Wednesday, February 15, 2006

my funny, lovingly resentful valentine (and other stories)

My parents dropped by last night to deliver a bag of Valentine's Day goodies on their way to "visit" (read: catch in the act of boozing/smoking dope/otherwise wasting tuition and fucking up his young life) my baby brother at the University of Maryland.

I know, so thoughtful!



I photograph not for the memories, but for the evidence.

But wait -- there's more!
Fragrant strawberries, crisp sugar cookies, cherry-red dish towels and jammies gifted in the tender, passive-aggressive spirit of the holiday. "I adore you," they say, "in spite of your attitude problem. Someday I'd like to spoil your children with cookies and sleepwear. (*sniff* *scowl*) I should live so long."


Um, thanks Mom. I love you anyway too.


It was a good day. For a Tuesday, for a holiday, for any day. About Valentine's Day I will say this: Forget that stupid song. It's better to be with the friends you love than to pretend to love the date you're with.

7:42 a.m.: The usual breakfast. A steaming mug of smooooth and potent Whole Foods Allegro French Roast. Cereal: crunchy. Banana: perfectly ripe. Milk: ice cold. Giada De Laurentiis: mercifully absent from The Today Show's Torino broacast. This is what a morning should be.

10:13 a.m.: Long-distance phone call from my college roommate. They're moving back to D.C.! To stay! After much rejoicing, Auntie Danielle begins to plot the systematic overindulgence of Baby R. Spoiling to commence in T-Minus Four Months and counting.

"Face it, I'm precious. Resistance is futile."

1:03 p.m.: Sushi lunch with my ex at our "usual spot." (We're, like, BFF now. More on that another time. Maybe.) John presents me with a poem, prepared on special ivory paper and tied in a scroll with red satin bow. I wouldn't normally publicize such a thing but he was so f-ing proud of himself he's probably been drumming his fingers in anticipation of this post all morning long. I decline to read it just then on grounds that crying even once in Jonathan's Gourmet is one too many times, and I did enough of that while we were dating.

1:55 p.m.: Exit lunch and spy "sale" sign at City Sports across 19th Street. Find my $140 running shoes (which I've put off buying because they're so freakin' expensive but they're the only ones I'll wear and who the hell made this rule that you have to replace them every three to four months, and if they only last that long then WHY DO THEY COST $140????) on sale for $110, plus the buy-one-get-another-pair-for-30-bucks deal, and they have two pairs left and they are BOTH IN MY SIZE, so basically I get a pair of top-of-the-line Asics for free and I'm set for the next eight months. Which is great because I'm so po' now I can only afford the first half of the word.

2:17 p.m.: Return from lunch. Ask Rosie to humor my irrational fear of sentimentality and read John's poem to me. (Flashback to the day my SAT scores arrived in the mail. "I can't look. You open it, Josh." "But I'm onwy fwee yeaws owd. I don't know how to wead yet." "Damn you, boy!") I weep briefly -- it's quite a poem, even by my hard-hearted standards -- then roll around in the warm fuzzies like a pig in shit. It took John and me four long years to find our peace; A solid friendship with someone who knows and loves me down to my last dysfunctional molecule is better than one thousand displays of romantic one-upmanship from Clive Owen and Ralph Fiennes in a challenge to win mine dainty hand.

5:15 p.m.: Free 15-minute massages at the gym? Score.

9:12 p.m.: Aforementioned family visit. We sit in the lobby of my building and chat a while. On my way back upstairs I wave to the night desk manager, hoping he won't notice I'm in my stuffed cow slippers and shuffling around without a bra. I offer him a cookie from the pile in my outstretched hand. "Your parents spoil you," he says, and takes two. I cannot argue with that.

Happy Day.

14 comments:

I-66 said...

Surprised that the "ME" isn't bold, italicized, and underlined.

1¼ hour lunch? Niiiice.

Kristin said...

Did you call your gramma?

Sounds like a pretty decent day and poetry? You muse, you.

Washington Cube said...

What an absolutely wonderful day. And lucky, lucky you to have such wonderful parents.

Kayla said...

I watched Dr. Phil's special and laughed my ass off. (It ranked right up there with First Date DC... or whatever that blog is called.. and that ain't a compliment)

Your Valentine's was much better. ;)

I love love love your mom's note about gramma... So makes me miss my dad (he would have sent me money, a card and a lovely note about how one call to my mother and nana would really make their day ;) he wasn't Jewish.. but he played Jewish on tv...)

RoarSavage said...

That's an ADORABLE child.

I can't stop laughing about the Mother-guilt stuff. Totally understand.

"...like a pig in shit." Instant classic. I'm stealing it.

renee said...

i can't believe the valentines day package. maybe u should buy her a shirt that says "it's all about my daughter".

Merujo said...

I miss getting little Valentines goodies from my mom. I'd forgotten about them until just now.

Of course, she never gave me passive-aggressive pyjamas... ;-)

Washington Cube said...

Congratulations on your featured notice in DC Blogs. See what Mom's can do? The Power of M-O-M.

http://www.dcblogs.com

P.S. Lovin' the jammies.

Anonymous said...

Jonathan's.... City Sports.... 19th Street.... I use to work at 1111 and loved going to Jonathan's. Grace is a doll and I miss her. But I don't miss my job over there. Sounds like you had a nice Valentine's day and kept your head above water.

Reya Mellicker said...

What a glorious day. Did you call your grandmother?

Barbara said...

I was already feeling guilty for doing NOTHING for my children for Valentine's Day. Now I feel even worse after hearing about all that your parents did! I think the poem was a very romantic idea.

Lisa Ann said...

OH! I so totally need those pj's (cause it is all about me). Do you know where your mom got them?

Chairborne Stranger said...

marvelous writing.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Danielle. Tactic of "sick pup" always gets the job done. That is why you are where you are today, becuase you are not facing the facts. There is always Daddy or JOhn to pick you up when you fall apart. They do not serve you with facts. Ask yourself why???