Wednesday, February 14, 2007

I Get Lucky Sometimes

Once again, I'm in San Francisco and the morning's USA Today reminds me it is Valentine's Day. Some years, the occasion mocks me while other times, I celebrate. Sure, sure, we all agree this is just one big ad campaign designed to sell cards, candy and jewelry but there is no denying its impact. I mean, we've managed to forget that DeBeers, the diamond company, invented the engagement ring and now accept it as a standard tradition.

Truth is, this celebrated Love Day hasn't bothered me for years because I was lucky enough to enjoy three completely perfect V-Days in my life. Honestly, they were so expertly crafted and manfully executed that I cannot imagine them ever being topped. I am still running on the fumes of their success and plan to for years, no problem.

#1: I was 14 and in love with Ricky, center (#56) for the Lakewood Lancers football team. He'd been my buddy in pre-school and we were drawn together once again. His friend, Willie, fancied my pal, Diane, so it became a double date. Each boy had written a poem professing their undying dedication to us and taken it to some woman, who then wrote out each sonnet on fancy paper. They brought us candy, flowers and took us to a romantic double feature at the Paradise Theatre: "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" and "Scanners" – an entertainment bargain as tickets were 99 cents each. Looking back now, Diane and I realize that the boys were 'practicing' on us – this was their first V-Day effort and they were not about to get it wrong. Ricky and I eventually went to the 9th grade prom together and then, the senior prom. Since he'd invested several years in our friendship and relationship, I made sure he was The First.

#2: In the late 90s, I moved to San Franciscoand soon fell in love with a darling man whom I nicknamed Tarzan. Several days prior, he pointed out that V-Day was nearly upon us. I wondered aloud if there was something I should do to prepare. His response: "You don't do anything. I'm the man, I do everything." How hot is that? VERY.

Tarzan showed up the morning of with red tulips, a gift poster from the Henry Miller Library in Big Sur and the makings for a scrumptious French Toast and champagne breakfast for me AND my roommate. He then told me to pack for the next two days and would not tell me where we were going. Heading south on Highway 1, we finally arrived at the Tickle Pink Inn, which sounds like a tacky place where the beds vibrate for small change but it was, in fact, a gorgeous B&B in Carmel-by-the-Sea overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

My jaw dropped upon seeing our plush room and with its amazing deck view. I believe I cried and said, "No one's ever done this for me before" to which he replied, "Well, they should have." We sat in front of the fireplace, drank wine and talked. There was a fancy dinner and some blissful lovemaking. The next day, we went to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. I felt like the Pink Princess of the Palace. Tarzan earned an awful lot of points with this effot and we remain good friends to this day.

#3: I was dating a wildly romantic fellow who had helped a friend move to New Orleans. He'd driven the U-Haul and was now staying in a 100-year-old mansion – friend of a friend and all that. I missed him terribly so I planned a trip to come visit, not consciously realizing the date – February 14th. Always a dashing figure, he met me at Louis Armstrong Airport with red roses and wearing his usual long, dark coat and black derby. What a sight he was! So handsome – I couldn't believe he was waiting there for me.

We returned to the mansion where he cooked up a fine Louisiana meal – crab pastry, collard greens, and hush puppies – truly fabulous. We dined on the expansive porch and listened to the beads of Mardi gras revelers clink up and down the street. Later, we went to the Maple Leaf with the gang and caught a kick-ass brass/rock band that brought down the house. We danced and drank and generally celebrated life above ground in that decadent New Orleans way.

Eventually, we returned to the mansion where a number of us all made out together. I know, this doesn't sound romantic but he and I were in a very active sexual stage and exploring stuff together. It was HOT. When I boarded the plane on Sunday, I felt like the entire weekend was written all over my face and my naughty smirk was betraying me right and left. I saw a nun on the plane and kept my head down.

Sure, I'm working on living in the Present and all that but days like today, it feels good to look back and rehash the red velvet efforts of such wonderful men. Though things didn't "work out" in the usual sense with a picture perfect wedding and a 50th anniversary party, I am still so grateful that we crossed paths. Roses die and candy gets eaten but I can survive an awfully long time on these frozen memories of Love.

5 comments:

Kath said...

Absolutely precious memories. Thanks so much for sharing :-)

hotdrwife said...

My favorite Valentine memory was one I posted about last year, I think. I was so incredibly bummed that all my friends in high school were getting roses from their boyfriends (of the week, of the day, of the month, whatever). The school secretary would come in with these huge bunches of roses for these swooning girls - and none for me. So I called home, crying, because I felt horribly awkward, ugly, unloved, left out, all of the teenage angst into one. About 20 minutes before school lets out, the secretary brings over a rose to me. It had been hand delivered, apparently. The note attached said, "I wanted to be the first guy to give you a rose, Love, Dad". And I melted. There hasn't been a better Valentine's Day since, and never will be.

Thanks for letting me share mine! I loved yours!! (and you are a naughty monkey!! - I love that!!)

xoxoxo

Howard said...

*sigh* It's good to hold on to those positive moments as they sometimes can get you through the rough ones. Thanks sharing so openly and I mean that in more ways than one, baby.

ClizBiz said...

Awwwwwww! That is SUCH a great story, HDW! Not a surprise to hear that HD-Dad was a real class act.

ClizBiz said...

Howard and Kath - Thanks for the support and the encouragement - helps keep that nasty self-editing habit in the closet where it belongs.