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Monday, February 14, 2005

From Me To You With Gut-Wrenching Terror

Just because I'm single doesn't mean I should be left out of the Valentine's Day festivites. I took it upon myself to conduct a research project to better inform my contemporaries about the inside secrets of the so-called Hallmark Holiday.

Yes, that's right, I went to a Hallmark store. My intention was to interview the staff and to learn just what they thought about the whole business. Of course, today is the worst possible day to attempt such a stunt. When I arrived on the scene, about 30 minutes ago, there were long lines of guys wearing defeated facial expressions. They stood there, shoulders slumped, abjectly clutching ceramic figurines and boxes of raspberry chocolates.

I decided a tour of the store would be in order. I used to visit this particular location often as a child. There was a Flipside Records next door where I'd buy Yo MTV Raps trading cards and B-52s cassingles for my imitation brand walkman. I'd frequently venture into the Hallmark to see if any new jigsaw puzzles were in stock that I could add to my list. You know, the "please daddy buy this for 10 bucks and you'll get at least 30 hours of shut-the-fuck-up time" list.

I don't know if Hallmark changed or I did. The puzzles are still there. But the card section seems larger. Once I passed the soon to be inflated pastel holiday section (that's Easter to you) I discovered that you can buy a Valentine for more people than just your sweetheart. You can send one to every person you've ever shared oxygen with, and some you haven't.

I was tempted to buy a box of valentines that were pre-printed "To Little Johnny, I wish you were born. It is deeply saddenning to me that my Godless daughter took your life a mere week after conception. She will burn in a lake of eternal fire, but I will join you when they turn this respirator off. Stand true with St. Peter at the gate, and I will join you soon. There I will sing you the lullabies that Jesus told me you long for so keenly." I would send these out anonymously, all marked with a return address from the Bethel Baptist Church on Roselle Road. The only thing that held me back is that I would never see a return on my investment. I would not have the opportunity to witness the facial expressions of the recipients or the looks of consternation the church staff would express upon reading the angry repsonses.

I learned something else. There is a secret war going on in this country that all men and most pre-menopausal women know nothing about. It involves ceramic figurines and candles. I am dimly aware that many enterprising women have graduated from Mary Kay and Tupperware to hosting house parties to hawk scented candles and Hummel figurine variety bric-a-brac. How are they to succeed when corporate behemoths like Hallmark are hiring twinkly eyed matrons in turtlenecks to sell these items from storefronts, complete with homespun wisdom and soup recipes?

I'm not even going to touch the Christmas ornament issue. That's enough for today.
2:45 PM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm


February 14, 2005 3:47 PM, Blogger Other Brother said...

What sad is that most of the guys you saw were probably only getting the figurines and candy for a desperate last-second, no-chance-in-hell attempt at getting laid by some woman who showed little if any interest in them at one time. And like any true man, they probably waited until the last minute and thought, "Oh yeah, that chick winked at me once." When she probably only had something in her eye. We men can be very stupid sometimes. I speak from experience.

February 14, 2005 4:35 PM, Blogger ty bluesmith said...

two in one day? that's like, a dove sack and shit.

February 14, 2005 8:42 PM, Blogger daniel said...

I hate valentines day. I feel it is outrageous to make us buy some cheap shit for some cheap broad because it's the day to do it.
And the expectations. Jesus tap dancing Christ. Women, you actually appreciate it? Doesn't it feel at all shallow to be given something because it's sort of expected?

February 14, 2005 10:58 PM, Blogger Latigo Flint said...

Every year I run around giving expensive Valentine presents to hobos. Then I have them arrested for stealing.

"Learn to express yourself better and maybe this sort of thing won't happen." I whisper as they're loaded into the squad car.

February 15, 2005 12:05 AM, Blogger Dave Morris said...

I laughed my ass off as I read your blog. The "defeated man" expression runs rampant in my town as well. My wife asked me tonight, as we returned from a fucking lobster dinner with roses and all... "did you call your daughter and wish her happy valentine's day?" (lower case intentional) Uh, sorry... but my daughter is not my valentine.

My wife is officially part of the problem, not the solution.

Talk about last-minute shopping - a buddy of mine had made some major purchases for his home just before christmas (lower case intentional) a few years ago. So he and his wife made a pact... no gifts for each other, the new pool in the backyard would suffice.

Of COURSE, the woman violated the terms of the agreement, and Christmas morning he was left fluttering in the breeze with his dick in his hand. So he steps out of the room, calls a guy across the street and begs his help. The guy across the street runs to Walgreens (the only place open christmas morning) and buys whatever he can get his hands on, WRAPS it, and SNEAKS it into my friend's garage.

So she got her gifts. A makeup kit, some lotion and a stuffed animal. All from Walgreens, all Christmas morning... and all because she couldn't fucking follow the toa. (terms of agreement, lower case intentional)

February 15, 2005 12:28 AM, Blogger Lightning Bug's Butt said...

Hallmakr can wipe their collective ass with their $3.95 piece of cardboard.

February 15, 2005 1:20 AM, Blogger sCruuw said...

I am female ~ I say screw sending valentines, SEND DRUGS (UPPER CASE INTENTIONAL)

February 15, 2005 5:13 AM, Blogger SJH said...

I love the cynical views, but I have to say, I'm not so closed to the idea. I mean, it's not like she was the only one having a fine meal. And yeah, most of the stuff people buy is cheap shite, but if it gets you something for your trouble...

And yeah, never, EVER trust a woman when she says "no gifts this year". That's a landmine that can only blow up in your face.

February 15, 2005 7:40 AM, Blogger bethany said...

Oh Christ! Stop your bitching boys, it is not as if you get us anything other than the old stiff one eye every other day of the year.

Suck it up, buy her some flowers and a card and then sit back while she blows you.

February 15, 2005 9:10 AM, Blogger daniel said...

Suck it up, buy her some flowers and a card and then sit back while she blows you.

I have obviously been taking the wrong girls out.

February 15, 2005 9:37 AM, Blogger Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm said...

Wow, that's a lot of hatred and contempt.

I spent last night at home. I drank a lot (because I do) and ate cheese and crackers. After 8 or 9 beers I sang Modest Mouse and Bruce Springsteen songs. My roommates were annoyed. I thought I was a riot. My Isaac Brock isn't very good. Who's is?

February 15, 2005 11:50 AM, Blogger sic said...

You know what this proves?

Women are the root of all evil!

February 15, 2005 12:04 PM, Blogger Bookfraud said...

it's good that you are in the right frame of mind for V-D, since it's a capitalist plot foisted upon us that posits that a woman is unloved unless she receives stuff and a man is an idiot unless he gives it.

and not the stiff one eye. flowers and candy and cards. what could be less romantic. marijuana plants and bourbon and the complete works of judas priest, priceless

February 15, 2005 8:54 PM, Blogger ~kimberly~ said...

yes sic...yes we are. ;)

having said that.. i will blow anyone that gives me Godiva, tis the least i can do.

February 16, 2005 6:43 AM, Blogger Mishka said...

Apparently no one knows that girls give presents on V day too(besides ass and head).

And no pact is valid on Christmas...there always has to be something under the tree or in the stocking....that is just a law of nature.


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