Been working the overnight shift, 11pm-7am... It has my inner clock set on "tango".
If that seems a little random, try getting up at 2:30am and writing something... I doubt you would do any better. On the bright side, only one week to go before the freight train of life switches tracks again. I have decided that the whole hotel thing just isn't working out, so I'm going to work at a local Auto store.
But more about that when I actually start the job.
I went to Walgreens before coming to work today with the intent of picking out a Valentines gift for a special someone. It never occured to me before stepping through the door that this was one of those shopping situations that men should just avoid.
I know of a few others, mind you... The Mall on Christmas Eve, The supermarket the night before Thanksgiving, A pizza place on super bowl sunday, the local Hallmark store the day before mother's day. There are others, but I think you get the point. These are occasions of pure, unbridled consumerism at it's worst. Little old ladies fighting grown men for the last "world's best teacher" figurine... Two linebacker types brawling over the last "molly wets her pants" doll... six or seven soccer moms screaming at each other over the last box of "Stove top stuffing". These scenes may now officially include the local Drugstore at 10pm Feburary 13th.
I walked into the store and it was absolute red and pink chaos. Anything with a heart on it was fair game, and god help you if you wanted a rose of any kind. There were mylar balloons everywhere, held by men with contorted experssions that conveyed every bit of dissapointment that their signifigant others would heap upon them the next day if all they only showed up with this stupid balloon. There were empty cases of chocolate hearts strewn all over the seasonals aisle. There were soccer moms frantic on cell phones trying to figure out if "finding Nemo" valentines were still cool at their kids school.
Like I said... pink and red chaos.
I braved the storm and shoved my way into what was left of the beautiful valentines day display aisle that had been there just a day before... now only shredded cardboard and mylar wrapping. I had intended on getting this special someone a chocolate rose, but there were no roses anywhere, much less the chocolate variety. I gazed around, knowing that she would neither know of this nor probably care, (this was a bit of an afterthought, after all) but I still felt like the Dad who got mugged on christmas eve outside toys R us.
Then I saw it. On the top shelf of the aisle, pushed all the way to the back was an intact case of Whitman's heart-shaped samplers.
Being 6'2" has it's advantages. No one else around me had seen them yet. I stood on my toes, hooked my arm over the edge, and pulled a box down with satisfaction. I walked away, feeling like I had just dropped a litre of blood into a pool filled with hungry sharks. The others around me pounced on the rest of the case, and I think I was lucky to leave with my fingers intact.
Sure... she reads my blog, and i've just ruined the surprise... but to me, Valentines day is a silly invention anyway. Real romantics don't need a special day to show the people that matter to them how they feel after all; those that are romance-challenged tend to forget about it anyway.
Me... I'm somewhere in the middle. The main reason I participate in this holiday at all is to let that special someone know that they are indeed a special someone to me. I think that's something we all need to hear once in a while.