Friday, January 27, 2012

My Funny Valentine

MathMan and I are not Valentines Day people. Rebels against most pop culture, we're too busy lamenting the crumbling of our culture as evidenced by Toddlers and Tiaras and Dance Moms to concern ourselves with the hearts and flowers pushed from every angle during the lead up to that special day. We have no use for forced sentimentality. No candlelit dinners. No reenactments of gauzy images from the engagement planning Pinterest boards of single, young women who haven't been scoured clean of romantic notions by reality.

The most romantic Valentines Day we ever shared we didn't actually share. It was 1990. I sat in a Bennigan's on Michigan Avenue drinking beer and sharing mozzarella cheese sticks with a co-worker while Mathman drove three hours through a raging blizzard from the Northwest Side of Chicago to downtown. It may have actually been four hours. Or six. I can't remember because the number grows with every telling of the story. He plowed on through, creeping past abandoned cars and stranded drivers. 

That's love. Intrepid. Determined.Who knew the chains I clamped to his heart were better than snow tires? When he finally arrived in the sparkling fairyland of a snow smothered downtown Chicago, I threw my arms around him and hollered something like "Oh, Pa! You made it through the storm and you brought me some calico, too!" 

He clicked his tongue at the pair of snow-caked horses and turned the wagon toward Lincoln Avenue so we could get home before daylight.

This year, however, I'm going to surprise MathMan by making a big deal out of Valentine's Day. I don't want to give too much away, but I'm probably even going to shower.

Little does he know, he's doing his part, too. He's buying me this book.  In it there's an essay by Suzy who has this post about the book. This is one of my favorite posts by her because it gives you a sense of how she developed her sense of humor and great comedic timing.

And since I'm going to be so happy to get this book as my Valentine's Day gift, you can be assured that MathMan's gift is going to be one that leaves a smile on his face, too.

What's your favorite Valentines Day memory?

40 comments:

  1. I remember that exact Valentine's Day. I was attending Columbia College at the time(right down the street from your Bennigan's) but lived out in the Western Burbs with my parents. So I took the train home, to find my car absolutely buried in snow. Luckily, I kept a little shovel in my car...

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  2. Good thing you had that shovel! I normally took the train back up to Devon and Western and I don't remember why MathMan risked it to come get me, but it took us a long time to get home.

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  3. A shower! Very impressive. Thanks for the link up.

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    1. I'm going to shower whether I need it or not. You're welcome. I'm looking forward to reading your piece in the book!

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  4. First, thanks for introducing me to Suzy's blog -- I love it.

    I don't really believe in Valentine's Day, but one favorite memory is from a year we actually went all out and celebrated. We had dinner, dessert, and way too much wine at our favorite fancy (but faraway) restaurant and then retired to a nearby hotel that used to an old oat silo. Even when we participate in normal social activities, like going out for Valentine's Day, we have to do make sure something is wacky. Tada -- let's sleep in a former silo that echoes and can't be heated, and then let's wake up an wander around an abandoned, run-down mall for an hour. Perfect.

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    1. Now your Valentine's Day story fits perfectly with what I believe is a teased wedding story. Perfect for you and your beloved husband.

      You'll love Suzy. She is talented and hilarious and has a heart of gold.

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  5. Replies
    1. 1990. Now are you going to explain the sniff, Thunder?

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  6. We're not Valentine's people, either. I think I made Dutch babies for breakfast once, but that's because it happened to fall on a weekend.

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    1. I had to google Dutch babies. They look delicious.

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  7. The next one because I'll be off due to my current schedule and will be able to watch not one, but both Champions League games.

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  8. The one that still makes me smile is the time we both had flowers delivered to each other--hadn't planned it or anything.

    Bittersweet now.

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    1. D. - that's very sweet. Like the Gift of the Magi without the moralizing. I'm sorry it's bittersweet now.

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  9. If you'd asked me, I'd have said a card from you to MathMan would be something like this: On the outside would be a photo of a woman, naked from neck to knee. Inside, the card would read, "Enough of this love shit. Here's what you really want."

    Call me sentimental.

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    1. Geoffrey - You are so sentimental. Or mental. (And how did you guess what card he's giving me? Yes, I peeked.)

