March 28th, 2007
I never got the appeal of Valentine’s Day. It’s mostly comprised of mediocre candy, silly greeting cards that are read once, then quickly tossed aside in the mad rush to an overcrowded restaurant featuring surly wait staff dropping and mixing up orders of overpriced food. That’s the good part! It’s the needless the pressure to show one’s sweetheart how much he or she is cherished, and adored that galls me.
I’m all for affection, consideration and major PDAs. Ask my soon to be ex-husband, Endicott, or any of my exes what I was like as a girlfriend and wife, and you’ll hear that I did all that and more on a regular basis. The occasional note in a jacket pocket as a sweet reminder that not only am I here, but I’m also thinking about you. Yep, that’s how I roll! (I hate that expression and I am more than a little bothered that I really do roll!) Fake a holiday to sell useless crap and gouge lovesick people is well and fine until you tell me I have prove my love on that day. Listen up, Hallmark: I shared it everyday, so there’s no way you’re tricking me into joining in on your stupid “holiday” manufactured to maximize profits. Ha! No, I don’t like Valentine’s Day at all. (Can you tell?)
The times I did celebrate it was when a relationship was on it’s last leg. Only then did I buy the card and small gifts, which were exchanged in some half-hearted attempt at romance. Now, when I’m at my weakest, most vulnerable moment as I’m alone again, this “celebration” captured my full attention. Yes, I am a bitter, lonely woman! It’s true — I’ll admit it.
That’s probably why I ate up any attention paid to me that day. It began with an early morning email of well wishes that had me skipping into another day of temping with the venture capitalists. It only got better from there as they showered me with gifts.
First, I received a lovely bouquet of fresh cut roses, hydrangeas and other equally girly flowers in a clean, short, rectangular vase. (Adorable and not exactly cheap. I know because I processed the invoice!) Next, the CEO let me have his four season tickets to that evening’s Clippers game at the Staples Center. Seems that all of the VCs were coupled up to spouses that did not want to spend the evening watching sweaty men run up and down the court. I find that completely baffling as hot, sweat-soaked men are the only reason I’d go, though the beer and pretzels come in a close second and third! Last, a rep from a local employment agency gave me a box of Sweethearts candies. She was at the VC office trying to hook them up with a new full-time assistant — apparently NOT me! I didn’t mind as she paid me off with candy! (I’m sooooooooooooo easy!)
Not to rub it in to Endicott, Crazy Joe or any of the others, but I never got this much nice stuff from any love interest! Getting goodies was a nice change of pace, but not necessary or expected now or any time in the future. A simple, sweet, and sincere gesture is more than enough for me. (Told you I was easy!)
As I drove off for the Staples Center that evening, I received a phone call that started with, “Hello, this is Sherman Oaks Florists. I have a delivery for Flo.”
Oh, really! “This is Flo.”
No way could I be home to receive the flowers anytime before midnight. I had a double date with a married couple and a platonic male acquantaince who was humorous but that’s not the same as funny, so he’s not appealing. (At all.) Sorry to my “date” as well as other men in the greater LA area that are not funny, naughty, sexy or tall enough to be considered for romance with me…That will probably get a big laugh from anyone that knows me as my criteria used to just be funny. Older, short, unconventual looks (read crooked teeth, oversized gut and a bald head) were okay and even welcome as I was only concerned with a man’s character, kindness and love for me. Now, I’m much more picky. I’m not giving anything up without the naughty, sexy AND tall, with extra points added for blue eyes — also very, very nice…Where was I?
“Can you tell me who sent the card?” I asked as my car sat still in the traffic hell, also known as Santa Monica Boulevard.
“Uh, I can’t really tell without looking into the computer.”
“Well, can you read me the message on card? Maybe that’ll tell me who sent me flowers.”
Please don’t let it be from Endicott, I thought. You might remember that my soon-to-be ex-husband, Endicott, used Sherman Oaks Florists to send me flowers on my birthday and our wedding anniversary…after our separation. Yes, you read that correctly: Endicott sent me flowers a year after I left him. I don’t understand why he did it, either. I don’t understand most of what he does. Maybe that explains our divorce!
“It reads, ‘To F, From E.’”
I think that’s when I gasped. My heart was racing as she asked, “Is that a good thing?”
“I don’t know.” I said. It took a minute of concentration — easy to muster as my drive only covered an inch at a time — before I realized who sent me the flowers. As much as I wanted them to be from someone else — someone fitting my new checklist, ideally living in my town, Los Angeles — I knew they weren’t. It was all Endicott. Again.
I was late meeting up with my friends, but still on time for the start of the game. The players were interesting to watch, the crowd was fun, my friends were entertaining and the beer totally worked. Maybe a little too well as I kept thinking, “I don’t want YOU. I want someone else. Someone who can’t be here with me. And even if he was in town, he might not have time for me. Oh, that’s not true…Is it?..Hell if I know. I need more beer!”
I did phone Endicott the next day and thanked him for the plants though not in the nicest of ways. “Hey, Goofball, you sent me plants for Valentine’s Day.”
I could almost hear him shrugging as he said, “Yeah, I didn’t want to send you cut flowers that would die a day later. I asked (the florist) for indoor plants that would live if you wanted to keep them at the office.”
“Yeah, that was a nice arrangement. But also majorly uncool to send the woman you’re divorcing a Valentine’s Day gift!”
“Yeah, what can I say? Happy Valentine’s Day.”
I let out a long sigh so he wouldn’t take my resignation as approval; even though I did love the plants. “Well, it’s too late to stop you now, so thanks anyway, Goofball….You know this is going on the blog, right?”