Saturday, February 14, 2009

My Ideal Valentine's Day

Go to crowded restaurants, hoping that your long-in-the-running reservation still holds. Give cards that you've spent 20 minutes choosing from a selection reaching from one end of a Hallmark store to the other. Give chocolates, give roses, strengthen relationships, propose marriage. I don't envy you.

This Valentine's Day, I will...

Hug my two dogs Tigger and Kitty tightly, and spend more time than usual throwing Kitty's tennis ball, watching her eagerly chase after it and bound back to me with it, galloping like a horse.

Revel in the chocolates I know my parents bought from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, some for each of them, some for me, some for my sister, and enjoy not having those kinds of obligations which come with relationships and marriage.

Finally finish reading Neil Simon's first play "Come Blow Your Horn," which is a generally strong beginning for his bright, lively dialogue, but it's merely inconsequential light farce. Considering his background in '50s television comedy beforehand, it was a good start and with plays like "The Odd Couple" and "California Suite" following, its value is easily seen.

Breathe in yet another cold night and silently express my love for the quietude of my neighborhood in those hours, the contours of trees against moonlight, branches sticking out in various directions, empty streets, soft light from the streetlights shining on grass and the entrance to my neighborhood and other entrances, the cold metal of the communal mailboxes, the steep hills I never imagined when I lived in Florida. And the inevitable blue-and-tan-and-blue glow from televisions, seen through windows. I always wonder what my unknown neighbors are watching.

Watch a movie or two. It's been only season one episodes of "Will & Grace" via Netflix all this week (my new addiction), and I should write more reviews. And this time, actually write them instead of writing about my intent to write them.

Have dinner, naturally, but the question is what and where? Is my dad going to suggest to my mom that they go somewhere, leaving my sister and I home, even though there's nothing in this valley that remotely compares to what Las Vegas offers in culinary ectasies? And if so, does that perhaps mean pizza for me? Maybe a calzone? My dad also thought of Po Folks in Buena Park, a Southern-style restaurant that I grew up on in Florida and which now only exists in this part of Southern California, and I like that, but even though my mom said we'd wait until my dad had a new cap put on one of his teeth (and that's been done), I don't agree with that for Valentine's Day. I would like to go, as it's been far too long since the last time, but considering the precarious fragility that always looms in my parents' marriage (there's lots of blog material there, but only as distant observation now and not trying to work it all out and "think about what it all means and how it has affected me," since I now accept the bad verbal fights they still sometimes have), it may be best for them to go out as a twosome. The foursome can wait. I don't mind waiting a little longer for country-fried steak, hush puppies, and peach cobbler. It shoves the anticipation up even higher, anticipation that can never be disappointed.

Don't assume that all whom are single are morose, and spend the day bemoaning their aloneness. Chris Gore, the head of Film Threat (for which I still write after 5 years), called it "Singles' Awareness Day" on Facebook. Yes! I'm aware, I'm proud of it, and I love it! I have the trees in the darkness, the chocolates I didn't have to make a great effort in choosing, more Neil Simon works to read, my dogs, et cetera, a satisfied et cetera at that. You have your romances and that worry about the right gift up until your other half opens it and the consequences emerge. I already have my love, in different ways.