Valentine's Day full of irony

Posted: Sunday, February 15, 2004

Once in a lifetime, there comes a day when the stars align in just the right manner, the cosmic powers that be become benevolent toward your lowly mortal soul and the fickle Fates decide to stop thumbing their noses at you and cut you a break.

Friday was not that day.

But it almost was. All was almost right in my world. It was so close I could taste it, and it was sweeter than any chocolate-covered toffee, nougat or caramel could ever be: Valentine's Day almost fell on Friday the 13th this year.

I know it's technically impossible for the 14th day of February to fall on Friday the 13th, or any other 13th, but if it were somehow possible and it did happen, the cosmic irony of it all would make my head explode. I would die happy at that point, with little bits of brain goo stuck to my content, headless body.

But no. Of course not. No happy brain goo for me. Instead I have to put up with yet another non-cosmically ironic Valentine's Day with my head still intact.

As holidays go, I find Valentine's Day to be somewhat bizarre: One day a year devoted to making lonely, depressed people feel even worse than they already do. I'd insist that the whole thing is a sinister plot devised by the makers of Prozak to boost sales revenue, but everyone would just think I was single and bitter.

It is true that I find Valentine's Day more annoying on years when I'm single than on years I'm not, but it does retain some odd qualities, either way. It's still a day when people worship a flying naked baby that goes around shooting people with a bow and arrows. No wonder this country is as violent as it is even the holiday devoted to love involves projectile weapons.

It's also odd that the traditional sign of the holiday is the heart shape, found in the form of candy, cards, jewelry and anything else men give their spouses and-or girlfriends to atone for some past or not-yet-committed blunder. The odd thing about the valentine heart shape is that is does not at all resemble an actual organic heart. There is one body part the valentine heart shape does resemble, however: the prostate gland.

Kind of sheds a whole new light on those candy "conversation hearts," doesn't it?

"My conversation prostate says, 'Be Mine.' What does your say?"

I am writing this column Friday. Though Valentine's Day has yet to come and go, I think I'm pretty safe in assuming that the proverbial flying naked baby will avoid my house like PETA avoids giving Gov. Murkowski a campaign contribution.

Yes, in case you haven't guessed it yet I'm single.

I'm know what you must be thinking: "What?!" "You don't say!" "The world just doesn't make sense anymore!"

I'll give you a minute to collect yourselves and administer CPR to those whose hearts may have stopped from that shocking revelation.

Surprising as it is, it's true. How could this be possible, you ask?

Heck if I know.

It's not like I'm a difficult person to get along with. I'm never moody or cynical or sarcastic or ill tempered. I'm actually downright pleasant a veritable paragon of good will and friendliness.

(I'll pause here to allow my family members, college roommate and other close friends to mop up the liquid that undoubtedly shot out of their noses when they read that one).

OK, so I'm not going to win any congeniality contests.

But I'm not that bad. I'm a really good listener (when I'm sleeping), I never say anything mean or unkind (to bikers and people carrying sharp, pointy objects) and I'm always willing to help a friend (recognize their faults and shortcomings).

I'd make a very undemanding girlfriend. Really. I don't require a date to spend lots of cash on me (credit will do), or give me expensive jewelry (opals are quite reasonably priced), or take me out to fancy dinners (a three-course homecooked meal is acceptable).

I don't expect a boyfriend to act all cutesey, either. In fact I'd prefer it if he didn't, especially when it comes to terms of endearment. My parents gave me a perfectly good name. It's easy to pronounce and easy to remember, and I see no reason why it should be discarded for terms like "darling" or "sugar." I could handle "dear" if I had to, or maybe even "honey" on infrequent occasions, but calling me anything approaching baby talk or cutesey nicknames like "sweetums" or "pumpkin" is cause for swift retaliatory action.

Cutesey nicknames in general don't make much sense to me, but I find "pumpkin," in particular, downright mystifying. Why is this considered a term of endearment? A pumpkin is a fat orange gourd full of stringy slime that gets ritualistically carved and set on fire every fall. How is that endearing?

I have very low expectations, too. I'm not picky at all about who I'd date. All I really require is a man who's breathing ... although football fanatics, anyone who finds the "Three Stooges" funny and men with questionable grooming and laundry habits need not apply.

And it wouldn't hurt if he looked, acted and in general was John Cusack.

But that still leaves a vast pool of men to choose from in Argentina, maybe. In Alaska, that pretty well limits my options.

So, no prostate-shaped boxes of chocolates for me this year, I'm afraid.

Although in all honesty, I think I'd be happier with the brain goo.

Jenny Neyman is a reporter for the Peninsula Clarion.



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