I'm not much of a holiday person. Except for Christmas and Thanksgiving, the other ones you can pretty much bag, in my opinion, except for getting the day off or getting paid double time and a half, I used to think they were pretty useless and ridiculous until recently.....
Valentines Day is one of those useless holidays, or at least it has always seemed that way to me. Hell, I go into the local pharmacy to get a couple cards and some candy for the kids and in one isle there is Valentines day hearts and candy and in the other isle there's Easter stuff. Isn't Easter in April for fuck's sake? Holy cow. Anyway, I wanted to really give something nice to Wanda and her kids for Valentines day, for as cynical as I can get, I still have a heart. Wanda, on the other hand, easily topped my candy and card routine....
That Friday she arrived with a freaking shopping bag full of stuff. We sat on the couch and got re-acquainted, diving into some Thai food, New York style, eating out of the cartons with chopsticks and then she pulled out her shopping bag full of gifts. I must preface this story by saying that prior to this event she had e-mailed me wanting to know which of my five senses I valued in order of which I would give up if I had to. I responded and this set the preface for her Valentines gift giving extravaganza...
Her idea was to tickle my senses, in order, of which I valued least to most. My first was taste, then smell (as they pretty much go together) then feel, then hearing and finally sight. Although I cannot go into detail on this blog some of the more (ahem...) private items she presented me with, here is a sampling to give you an idea....
For taste: Various rich chocolates and truffles.
For smell: A cranberry scented sachet to place in my clothes drawer, a very fragrant candle to burn and other interesting things.
For touch: A wooden massage tool that can be used on sore muscles.
For hearing: A cassette tape Wanda made of relaxing and romantic music.
For sight: Nice frilly stuff that is a tad unmentionable here.
Totally blew my mind. Brought a new twist to Valentines day for me.
As most of you know, I have penpals in many corners of this Big Blue Marble. A couple of them asked me about Valentines Day and how my holiday went. My pal Sasha from Taipei, Taiwan was flabbergasted when she heard of how Wanda and I celebrated the holiday and my friend Rampyari from Banepa, Nepal - now living in Muskat, Oman was equally amazed. It seems Valentines day isn't celebrated the same or has as much emphasis in other countries as it is here in the U.S.
So I'm proud to say that my girl is someone too special for words and she reminds me on practically a weekly basis how lucky I am, injecting more and more joy and perspective into this cynical body of mine than a body can handle at times. I know that our holiday experience spurned many an inquiry in other, less romantic parts of this world and probably got some guys asking, "Just who is this Jeeem guy and his girl Wanda?"
We've started a Valentines day revolution perhaps.
God help us during Easter.