Today, I join many many a forlorn teenager, who did not receive a card, or other gesture of adoration, in the announcement, 'At least that is over for another year!' This is not because I was not a recipient of a card, or other gestures of adoration, but because I am to Valentines Day as Scrooge was to Christmas. However, I do not think any ghosts of Valentine past, present or future, will haunt me into changing my mind!
Much as I do not have any objection, as it is not my place to object, to those who wish to partake, I am delighted that for at least another eleven months, I will not be attacked by giant floating hearts, each time I enter a store or restaurant, nor will I have to listen to what is the perfect gift to make sure your Valentine knows they are loved!
Whilst I understand that the fourteenth day of the month of February is associated with lurve, the celebrations appear to have completely overrun the second month of the Gregorian calendar. As soon as the yuletide decorations were placed in the 'reduced' aisle, so the red and pink hearts appeared. Blue became a word of the past, and yellow was placed on the contraband list! My attitude towards this particular occasion is considered to be that of a killjoy!
This week started off with the sun shining, which makes it a lot easier for love to be in the air. Every radio station that I listened to had advertisements suggesting that their wares would be the perfect gift. Flowers, chocolate covered strawberries, vacations, cars, and all manner of kitchen appliances, and DIY equipment, as long as they were wrapped in a pretty red or pink bow, were considered to be the objects that were show your Valentine how much you truly love them. However, "my husband bought me a washing machine for Valentine's day", does not really have the same umph as "My husband bought me a sports car!" Woe betides the husband of wife number three who thought a bunch of Gerber daisies would suffice! Once again, we have been subjected to commercialism over romance (or common sense!) This is why I am considered a killjoy!
Fighting through the plastic roses, inflatable organs and enough candy to allow a dentist make a down payment on a retirement home, I went to pick up some papers from an attorney, who had called to say that he needed something served. The sun was shining, and my usual Monday clarity had given way to a less than sophisticated manner. I had become rather lightheaded. Much as I hate to admit it, I am a three meal a day person, and if I do not eat breakfast, I tend to start to flag. If lunch is also omitted, my stomach sends very rude messages to my head, and it retaliates by behaving rather inappropriately. "Talk to me like a child, and I will act like a child", says my brain to my starving stomach! However, I digress! By the time Dana returned from his meetings, the afternoon well into its adulthood, and dinner would not be enjoyed if I partook of a snack at such a late hour.
Samantha required some items from one of the stores around the corner, and she drove me to the post office, and then to the attorney's office. The old adage, "You know you are getting old, when the policemen look young", came to mind very quickly after the attorney introduced himself. Standing in front of me was a young man, whom I suggested (to Dana) was not old enough to be out without a supervising adult, let alone run his own law practice! I introduced myself, in my usual professional manner, and tried not to speak to him as my stomach had spoken to my head! Satisfied that I was aware of the procedure, he handed me the papers, and we bid each other farewell. As I got into Samantha's car, I started to giggle. "He could at least have worn long trousers to the office", I howled, and she simply remarked, "Oh no. Have you not eaten today!" The trip back to our office was one of laughter and mayhem, with my daughter shaking her head at various intervals. It was only when I heard the fourth advertisement for how a power drill would be the perfect way to tell the man in my life that I loved him, did I revert back to killjoy status!
By the time Thursday came around, it was impossible to escape from the lurve that was in the air. After taking an hour's respite, enjoying coffee with Joe and Gail, and generally denouncing anything that was not straight laced or austere, I headed for the store to buy an anniversary card for my daughter, who despite having a wedding celebration in April, last year, actually got married on the fourteenth day of February, three years ago! The hearts were everywhere. As quickly as the metallic foil case was inflated, was it purchased, and another was ordered. I bought two cards, a packet of mothballs, and a sewing kit. Lady Casanova, I ain't! I left the shop and headed to the office. I went through my usual ritual of checking emails, giving a quick glance over social media, and looking to see if there was any reporting of real news, rather than whom was marrying, divorcing, or suing! The contest and quiz pages would have to wait until lunchtime, or later in the evening! The day plodded along, and I made a trip to the post office during the afternoon. I was told that guarantees were not made ensuring that parcels and cards would reach their destination by Saturday. I reported that there was nothing fragile, liquid or explosive in my envelope. The only romantic element within my mail was the heart shaped stamp (that I had bought as my options for that particular variety had been rather limited). My relationship with the receiver would not be jeopardised if it did not arrive by Saturday. I had no specific plans for the weekend, and I would still be on speaking terms with my husband on Sunday, should he not buy me a food mixer!
