Mickey Mouse Valentine

Courtyard in Madrid

Small church in Madrid

Here it is, Valentine’s Day, and I’m still working my way through photos from Madrid that have nothing to do with the holiday.  To top it off, I’m fighting a sinus infection and not feeling either romantic or like writing.

But, since when has that stopped me?

So, let’s start with Mickey in Madrid and see if we can end up at Valentine’s Day, shall we?

My last several posts have been from a meandering afternoon through the center of Madrid.  Here, we found yet another square but with the rather inexplicable surprise that Mickey Mouse was standing in the middle of it.

Mickey surprised us

Mickey surprised us

Clearly, this is not Disney World.  I suspect it was some sort of Disney recruitment program.  Perhaps for a Disney training program targeting people who might not be qualified for jobs that require them to speak or perform duties, providing them with gainful employment after receiving their Disney Character Certification.  I wonder if they offer classes online?

The final photo I will share today is of tables and chairs in yet another square.  You might think these tables and chairs are just being stored here, waiting for the spring before they will be used again.  However, on this sunny Sunday when it was about 45 degrees Fahrenheit, we witnessed many occupied tables in open squares.  Granted, the ones that were occupied were mostly under tents and had outdoor heaters around the tables.  But eating al fresco remains a priority in Madrid this time of year.

Outdoor eating

Outdoor eating

If I were in a more romantic mood, I would imagine a table in the corner of one of the more secluded squares.  I see a big white tent, filled with flowering vines of one form or another.  The heaters are on high, filling the tent with an enveloping warmth while the wind keeps the air moving through fast enough to keep it fresh.

There are candles.  Many candles.  And perhaps a young couple cozying up, sitting side-by-side at that corner table.  Holding hands, kissing.  Looking like the entire world is at their table.

Romance is for people who can forget about bills, jobs, dishes, laundry, and all the other realities of life.  It requires the ability to suspend disbelief.  The willingness to ignore our imperfections, our limitations, sometimes even outright lies.  There was a time when I knew how to do that.  But, somehow the suspension of disbelief seemed to also mean eliminating good judgment for me.

I’m sure there are people in this world who have found a way to combine romance with healthy relationships.  In fact, I know there are books out there about how important romance is to healthy relationships.  But, for me, I’ll take the guy who will walk the dog for me in the morning because I’m staying in bed with a sinus infection over the guy who takes me out for an expensive dinner in a romantic courtyard (even if it were in Madrid).

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