Forgive me in advance for putting you through the cliché tribute to St. Valentine and the Hallmark obsession created in his name. I too want to vomit my regular Friday night thin crust Pacific veggie pizza (minus the tomatoes and onions plus pineapples) at the mere mention of chocolates, flowers and heart shaped candies that taste like chalk but nevertheless, here I am-writing and here you are-reading. So let’s just get through this moment and this thought so I can return to tweeting.
I have seen quite a few February 14ths, 32 of them to be exact. I have minor recollections of cards with perforated edges and red lollipops attached filling brown paper bags just before the call of blue bus. Tomorrow my sons will cut out 20+ names (because why write them all when there is glue and scissors) and strategically decipher who gets what, making sure the boys get ‘hey friend’ and that one special girl gets ‘be mine’.
By age 12, I had graduated to actually having a Valentine and traded Betty Boop cards for a red, heart shaped, velvet box of chocolates. My excitement on the seventh grade hall of Leroy Martin Middle School was not met with reciprocal enthusiasm. Upon opening my locker, just before first period, I found a note. I assumed that it contained two pencil written boxes asking me to profess or negate my affection for a young man ignited by the spirit of the day. Instead, I found a Dear John of sorts that read “___ ______’s legs aint locked.”
That day after school, as Michael Jackson’s Remember the Times video premiered on BET, I washed down chocolates with tears.
The next year, I received a blank thank you card from my then boyfriend that read “Happy Valantine Day, I love you like a sistas.”
Needless to say, I was not developing an affinity for February 14th until two years later when I received an enormous white stuffed teddy bear with two huge balloons that read ‘I [heart] U’ and ‘Be Mine”. I was hooked; not on the holiday but on the feeling that came with it.
LOVE, is not that feeling. It’s not being loved or spoiled or surprised that sends our emotions over the top. No my dear friends…that pleasure…that titillation…that sensation is GLOAT! It’s the ability to feel ten feet tall as the florist enters the office in slow motion and announces ‘I have a delivery for Shannon Bennett’ while every other woman sitting at her empty desk says a silent prayer to be the recipient of such public exclamation of affection. It’s the arrogance that accompanies the knowledge that everyone unanimously hates you and hopes you choke on a raspberry filled chocolate. Even though they’ll “oooo” and “aaaa” and graciously accept one of your delicacies as they congratulate you on having found such a good catch, rest assured there will be infinite texts that begin with “she think she all that…”.
If those same red roses and gourmet truffles were sent to your house you would accept them with little more concern than a certified letter from a bill collector and for that reason may I make this suggestion-please add your work address to your email signature, highlight in bold and attach a link to flowers.com.