Trying to explain that I would be very upset with my husband if he restricted his gestures of lurve to one day a year, I am looked upon as the poor woman who doesn't get a present on Valentine's day. If I further try to explain that I am not offended, nor disappointed that I receive nothing, I am put in the category of 'Me thinks she doth protest too much', so I tend to stay quiet, and only speak when I am spoken to on the subject. Being totally out of character for me to only speak when I am spoken to, this is surprising not a challenge!
Saturday was a challenge! Samantha and Edward were to attend a wedding, so I was left to my own devices during the morning. I drove to Sprouts to get the week's vegetables, and did not wish to purchase any chocolate covered strawberries. I was quite sure they were delicious, but I would rather buy a whole punnet, a bar of chocolate, two pieces of steak, a jar of caviar, and still have change for a night out at the local rodeo, for the price of half a dozen! I did not want any champagne. I did not want a heart shaped cake. The nearest thing to lurve on my shopping list were tomatoes. However, love-apples were not considered romantic by anyone in the store. The peppers I purchased were red, but apparently they did not count either! Purchasing parsnips put me in the category of the impossible to convert!
I left with my head held high, and went to Costco. I did not wish to purchase any chocolate covered strawberries. At least I was invited to sample the wares in the large warehouse, but still my preference was not to buy the confectionery immersed fruit. I did not wish to purchase any romantic spinach filled ravioli (?) or special Valentine Day chicken burritos, despite the way to a man's heart purportedly being through his stomach. I wanted some paper towels and cleaning products. Purchasing disinfectant wipes put me in the category of the impossible to convert!
My next stop was at the 'Dress for Less' store, as I had a household project in mind. Fortunately, there were no strawberries on sale! However, a red heart shaped balloon can make even the most mundane objects romantic. Who would have thought that a laundry basket would have the been the object of tales that legends were made from! Something as bizarre as a toilet brush could be the key to a woman's heart! Somehow, my killjoy attitude did not seem as outrageous as the suggestions put forth by some of the shopkeepers! After all, if you cannot afford the strawberries, a bottle of cleaning fluid will do the trick! Personally, I would prefer the Gerber daisies, unless I am going camping!
By the time I had reach Walmart, I was confident that being lost in my own self imposed, anti Valentine (but not love) campaign was quite acceptable. I would not wage war against those who wished to participate, (as I have stressed,) but I can offer an alternative for those who wish to 'opt-out'. Quite simply, just 'opt-out'. I did not wish to visit the bakery department, to purchase any chocolate covered strawberries, nor did I want any heart shaped cookies. I did not want balloons, nor did I think a television would be the way to my man's heart. My husband would not be particularly impressed if I purchased the special 'Valentine's day offer' of a satellite TV package. If fact he would probably prefer the strawberries!
I returned home laden down with the most uninspired, unromantic groceries and wares, but without losing affection and love for those around me. Dana knew that I had wanted to go and see a film, and suggested we go to the cinema. We knew that the theatres would be very busy, as the latest box office hit, fifty shades of a rather dull colour, was being shown at half of the screens in every complex across town, but were confident that seats for the film we wished to view would not be sold out! We were correct in our assumption. 'The Imitation Game' was excellent. Apparently the other movie was quite good too! (I had won tickets to see a sneak preview during the week, and gladly given them to my daughter!)
We left the mall, and headed towards my favourite Mexican Restaurant. For some inexplicable reason, despite the number of chocolate covered strawberries I had been offered, the balloons that had attacked me, the sports car that I was denied, the power drill that failed to arrive in my husband's non-existent tool shed, by the time I had left the cinema, I had forgotten the date! There was no room at the Inn! (In February?) We travelled along the highway to the next venue. Again, no room. Had we not booked? After all, it was Chocolate Covered Strawberry Day! We considered our options and decided to try one last restaurant, but at the same time Dana forgot to order my Ferrari, dishwasher and toilet brush, he further forgot to reserve a dining table. I was as much to blame. I did not think that when I failed to purchase his new John Deere lawn cutter, I would be denying him a hearty meal! Take out from La Salsa (a delightful small Latino cafe) was our Valentine Day's dinner. We ate our dinner from trays on our laps, and watched as the puppy salivated in the hope that there would be something left over to show him that romance, and love, had not died in our home!
Today, I join many many a forlorn teenager, who did not receive a card, or other gesture of adoration, in the announcement, 'At least that is over for another year!' Perhaps one day I will change my mind, but the chances are as remote as me buying chocolate covered strawberries, at least while I have the ability to make them myself!
Tomorrow is a holiday! President's Day incorporates the birthdays of both Lincoln and Washington. To say I am looking forward to a day off would be most truthful. To quote Washington, "I cannot tell a lie". 'Honest Abe' I think would also agree! I am not sure as to what is planned, but I am sure the absence of balloons will be most acceptable. Sunshine is not on the horizon, although I am sure I will have a lovely day! Emotions aside, I will no doubt archive all in ........... another story!