Valentine’s Day: X’s and O’s and Oh-no’s

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Bry and Me

Over the years we tried buying gifts for one another. Typically, I’d get one of two things, a bouquet of red roses at three times the regular cost and dies almost immediately. Or a box of chocolates that I’d promise myself to eat one at a time, a day at a time, only to discover within three days, a heart-shaped box filled with shame, guilt, and empty brown candy wrappers.

As for presents for my husband, he’d get lingerie. I know how that sounds—stop picturing him in silky briefs—it’s not what I mean. Women don’t buy lingerie as Valentine gifts for themselves. Ever. We also don’t want it as a gift given to us. Ever.

Sexy underwear is a baffling business. Besides bras and panties (which can be fairly normal–comfortable even!), there are Bustiers, Corsets, Negligees, and some weird lacy-shear thing with an empire waist called the Baby Doll—huh?

For Valentine’s Day, the most popular items are sadomasochistic getups constructed of poking and bruising wires and lung collapsing seams with no less than fifty tiny spine-gouging eyehooks. And that’s just for the top portion of the ensemble.

When I was a kid, thongs were foam sandals one wore on the feet. They’d include a rigid piece of material to separate the big toe from everything else. They were hard to run in and even more impossible to ride a bike in. Despite the migration far north, thongs aren’t much different today than they were back then, and still just as limiting. Have you ever tried riding a bike in a thong? I have, for seven chafe-making miles. Horrible!

Another thing, until we are finally released from our lace and pleather Japanese finger trap, a two-man job, by the way, the costume has so much hardware, we can’t wear it under anything but an oversized coat of some kind or an old-school jogging suit—how sexy is that? Not very. Not for anyone.

This year, as is our tradition, Bry and I forgot about Valentine’s Day. Although we remembered last week, we were still unable to secure a table for tonight. Instead, we made a reservation at a restaurant we’d always wanted to try—Tiburon, a swanky, no kids-menu kind of place that’s intimidating to drive past. We decided to dine there last night—no muss, no fuss!

We got dressed up. We ate at a reasonable hour around 7:00. We held hands over a real tablecloth and tea lights. We talked. We laughed. We celebrated.

I guess my biggest gripe about Valentine’s Day is all the hype of what it’s supposed to be—it’s exhausting! I think next year, we’ll do it again, make plans according to what works for us, and wear what makes us—both of us—happy.

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