Monday, February 10, 2014


Valentine’s Day.
Not my favorite.

Grade school memories-
The heart covered shoebox/”mailbox”             
And the kid that got assigned to be “mailman”
And delivered
Cheap Five & Dime paper cards.                                                         
Laden with hearts and flower                                              
And cheap sentiments.   
Third grade Valentine’s Day.
My classmate,Carmela Wombsley
Of the unruly mass of red curls.
Not only was poor Carmela alphabetically destined  
to the end of every line
She was also the tallest in the class.
Taller than the boys.
She got one Valentine card that year.
She showed it to me                                                                        
It read-           
“To Carmela Wombsley
From Carmela Wombsley”

And from that moment on
I knew Valentine’s Day                                     
Could be a heartbreaker.

there’s no escaping it.
Every February 14
There it is.
So,one year,I hosted a “Valentine’s Day Sweetheart-less” dinner party.

Invitation requirements:
Be sweetheart-less
Bring one love letter to read
And burn in the fireplace.

It was a small group who attended -
Jen, who had a boyfriend
(he was working that night, leaving her (temporarily)sweetheart-less)
 Stephen, Lon and James
None of whom had sweethearts.

We had a lovely dinner in my trinity basement kitchen.
After dessert, I lit the fireplace.
Time for the reading
and burning
Of love letters.
Now the party was getting started.

Being a gracious hostess,I started.
I had a recent love letter
Decided to only burn the envelope.
Happily reading my letter
Out loud
Caught In mid sentence
I had forgotten that it turned somewhat “steamy”.
I tossed the envelope into the flames.

Next,my guests:
(Jen was absolved from reading any letters as she was “honorary sweetheart-less.”)
Lon tossed into the fire
A collection of outrageous letters
Featuring, among other things,sheep.
Thankfully all fictionalized.
Stephen passed
Pleading “the Fifth”.
James fed the flames                                                     
With photocopies
Of a series of hotel messages
Recording a fling
On the Isle of Capri.

Lon had bought his “Mystery Date” game.
If you’ve never played
“Mystery Date” is a 1965 board game
Designed for little girls
To collect  pieces of
“The perfect outfit”
For “The perfect date”
And a chance
To turn the plastic knob
On the plastic door
And find your “Mystery Date”
“Would he be a Dream or a Dud?”

We played the game,
collecting our bowling shoes
beach bags
prom dresses.
Finally, it was someone’s turn to open the door.
The plastic door knob was stuck
and needed some coaxing.
When it finally opened
There were giggles
And a collective gasp of “Oh my God!”

Lon had cut out a variety of
naked men
from porn magazines
And clipped them over
The squeaky clean “Mystery Dates.”


Happy Valentine’s Day.

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