February 14, 2007

Valentine's Day, Revisited Yet Again

AH, VALENTINE'S DAY! A day for lovers, a day for passion, a day for joy! It therefore should come as no surprise that your humble correspondent is sitting at his work desk in his living room, typing away on his computer and listening to moody music. Also, he is eating a small bag of chicharrones*, which he really ought not eat but because it is Valentine's Day night he feels absolutely no guilt about doing so. Yeah.

But anyway. Past Valentine's Day posts of mine have been rather, oh, I don't know, sour. Yeah, I like that phrase, sour. They weren't really bitter, I don't think, even though I made mention of these most times. Nor were they all that jaded or cruel, even though I would make smart remarks about St Valentine, the patron saint of love, affianced couples, greeting card manufacturers and -- my personal favorite -- against the plague. After all, as I wrote a few years back, one could only imagine the prayer for that:

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St Valentine, the saint whom love hails
Last night I had much wine and ale
This rap let me beat
The clap let me cheat
It's my ass on the line should you fail
.

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St VALENTINE: Go ahead and laugh! You're not leaving Purgatory 'til the Lions win the Super Bowl!

This year, though, things are different -- even if I'm yet again earning an extra three millennia in Purgatory for poking fun at St Valentine, who is also a patron saint of beekeepers.

Part of this is because this year, I actually engaged in what can loosely be termed Zany Romantic Hijinks, and in a couple of days I shall learn if said hijinks actually worked out great. As a result, I'm in a pretty good mood, despite having Flower Delivery Anxiety. Also, I stopped by the grocery store on the way home and found many of my fellow men aimlessly wandering its aisles, which makes for a good Valentine's Day post.

Generally speaking, the supermarket in which I shop is very busy on weekday nights, but today's blizzard made the 6 p.m. crowd about as large as a typical 10 p.m. crowd. To me, most of the shoppers appeared to be men, and were apparently picking up last-minute Valentine's Day things. That they were doing so in the grocery was a sign of things either very bad or very good.

I actually felt a twinge of pity for the backward-cap-wearing guy in his early twenties, who looked forlornly over a display of inexpensive grocery-store flowers before selecting a sad-looking bouquet of perhaps half-a-dozen roses wrapped in plastic. This was primarily because the man had absolutely no hope of getting through the night emotionally unscathed. After all, if it's 6 p.m. on Valentine's Day, and one is reduced to getting a small bouquet of flowers from the grocery, there's a good chance one will get in serious trouble for not making a proper effort, and for all I knew the poor bastard had intended to do better.

However, the man did not look as if he couldn't afford a proper bouquet, which explains why I only felt a little pity. After all, Valentine's Day is one of three key dates in the romantic year (the other two being the spouse's birthday and the anniversary) which all men shouldn't forget. It also doesn't take too much time or money to go to a proper florist and select a proper bouquet, or have one designed -- and although I admit I am a stickler on this, it also seems a more important purchase than one of a hundred things a man might buy for himself during the year.

I was much more impressed with the man in his later twenties who was actively quizzing one of the produce workers over near the fresh vegetables. This was partially because I looked in the man's cart, and noticed that he had a variety of fresh herbs and various other gourmet food products in it. A few minutes later, I saw him place a call on his cell phone. This, therefore, suggested the man would soon be cooking dinner for his beloved, which meant he would gain bunches of style points. Furthermore, any man who would harangue produce workers about the various offerings at the grocery either A) is Chairman Kaga or B) wants to make damned sure he has done everything he can to make for a good evening on Valentine's Day. I certainly can't disapprove of the latter option.**

So I suppose I'm looking at Valentine's Day this year with a bit more ... I don't know ... tolerance? respect? cheer? Oh, my God, cheer. Well, I guess it happens to the best of us once in a while. On a serious note, I do hope all of my readers had a happy and joyful Valentine's Day of their own, or at least celebrated in a manner befitting one's own situation.

Mmmmmmm. Chicharrones.

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* Padres: No pregunte a Marco lo que significa esa palabra, por favor.

** We know Choice B applies because the man did not bite into a bell pepper, despite approximately 700 close at hand.

Posted by Benjamin Kepple at February 14, 2007 10:23 PM | TrackBack
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