Monday, February 05, 2007

Valentine's Day. Hooray.

Has anyone ever given or received a good Valentine's Day present? Ever? One that made you feel loved, appreciated, and not like an unwilling participant in a mass-hoodwinking by the Tschochke Marketing Association of Greater Taiwan? I bet they set up little security cameras in the aisles of drugstores across the nation, and have a good laugh as balding, frenzied men in pleated khakis paw over four-inch stuffed gorillas grasping boxes of artificially sweetened chocolates, hoping beyond hope that the bestowal of said item it won't be too much of a letdown.

Looking at all the mass-produced, chintzy crap being passed off as viable tokens of romance makes me want to cry. I can't imagine receiving a box of Russell Stover and a browning fistful of baby's breath from someone who earnestly meant to convey his affections. But it makes me even sadder to think that people in my demographic might actually make these purchases ironically. It seems an insult, somehow, to the genuine feelings of the unfashionable masses who really do buy them for their significant others with love in their unoriginal, if sentimental and sweet, old hearts.

When I think back to past Valentine's Days, it's hard to remember a gift -- even among the better ones -- that doesn't make me sort of depressed in retrospect. For instance, one time a (well meaning, and really very sweet) boyfriend gave me some nice lingerie. But my excitement was nearly entirely extinguished once I found out that he had his best female friend, who OWNED the lingerie store, pick it out. His only request regarding the style was that it be "see through." Ugh. Then there was the year that I received, on my doorstep, a homemade, hand-painted jigsaw proclaiming verses of eternal love inside the completed puzzle. Unfortunately, the Puzzle of Passion was from someone with whom I had broken up months earlier. Receiving it only made me cry, feel intensely guilty, and remind me of my utter failure in that relationship. And then there was the year that my Soul Mate kicked me out of his apartment in the middle of the night after Valentine's dinner so he could do some heavy thinking about how, in two months' time, he would leave me for a man. GOOD TIMES.

Don't get me wrong. I've never GIVEN a decent Valentine's present, either, and that's a trend that probably isn't going to change. But I'm not going to let that little fact damper MY hopes.

This year, what I'm hoping for is that someone will put together a picnic basket full of oysters and champagne, take me hiking to a beautiful overlook at sunset, and serenade me while playing the lute. Ideally, he'd hire small babies, outfit them with working wings, and train them in archery so they could fly around and shoot Arrows of Passion our way during dinner. After dinner, my suitor would produce from his pocket a lump of coal, and say to me, "I am but a man, but through the strength of our love, I will turn this coal into something beautiful." After pressing the coal into my palm, he will wrap both of his hands around mine and "through the strength of our love," turn the coal into a perfect 2-carat diamond, which soon enough will be mounted on a band on my finger.

I really don't think it's all that much to ask, and it will save him from the scrum in the candy aisle.

Happy Valentine's Day!


Anonymous Slippery Old Person said...

War Eagle! War Eagle! Rah rah rah!

11:15 AM  
Anonymous AG said...

I once gave my boyfriend some new towels for Valentine's Day. It was more a gift for myself.

1:38 AM  

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