Valentine’s Day

No, this is not a review of the Gary Marshall-helmed, Katherine Fugate (amongst others) written flick opening today that stars Kathy Bates, George Lopez and a few unknown actors.  I seriously doubt this blog will be reviewing that flick.

Sorry, friend, it's not from The Little Red-Haired Girl.

Valentine’s Day?  Does any American holiday, outside of Arbor Day, inspire such mixed feelings, such a sense of communal dread?  (Seriously, an entire day devoted to trees?!  Over-kill.)  Is it any wonder that Valentine’s Day can be shortened to ‘V.D.’, which is also the initials for…  well, you get it.

As a kid I very much did not like Valentine’s Day, because, shocking as you will find this, I was not popular, not in the normal sense, well, not in any sense, really, so what I absolutely detested about Valentine’s Day was the forced sense of fairness–  is there any thing worse than people giving you Valentines when they don’t really want to?  This un-appreciation of the holiday continued into my formative years, when Valentine’s Day was turned into a holiday on which to give gifts to my sisters and mother.  Now, that is fine on its own, they are swell women and they deserve chocolates and cards and gifts (and yes, I sent them all cards, and got my mother a small gift–  shh!  Don’t tell her!), but at the time it again seemed designed to cover-up the fact that these were the only women in my life.

Everyone, of course, has their own rap against Valentine’s Day; the day that exists to highlight the loneliness in your life, the sheer inadequacy of your relationships with whichever of the sex you prefer; the day that forces you to be like everyone else–  chocolates, flowers, card, overpriced dinner, sex, wake-up, it’s February 15th, Cupid saw his own shadow and now there’s six more weeks of unrequited love!  My absolutely most mortifying Valentine’s Day story is this (dear readers, we checked our shame at the door when we started this blog):  My sophomore of college I had hooked up with a chick at one of those drunken parties that college exists to foster hook-ups at; her name has been lost to the alochol-soaked dustbin of history, but I remember her being pretty cute.  Anyway, she went to a neighboring school, about 45 minutes or so away, and this being several days before Valentine’s Day, and neither of us having much of anything to do and both, apparently, being quite stupid, decided to spend it together.  We made a plan to meet at her school, and Go Out, as people do, so at the appointed hour I showered, dressed, got “duded-up” as Bruce Springsteen wrote, drank a vodka-cranberry, gently placed the flowers and the heart-shaped box of chocolates on the passenger seat, and set out to find my Valentine’s college.

Well, I’m not exactly handy with directions, these were the days before cell phones and GPS’s, and as the minutes piled up, I was ultimately quite lost and quite late.  Since we were going out to dinner, I was also quite hungry.  I glanced over at the passenger seat–  there was a tasty box of assorted chocolates.

I ate all the chocolates.  I never saw the girl.  I went to the movies.  I went home and got drunk.  All in all, it was a pretty good Valentine’s Day.

So may your weekend be better than that little tale!  I wish you happiness this Valentine’s Day weekend, and failing that…  sneak a bottle of vodka into that insipid Garry Marshall flick.


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