Let’s talk about Valentine’s Day, shall we?
At one point in history, it was a day that involved “gently” slapping women with strips of blood-soaked goat hide as part of a fertility ritual.
Those women still had a better Valentine’s Day than I had yesterday.
Back when I was a young and impoverished newlywed, I scolded my husband for spending too much money on flowers for me when we really couldn’t afford it. I meant, “Instead of spending the money on flowers that are just going to die, spend it on something we can do together, like dinner or a movie.” He apparently thought I meant, “Don’t ever buy me flowers again, no matter what happens. Ever. If you even allow the thought of flowers to cross your mind ever again, I will kill you in your sleep” or something equally frightening.
So the fact that I never got flowers on Valentine’s Day after that is about 98% my own fault. I’ll own it. It was just never a big romantic deal for us. We did the whole heart-shaped pizza and pink cupcake silliness for the kids, but not for each other.
Now that I’m single, it’s still not a big deal. Right? So why, you may be asking, am I so ticked off about Valentine’s Day this year?
So glad you asked.
It started when I woke up with a cold sore. Not just any cold sore, mind you, but the mother of all cold sores. A huge, bulbous, red protrusion on my upper lip that looks like I’ve got an alien gestating in there.
And just in case that’s not eye-catching enough, my sinus passages have become completely blocked. But only on that side of my face. My cheekbone and eye socket are throbbing, probably communicating with the baby alien in some secret language. Everything on that side of my face is puffy and blotchy.
I did what any other red-blooded single person would do in this situation: I swallowed some apple cider vinegar, drank some herbal tea, and got on with my life. Just for the record, “getting on with my life” included doing my laundry.
The laundry room in my apartment building has three washers and three dryers, all of which are rarely in working order at the same time. There is no change machine, so I’ve gotten into the habit of hoarding my quarters; it takes twelve quarters to wash and dry a single load. I don’t even bother to count money in terms of dollar amounts any more. I measure the cost of everything by the number of quarters it takes.
What happened next should be clearly documented, ostensibly because I want to tell the story correctly, but mostly to cover my ass in case of any future police involvement.
The middle dryer is the best dryer. Everyone in this building knows that. The dryer on the far end is okay, but not the best. However, the dryer closest to the door is worthless. It gets the clothes nice and hot, tossing them about for forty minutes or so, but at no point does it actually make any attempt at drying them.
I put my clothes in the middle dryer and went back upstairs to my apartment. When I went back down to get my laundry 40 minutes later, someone had switched dryers with me!
In other words, someone unknown to me touched my wet laundry. My “unmentionables.” Yes, a stranger touched my underwear. A stranger touched my underwear and bras, among other things, and put them in the dryer that just makes everything hot without drying it.
With the end result being that on Valentine’s Day, my panties got hot and wet and touched by a stranger, and I wasn’t even wearing them at the time.
My panties are getting more action than I am.
This does not make me happy.
I grabbed some scrap paper and a Sharpie and hastily scrawled out a note to leave on top of the middle dryer. It said: “If you ever touch my laundry again, I will shove my laundry basket up your ass.”
As an afterthought, I went back and added the word “sideways.”
I know, I know; I should have take their clothes out and switched everything back. Or even worse, I should have taken their clothes and not returned them until their owner repaid my five quarters. But I’m kind of a wimp, and besides, two wrongs really don’t make a right.
So today, the day after Valentine’s Day, dawned bright and sunny and bitterly cold, and I have no dry clothes to wear. I have a gestating alien on my lip, a puffy side of my face, and a bad attitude. And just for a little added bit of joy, my car battery is dead because of the cold.
Sure, happy freaking Valentine’s Day. All things considered, I think I would have been happier with a little bit of goat-hide slapping.