Valentine’s Day

So, I’m a day late, but yesterday I was sugaring up on Lindt chocolate (only to regret it later) and I couldn’t possibly focus on posting while chocolate was sitting on my desk staring me down. (It never blinks. Why doesn’t it blink?!?!)

I spent some part of the day making mental lists of all of my favorite romantic things and thought to myself, I should share (oh sure, you’re thinking please don’t, but Valentine’s Day is about sharing… just like Christmas and Groundhog’s Day and most any other day of the week I feel like posting something).

I flipped through my copy of The Norton Anthology of English Literature: Vol. 2 trying to remember a specific poem by Yeats that I always enjoyed, which actually began as a search on Google, a trip to Wikipedia, some chocolate, a grand “AH HAH! Yeats” moment and finally the book came into play. The poem is titled “Adam’s Curse” and I think that what I like most about it is the story behind it – the story reflects a moment in Yeats’ life and his longing for the Irish revolutionary Maude Gonne. And with that, an excerpt from the last two stanzas:

We sat grown quiet at the name of love;
We saw the last embers of daylight die,
And in the trembling blue-green of the sky
A moon, worn as if it had been a shell
Washed by time’s waters as they rose and fell
About the stars and broke in days and years.

I had a thought for no one’s but your ears:
That you were beautiful, and that I strove
To love you in the old high way of love;
That it had all seemed happy, and yet we’d grown
As weary-hearted as that hollow moon.

W.B. Yeats – 1902,1903

As I made my lists, I had to come to terms with the fact that while I lodge my eyes into the back of my skull when it comes to romance novels, I have to admit I’m a complete and total weak-kneed sucker for Gothic Romances. Give me my Jane Eyre, my Wuthering Heights or some Pride and Prejudice and please pass the tissue because I’ll be snorting and blubbering by the last sentence. I completely blame my high school English teachers, because up until then I was all about Dune, Stranger in a Strange Land and other titles you wouldn’t recognize unless you avidly trolled the shelves for pulp science fiction/fantasy. I suspect that Seth, having had the same teachers in school, is the exact same way judging by his writing (thankfully, I don’t live close by and I like to think he’s a pacifist – or at least wouldn’t hurt a girl with glasses).

In fact, my love of Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next series started with The Eyre Affair simply because I wanted to be back with Jayne and Rochester one more time. I wanted to hear their voices again even if it meant they didn’t come directly from Charlotte Brontë’s pen – it was enough that the words were in her style. (Yes, my friends… that’s what started me on those books. The ugly truth is out.)

So, those are obviously my Valentine’s Day picks for books.

Movies: Well, of course it would have to be “Sense and Sensibility” and yes, I do cry at the end every single time (I cry every time I see “Beaches”, too for the record). When it comes to movies, another guilty pleasure of mine is romantic comedies. The experience is even more perfect if it’s with my cousin, Kim – she’s the only person I know who reacts in the same way as I do. I’d share, but you all are my serious-minded friends and with you I like to sit as stoically as possible in the theater and pretend I’ll have something intelligent to say at the end like “Did you know that Bumblebee was actually a Volkswagen Beetle in the Transformers cartoon?” “Oh, indeed indeed and Megatron was a machine gun” “Coffee?” “Let’s!” (I am the embodiment of sophistication. And hopefully one of my Transformer friends won’t smite me for goofing that up. I mean, I think I got it right.)
EDIT: Well, I got busted. Jay says Megatron was a pistol and more specifically a Walther P38, a WWII German service pistol. Who knew? Well, aside from Jay? and you?

Music: Well, you really can never go wrong with the Beatles and “I Will”. In fact, I sang that to myself all day yesterday. Jay, not being a Beatles fan, lucked out in that I didn’t sing it loudly at him. “I’ve Just Seen a Face” – again, the Beatles, is also timeless. They just have a way of singing the word “girl” that makes me all gushy. Blame my aunts who came of age in the 70’s and were my babysitters.

TV: Well, I’m not a big fan of sit-coms so finding a show that depicts a strong relationship that doesn’t leave me bemused and uttering snarky remarks is hard – so I’ll go with my favorite love story arc – from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (yeah, yeah – shush) – Willow and Tara. I really didn’t like this arc at first, it seemed awkward and forced and made me uncomfortable, but by the time the character’s relationship ultimately ended, it was hard for me to let it go. Just thinking of one of the lines from the show “she still sings to you” chokes me up. Truly, it’s one of Josh Whedon’s finer writing moments.

There you have it – not a story today, but a simple list of a few of my favorite Valentine’s things (and of course… Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens…)

My love to you all this day and every day and especially to Jay, my best-friend and favorite co-conspirator.

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