Thursday, February 17, 2005


I've been kind of in a mood lately, down in the dumps. (What's the origin of that phrase, I wonder and am too lazy to look up? It sounds like a vicious cycle; not only are you feeling sad, but you're moping around amongst the municipal trash heaps, and THAT'S not going to improve your outlook.) Some of it is work stress, as we're wildly busy right now; some is surely post-holiday letdown--it's gray, it's cold, there are no presents to look forward to, but all the seasonal indulgences are straining your elastics. And there's been a little holdover for me from the Valentine's Day business.

I dunno. I know that the Marketing Forces Of Evil have pretty much commandeered Valentine's Day, and that if you're not out there contributing to the global economy by plying your sweetheart with candies and flowers and designer fragrances and whimsical underpants, it's probably just because you are a REPULSIVE HIDEOUS SINGLE FREAK! GET BACK IN THE BASEMENT! Oho, I am on to their commercial scheme. I'm not intimidated by dining out or traveling alone; I can buy my own florid boxes of truffles, and I do. (Though I might prefer to consume them avidly, while lolling about in front of Project Runway, unobserved.)

But...circumstantially, it has been...a long time since I've had a valentine for the occasion. A looooong time. Measured in years, there. And...I miss it. When even the weekly Safeway flier is advertising lobster tails and long-stemmed red roses, well...there's some pressure.

I think I'm a pretty easy valentine. I don't even like roses. I don't want a moonlit carriage ride, or a champagne flute with a big honkin' diamond ring at the bottom of it. Hell, carriage rides just make me think of the Beefareeno episode of Seinfeld anyway. I'm just saying, a double order of potstickers from Snappy Dragon and a stack of DVDs would be groovy to share. With someone. Who am I even writing this to?

Maybe I should link a personal-ad profile over there in the sidebar, like people do with their Amazon wish lists. Date Me! Buy Me Presents!


Okay. I will comfort myself by remembering the crappiest Valentine's Day I ever had as an attached lady. I was dating this guy in college who'd taken a semester off to find himself, so he was home in Virginia while I was in New York. He mailed me my Valentine present...which was the knock-off, grocery-store-brand, heart-shaped box of chocolates. Which he placed in a plain manila envelope. Which went through all the automatic stamping and sorting machines of the U.S. Postal Service. So, what I got was this flattened...wad...of chocolates, with different-flavored...areas, therein...and the occasional ruffled paper thingie, sticking through.

Then he realized he was gay. Overall, I'd rate that relationship...disappointing.

What was my best Valentine's Day? Telling the preceding story made me think about it; I have to say it was probably 1978. My dad had a custody weekend, and took us to see Star Wars at the long-demolished Cinema 150, downtown. (Yes, it came out the preceding summer; we were somehow behind the curve.) It predictably blew our little minds...and THEN, depositing us at home, my father whipped out a pair of identical Russell Stover candy boxes, hearts wrapped in red cellophane, that he'd somehow hidden in the truck all day. Star Wars AND candy! It was a rare shining moment for the Old Man, that.

Would still make a pretty decent Valentine's Day, actually.

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