Today is Valentine's Day, which I do not particularly celebrate. Never much cared for it. Luckily the person I have been with for the past thirty years agrees with me here, so all is well in Mojoland.
Now as a grouchy older adult person Valentine's Day reminds me of two things. The first is an early, "classic" episode of the Simpsons called I Love Lisa, about a terrible crush Ralph Wiggum—irretrievably stupid loser that he is—had on Lisa. The whole thing is rather sad as Lisa cannot reciprocate, and has at least two memorable moments: the Valentine's Day "I choo-choo-choose you" card, and Ralph's delightfully painful attempts at flirting, which culminates in a come-on line I have frequently used to my great amusement and delight ever since: "So.... do you like... .stuff?"
Another thing Valentine's Day reminds me of: AGES ago, prior to my eventual involvement with the Favorite Husband, I went on dates with OTHER GUYS. And this one guy--I think we went out TWICE, and NOTHING was EVER going to happen—for our first date we went to the movies. Fair enough. We went to see The Breakfast Club, which was just out in the theaters. I think I was a tad too old for it by then, plus even at the appropriate age I was never a huge fan of whiny boohoohoo-no-one-understands-me-I'm-so-special-and-different teenagers as depicted in the movies. So I never really grasped why The Breakfast Club is all of a sudden some sort of BELOVED CLASSIC, but eh, whatever. They say the same thing about GREASE, which I find UTTERLY BEWILDERING, but maybe every movie when it hits 20 or 25 years suddenly becomes a "classic". Clint Eastwood's UNFORGIVEN—okay, dude, now THAT's a classic. I LOVE THAT MOVIE SO MUCH. The first five minutes or so are horribly violent and disturbing, but one you get past that it's just BRILLIANT. Anyway, I digress.
My point is not to trash The Breakfast Club, which is a perfectly okay First Date Movie, nor the poor young man who took me to see it, who I'm sure went on to live a happy separate life much as I have. My point is, we sit down to watch the movie. The lights dim, the movie starts, and that stupid song comes on. You know it. It goes "Don't you forget about me...don't don't don't dont" or something like that. Okay, so maybe it's not THAT stupid, but, like The Breakfast Club, it's never going to be one of my favorites.
So the opening credits are rolling, and this song is playing, and all of a sudden my date turns to me, sticks his index finger in my face and starts singing along. Which at the time I thought was a little weird and presumptuous, and perhaps had just the tiniest wee influence in my ultimate decision that this man was Not The One For Me. I mean, we had just met maybe a half hour before, so I thought it was all a teensy bit creepy.
But I tell ya: I have forgotten MANY THINGS in the 30+ years that have crept by since that moment. but on those rare occasions, whenever I hear that song (it was just playing as the Muzak in the grocery store this afternoon, which is why I am writing this now) I remember that guy. I remember his sticking his wagging finger in my face and singing "Don't you forget about me...don't don't don't dont" in what I assume is a painfully Ralphlike attempt to be playfully romantic. It was not perceived as such. I thought it a bit odd that a relative stranger was now lecturing me, literally with his FINGER IN MY FACE, to ensure that I never forget him.
And I gotta hand it to him: IT WORKED. I have not forgotten him. It's not a particularly PLEASANT memory—not that it's somehow traumatic or anything, just sort of a "if I were in the business of doling out dating advice I'd suggest you not try this with your NEXT first date, fella" moment. So long as that song keeps being played as background music in the grocery store, I will probably remember him.
So happy Valentine's Day. Just because I don't really give a hang about it, it doesn't mean you can't enjoy it. I recommend chocolate.