Ed. Note: Robyn ’s post on the defense of Ruby Tuesday’s Salad Bar, Adams Morgan nightlife, kickball, and Apple computers got a really interesting debate going and has sparked a new series to debunk some of the automatic negative stereotypes about certain things in DC.
At Rolling Knolls elementary school, Valentines was a big deal. Everyone placed bags on the back of their chairs during recess in hopes that upon return, it would be overflowing with Snoopy-themed cards, heart-adorned pencils and pens, and the occasional amorous Almond Joy. My cards were in the form of personalized V day “checks.” As forced by my mother, I had to address the check s to all the kids in the class, even flatulence-prone Bart – you can guess the nickname. Unfortunately these pink checks had no monetary value, but if a classmate signed the line and “cashed” it, they could draw from the funds of my unadulterated love and devotion for each and every one of them.
Fast forward to my twenties, when Valentines Day is no longer about receiving lovingly-fraudulent checks, but about shelving out cash at expensive restaurants, on Belgian chocolates, or ingredients from Whole Paycheck for a romantic meal at home. It’s easy to hate on Hallmark-created holiday, for obvious reasons. If you’re ½ of a couple, you have to plan or attend something elaborate just to prove that you still like your counterpart enough. If you’re not, you’re forced to go out anyway as if to say “Who needs a significant other? Look how much fun I’m having!” while trying to mask any hint of desperation on your face with copious amounts of booze.
Call me a romantic, but I like Valentines Day. I especially like it in DC where there are plenty of options to celebrate love, or lack of love, or love for oneself. It’s the one day a year where you can revel in your love for just about anything. So if you hate St. Valentines, do what I did and…(cue Lifetime Movie soundtrack music)….and make DC your Valentine. Shameless Segway guy riding down 16th street (Bart, is that you)? I love you. I am in love with the Grouper fish at Oohs and Aahs, and even more in love with the Chinatown Exercise dude and his midday workouts. I have a love triangle between the jukebox at the Raven and the one at Wonderland. Even though I haven’t seen Blelvis and the “Black Cat Black Cat” guy for a while, I still love both of them very, very much and hope they know that wherever they are, they have a piece of my heart with them. The new love of my life is a magnificently deformed tree I discovered in Meridian Hill Park. The tree twists and turns amidst the stone sculptures of the park. It just wants to be art like them, too.
Go on Valentines Day haters, give DC a big ol’ hug.
P.S. I think we should auction off the Prince for Valentines. I’m starting the bid at $100.