Tuesday, February 14, 2012

"There is nothing that a flower could say that your lips can't prove with a kiss."*

The greatest love of all: that between a woman and her gay best friend.

An Ode to Valentine’s Day           
         Ah, Valentine’s Day. The holiday that celebrates love in all of its forms: between couples, between friends, between a girl and her laptop, etc. All love, all around.
         I used to think VD was venereal disease a holiday designed to make the single person feel awkward. Case in point: this morning when I bought my latte, the barista informed me that it was buy-one-get-one-free in honor of Valentine’s Day. I was forced to explain that I couldn’t possibly drink 8 shots of espresso (I've learned that lesson), nor had I anyone to give my second latte to, and he said, “Oh, that’s too bad.” Thanks a bunch, guy.
         Yet I know it’s hard for those who have sweethearts, as well. You have to buy something special and do it up fancy as though it were Christmas or New Year’s Eve or your honey’s birthday or your anniversary.

         But really, it’s not like any of those things. It used to be a Catholic holiday honoring the one-or-more martyrs named Valentinus and then that crazy Geoffrey Chaucer turned it into a romantic holiday during the times of courtly love in the Middle Ages. Nowadays, if we’re to go based on the cute-but-inconvenient facts that Vatican II (1969) ix-nayed it’s status as a Catholic feast day and no one (not even postal workers) gets the day off from work, I think it’s safe to take the super-cynical stance that it truly is a greeting card holiday.
         That’s not to say that it isn’t a sweet idea. Why not take a day and make the people you love feel special (especially if you’re not planning on doing it year-round)?
         So in honor of Valentine’s Day, I’d like to make a list of the things I love, in no particular order:
1.  Sunny days. Luckily, I get lots of them where I live, and I may be afflicted with SAD** if I ever move. But in the meantime, thank you, Southern California, for being sunny about 98% of the time.
2.  To-do lists. I like making them. I like crossing things off them. I like looking at the old ones. They sometimes make me stress out even more, but usually, they make me feel like I’ve already accomplished something (I've made a list!).
3.  Writing. Oh, it’s such a nice thing to be able to write no matter where I am (except while I’m driving—I rarely write while I’m driving). It’s a gift to be literate, and a gift to have a love that doesn’t cost more than the price of paper and a pen. (Or the price of the really nice laptop my parents bought me for my 28th birthday.)
4.  My parents. Yesterday my parents called me many times, mostly because they’d called me the day before and I didn’t notice and so did not call them back and so they thought I was dead. I have the best parents in the world, and not just because they will actually find out if I’m dead before the rats find me. They are really wonderful and supportive and decent people. I love you, Amy and Jonathan Rouse.
5.  My friends. I have some of the most tremendously amazing friends in the world, and I’m not even bragging, though they do make me look awesome and popular.  I am lucky to have the smartest, funniest, most talented friends I could ever hope for. Unless I become really famous and have to replace them with more internationally renowned friends. In which case, I will say: I love you guys! It’s been really fun!***
6.  My sisters. They’ve both been flaky about returning phone calls this week, but that’s okay, Elizabeth and Penelope. I know you both have boyfriends, so it's cool and I still love you.
7.  DVDs of now-defunct television shows. Mary Tyler Moore, The Bob Newhart Show, Arrested Development, Jeeves and Wooster. What’s so great about the DVDs is that you can watch and watch and never stop unless you really want to, or you have to take a shower and go to work, already. (Thank you, Captain Obvious, Lacey, for pointing out that DVDs don't have commercials.)
8. Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens.
9. Bright copper kettles and warm, woolen mittens (I especially like the warm, woolen mittens. Not so much into the chilly, woolen mittens).
10.Brown paper packages tied up with strings.****
11.Checking out what the people in front of me in line at the grocery store are getting. I really hate the grocery store, but I LOVE watching other people buy stuff. It's like a character study.
12.Being able to live in a time and place that allows me to contemplate doing just about anything I want with my life and gives me the potential to make it a reality.
         This is a super cheesy entry coming from me (or anyone, maybe), but I don’t want to come down against a day about love, even if part of me knows that it’s designed to rob us of our dignity and hard-earned dollars. It’s nice to have love in your heart, no matter where or to whom it’s directed.  Flowers and candy never hurt anyone, either. (Unless you someday have a boyfriend like this one guy I dated who showed up all the time with flowers, even though I wasn’t that into it. But I think I wasn’t into it because he wasn’t very nice, aside from the bouquets, so the two are probably unrelated.)
*Lyrics from "Send Me No Flowers" (Frank DeVol), the title song of Send Me No Flowers (Norman Jewison, 1964). This is one of my family's all-time favorite movies. Sooooo gooood. It's also the source of the Rock and Doris photo above.

**Coincidentally SAD (which I meant to connote (denote? Goddamn you, English language!) "Seasonal Affective Disorder" is also my friend Mike's term for Valentine's Day: Singles Awareness Day. Feel free to read about Mike here and also here. He's wacky, but also right on the money sometimes.
***I'm just kidding to all my friends. I love you guys so so much and would never survive a minute without you.
****Okay, I didn't give any credit up there, but I'm sure you know numbers 8-10 on my list were lyrics from The Sound of Music (Robert Wise, 1965; music and lyrics to "A Few of My Favorite Things" by Richard Rogers. Weird. I always thought that was Rogers AND Hammerstein. Hmmm...)


  1. Reading this was a wonderful way to celebrate Valentines Day! Thank you, I love you with all of my heart!

    1. I love you with all my heart, Ragsy-dear. And you are always an inspiration to me on Valentine's Day!

  2. You are one funny girl, Lacey. You make me laugh and a great writer to boot. Yes, you have awesome parents who I am very sure are glad you are not dead and being eaten by rats. And, finally, agree on Mary Tyler Moore. She rocks.

    1. Thank you for commenting, Sandy! And my folks say quite lovely things about you, as well. And yes, MTM is the best.

  3. Love numbers 4, 5 and 6 the best... But mostly 4. So funny.