So, it’s Singles-Awareness-Day again (otherwise known as “St. Valentine’s Day”) and I’m pausing—oh, so momentarily—from the feverish writing on my screenplay to send this day a Valentine message:
Dear Valentine’s Day: You suck. Peevishly yours, Crabby.
OK, fine. I’ll write a bit more.
Dear Valentine’s Day: You REALLY suck. Acerbically yours.
Forgive me, dear reader, my mercurial I.Q. points take a nose-dive when I’m nettled and knackered. And nothing nettles me more than the sticky, drippy, sappy-sweet celebrations of this loathed holiday. It’s not even a real holiday, else we would get work off, right? No, like most of the pretentious farce that flies around unfettered on this indecorous day, even the notion of it being a holiday is false.
My friend, Margene, has offered a couple of great definitions in honor of the day:
St. Valentine: A saint who is celebrated annually with flowers, chocolate or depression.
Cupid: A naked Greek fairy that takes pleasure in shooting arrows at people.
I have a young friend who is all about Valentine’s Day, even though she is deathly allergic to Red 40 food dye which happens to be in most things “Valen-tiny” this time of year. And she has this personal tradition of wearing some variation of pink, red, or purple every day from February 1st through the dreaded Love-fest: a full two weeks of celebration.
Yours truly, on the other hand, is celebrating this gag-inducing season by adorning my love-starved frame in “Variations on a Theme of Monochromatic Dirge;” consisting mostly of swart-raven. I might have mentioned—oh, once or twice—something about my never-ending failures at the art of love. A note or two of acrimony is bound to creep in after a while no matter how sunny my natural disposition. Give it a couple of decades and,… well… I’m tired of making the lemonade and frankly, a nice smooth quinine tonic seems a bit more apropos.
Wearing black like I’m going to a funeral every day for a week is really just the proverbial tip of the iceberg. I also usually take on a demeanor appropriate to the attire, listening to the Carpenter’s, drinking caffeine, quoting Hamlet, and mourning the loss of my childhood.
Now I am alone. O, what a rogue and peasant slave am I!
Is it not monstrous that this player here,
But in a fiction, in a dream of passion,
Could force his soul so to his own conceit
That from her working all his visage wann’d,
Tears in his eyes, distraction in’s aspect,
A broken voice, and his whole function suiting
With forms to his conceit? and all for nothing!
What’s Hecuba to him, or he to Hecuba,
That he should weep for her? What would he do,
Had he the motive and the cue for passion
That I have? He would drown the stage with tears
And cleave the general ear with horrid speech,
Make mad the guilty and appal the free,
Confound the ignorant, and amaze indeed
The very faculties of eyes and ears. Yet I,
A dull and muddy-mettled rascal, peak,
Like John-a-dreams, unpregnant of my cause,
And can say nothing; no, not for a king,
Upon whose property and most dear life
A damn’d defeat was made…
— Hamlet (2.2.555-576, continues through 612)
It’s the darkest time of the year for me, really. Not to mention all this grey weather we’ve been having! Temperatures have averaged around 21 degrees (F) and I haven’t seen the sun in weeks!
Frankly, while sarcasm is in line with my natural character, the effective bitterness is not. I keep trying to come up with bitter epithets about this horrid holiday (which isn’t) and I’m struggling with it. I don’t like being bitter. In truth, I’m a ridiculous optimist. I still believe—call me crazy—that someday Prince Charming will ride up on his black Arabian charger and say, “Hey baby, you’re absolutely adorable! What say you and I go make movies together?”
And with that thought, I am completely distracted. No more writing tonight.
This morning, as Kirby and I walked, flakes of graceful down spiraled from above in an elegant promenade on their way to join with the frozen earth. It was a breath-taking dance of crystal and air and light. And LIGHT! There’s a giant fiery ball of light in the sky! Hey! I haven’t seen you in weeks! Welcome SUN!
While it’s true that I am not a fan of the heat, I am nevertheless a true “sun-worshiper” in the sense that I love that giant ball of fire in the sky! He and I—we’re tight. And I have missed him so! The sight of the sun this morning turned on a switch in my brain. I just stood there facing him: eyes closed, arms slightly extended, drinking in the early morning rays like a desiccated sponge. My I.Q. points found their way back into my withered brain and I opened my eyes in the dawn of this new day.
Hey Kirby? Where’s Kirby? There he is; patient as always. Waiting for me and passing the time by digging in the snow. This is how our prints look in the snow when we take our morning walks together.
He loves to go off exploring, but always comes back to “check in” with me before taking his next foray into the great white tundra. This dog is a treasure. I don’t even use a leash. He just comes when I call. He loves me, this dog. Kirby adores me.
And then, there is this sun. This big bright beautiful sun! I am standing alone in these awe-inducing rays breaking through the weeks of gloomy grey clouds and all I can see is God’s love. I was sad and He heard my prayers. He gave me this day… and this sun. I am standing alone and yet I don’t feel alone. Not now.
When I think about it, perhaps my Valentine-loving friend is right when she says that, “Valentine’s Day is about all kinds of love, not just romance.” When I look at it that way, my life is rich and full of love: people who love me and whom I love in return. There are even people in my life whom I love—and they don’t even know it, nor probably ever will. But I feel the sun like this sun when I think of them. And I am blessed by love with all its power and all its pain; all its sadness and all its joy.
So, “Happy Valentine’s Day.” And may yours be full of every kind of love there is to give.