Monday, February 14, 2011


Current Reading: Shifter, by Janice Hardy

Inspirational Quote: "He felt now that he was not simply close to her, but that he did not know where he ended and she began." -- Tolstoy

Ah, Valentine's Day, that one day in the year when we are encouraged to throw caution to the wind and declare our passion via conspicuous consumerism.

Fields of flowers are amputated on this day because tradition tells us that a handful of dying weeds is a suitable way to convey esteem. Buckets of chocolate in all its forms are consumed in the fervent hope that pancreatic shock will somehow lead to intimate bliss (Yeah, okay, so it works on me... but that's just the way I am). Jewelry stores are emptied of things that sparkle on the off chance that polished rocks might inspire passion. Trees are leveled for card stock and dime-store poets squeezed to produce high-saccharine verse in order to somehow convey depth of insubstantial emotion.

Of course, they're using a language that grew out of the need to tell other monkeys where the good fruit hangs and where the tigers prowl, so conveying abstract concepts is no mean feat.

Does it work? It seems to. It's like a self-fulfilling prophesy. Because we believe these things convey affection, they convey affection.

I myself got a card with a very sappy verse, and was happy to have it. Penelope got a hand-written sheet of notepaper on which were scribbled the top ten reasons why being her husband is a decent gig. She accepted it with her usual inspiring grace.

Of course, neither missive yielded the archetypal rush of passion. At the time, Cassandra was feverishly scribbling class names on mass-produced Valentines cards, Aeneas was demanding we tell him on which floor he dropped his shirt last night, Telemachus was complaining that unloading the dishwasher was a task simultaneously beyond and beneath him, Penelope was making breakfast and I was on my way out the door.

We didn't exactly fall into each other's arms.

On the other hand, we did that twenty-one years ago and it seems we did it well enough to last a lifetime.

So: I'm happy. I think she is too. And really, what more can anyone ask?

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