Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day

I debated on whether or not to acknowledge this Hallmark holiday this year, then realized I really didn’t have a choice. Mom called to say, “I don’t know whether to say Happy Valentine’s Day or just I love you?” Was it a statement or a question? I really had no idea what to say, but put a stop to her sending me roses. A friend called and said, “You’re going to receive a practical Valentine’s Day gift on Thursday. Just wanted to warn you. Please don’t be mad at me.” I really had no idea what to say. What could I say but, “Thanks, I’ll be looking forward to it.” Another friend called and said, “I guess you’d just rather forget about Valentine’s Day.” Again, statement or question? Too late for me to forget about it now that he’s reminded me. I really had no idea what to say other than, “Thanks for thinking of me.” A neighbor said to me as I returned from a walk, “Stay here. I’ll be right back. I have something for you.” This is my 50-yr old-Vietnam vet neighbor with bleached blonde hair and John Lennon sunglasses-who has a few substance abuse issues-living with mom (not sure which came first)-looks kind of scary sometimes, but is really very, very sweet. In all sincerity he said, “Happy Valentine’s Day,” as he gave me a big hug and something that looked like the cousin to the lava lamp—distant cousin. It is a quartzite the size of a nerf football, hollowed out with a bulb inside that rests on a synthetic wooden base. “It only uses four watts so you can leave it on all the time,” he says with a bright smile, “especially when you go out of town.” Well there you go. I really had no idea what to say at first, other than “thank you,” but now, instead of setting the light timer, I have a light that I can leave on 24hrs a day without running up my electric bill when I'm gone. Truth be told, I was very touched by his thoughtfulness, and I’m sure it will look pretty cool all lit up at night. It’s kind of a nightlight on steroids. A 4-watt bulb lamp is much safer than forgetting to blow out candles anyway, and I have a few candles to light, especially today, not that it’s a special day or anything. It’s just another day. It’s just another day to say, “I love you.” It’s just another day to feel loved. I feel loved and it isn’t even afternoon yet.


jay are said...

what a nice thoughtful gift...
these kinds of days are hard for those who want to say the right thing and be supportive and not say the wrong thing, etc etc...:) it can be a minefield! you're so gracious, though, and helpful to put everyone at ease.
Call sometime! Keep pluggin' on.

bryan torre said...

you *are* loved, and now it's afternoon, but that was true this morning also.
happy valentine's day.
maybe it's right to honor whatever bill would do for you today, what you would feel for each other, if he were still in this life. or maybe that's too hallmark-y, who knows.
at least we've been well and truly loved in our lifetimes, which not everyone can say.