|Valentine's Day, Fibucetera
14, 40 A.B.
step twice into the same river
waters are ever flowing on to you."
That old saying of Heraclitus (Born: sometime long ago; Died: sometime
almost as long ago) came to me today because... well, probably because
I have way too much time on my hands. But also because of something
I found in my local neighborhood grocery some weeks ago.
It wasn't much, really. Just a display of Valentine's Day cards.
You know - of boxed sets such as kids exchange in school. We exchanged
such cards ourselves, over 30 years ago. It was surprising to see
that such a quaint, low-tech tradition endures.
Then I looked a bit closer. Something had caught my eye there, lurking
among the Disney products and the cupids and the hearts....
there it was: A genuine boxed set of cards for the Day o' Love put out
by the World Championship Wrestling people.
8 Different Designs!
32 Fold & Seal Cards In All!
How could I resist?
Remarkably, they proved to be just a tad disappointing. I mean, no
matter how closely I examined them after rushing back home and ripping
open the box, I didn't find a single one with the touching words "Be My
Valentine Or I'll Kick Your Ass!" printed on them, front or back.
Just an oversight, I'm sure.
Just wait until next year and see.
Of course I bought them for their camp value. Why, even the cashier
had to shake her head and laugh as she rang them up. What - did you
actually think for a second that I sent these out??
Why, I ought to rip your -
Sometimes I'm just such a victim of my culture.
Anyway, I now have a box of 32 Valentines to add to my collection of odd
artifacts from this strange civilization of yours that I'm still trying
to figure out.
Do you have any idea how big wrestling is now? How the World Wrestling
Federation's "Raw is War" show is the most watched program on cable?
That "SmackDown!" is the #1 show on UPN? That WWF's videos are often
#1, that wrestling figures outsell Pokémon, that autobios by two
wrestlers are high on the bestsellers list, that WWF is projecting sales
of $340 million this year, that -
Oh, never mind. I really don't care. Why should anyone else?
I've tried to imagine what might have happened had I tried to give a girl
back in the third grade one of these Valentines. I can't quite pull
it off. The girl keeps stopping me as I try to drop the thing in
her box by saying, "Hey! What are you doing trying to stick me with
a card from 2000?! It's 1967, idiot - let's do it again until we
get it right!"
Turns out that's very distracting.
Where imagination fails me, however, memory succeeds.
I remember how the red of the day was always a nice relief from the blinding
I remember how hard I tried to decorate my shoebox card receptacle - and
how the pretty construction paper I pasted on the outside never quite made
up for the smelly old shoes I'd absent-mindedly left inside.
But most of all I remember how our teachers always required us to bring
enough cards for everyone in the class. Seems it wasn't until sixth
grade or so that incipient sexual rivalry began trumping the notion of
universal love. At least that's when I think it was that Freddy Loboshevski
turned and cruelly called me a Very Bad Name for doing something nothing
worse than trying to slip a cupidy card into his box exactly like I had
for years and years. But then Freddy's dad drove a delivery truck
for a soda pop company and it was easy to write his behavior off that day
as the result of too much free effervescence.
It wasn't until I'd been married a few years and my wife finally blew her
top over my promiscuous distribution of frilly cards that I realized Things
To this day, I really don't understand what happened. First I was
indoctrinated in socialized love and sent to a re-education camp if I deviated
from that at all. Then one day there was this capitalist revolution
no one told me about and I was suddenly expected to believe solely in privately-owned
and -operated sole-provider romance. It was and remains all very
confusing to me, and no matter how hard I stare into the eyes of Diamond
Dallas Page or Goldberg tonight, the esoteric world of the economics of
the heart continues to elude me.
Lucky devils. As bloody and violent as their own world appears to
be, at least we now know they have a script to go by....
It was from this confused state that I tried to flee by taking a nap tonight.
Alas, too much residual sugar and Red Dye #2 from the day's other main
activities made it impossible for peace to come.
Instead, I was transported back to my wedding day. As I was just
about to say "I do" my first grade teacher jumped up screaming, "NO, Danny!
You know better than that. Either you marry everyone or you
marry no one at all. Now be polite and show some manners before I
kick your ass!"
What could I say to that? My wife-to-be was a mere substitute teacher
back then and clearly outranked by this experienced professional.
I had no choice but to restate the vows I'd just spoken so as to include
At which point Freddy, my sister, and the minister himself all got up and
And my wife-to-be turned to those remaining and announced her decision
to settle for a cute little gerbil....
Other than that, it's been a very pleasant day, full of the kind of love,
affection, and foot massages most worthless purveyors of blather can only
get by trading cigarettes to their cell mate for. I'm a very lucky
man, and I know it.
Still, I can't help but wonder what it would be like to be a man who also
had it All Figured Out.
Maybe if I tried starting with something simpler and worked my way back
up to Valentine's Day.
Maybe if I started reading up on St. Patrick's Day, beginning tomorrow.
Back To Where You Once Belonged
Home With My Thoughts Escaping
Sweet Cream, Ladies, Forward March
(©Now by Dan Birtcher, toe-tagged
holiday hit-and-run victim)