A Valentine Truth


Candy is dandy


Liquor is quicker ~ Ogden Nash

Published in: on February 14, 2014 at 12:08 pm  Comments (20)  
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WWHGD? or What Would…………….Do?

This is my Valentine offering for my weekly newspaper column. Thought I would share it with you:

  I claim there ain’t
Another Saint
As great as Valentine. ~Ogden Nash

                I am of two minds when it comes to Valentine’s Day. My romantic sensitive self wants roses and chocolates. My sensible self scoffs at being manipulated to want roses and chocolates. What to do, what to do? According to timeanddate.com, Valentine’s Day was promoted in the mid-nineteenth century by manufacturers of paper lace and cards as a “means of increasing their sales.” As Gomer Pile used to say: “Surprise, surprise.”

                I thought I would get a male perspective on Valentine’s Day, so I conducted a little interview with Mr. Everyman:

 1. Q: Do you like Valentine’s Day?

A. It serves its purpose. When I was “wooing” my wife, it served as a way to show her I loved her—actually let me tell the truth—if you are dating someone, and you do not get them anything for Valentine’s Day, it has been my experience that on February 15th you are a lonely man. Now to answer your question—no, I do not like Valentine’s Day—there are too many expectations and many men are just not up to the task.

2. Q: Do you like getting gifts on Valentine’s Day?

A: Yes. I have never figured out why it is such a female-centric holiday, though you can forget the roses—who wants something that dies in a few days? I love it when my “significant other” makes me a special meal.

3. Q: Have you ever made your wife a special meal?

A: Um………….

4. Q: Never?

A. Yeah, yeah I have—steak and baked potatoes and salad with little chunks of cheese. But the piece de resistance was my bacon wrapped smoked oysters. Won my wife over with those. She thought I could cook—boy I had her fooled.

5. Q: So, what are the origins of Valentine’s Day in your mind?

A: The card companies and flower companies and candy companies all got together and thought there should be a yearly holiday featuring their wares—after Christmas and before Easter there was this big gap and they had trouble putting food on the table. Then the jewellery stores got into the picture and there was no going back.

6. Q: Ever heard of St. Valentine?

A: Yeah, he is second cousin to Santa Claus, and the tooth fairy’s brother.

7. Q: What did you get your wife this year?

A. Well, times are a little hard…………..

8. Q. You mean you aren’t getting her anything?

A: Yes, yes of course—I just have to put a little thought into it…………..*Did you know that the middle of February is thought to be the time that birds choose their mates?  And that around 1380 Chaucer wrote a poem for the first anniversary of the engagement of King Richard II to Anne of Bohemia and that is thought to be the first association between celebrations of romantic love and St. Valentine’s day?

9.  Q: Are you changing the subject on purpose?

A: No, no—just a little trivia—I get tired of all the Saint Valentine stories at this time of year. And who came up with Chubs, I mean Cupid—what a weird little toddler. A cherub with a bow and arrow was someone’s idea of a good image for romance? Bad branding, if you ask me………..

10. Q: Do you have a romantic bone in your body?

A: I think they took it out when I had my appendix removed. My wife did get me a WWHGD (what would Hugh Grant Do?) bracelet though and I think it is starting to work. I have to dash now to florists’, and grab a box of chocolates at the drug store………

                There you have it—the only answer that resembles my husband is number four. I really did think he could cook. Don’t tell him I told you this but one of his favourite movies is Love Actually, and one Valentine’s Day (a long, long time ago) he put different coloured bouquets of roses in several rooms of the house and he placed the requisite (and much appreciated) box of chocolates in a beribboned red heart-shaped box beside one of the bouquets.  I am hoping for an encore performance at some point.

                Unlike Mr. Everyman, I like cut flowers, even if they are short-lived (but on my more cynical days, I may hold some of his views.) Happy Valentine’s Day to all and to all a box of chocolates!

*trivia from timeanddate.com

Published in: on February 10, 2014 at 7:02 pm  Comments (46)  
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Bons Mots

Cover of "Walking a Literary Labyrinth"

Cover of Walking a Literary Labyrinth

Do you wonder if you will ever be quoted? Will you ever have something so astute or stunningly beautiful to say that your bons mots will be worthy of repetition?

I wrote a short essay in this blog that started with a quote from myself, so that if no one else ever quotes me, I have been quoted (that counts in my books if not yours).

Here are a few of my favourite quotes gleaned from various sources. I  am a collector of quotes and have several journals filled with them, so I thought I might share a few.

My definition of life is aptly defined by Adair Lara in her book “Naked, Drunk and Writing”.  She said that she read it somewhere. Without further ado (drum roll please):“It’s all very hard, but there’s a lot of collateral beauty along the way.”

This quote can be directly attributed to Lara: “She painted in all the shadows; but I remember the sunshine.”

William Faulkner sums up how I approach writing: “I never know what I think about something until I’ve read what I’ve written on it.”

English: Portrait of Virginia Woolf

English: Portrait of Virginia Woolf (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And  this from Virginia Woolf on the love of reading.  It is from her essay, “How One Should Read a Book”:

“Yet who reads to bring about an end, however desirable? Are there not some pursuits that we practice because they are good in themselves, and some pleasures that are final? And is this not among them? I have sometimes dreamt, at least, that when the Day of Judgment dawns and the great conquerors and lawyers and statesmen come to receive their reward—their crowns, their laurels, their names carved indelibly upon imperishable marble – the Almighty will turn to Peter and say, not without a certain envy when he sees us coming with our books under our arms, “Look, these need no reward. We have nothing to give here. They have loved reading”.”

I find the words of Nancy Malone, from her book “Walking a Literary Labyrinth, A Spirituality of Reading” astute, smart even : “…literature can crystallize our knowledge of ourselves.”

To dispel any seriousness which this post may have wrought, I leave you with my very favourite words of wisdom:

“Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker.”  ~ Ogden Nash

Ogden Nash

Ogden Nash (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do you have a favourite quote that is on the tip of your tongue for sophisticated chatter? Nash’s poem is my contribution to any cocktail hour that starts with the words—“Well, it is five o’clock somewhere.”

Published in: on June 20, 2012 at 10:37 pm  Comments (22)  
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