Monday, February 13, 2006
Cupid, Draw Back Your Bow
"If you have true love, take a tip from a man in misery, don't ever be lonely, poor little fool like me."
--Cornelius Brothers and Sister Rose
This could be the longest day of the year--if I so decide.
Yes, it's Valentine's Day yet again and yet again I don't have a girlfriend. It's been so long since I've had a lover on this day for lovers that I would probably freak out if I did have someone.
I've gotten exactly two cards this year, one from my sister and one from my friend Stephanie. And while I appreciate their thoughtfulness more than I could ever express in words, I would like to have someone of my own.
This sucks. Of that there can be no doubt. The airwaves and newspapers are filled with Valentine's Day ads and the TV news programs are doing all these flowers-and-candy stories.
I have a chance to go out tonight to a few places, but honestly I don't think this is a good night to go looking for someone. It's sort like trying to find a New Year's Eve date on Dec. 31.
I was out on Friday with nothing to do and I saw so many happy couples out and about, I felt this hostility, thinking, oh, look at these twits, they're so happy, they're so in love, I could just puke.
In other words, I was thinking like a loser. Whatever my problems may be, I don't think being mean and miserable is the proper response. Nobody wants to date Travis Bickle.
I had one decent Valentine's Day back in the Eighties, when I was dating Louise, a woman I almost married. We exchanged gifts, went to dinner, the whole deal. It was lovely, but my problems spiraled and Louise eventually--and rightfully--moved on.
I had one of my favorite Valentine's Days with Stephanie, when she came in from Hartford and we went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to see an exhibit of Leonardo DaVinci's notebooks.
It was on a Friday night, I believe, neither one of us had dates, so the potential for major misery was there, but I had a blast. The exhibit was great, the museum was packed to the gills, and Stephanie was wonderful company.
I went to a nice anti-Valentine's Day party when I was living in Waterbury. A bunch of us went to a Japanese restaurant in New Haven and had a great time. The restaurant was in an old house and we were seated on the top floor.
The staff took so long serving us that they bent over backwards and let us stay there forever. I felt like royalty.
The worst Valentine's Day I ever had? Well, I guess that would be about two years ago when I just started dating this woman named Christina. I had met her on New Year's Eve, after she posted an ad on craigslist looking for a group of people to go see "Cold Mountain."
I felt some kind of connection with Christina, so I called her up and we went out a few times. We hardly knew each other by the time Feb. 14 rolled around, so I proceeded with caution.
Christina, however, proceeded with insanity. After initially agreeing to a date, she pulled out at the last second, giving me some half-assed, grade school quality lie about having to meet a friend.
I have no idea what her problem was, but the timing was excrutiating. You pull this crap on Valentine's Day? God, even if you hate my guts, fake it for a few hours, and dump me on the 15th.
To top it off, I was leaving the office on Friday that year and I happened to bump into this young Indian woman who worked on my floor.
She was much younger than I, but she was cute with a lovely English accent,(she had never been there, but had been schooled by British teachers) and I had been thinking about asking her out.
So I get on the elevator and she comes walking out into the lobby holding a huge bouquet of roses. Between that and Christina's bonehead stunt, it was a one-two shot to the heart.
But I survived, and here I am typing this business. This is a week night, and I've got to work on my fiction. So I'll probably hit the gym and get back to the keyboard.
For you lovers out there, God bless you. Enjoy this day and every day and I'll see you out there as soon as I can.