Another Valentine’s Day is over and done with, and once again it has been a supremely satisfying event, mostly because I am very much in love. For you poor people without a better half, I’m afraid yesterday was little more than corporate swindling and loneliness. I know; I used to be you. And while I admit that Valentine’s has become a bit commercialised (At the mall yesterday, I saw a sales display encouraging the onlooker to “Driver Her Wild” by purchasing a new BMW 6 series. What the hell?), but I submit that once you’re able to celebrate it, and with someone special (not someone you’re boinking), it’s not commercialism at all. Sweetest Day, now that’s commercial. (Sweetest Day, for those of you don’t know, was started originally a day for giving gifts to underprivileged children).

My girlfriend and I moved on up this year, in terms of celebration. Last year, we went to Red Lobster and watched Divine Secrets of the Ya-ya Sisterhood (which, technically, Sandra Bullock should have been punished for), whereas this year we went upstate to Oak Brook (Chicago suburb) and their hoighty-toighty strip mall. We were eating at Maggiano’s (Italian food, in large and expensive portions), and since there was a 3-hour wait, we window shopped, and I can tell you, that’s about the most worthless mall I’ve ever been in. It’s full of strange stores with names like law firms (Brambles & Thatch, or Huxley, Raines, & Barber; things like that) selling either clothes or housewares for 6 or 7 times their actual worth. And to makes things worse, they had an Apple store, selling nothing but Apple products (the computers, I mean). Yikes.

Regardless, the food was good and we had a great time, mostly from each other’s company. My girlfriend, for those of you who haven’t heard me rave before, is a startlingly wonderful person, and when I’m with her, I’m about as happy as I get. She has this way of smiling, and laughing that just melts me. And, of course, she’s gorgeous. Not that I’m bragging or anything. Well, ok, yes, I am: my girlfriend rocks, neener neener neener.

I would have gotten her something fancy, but I’m rather broke right now. I’m still paying for my computer, whose bill is coming up at the end of February, so the budget is rather shoestring right now. In fact, I’ll be more or less paying for shit until the end of the semester, but come summer I’ll be raking in the dough, so to speak, working probably 24-30 hours a week and saving most of it. My poor, beleaguered bank account needs a fill-up.

But getting back to Valentine’s….. I have very vivid recollections of grade school, when we were forced to give a valentine to every kid in our class. Of course, at that point, we had very little understanding of how very wrong this was, but even then, it struck me as rather absurd to give another guy a piece of paper with a heart and a cartoon character gazing dreamily out at the reader, saying “Will you be my valentine [insert theme-related pun here]?” Nonsense, the whole lot of it. Mostly, it was just an excuse to stop learning for a day, just like halloween and Easter and the entire week leading up to Christmas break. Actually, now that I think about it, we spent more time wasting time than learning in elementary school. Not to say that I didn’t prefer it that way, but it’s no wonder everyone’s an idiot when they get to high school.

§300 · February 15, 2004 · ·

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