Sunday, February 15, 2009

Me and my Valentines...

Here in Australia when I was a kid, not so much was made of Valentine's Day as seems to be in the modern era or other parts of the global village.

We had no commercial radio, and the local ABC specialised in local sports, local weather and playing their one album they bought each year on the budget. One year it was Toto. That was a good year.

Our television viewing was snowy ABC or even more snowy local commercial television - we didn't watch a great deal of the local station coverage, so I am not sure how much VD was pumped.

I remember ONE time there was a big thing made of VD at school. We were learning about the mail system (heck, the local town ONLY HAD a post office) and the teacher thought it a good idea for us all to make Valentines and secretly send them to each other. Everyone dutifully made one Valentine, one girl got 27 and the rest of the school got nothing. It was an experiment that was discontinued due to mass depression and the fact that the most popular girl must have sent herself one rather than break anyone else's duck.

Being at a girls boarding school did not make Valentine's Day a happy experience for most. Too early in the year to form hookups with boys boarding schools, too many holiday breakups from last years hookups and the fact we were locked away - well away - from those few Valentinos who made the effort.

University - well, let me say the University years were marred somewhat by my despising about half of the human population because of the sins of one and militant feminism does not go hand in hand with the whole hoopla surrounding VD.

When I lived in Sydney and the fast-paced world of advertising, I was slightly diverted from my course of hating all men to let a few inside the barricades. Of course, I did chose them from a pool of those who were even less VD-savvy than I given their cultural background. That, and I made a point of holding relationship break-ups in the dying days of January to save anticipation and disappointment. (Okay, that wasn't the only reason, no doubt, but it makes a good story).

I did receive one present when I failed to break up in time from one of my paramours during those days.




Jerome (as usual, not his real name) was from one of the tiniest countries on the African continent, whittled by European deals at the end of various wars. Well, actually he was a refugee from one of the tiniest countries on the African continent, due to his father being an enemy of the tinpot dictator. He had been brought up by a travelling Catholic priest who apparently collected rich dissidents kids throughout Africa. He had lived all over the world holding a variety of names and jobs. He had an exciting story - but personally he was... I am trying to think of the right words. He wasn't flashy, he wasn't extroverted, he was a trained accountant who worked in a furniture factory because his qualifications weren't recognised. He was sweet.

Valentine's Day dawned on a Friday that year, and I awoke knowing we were going to see a great band together that night.

I knew I was highly unlikely to receive a card because - well, quite frankly the knowledge he had of the Saints was extreme but the whole love token thing? Also, I had shed my angry girl skin a bit, but buying in to the whole capitalist enterprise (despite me working in advertising) was not the burning desire of my existence.

So the day started at work with me not wanting anything, not anticipating anything and a good night with my boyfriend planned.

Throughout the day, girls at work received more and more elaborate offerings with the office going "ooh" and "ahh" and I - I hate to admit this - I cracked a little.

I started thinking "well, I don't want the whole shebang, but an acknowledgement would be fine".

I knew that he worked criminally long hours to get his pittance and so his access to shops and phones and such were rather limited, but I had worked myself up by the end of the day into a "he had better have done something" rage. (I may have had a hormonal coincidence going on.)

So by the time he was meant to be at my house, I was primed. By an hour later and he hadn't shown, I was pissed (in both the Aussie and American sense) and in full VD combat mode.

Then he showed up - with the cutest little teddy bear holding a little balloon that said "I wuv u" - awwww.

Yeah? Well, awww doesn't cut it with me when my head is full of steam.

I have to admit it now, but when I have a head of steam up and a boyfriend in the cross-hairs, I think it must be a pretty scary sight - it certain put the fear in a few. (V never gets me upset, of course)

He was late because he had to find this little thing for me, and that just made me madder still.

Now, believe me when I say I am very good at having an argument when I have had a bit of time to build some pressure, so poor Jerome was stunned by my assault. Poor beggar, he had only tried to do the right thing. He had no idea that there was NO RIGHT THING he could have done.

Going out to see a band. I cancelled that. Stay at home and have an argument, a much better use of time.

Then of course I started dinner, had a reconciliation with him, fell asleep and nearly burned the house down when the rice caught on fire.




So really, VD is not high on my radar to build anticipation.

Since that day, only 2 boyfriends have lived through the curse of VD with me.

P. - 'Salina's father - survived two. The first I expected nothing and he gave me that. The second I was expecting him to give me a break from looking after our beautiful baby - and I got the same present as the year before. There was no third.

Just as well, really.

And then there is V. V is very wise.

Today is the 15th. Our anniversary. A much better day to celebrate.

16 comments:

Jen at Semantically driven said...

Jeanie, I couldn't get past the letters VD meaning something else rather than Valentine's Day.

M+B said...

Like Jen, I was stuck on the VD!

Any consolation, my VDs sound a lot like yours ;-)

Debby said...

Oh, thank goodness. I kept thinking 'venereal disease' as well, and was really feeling like a freak. Thanks to the previous commenters.

Kari said...

I'm so laughing at the VD references. I didn't think it until I saw it, now it won't get out of my head.

Jeanie, I am laughing at the "He had no idea that there was NO RIGHT THING he could have done." Oh my, my, my... we do, do this as women I think. I know I have plenty of times, perhaps last weekend in fact ;) Oddly, hormones played a roll in that too.

Mary Paddock said...

Some great lines here

We had no commercial radio, and the local ABC specialised in local sports, local weather and playing their one album they bought each year on the budget. One year it was Toto. That was a good year.

And

Our television viewing was snowy ABC or even more snowy local commercial television - we didn't watch a great deal of the local station coverage, so I am not sure how much VD was pumped.

Are you sure you didn't grow up in Northwest Arkansas?

Happy Anniversary. I hope it's a great one!

ELIZABETH said...

Glad I wasn't the only one who read something different into VD. *laugh*

I found and returned an old Valentine so Paul could give it to me again. We stopped buying cards for each other years ago.

When I was in primary school everyone decorated a little box and each student could drop a Valentine in any they wanted. When son was in the jr. grades if you gave one you had to give all...politically correctness for 7 years olds.

Bush Babe said...

I knew what you meant love!
Totally my favourite line in this great post is:

"Everyone dutifully made one Valentine, one girl got 27 and the rest of the school got nothing. It was an experiment that was discontinued due to mass depression and the fact that the most popular girl must have sent herself one rather than break anyone else's duck."

I roared. Now I am desperate to know who this was? Hah...
:-)
BB

Widdle Shamrock said...

You had me laughing.

Happy anniversary.

Jayne said...

Happy anniversary!
WV =shinbut...the pressie you get when it's not VD :P

Mistress B said...

Great stories! lol

Sometimes there just is no 'right thing to do' lol

Happy anniversary!

Lin said...

Another great post! Hope you had a nice day yesterday and wishing you a belated happy anniversary.

Amanda said...

I can't believe that girl sent herself a valentine's day card! Noice.
We aren't really "VD" type people here (in either of the types of VD;) but I remember getting a card in the mail the VD before we were married ... and I thanked (my now) hubby for it. He still swears he didn't send it. Sweet man.

and Happy anniversary

Woman in a Window said...

YES! This post reads entirely different when you sub VD for you know, VD.

Valentines is no big deal.
VD would be.

This Eclectic Life said...

I loved the story, Jeannie...but I, too had the problem getting past VD being an STD, "only 2 boyfriends have lived through the curse of VD with me." Thank goodness lol

tiff said...

Happy belated anniversary.

Kari said...

Hey Jeanie, I left you an award at my blog here is the post http://not-so-normal-girl.blogspot.com/2009/02/i-got-award.html