This year I was the Grinch of Valentine’s Day. I wonder why? Was it because my valentine is far away? Or is it just because we’re older? It all seems like childish foolishness now, trivial, shallow and meaningless. I do remember fondly the heart thumping moments wondering if HE was going to ask me to be his Valentine. I remember the thrill of asking my first Valentine out as I got older and bolder, and the devastating pain of not receiving a card from HIM. It all used to be cute but I’m old enough to know better now. Besides haven’t I conceded enough of my valuable time and attention to Christmas the biggest annual pageant of consumerism in the world today? Must I endure more of the cheesy insincere crap so soon after?
Right now the only thing that would actually impress me is a very expensive gift since it seems to be just another reason to go shopping. Something very very expensive please, like a diamond tiara, a yacht, a Bentley or a Chateau. Other than that all this exchange of flowers, chocolates, cards and bodily fluids seems quite pathetic suddenly. We are after all celebrating consumerism. Chocolates, flowers and cards are the stuff a courting gentleman comes with by the by during his courtship and not just on Valentine’s Day. And you should have received lots of them on numerous occasions before you even exchange saliva.
Yesterday my Valentine and I had a big blow out over outstanding mortgage payments. Turns out the love of my life conveniently forgot to make his half of the payments for the past 4 months. He probably spent the money for that extravagant Christmas he gave us. Fool! Now the mortgage company wants to repossess. HE wants me to take another advance from my office. I tell him I’m overdrawn already and he gets really mad, and accuses me of hiding things from him. He forgot that he asked me to collect the advance when he needed money to complete the house in the village. How are we going to love each other today?
My Valentine eventually called. HE’s more than 2000 miles and 7 time zones away from here. “Happy Valentine’s my love” HE says. I grunt. “Ah come on baby you know I love you.”
“Yeah, yeah. Prove it. Buy me a chateau in France!”
He laughs. I wonder why he thinks it’s funny. I don’t think it’s funny.
I hang up and wonder if I should go for a drink when the sun goes down. It’s too hot to move before the sun goes down. I know I’m going to get that call, that invitation. I know I’m going to go and have sex after wards and then pray HE doesn’t get clingy or mushy. I like to maintain an aloof composure after casual meaningless sex. I was on my way out the door later when I saw them. I froze and an involuntary sound escaped my lips before my fingers could reach up to silence them. Whether it was in fright or delight I cannot say.
There were ten men and women wearing blue overalls standing on the pathway leading to the front door. Each one held in out stretched arms a huge square box tied up with red ribbon. The foreman stood nearest the door and had been about to ring the bell when I came out.
“O” I cried again as if the sound were being torn from my throat. “From who please”
“From your husband ma’am”