Valentine’s Day has got to be the most depressing holiday ever! The thought of all those mangled cut flowers dying slow deaths just churls my heart. A real man doesn’t need a special day to force feed love on his woman. He shows her how much he adores her every damn day. So, don’t going calling me some heartless manless shrew because I happened of have had the love and adoration of two of the hottest men to ever walk the face of this earth. My last February 14th among the living was the only Valentine’s Day I ever faced alone as an adult. Not that I don’t have a few horror stories I’d like to share…
My very first Valentine’s Day with Roger was way back in 1961. He thought he’d pulled a slick one by buying me a full length mink coat. Like I would have ever covered my body with dead animal carcasses. Never! I would have preferred to have the kitty frozen solid before resorting to such villainy. I cried for days over his supreme lack of tact and understanding of me. Yes, I was only 17 and we hadn’t been together a year yet, but Roger really ought to have known better. I made him return the coat and donate the money to several worthy causes. He replaced the dead minks with a lovely and tasteful diamond heart shaped pendant that I pinned to fabric of my nice velvet cape.
Roger always did have exquisite tastes in jewelry. No knocks off for my world champion lover. He left me with a box full of beautiful earrings, bracelets, and necklaces that my Beloved said I could have sold and bought myself a house or maybe two. Not that I needed to because my Beloved kept my home wonderfully maintained in Tampa, even if he never got around to putting my name on the deed. My sister made sure Roger put the house in Raleigh in our names. Livie didn’t trust him for some odd reason. The only gift of jewelry Roger failed on was that dang black obsidian pendant he gave me in Witchcraft.
My all time favorite Valentine’s Day present from my Beloved had to be that gorgeous diamondback rattlesnake he rescued and presented to me in Fly Away. Okay, technically I was the one to remove the snakey from his office, but he did save it for me. Herman was the sweetest little snakey and lived out his days in perfect contentment in my backyard.
My favorite Valentine’s celebration with my Beloved happened sometime in the mid 60’s. Carmella baked me a pan of her delicious brownies laced with some hashish. I didn’t inform my Beloved of this little tidbit until we were out on his boat, stoned and staring up at a starry sky. It was tres romantic; a perfect excuse for him to moor the boat and spend the whole entire night making love under the stars. Perhaps I shall share that escapade as a story one day.
Not that he didn’t have one shortcoming. One my very first Valentine’s Day in Tampa, my first month residing in that tiny little garage apartment, he had the nerve to have a florist deliver 12 red roses. How freaking tacky! For such a brilliant man he sure blew it by sending me something as trite as cut red roses. He didn’t get any loving from me for at least a good week and a half. After that he learned his lesson and remembered to buy me things more suited to my taste. A man can never go wrong with giving a girl a nice bottle of champagne and chocolate covered strawberries. The best gift of all was always our precious nights alone together. How I loved falling asleep cuddled in his arms with my head upon his chest, his heart beating a lullaby against my ear.
Other than getting my dear sweet snakey Herman, my other favorite present came from Roger in 1979. He showed up at my doorstep with a rosebush and then he planted it beside my patio right by the French doors of my bedroom. It bloomed the most beautiful and deliciously fragrant orange tinged red roses that I enjoyed the rest of my remaining days of that lifetime. His also gave me a book entitled, I Never Promised You a Rose Garden. If you’ve never read it, I highly recommend this fascinating look at schizophrenia. We shall now dwell on what he meant by the symbolism of the title or the content of the book.
And speaking of books, nothing says I love you, more than sharing a good book with your lover. Books are the perfect gift for any occasion. Books, liquor, and strawberries dipped in chocolate. Now that is my idea of paradise.