Thursday, February 14, 2019

An Anti-Ode to Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day. I have a poem by that title, about a snowplow guy smoking a joint. Maybe that's emblematic of the role that this holiday plays in my life. Last year Tom and I had a big fight on Valentine's Day. We hardly ever have big fights, but that's the sort of day that Valentine's Day often turns out to be. It's a day for getting into a minor car accident, or being stuck on hold for an hour with the phone company, or ostentatiously not talking to the person across the dinner table.

This year, nothing annoying has happened yet, but the day is young and I am suspicious. Still, I plan to make a good-faith effort to be semi-romantic. I might buy some sort of nice food that Tom likes--say, cannoli from the Italian market: the sort of food I might also buy on a regular day, because it's important, on Valentine's Day, not to be gushy. Gushy always leads to unforeseen consequences, such as having to talk to an insurance adjuster or sleeping downstairs on the couch. There's a large likelihood that even if we aren't crabby at each other, Tom will entirely forget to hold up his part of the commercialized bargain. He's been known to bring me flowers, but I'm always shocked when he does. Really, the fact that we actually got married still surprises me. All that fuss, having to dress up and talk to people and such. Why bother?

The thing about Valentine's Day is that it reminds me of how dumb it is to judge a long and deep affection by whether or not a man who's spent all day framing a house or cutting up plywood on a table saw remembers to stop at Hannaford after work and buy a bunch of overpriced roses. What he does remember is that he is looking forward to coming home. Which is where I am. Which is where we are. Valentine's Day or not, we can look forward to sitting under the same couch blanket after dinner, watching ancient reruns of Hill Street Blues, eating cannoli and accidentally smearing powdered sugar down the front of our sweaters, pretending to talk in the voice of the cat. They should name a holiday after that.

6 comments:

ann said...

Yes! These are the real moments of love and a sustained romance. Required Valentine’s Day reading.

Kate LaBree said...

I love this!

Kay Morgan said...

You have captured the essence of what most of us experience on Valentine's Day. As for me, I am with grandchildren this morning who gave me a homemade valentine and a hug and that is as good as it gets as far as I am concerned.

David (n of 49) said...

That poem is still a favourite.

Ayesha said...

"Gushy always leads to unforeseen circumstances" made me laugh, and is a great turn of phrase.

Dawn Potter said...

Thanks, everyone!