Valentine’s Day ain’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Valentine’s Day is one of the many times during the year when I especially miss my Grandma Rose. As some of you know, she raised me since I was 7 – after my mom died.  Because I didn’t have a mother to teach me about love (or father- he took off when mom passed to “find himself” and several new wives).

Bubbe Rose became my major mentor for a long time. She was never short on advice about the subject of love and marriage despite the fact that she hadn’t met her own husband before their wedding. Hers was the typical arranged “shiddach” of the shtetels of Poland. I never met my grandfather Joseph because he died long before I was born, but when Bubbe spoke of him, it was always with a sweetness that lit up her lovely round face, making it clear that she really loved him. I think of all her wonderful expressions, her favorite was “You can’t force anyone to love you or lend you money.”

But I didn’t make Reed Wyndham love me. It just happened, while we were both students at Ellsford University.  We’re actually total opposites – not just in background (he’s a stereotypical WASP- grew up a rich banker’s son in New England, went to boarding school, spent summers in Hyannis, while I’m strictly New York Jewish, attended PS 125, waitressed at a local deli most summers, searched for bargains with Grandma Rose at Macy’s), but in temperament (Reed’s laid back, cool under pressure – a quality you need in an interventional cardiologist; me- well let’s just say I carry my emotions on my sleeve. As a journalist, I hate injustice and am passionate and persistent-sometime to a fault – when it comes to getting a story).

Despite, or perhaps because of, our differences Reed and I have had a very on-again, then off – again relationship. Through my years as a reporter in DC, and now that I’m working for KPCF radio in Los Angeles and he’s doing his fellowship nearby at LA University Medical Center.  Sometimes I think we’ll spend our life together, and other times I wish I had an arranged match like Bubbe Rose.

Reed is on call at the hospital on February 14th, and I’ll be alone with my snarky producer Jim at the radio station.  Not exactly romantic.   What are you doing for Valentine’s Day this year?  I’d love to hear your advice about love.

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