of over -tipping. I love that he always wants to get dressed up and go out for a nice dinner, even when I prefer to stay home. I love my husband for being nice to my mom and dad, and for not freaking out when I started bringing home people I'd met on the internet. I love him for preferring white sheets and towels, and for teaching me the right way to hold chopsticks. I love him, I love his sweetness, I love my husband for loving me.

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