A Month of Love #14

Paula Light says, “Let’s celebrate the month of lurve (aka love) by posting one thing we love every day throughout February.

Now the truth is that I’m not really a romantic guy, so I might be hard pressed to come up with 28 objects of love, but I think I should be able to come up with 28 things I like a lot.

It’s Valentine’s Day, so how could I possibly not feature the love of my life and my soulmate, the lovely and talented Mrs. Fandango?She’s a real beauty, both inside and out. She completes me!

Sunday Writing Prompt — A Love Story

In recognition that today is Valentine’s Day, the Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Sunday Writing Prompt asks us to write a story of love. So here we go, a true story of how I met my wife.

It was a fix-up. A blind date. My brother-in-law played tennis with her father and one day his daughter showed up to watch them play. I got a call from my brother-in-law telling me all about her and he gave me her phone number.

I was reluctant to call her as I was not keen on blind dates, but I had recently broken up with a girl I’d been dating for about six months and I figured I was ready to dip my toe in the water again. So I decided to give it a go.

I spoke with the fix-up girl on the phone a couple of times and thought she sounded nice and seemed to have a good head on her shoulders. And, most important, she laughed at my jokes. So I arranged to pick her up at her apartment. It was one of those buildings where you’d go to the front desk and they’d call and let the person know that there was someone in the lobby to see them.

I was told to take a seat and that she would be coming to the lobby shortly. A few minutes later, the elevator doors opened, I looked up, and I saw a vision. She looked like an Indian princess — or, as we’d say in the politically correct 21st century, a Native American princess — and I was smitten.

It was truly love at first sight, at least on my part. That was in 1976 and we’ve been together ever since.

Who Won the Week? 02/14/2021

FWWTWThe idea behind Who Won the Week is for you to select who (or what) you think “won” this past week. Your selection can be anyone or anything — politicians, celebrities, athletes, authors, bloggers, your friends or family members, books, movies, TV shows, businesses, organizations, whatever.

I will be posting this prompt on Sunday mornings (my time). If you want to participate, write your own post designating who you think won the week and why you think they deserve your nod. Then link back to this post and tag you post with FWWTW.

Up until yesterday I was going to designate the U.S. House of Representatives impeachment trial managers as my Who Won the Week winners. They did a truly outstanding job in presenting a strong and compelling case against Donald Trump. The case they presented was extraordinary and left no doubt in the minds of reasonable, impartial, nonpartisan individuals that Donald Trump was responsible for inciting his MAGA-mob to violently storm the U.S. Capitol building on January 6th, which ultimately resulted in death, destruction, and scores of injuries.

But yesterday afternoon, 43 Republican senators out of 50 voted to acquit Trump of the charge of inciting an insurrection. The final tally was 57 to 43 to convict Trump, but an impeachment conviction requires a two-thirds majority of senators, or 67, to vote to convict, so the needed two-thirds margin fell short by 10 votes. Thus, the only U.S. president who was twice impeached was also twice acquitted, thanks to the spineless Republican Trump sycophants in the Senate.

So my Who Won the Week designees are the seven Republican U.S. Senators who were patriotic enough and had the backbone to stand up for the Constitution rather than to protect a wannabe autocratic dictator.

And those seven Republican senators are:

  • Richard Burr, North Carolina
  • Bill Cassidy, Louisiana
  • Susan Collins, Maine
  • Lisa Murkowski, Alaska
  • Mitt Romney, Utah
  • Ben Sasse, Nebraska
  • Pat Toomey, Pennsylvania

Good for you, Senators Burr, Cassidy, Collins, Murkowski, Romney, Sasse, and Toomey. I salute you.

And as to the 43 who voted to acquit Trump, well fuck you all. You should be ashamed of yourselves.

What about you? Who (or what) do you think won the week?

Valentine’s Day Rant — Yet Again

I originally published this post on Valentine’s Day in 2018. And again on Valentine’s Day in 2019. For some reason I didn’t post it on Valentine’s Day last year. But I thought I’d repost it again this year to make sure that you, my loyal readers, know how I really feel about Valentine’s Day. Enjoy.

Today is Valentine’s Day and aren’t our little, romantic hearts all aflutter?

Not mine.

I am not a fan of Valentine’s Day. Call me unromantic, jaded, or cynical, but to me, Valentine’s Day is a totally bogus “holiday.” That’s why a column by syndicated columnist Tom Purcell that I read a while back still resonates with me.

Purcell wrote that on Valentine’s Day, women “dream of romance, surprise, and having sweet nothings whispered into their ears — and if such things happen, they hope their husbands don’t find out!”

But for men, Purcell said, “Valentine’s Day is a contrived undertaking that makes mandatory the things — flowers, dining out, expensive jewelry — that should be reserved for the times when we do something really stupid and are desperate to make up.” I hear you, Mr. Purcell!

I started to wonder what’s really behind this so-called holiday, so I Googled “Valentine’s Day.” It turns out that Valentine’s Day was originally observed to honor early Christian martyrs. The Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine, all of whom were martyred. Interestingly, no romantic elements are present in the original, early medieval records of these martyrs.

Some historians believe that Valentine’s Day is celebrated in the middle of February to commemorate the anniversary of Saint Valentine’s death. Hmm. Did all three saints named Valentine die in the middle of February? Did it happen in Chicago and was Al Capone invovled?

But others claim that the Catholic Church may have decided to place the Saint Valentine’s feast in the middle of February in an effort to “Christianize” the pagan celebration of Lupercalia, which was celebrated around the middle of February.

Lupercalia was a festival in honor of Lupa, the she-wolf who suckled the infant orphans, Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome. Lupercalia translates to “Wolf Festival.” During the festival, Roman priests would sacrifice a goat for fertility and a dog for purification. They would then cut the goat’s hide into strips, dip them into the sacrificial blood, and take to the streets where they would gently slap women with the goat hide strips.

Oh wow, it doesn’t get any more romantic than that, does it?Send a Hallmark Card DayHaving educated myself on its origin stories, I am more convinced than ever that Valentine’s Day is the epitome of the expression “Hallmark holiday,” a phrase used to describe a holiday that exists solely for commercial purposes.

Valentine’s Day as a romantic holiday was actually concocted during an intense, closed-door brainstorming session at the corporate headquarters of Hallmark Cards, Inc. The Hallmark executives were trying to figure out how to sell more cards during the lull between the Christmas and Easter holidays. One exec suggested creating a romantic holiday celebrating a Roman she-wolf and some martyred saints. “Yeah, that’s the ticket!” all the other execs shouted out.

That, my friends, is the true story about how the Valentine’s Day holiday in America came into being. (And, as Mark Twain said, “Never let the truth get in the way of a good story.”)

Anyway, I hope you all have a happy Valentine’s Day. Unfortunately, mine probably won’t be very happy. When my wife reads this post, there is no doubt that, as Tom Purcell warned, I will have done something really stupid and will be desperate to make up.

Damn you Hallmark Cards, Inc. and your stupid Hallmark holiday.