We are in the coat room at the grange after a wonderful full dance. The coats, boots, bags and winter accessories take up more volume than usual. This is because of the popularity of the dance as well as the size of New England Winter gear. Christopher is sitting on the floor changing shoes. I spot Diba’s winter boots.
“Hey Let’s put a cute note in Diane’s shoes”
“Do we know which are hers?”
“Yes, the impossibly small for an adult, orange boots”
I look for paper and find an purple flier for a bygone dance. As Christopher finishes up with his shoes he gets a mischievous grin.
“Look at all these shoes Christine, all sorts of these lovely people to leave notes for”
I smile – oh yes, lots of people that may need notes, lots and lots of shoes.
I then rip the paper into business card sized snippets and start to write. “I adore you beautiful girl” “your presence here makes me happy” “the world is better because of your smile” I give Christopher my notes and he chooses which footwear deserve which of the notes. Then I pass the paper to him and put my shoes on. He writes and I stuff. I have no idea whose boots I am putting them into, I choose by what kind of shoe it is and match it to the text.
I am uncertain if anyone found these. Perhaps they put the shoe on without noticing and walked on the sentiment until it was a pulpy half disintegrated mess. I think about those people walking on the notes, absorbing the positive thought that went into them like a spell.
So now Valentine’s day is approaching; a holiday I loathe for so many reasons. This changes depending on whether or not I am romantically involved at the time. If not I feel left out, feel the hole in my life and remember heartbreaks. If I am, I feel pressure to swallow societies idea of romance. I don’t like roses, recycle cards at a rapid pace and am not sure about hearts. Why is that shape romantic? Why not a circle, which I much prefer, or a spiral? I want to say to whoever I am with- oh forget that stuff, but can’t put my finger on what I do want out of the holiday – which sometimes, is something. So I don’t like roses, they die too fast and feel wasteful are too impractical for me but I like hand picked weeds which aren’t exactly abundant in the Northeast in February. Sexy underwear? It is like four degrees out. I think long johns are sexy and that doesn’t exactly match what the world is pumping out in their advertising schemes. Chocolate? Well yes, but that I like all the time and now it seems like every day. One would have to hang with strings artistically from to my bedroom ceiling to make me go wooo. I don’t like prepackaged sentiment or kitsch. I like solid, real, active regard, respect, kindness, thoughtfulness and consideration but not especially on February 14th. I’m pretty sure I like that all the time. But when you get that all the time what do you want on a romantically themed holiday?
I also feel the left out part of everyone in my life who is unattached. It feels unfair, like when the restaurant brings your food first and no one else has any yet. You can offer to share some but it isn’t the same. It is far better when the eggs benedict come at the same time as the omelette. So this is the first with Christopher and do I tell him I hate it? Especially when he told Adam that the Flurry falls on “Valentine’s weekend” with a smile in his voice. Maybe he likes it and I don’t wanna be a buzz kill for fun. The other day Christopher and I are talking about our volunteer shifts for the Flurry. He lights up, “you know we are in a position of power with all the volunteers coming in. We get to give them packets of stuff. Let’s make valentines and give them out to friends.”
“like elementary school?”
Then I am picturing artist trading card style collage snippets for all the people I like best.
I took me the day to realize just how awesome the idea is for me. No longer am I frowning about the day, now I am sort of excited. So what if I don’t really like heart shapes. I will think of it like the book “The Dot” and make all different kinds of them. I can make them out of circles, triangles and square. I can really have fun with this now, and I so appreciate that.