Besides the need to spend too much money and time trying to one-up the other moms at school with our cake pops, hand-made Valentines, and time-consuming detectible treats that will roil in tiny stomachs all afternoon, I guess I can go along with the expression of love.
Except that, I blew it. I already got my guy a brand-new Spidey T-shirt, tossed the Amazon bag his way after getting home from work. He groaned, "Shit, now I gotta go to the store". I assured him that all I really wanted was a petition to get a drive-thru Baskin Robbins down the road. Or a Drive-thru liquor store (Why hasn't California gone that route? I mean, get it together, Tree Huggers!)
So, that's the romance in my life (that I'm willing to brag about, since my parents read this blog.).
Instead, I will re-run my ALL-TIME favorite Valentine's story, from MANY years ago. Long before the internet, texting, emails. This was some old-school love. (If you just GOTTA see the original link, click here). Otherwise, here ya go:
I used to be a girlie girl, complete with ridiculous expectations about love, and relationships. now, I am considerably more practical, and a conversation with Sky King might go like this:
Me: Hey-my birthday is next week.
Sky King: Yep.
Me: We are low on cash, so plan a dinner out, without the kids. That means, figure out a babysitter. No gift. A card will be expected though.
Sky King: Consider it done.
a few days later...
I've adapted into a woman that is realistic, and has learned not to judge my honey's love for me based on what he does a few designated days per year. Why do we do this, ladies? We set ourselves up. Most guys show their love for us every day in all sorts of ways. Mine shows me by being there for me, by showing up at the door when I come home from a hard day, and he has a glass of wine waiting. Or by cleaning the house on the sly before I come home. Things that really matter. But like many dumb girls, I used to expect roses, sentiment and thoughtfulness from boys that were only cognizant enough to mutter a few nice things like, "Nice cans", before trying desperately to get into my pants.
A long, long time ago, I was a cute little thing with big knockers and a habit of getting shitfaced between classes at college. You, too? Awesome! We would have totally been besties! (Not really, I would not have liked the competition-I was insecure and had to be the cutest in the room).
Anyways-for some unknown reason, I spent a lot of time in committed relationships. No, I DON’T know why. It seemed like a good idea at the time. And while in these committed relationships, I spent much of my free time being the best girlfriend in the world. I would buy matching bra and panty sets, bake yummy goodies, and write thoughtful notes to sneak onto the hood of his car. Basically, I was pretty much begging to be treated like shit from boys with red Solo cups full of MeisterBrau.
During one of these relationships, I was smitten with a boy. He was cute, aloof, and quiet. Totally my kind of guy. And, he kinda sorta liked me, which made him MY SOULMATE. So what happened? He moved. Away from me. Far far away from me.
Undaunted, I pined. I called, wrote, called, and called. I would have emailed and texted, but that had not been invented yet, and a stalker of my caliber would have taxed that system right into complete digital failure, so I think it was for the best.
While I was pining, I was also being incredibly thoughtful. And when Valentine’s Day rolled on in, I was READY. I had been planning for quite some time. I had done the prep work, the buying of the necessary raw materials. I was going to knock his socks off, which was going to probably cause him to jump into a car (he didn’t have one, of course) and drive 2000 miles to envelop me in his embrace, while he told me he would never leave my sight ever again.
I got a big box-the kind that you use to fill with books when you move. I filled it with food and fresh new towels (kind of mom-like. I won't even begin to go into what Freud would say) and a stuffed animal dressed up in the same gear my guy was going to school for. I baked batches of cut-out sugar cookies, complete with strawberry icing (his favorite) and writing on each one, professing my love for him in said icing. I wrote a long heartfelt poem for him. Then, I created something that was big at the time-it was called a treasure candle. Maybe you remember them? As it melts, different little gems and charms would be revealed, sometimes cash. Remember these? You would have to burn it all the way down to find out how much money was buried inside:
Well, I made one. MADE one. Can you say, “bunny boiler”? It’s no wonder he moved. I would have moved to get away from me, too.
And, as I was creating individual layers in the handmade mold, I stashed the poem I had written. Then, I packed this box up and skipped down to the post office, making sure I picked the correct shipping so that he would get in on Valentine’s Day. Not the day before, and certainly not the day after. ON. THE. DAY. (Wow, I’m really starting to scare the shit out of me.)
And then I waited. Surely, with HIS pining and missing me and being homesick, he would do something totally remarkably romantic, like profess his love to me through song. Or at least he would write something completely heartfelt. I shouldn’t get my hopes up, because after all, he was a starving student. But true love comes through in remarkable ways-maybe he would even arrange for a mutual friend to pick some wildflowers!
I waited and waited and waited. It was a Tuesday. Nothing came. Odd. I checked the local paper to see if he had put a lovely personal ad in. Nothing. Nada. I went to my classes, and zombie my way through a shift waiting tables. I most likely spit in everyone’s “Couples Prime Rib” Special.
Then, on Friday, I got it. A package sent 2-day Air. That. Crammed into my mailbox.
I ran upstairs to my place to open it.
Inside, was this:
A greeting card inside an envelope (I’ll get to that in a sec)
A copy of the newspaper from his new town
A copy of a paperback I had already read
Let’s take this piece by piece, shall we?
The newspaper: It was dated Feb 15th. So, NOT the local “love” edition. Fine. Maybe there is a picture of him in it for some reason? No. Maybe there’s a regular personal ad? No. Maybe, there’s SOMETHING? NO. I distinctly remember throwing it all over my minuscule living/dining/family room.
Next, the book. Well, I had freaking READ IT ALREADY. So that got thrown, too. Sorry, neighbors (thin walls).
Last, the card. THIS would redeem him. I opened it. I must have expected images of love: cupids, hearts, ribbons. Pink, maybe. So I was initially perplexed when the card had a picture of a cartoon dog on it. Fine. It says something mildly sweet on the front. Whatever. Then I open it. And out pops a tongue on a spring. You know the cards, right? Sometimes you open a card and there is a flap, or a window, or something attached to a spring. Fine. Whatever.
Down where you are supposed to write your deepest, heartfelt sentiments, what do I find? His promise to love me forever? No. His wish for a quick reunion? No. If this wasn’t a family blog, I would tell you exactly what he wrote (and by “family blog”, I mean a blog that my family reads, not one that is necessarily appropriate for your family-unless you are in a gang and consider your homies members of your family). Let me just paraphrase, and tell you that his carefully jotted words consisted of where he would like that tongue, had it been his, to be.
Later, he called.
Him: Did you get my package???
Me: Yep. What was with the paper?
Him: I wanted to show you where I am!
Me: Why in God’s name did you feel the need to remind me that I am 2000 miles from you? I KNOW THIS ALREADY!!!! (By this time, I was most certainly shrieking)
And the conversation went downhill from there. At some point, he told me that he and his roommates had spent a couple hours torching the candle it took me 8 days to make, to retrieve the poem inside. I have no recollection of the rest of the conversation, which everyone including my therapist feels is best.
And, what did I do to repay my boyfriend for his amazing lack of romance, creativity and effort?
I took the sweetest revenge yet: I married him.
I hope you enjoyed indulging my desire to NOT drum up another sickeningly sappy post.
Happy VD, y'all!