#writephoto — Begging The Question

EBC05E5D-AC73-482D-81AE-D6B8378C67EC“You know,” Andy said as they were standing on the edge of the outcropping looking out at a beautiful orange sunset, “I was smitten from moment I first laid eyes on you.”

“Aw, what a lovely thing to say,” Arlene responded. “I admit that I was taken with you, as well.”

“Hard to believe that was nearly six months ago, isn’t it?” Andy said. “My passion for you hasn’t subsided at all. And that first time we were intimate, oh my.”

“Yes,” Arlene said with a sigh. “that memory is a durable one, that’s for sure.”

Suddenly dropping to one knee, Andy pulled out a small, blue velvet box from his pocket. Opening it and exposing a diamond engagement ring, he said, “Arlene, you are the love of my life. On this Valentine’s Day, I’d be honored if you would agree to be my wife so that we can spend the rest of our lives together in holy matrimony.”

“Um, no,” Arlene said matter of factly.

“No? What do you mean no?” a shocked Andy asked. “Don’t you love me?”

“I do like you, Andy” Arlene said. “I like you a lot.”

“So what’s the problem, then,” Andy asked. “Why are you saying no to my marriage proposal?”

“You’re a very nice man, Andy,” Arlene said. “And as I said, I do like you. But do you remember when I said that the memory of the first time we had sex was a durable one?”

“Yeah, you just said that.”

“Well, Andy,” Arlene said, “what made that memory so durable was how bad you were. I was hoping, Andy, that with my help, your, um, bedside manner, so to speak, would have gotten better. I’ve invested almost six months trying to make you a better lover, but to no avail.”

“Sheesh, Arlene, if that’s how you feel, why didn’t you say anything before now?”

“Oh my dear Andy,” Arlene said, “I tried so many times and in so many ways, but you never picked up on it. Face it, Andy, you’re a selfish lover. You’re only interested in meeting your own needs and you don’t seem to care about meeting the needs of your partner.”

“And you chose this evening, Valentine’s Day, of all times, to tell me that?”

“You chose Valentine’s Day to beg the question, Andy.”


Written for Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo Prompt. Also for these one-word prompts: Word of the Day Challenge (smitten), Your Daily Word Promt (passion), Ragtag Daily Prompt (intimate), and Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (durable).

My Annual Valentine’s Day Rant

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.

Share Your World — Well, Sort Of

This week Melanie, at Sparks From a Combustible Mind, has a special Valentine’s Day edition of Share Your World. She’s calling it “Share Your Heartfelt World,” and, as she said, “This week, instead of gratitude/thankful for question(s), I’m asking romantic, squishy booby hug, possibly sappy and overly sugary QUESTIONS about love.”

Truth be told, I’m not really the romantic, squishy booby hug, sappy, and overly sugary type. I’m more of a practical, pragmatic kind of a guy. Hence, I’m going to opt out of her “heartfelt” questions and stick with her “matter of fact” ones. But if you’re interested in seeing her sappy, Valentine’s Day questions, click HERE.

So with that said….

What’s your favorite way to spend a weekend?

As a retiree, my weekends last seven days. That said, our two grown kids are not retired and both work during the week. So weekends are the opportunity we have to spend some time with them, whether it’s heading to their respective neighborhoods or them coming to visit us.

Who do you admire most in the world?

Hmm. These days I don’t find too many truly admirable people. That said, I think that as a class of people, I’d have to focus on teachers. They are overworked and underpaid and are expected to shape the minds of our most precious possessions, our children. They should be much more admired — and valued — than they are.

 What do you regret not doing?

Not winning the Powerball or Mega Millions lottery.026DE52E-7C07-4F0E-8ED9-46794C3A2D68

If you see a puddle on the ground, do you walk around it or over/in it?

It depends upon what kind of footwear, if any, I have on. If I’m barefoot or wearing rain boots, I’ll definitely step in. Otherwise, I’ll step over or around it.

Hallmark Holiday

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 few years 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 Christian 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.

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.