You couldn't walk into Winn Dixie to buy toothpaste without having to swat through a curtain of irredescent strings. The weightless kite tails to bobbing heart balloons. Gypsy tents were popping up in abandoned parking lots, giant red and white teddy bears stuffed with sawdust plopped on the pavement. "Be my valentine". This hocus pocus holiday was raining on our parade. Three chics. No valentines in the making.
We were silly. A little creative. A little brave. And a little bored.
And then we decided to fix that.
Einna, Pia, and Scarlet O' Dare Ya. Yup, those were the names we decided on. Skinny rented the post office box after explaining in detail to the "Pack and Ship" manager the need for annonyminity, the need to be able to slip quietly into the building, and exit gracefully, without getting busted with the keys in our hands. It took a little cajoling, but finally he was in cahoots!
So here was the plan. If we weren't going to be getting Valentined, probably a lot of other folks weren't too. So we sat at the kitchen table, beers in the left hand, markers, paintbrushes, and cigarettes in the right hand, and started to make a list..... But who wants a pity party card? Hell, we didn't even want one of those. Nah, we had to come up with a better idea. "O.K., girls, this is the deal. We're each going to send out 10 valentines, to 10 guys we don't know."
And we did. We made our list, checked it twice. It's technically not all that easy to valentine people you don't know. We had to do a lot of research to find out the plumber's helpers name, the name of the guy in the third row of Skinny's economic class, Annies upstairs-three-doors-down neighbor's name . The name of the insurance agent, that we didn't buy policies from, arrived on a follow-up letter just in time to be included in our mischief. And the list goes on. The billboard boys, the thirty-something doctor with an attitude, the lonely boy, the pompous Cosmo Boy with his picture on the glossy pages, etc, etc, etc....
We stuffed the giant red envelopes with Colored cards, puzzle pieces, and all that glitters, everything a Valentine should ever be. Cupid ain't stupid....
And bopped them in the mail.
Skinny would sneak to the front doors of "Pack and Ship" and the night manager with his night eyes would just shake his head. "not today, girls".
And then they came. Mountains of makeshift cards. Hallmark hellos. Penned and penciled valentines. There were dares and scares and "I don't know who you are, but I love you"s. There were confessions, proposals, and "why are you stalking me"s. There were pictures and postcards. But most of all, there were smiles.
In the end, we got busted by a few of them. Dated two of them. Had to hide from one of them.
Sometimes, even secrets make you smile.....
Happy Valentines Day!