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  10. When I was 19, I made my boyfriend a lobster dinner at my apartment. The cooks at work (a hotel) stole 2 lobster tails for me from the freezer, and only when I got home did I realize I had no idea how to cook them.

    My boyfriend arrived. I left the lobsters in the fridge and we at Raisin Bran in bed instead. It was perfect.

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    1. I love it! Did you ever eat that lobster?

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  11. I was always convinced women were sending themselves flowers to the office. When one of my bosses asked me what we were doing for Valentine's Day I told him I'd be wearing the red rubber suit with the artfully placed heart shaped cutouts and whatever happened next would stay secret.

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    1. You are so funny. I would have loved to have seen his face when you said that, susan.

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  12. awwwwwwwwwwwww. the two of you are adorable.

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    1. Thanks, Meleah. I'm going to tell MathMan you said that just to see him make that face he makes when I say things like that to him.

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  13. >>Who knew the chains I clamped to his heart were better than snow tires?<<

    Like.

    We NEVER celebrate Valentine's Day. But last year, my husband and I were India traveling from Orissa to Calcutta by train. We were in a first class car (not as fancy as it sounds, but it kept me sane), and made friends with a family who came from what they called the Scotland of the East. Apparently Shillong has a 18-hole golf course in the Himalayan foothills, and the locals are predominantly Presbyterian, not Hindu. Trippy.

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    1. Hi, Tulasi-Priya!

      There's a story there. Anything trippy is worth mining, don't you think?

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  14. I guess I'm not a romantic, for I'm sitting and thinking: "How is this going to be a surprise if you're writing about it on your freaking blog?"

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    1. I was going to say that he doesn't read the blog anymore, but then he went and read it!

      He'll pretend to be surprised. Or maybe it won't be pretend. He doesn't remember things like this because it doesn't include Calculus or Indiana University basketball.

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  15. You're a funny valentine yourself.

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  16. Mmm, lovely. I have no Valentine's Day memories, except the one dating back to 1979, when the boy across the street lured me into his parents' closet and kissed me. He tasted like pancakes with maple syrup.

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  17. Love it! Me...I have no real 'memorable' Valentine's Days. I suppose the most memorable was last year when we went to Niagara Falls and froze our collective buts off -- me in what I now know was premature labor (at around 22 weeks!). It was...well...interesting. But the chocolate almond pastries at the lovely little French cafe were devine. (Your cuz Dani...under a newish blog nick)

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  18. a friend and i launched into an x mas time rant about how men are not all that good about gift giving, and women tend to put a lot of thoughtful creativity into gifts. soon thereafter, the husband handed me an envelope that contained an invite for a coastal getaway, in a rented cabin. we went there for v day. a big ass norwester storm blew in w 50 + mph winds, walking on the beach our clothes were vigorously flapping in the high winds. you could throw yourself fwd and not fall because the winds were sooo strong. don't want to share tmi, but lets just say there was howling in the night (the wind, of course), and what's that maritime expression???
    shiver my timbers. yea that.

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  19. The lovely and dangerous Mrs. Busted was 48 years old and I was the first guy to ever get her a dozen roses for Valentines.
    Tell me this old Ornery Bastard ain't got it goin' on.

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  20. My mom used to buy us those cardboard box valentines full of assorted chocolates. I remember keeping the box, even after it was empty, for weeks. I couldn't even throw away the wrappers. I just wanted the experience to last a little longer.

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  22. ...Who knew the chains I clamped to his heart were better than snow tires?

    You have such a natural talent for observation. Dammit, woman! You make me jealous!

    Regards,

    Tengrain

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  23. Yes, well, these ARE the gifts that keep on giving. I don't think anyone would object to a Valentine's celebration that involved none of the frivolity and all of the basics :)
    B

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  24. Well, I assume we shouldn't expect a post on the 14th. Or the 15th, for that matter. Have fun.

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  25. Wait -- you're going to SHOWER?! Next thing you know you'll be shaving your armpits.

    Love. Pfft.

    Pearl

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  26. Enduring love. So inspiring--especially that long-term marriages can still motivate hygiene. You're my hero, Lisa!

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  27. ha your valentine story is cute...and so cool you are going to surprise him that is awesome.....

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  28. I love this story!!

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