I’m just a prisoner of love

We are just finishing up what has been, for the boys, a five-day long weekend, for my husband, a four-day long weekend, and for me, a three-day long weekend. For my high school son in particular, it’s great that he was back at school for one whole week before having a three-day and subsequent four-day week. We would not want undue stress.

To be honest, though, it’s been quite lovely, having a relaxed few days. We had very good friends over for dinner and, in honour of Valentine’s Day, I made a heart-shaped cake. I have discussed this before but it bears repeating now:

So easy, and so cute. I also made a whole lot of heart-shaped cookies; what is a semi-holiday without commemorative cookies? It is nothing, that’s what.

My husband and I don’t really celebrate Valentine’s Day in any kind of traditional fashion – except maybe, afternoon delight, which is really a regular occurrence, so it doesn’t count. However, he did give me this running top a week or so ago, purporting it to be an “early Valentine’s gift” so I’ll take it.

Every year I – jokingly, obviously – ask my husband if he bought me a Prisoner of Love teddy bear, and this year he told me that he really, really has no idea what I am referring to. I was amazed that he had never seen those teddy bears that are for sale in drugstores and the like every Valentine’s Day, I suppose for men who forgot the holiday and want to have something tangible to give to their lady. Prisoner of Love teddy bears strike me as one of the funniest things that could possibly be gifted to someone on Valentine’s Day, with the minor exception of gas station roses. In any case, he had never heard of or seen them, and I couldn’t believe it. I appealed to my Friday lunch yoga class, and after class several people told me that they had never heard of them either. Am I imagining things? Was it all just a dream?

So now I appeal to you, my dear readers. Have you ever heard of, seen, or – omg, please – ever received a Prisoner of Love teddy bear? A quick google search shows me that there are some modern-looking Winnie the Pooh versions, but that is not at all what I’m thinking. I’m thinking of cheap looking, white teddy bears with black-and-white striped prison gear.

Have You Seen This Bear?

That is, clearly, one of those enormous bears that can be won at the Stampede or similar fairgrounds, by a weirdly talented sharp-shooter or ring-thrower.

Last night we took advantage of the long weekend to watch Bohemian Rhapsody with the boys, and while it wasn’t as fun to watch as Rocketman, it was a very interesting movie. It was quite fascinating to see the collaboration for all of Queen’s songs, but it was also fascinating to point out familiar faces. Hey, that’s Tom from Downton Abbey! Hey, that’s Littlefinger! I saw in the opening credits that Mike Myers was in the film and, about 3/4 of the way through, I wondered when he was going to make an appearance. His character had already come and gone by that point, my husband said. I have to say that was some good hair and costuming.

It’s important to do things as a family, and so I took my older son with me to Costco yesterday. I have never in my life been to Costco on a Sunday afternoon and, as god is my witness, I never will again. How bad could it be? I had thought to myself and the answer is Really very bad. If my son hadn’t been with me, cheerful and encouraging, I probably would have just turned around and went home when I reached the parking lot, which was much more of a disaster than usual. But we pressed on, finally finding a parking spot behind the building. Subsequently someone would park directly behind me, so that I had to make a 20-point turn to back out of my spot, but I would not discover this for another 45 minutes.

The shopping expedition did not take as long as I thought it would, although the jumble of carts lined up for free samples of miniature chocolate chip cookies was almost enough to push me over the edge. As one might expect, the lineup was the worst part.

This is what I don’t understand, though. I had a full cart, as usual. I would have never gone had it not been a weird combination of a holiday Monday, several appointments in my usual grocery shopping time, and a desperate need for my household staples. All through the lineup, though, were people with less than five items in the cart, and those items were often things like muffins or a pack of drinkable yogurt. There would be no WAY I would set foot in Costco and go through all the nightmare that is the parking lot and lineup, just for muffins and drinkable yogurt, or for anything that you could get at a much less mentally taxing grocery store. Oh well, it takes all kinds to make a world, as everyone’s grandma, including mine, used to say.

Well, I am going to finish off this long weekend with a lot of reading, a little yoga, and a nice little dog walk. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday Monday! xo


  1. I love that cake hack! This is what I love about blogging – sharing ideas like this. Pinterest used to be fair resource for stuff like that but it’s become so spammy, I never venture over there anymore. I will be putting this tip in my back pocket for next year!

    People are seriously fighting the afternoon crowds at Costco for two items?! That’s insanity.

  2. Oh! And, no. I have never seen the Prisoner of Love teddy bear – but I do have two goofy looking plush somethings (I can’t figure out what they are) that my husband gifted me one year.

  3. Sorry, never seen the bear. Cute cake, though.

  4. bibliomama2 says

    I really, really want to tell you I have seen the bear. But I have not. And a yoga tank top is SO much better than flowers. I’m going to try to remember to make the heart-shaped cake for Eve’s birthday (just before Valentine’s Day) next year.

  5. I am chuckling at your prisoner of love bear and since I, too, have never seen one I wonder if you are part of a humorous version of the twilight zone in which only you can see this bear!

    My husband and I do not really celebrate Valentine’s Day. I guess if I made myself available for an afternoon delight I might be gifted a similar tank top. 😉

    That is a cute cake.

    Funny that the school is already on a break. Love a relaxing weekend.

  6. Oh and I must agree with your Costco observations. I shop there for the benefit of bulk. I always scratch my head when I witness people there for bread and orange juice. What? Why? Bazaar.

  7. I’m one of the people who goes to Costco and if you were looking at my cart, you’d think I was only getting a handful of items. My main impetus to go to Costco is to fill prescriptions. We’re in the US and saving about $240/month on my husband’s prescriptions alone by going to Costco for them. I do my best to only go on weekdays, but every so often we end up in a situation where I have to pick up a prescription on a Saturday.

    There are a handful of non-prescription things that I get at Costco, but I find that I don’t get very much there. We only have one kid, and she’s still pretty young. We don’t have a ton of storage, and–with a very few exceptions– I personally find the Costco bulk sizing to be oppressive. Any food I buy at Costco has to fit within certain parameters of family willingness to consume, the product’s definite or likely expiration date, and ability to fit into the fridge/onto a pantry shelf. Non-food items have to fit on their own shelves, plus I tend to factor in how aggravated I am by the packaging. (For example, I would be happy to buy toothpaste at Costco if it weren’t for the plastic carapace surrounding a 4- or 6-pack of the stuff.)

    • nicoleboyhouse says

      Oh! I always forget about the pharmacy. Of course! That makes total sense, and what a huge savings for you! Their packaging often drives me crazy for some things too. With two teen boys I need the bulk buying, though. Their produce is great as well.

      • I have two brothers, and I’m pretty sure my mother would have lived for Costco if it had existed back when they were teenagers. Especially since they frequently invited hordes of other boys over.

        Just one of those things! (And if we ever get a separate freezer or if we remodel the kitchen in a way that gains more pantry space, my Costco purchasing may change. I’d be happy if it did. It just mostly doesn’t work for us as things are right now.)

  8. So the Costco nearest to me recently added self check out and it’s been a total game changer! I can really only go on weekends so I seldom went to Costco more than 2x a year once both of my kids were out of diapers. Now tho! I swing by every few weeks for muffins, cashews (I’ve developed a mild cashew addiction), and various other food stuffs. As long as I get less than 12 items I can self check out and it is heavenly! I just make sure to park at the farthest outside edge of the parking lot and keep my item count low and all is good.

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