Inspired by “I left the grocery store a few days before Valentine’s Day, in tears.”
With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, life can be rough. Sometimes a routine trip to the grocery store can feel like an attack on every emotion. Aisles filled with red and pink everything. Plastic, tacky heart decorations and large teddy bears holding cheap chocolates permeating the shelves. Love and Hallmark wafting in the air: Rows of cards with messages like: “Marriage Means Growing Old Together.”, “I Want to Grow Old With You.” The final straw is: “We Will Be Together Forever.”
A couple years ago, I left the grocery store a few days before Valentine’s Day, in tears. When I got to the register, there was a couple in their 70’s or 80’s in front of me paying for their things. The husband was lightly teasing the wife; they were bantering and joking around. It was very sweet, and I was so jealous of them and their time together. As he put all the heavy items onto the counter for her, she looked at me lovingly and said: “My husband is so good at that! He always makes sure I don’t have to use my muscles.” She laughed warmly, meaning no harm. I smiled with my lips, and cried my way right out of the store and back into my car. She looked at me with confusion as they left the store, leaning on one another, literally.
That night, I remember going home and just crying for a really long time. After awhile, you kind of grow tired of crying, and you want to start taking action. So, this year, as we come up on about a week and a half before Valentine’s Day, I have decided to make a wish list of all the things I would LOVE to do on that day, but cannot, because I would surely be arrested.
Here are my Top 10 Ways to Annoy Those in Love on Valentine’s Day: (this is just for fun, and no people in love were harmed in the making of this Top 10 list. Thank you.
Go into Walgreen’s, CVS, and other drugstores that sell cheap, stale candy like “Whitmann’s Sampler” – and wait for men to pick it up to purchase. Each time a guy picks up a box, look at him and say: “Really? This is what you’re going with? Seriously? If I were you, I wouldn’t even bother with the red tacky heart shaped balloon on a stick. Now you’re just being insulting.”
Call Out the Cheapskates:
Stand at a bus terminal, or the grocery store, or gas station, where men go to buy last-minute flowers. Stand in front of the display and yell out in a sales-pitchy voice: “Get your discounted, non-personal, I don’t give a shit about you at all, flower arrangements right here! These flowers are guaranteed to live for your entire car ride home – up to 10 miles. Tell your girl to ignore the weird, musty smell coming from inside the bouquet. We don’t know what it is either. Please don’t ask. She can water these, but it won’t help. These flowers WILL die, suddenly and without warning. Just like my husband!”
Party of One:
Go to a restaurant, put name on reservations list with the last name “Widow”, so they have to call out: “Widow – Party of One. Widow – Party of One???” Get a table in the center, alone, and wait for all the couples to show up together, celebrating Valentine’s Day. Once the place is filled with happy couples; start loudly talking and giggling to yourself, as if there is another person there with you. Act extra giddy. Laugh loudly, pull out a rose from under the table, present it to yourself, and say: “Oh baby! You SHOULDN’T have! For meeeee?” Bat eyelashes. Unbutton top two buttons on blouse, look across the table and say: “Oooh! Here? Right now? You naughty, naughty boy!” Then get up, holding hands with imaginary lover, and exit, leaving them all completely confused and stunned.
Start your own line of ” Anti – Valentines Day Conversation Hearts”, and replace all the normal ones in stores with them. They would have messages like: “Everyone Will Die”, “Love Ends When One of You Dies”, “I Am Completely Alone”, “This Heart Was Made With Real Tears”, “Happy Valentine’s Day! I’m Dead!”, “Will You Be My Valentine … Cat?”, “Be Mine – Until I Die Unexpectedly”, “All We Are Is Dust In the Wind”, “You Might Choke on this Candy Heart and Die”, “There’s a Good Chance One of Us Will Get Sick Someday”, “Nobody is Promised Tomorrow” “Text Me! No Wait – Never Mind. My phone Is Disconnected Cuz I’m Dead.” Okay, most of these most likely wouldn’t fit onto a tiny little candy heart, but this is a fantasy, so let’s just pretend it does.
Get a hold of every romantic comedy ever made in the history of time, go through and at the very beginning, add a shot of yourself saying into the camera: “SPOILER ALERT! None of this matters! Everybody Dies!” This way, each rom-com will now end the same exact way. With death.
Go through every card aisle of every Hallmark store on earth with magic marker, and put sad faces and giant penis drawings on all of the Valentine’s Day cards. Hide behind display and laugh.
Pre-chew all of the Valentine’s Day chocolates, then put them back into their little wrappers. Replace identification signs like “Vanilla Cream” and “Rasberry Filling” with signs that say things like: “This tastes like Ass”, or, “Unidentifiable Orange Disaster”, or, “Smells of Poop.” Laugh loudly at the thought of candy victim eating this nasty chocolate later on.
I Love You, Mommy:
Be the person in charge of the messages that get attached to all of the flower deliveries. Mix them all up so they go to inappropriate people. Send a dozen roses with the message: “I can’t wait to be alone with you tonight. You make me so hot!” to some dude’s mom, from her son. Creepy.
Crash a wedding. Wait for the priest to say: “If anyone here does not approve of this marriage, speak now or forever hold your piece…” (Okay. Nobody actually says that in weddings. Ever. I have never once heard it in my entire life and I’ve been to a lot of weddings. But again … this is a fantasy, so let’s pretend.) When he says that, yell from the back of the church: “I DO NOT CONDONE THIS UNION!!!” Then drop your pants and blast the Benny Hill theme song over the loudspeakers. When it ends, leave slowly and awkwardly; sans pants.
Bring spouse’s death certificate all over the place, and keep presenting it at stores as if it’s a gift card or discount card for items purchased. “Excuse me, do you offer a Widow Discount? I have this death certificate …. ” “Yes, it’s Valentine’s Day, and my husband died. I’d like to buy myself some flowers and chocolates. What is your policy on Widow Discounts? Here is the death certificate … ” “Can I just get HALF of a banana split? I have nobody to split it with, since my husband is dead and all. Please give me the Widow Price. Here’s the certificate…” Watch store clerks and others go insane with bafflement.
As much joy as all of these fun examples would bring to my life, I will mot likely not have the courage to do such silly things, and perhaps instead, sit home and stare longingly at the wall. I will remember years past and try to re-capture what it felt like, to be loved by the best man I ever knew. I will think about the future, and about the feelings I now have for someone else, and how those feelings will hopefully be reciprocated in the way that I want them to be soon. I will think about how my husband would want me to find some joy in life, and also how he would find this Top Ten List pretty hilarious. I will think about how incredibly lucky I was, that he chose me, and that I know what that kind of love feels like, and then I will try really hard to not be too sad, and to know that love grows more love, and that there will be more love in my life, because I loved and still love him, forever.