it seemed as though the entire world had come unhinged and was about to meet a
universe-sized cream pie right in its kisser. Everybody was mad, no one wanted
to play nice and my very favorite shoes were working up a blister on my great
toe. Life was a shambling masquerade, nothing more than a chaotic kind of swing
from come here to sic'em. Luckily, Valentine's Day fixed all of that. Why, just
the thought of all those smarmy hearts and flowers just about set me free. It's
terribly swell that we share our love with one another, and the world, by purchasing
little cardboard hearts and big glittery cards, lots of candy, magnums and magnums
There are people who spend all year lying in wait for that
hapless soul who wants to make their big move. That poor sap who just knows that
the candy, wine, flowers, balloons and gift certificates to the spa, Vegas & that
pricey eatery are going to turn the tide in their favor! At least, they're pretty
sure until the restraining order is served.
Valentine's Day has traditionally
been the scene of massive romantic disasters around here. My husband and I even
waited to get hitched until two days afterwards to avoid that pesky dark cloud.
If you recall, Chicago has a rather grisly connection with Valentine's Day, but
that's an entirely different story.
Long ago, in the good old daze,
there was a fellow who asked my good friend on a date repeatedly but she continually
turned him down. She simply knew he wasn’t her type and that they would never,
in a million years, become a couple. Finally, all because of Valentine’s Day,
she took pity on the poor guy and accepted him, against her better judgment. He
picked her up wearing a vest, matching white shoes and belt, accessorized with
the obligatory chains and what-have-you along with the whole side-burn thing,
and, well…you get the picture. It all went fairly well until they got to a new,
trendy little Austin café’ that specialized in quiche and crêpe’s. Understand
that he was a regular guy, not James Bond, and that these items were fairly new
to the American palette, especially on campus then. When the waiter arrived my
friend was alarmed when her date asked in a confident and slightly faux-deep voice
“Just what kind of ‘creeps’ and ‘quickies’ do you have? Aside from a furtive glance
at the odd little dishwasher the waiter had no reply. I’m telling you, Valentine’s
Day is cursed, and this little incident goes a long way toward proving it.
It's quite possible
I'm jaded to the point of no return, but the marketing departments that put these
'feel-good' guilt-tripping fiesta's on the calendar seem just a bit over the top.
Mother's Day, Father's Day, BFF Day (I had to ask a kid what the heck that was.
I thought it was short for Big Fat Freak) they just go on and on. Don't get me
wrong, I love my Mom, and most everyone else's Mom's as well, but I strive to
tell her I love her all year and want her to know I mean it every time, not just
on that one day. She doesn't want a ton of candy, a big fuss or more junque to
dust. We get together on Mother's Day and various other Days and just kind of
hang out and laugh a lot. We have wine and flowers on Bastille Day, if we want
to and eat candy on Monday. The same goes for my husband and I on Valentine's
although we do get one another silly cards and little things for fun but it's
because we want to and enjoy the exchange of sentiments reminding us how grateful
we are for our healthy and happy relationship. Plus it's a good excuse to dress
funny & go to the dance in the park. But it wears me down listening to the endless
ads admonishing me if I don't buy him a flat screen TV or a Land Rover. For that
matter, if he came home with a diamond I'd wonder what heinous thing he was covering
for. We'd rather load up and drive 500 miles west to see the stars, which we do
fairly regularly. Especially since the streetlights have practically stolen the
Milky Way around these parts.
So, what is the upshot to all this malcontented
ranting and raving you ask? In our house it involves hearts, sure enough. HeartBURN....Plop,
plop, fizz, fizz is usually the last love song around here on Valentine's Day.
Copyright Gael Montana
View from Under the Bus' February
3 , 2008 Column
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