Anti-Valentine's Day Redux: Surely Darius the Great Would Sympathize
Now playing: Bobby Darin - Down With Love
via FoxyTunes

I'm tired, sick, and pissy.
Here is a historic peek at how to do, or not do, V-day Bunni-style.

From 2007: Dating Should Never be Like Filing Your Taxes

I know in the past here we have kidded around with having a dating Bunni application (which I think I need to reinstate including such questions as "What would most effectively describe your attitude towards watching a film with subtitles? A. That's OK as long as there is some hot sex scene during which I can rest my brain B Movies are supposed to be light entertainment, not a reading comprehension quiz C Uh, you think I can read? Wow, that's cool.") I have received courtesy of MySpace a Valentine Application which I have been requested to fill out.

I dunno, but to me it seems like something only slightly LESS exciting than filing my taxes. My personal favorite question, "Have you ever broken my heart?" Um, well if you didn't notice, probably not. I have decided to "make my own" Valentine Application. Feel free to have fun with the format.

This is the " Valentine Application."

Everyone knows there's at least one person on myspace that you want to be your Valentine. Here's the application for that special someone. Let's see who replies back with the following filled out.

Area 1:
Please provide positive answers.
Do you Drive:
State You Live In:
May I Call You:
Single or Taken:
Would You Date Me:
Kiss On First Date:
Will You Send This Back To Me?:

Area 2:
What would you do if I...
I made a move on u:
I kissed you:
I lived next door to you:
I started smoking:
I asked you on a date:
I was hospitalized:
I ran away from home:
I got into a fight and you weren't there?
I asked u out?

Area 3:
What do you think about my...

Area 4:
Have you ever....
Lied to make me feel better?
Wanted to kiss me?
Wanted to kill me?
Broke my heart?
Kept something important from me?

Area 5:
"X" marks the spot
[ ]Kiss me..
[ ]Hug me..
[ ]Date me..
[ ]grab my ass..
[ ]Kill me..
[ ]fuck me ...
[ ]Love me..
[ ]Hate me..
[ ]Hold me..
[ ]Lie to me..
[ ]Hurt me..
[ ]Sing with me..
[ ]Dance with me..
[ ]Grind with me..
[ ]Cuddle with me..
[ ]Let me make a move on you..
[ ]Make a move on me..
[ ]Watch a movie with me..
[ ]Get me a B-day gift..
[ ]Let me borrow your car..
[ ]Be there for me..
[ ]Buy me a drink..
[ ]Bring me around your friends..
[ ]Give me a massage..
[ ]Drink kool-aid with me..
[ ]Take advantage of me..
[ ]Hangout with me...
[ ]Take care of me if I wasn't feeling good..
[ ]Hold hands with me..
[ ]Do something incredibly sweet for me..
[ ]tell me you love me

Bunni's Valentine Application
Please provide positive answers.
Religious Affiliation:
Social Security Number:
Degree of Education Achieved:
Psychiatric Diagnosis (Please use the DSM-IV R):

Area 2:
What would you do if I...
quoted an obscure 12th Century text:
did an interpretive dance about my feelings:
set fire to my place of employment and ran:
called you at 2 am and asked you to get pink bunny peeps:
asked if you wanted to see a movie with subtitles:
introduced you to an attractive friend of mine:
edited your Ph. D thesis:
gave you my phone number:
sought the aid of a life coach:

Area 3:
What do you think about my...

Area 4:
Have you ever....
Asked for a phone number for a woman even though you would rather go through dental surgery than call her?
Been hospitalized for psychiatric reasons?
Attempted to skip out on bail?
Thought that seeing an Elvis impersonator would be really cool?
Held a hostage longer than 2 years?
Tasted male tears?

V-Day 2006: Down With Love

"Valentine's Day is a holiday invented by greeting card companies to make people feel like crap." -Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Not entirely true. Valentine's day actually pre-dates Jesus. Like most Christian holidays, Valentine's Day was originally a Roman holiday called Lupercalia. Although there are slightly different ideas about the origins of Lupercalia, it is clear it was a Roman holiday associated with wolves. The Romans were not particularly known for their warm and fuzzy holidays, and it seems that this one was no exception. One of the details that almost all agree upon is the voluntary whipping of pregnant women by half naked men wearing goatskins. The women were eager to be whipped as it allegedly ensured fertility and easy childbearing. Not exactly the type of thing you want to put on the front of a greeting card, but it gets points for creativity.

"Don't threaten me with love, baby." -Billie Holliday 1

So Valentine's Day originally started as a cruel holiday, and it continues to be a cruel holiday. I can't tell you how much restraint it has taken for me to listen to women talk about their Valentine's Day weddings, their romantic weekend get away plans, their hopes of diamonds or jewelry, even their smug assurance that someone will say "I love you" to them and maybe even mean it and not kill someone. If I have to make a choice between being whipped by a guy in a goatskin and having to suffer two months of people reminding me how lonely, pathetic ,and unlovable I am I don't even have to think about it; I'll take the whipping. *

"Am I bitter? Absolutely." -Trick

If I sound like someone who is bitter about Valentine's day to you, you're right. Last year I spent Valentine's day in my local bar with only Howard the odoriferous lawyer and Capt. Ron as my companions. I didn't even get a call from my gay husband. (The next day I found out that he spent Valentine's day in the ER due to a lung infection.) Even when I have had boyfriends on Valentine's day, for the most part, the day still sucked big moose cock. I could give you the list of horrifying Valentine's day tales but really what would be the point? If you would like to refresh your memory, you can go here or here. ( Incidentally, if you follow the first link, there is a picture of Texas T and Irish Eyes. They are now married and despite the fact that last year at this time Irish Eyes was told he had three months to live, I saw them just a few days ago at the Lion's Den. Mind you nine days after Irish Eyes and Texas T met he gave her a gold claddaugh ring on Valentine's Day. There is no justice. None. Just in case you were wondering.)

"When a man loves a woman, he will do anything for her except continue to love her"- Oscar Wilde 2

The good news is that I am not alone in my hostility towards the holiday. It seems the internet is full of fellow Anti-Valentine's Day agitators. One blogger came up with a list of potential Anti Valentine's Day merchandise . You can investigate fascinating Anti Valentine's Day statistics, like 15% of American women send themselves flowers on Valentines Day, at the Anti-V Day forum. There is no shortage of t-shirt vendors who will help you advertise your particular take on the holiday. You can while away the day enjoying Anti Valentine's day sites like Anti Valentine's Day Central, or cruising the links of the unfortunately now retired Anti Valentine's Day Page. You can send your single friends cycnical e-Valentine's from NerdElite or Saw II (now available on DVD). Curl up on the couch and watch any assortment of non-romantic films like Zombie Honeymoon, Swimming With Sharks, The Valentine's Day Episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, My Bloody Valentine, or an American Werewolf in London.

"If you break up with somebody you better turn your radio off for at least two or three years because there are radio stations whose sole existence is to make lonely people commit suicide" -Richard Jeni from his special "Platypus Man"

The well prepared Anti-Valentine's enthusiast can still generate a fairly decent soundtrack for the day. A suggested curmudgeon's playlist would probably include: "Girlfriend in a Coma" by Smiths, Tom Lehrer's "Masochism Tango" or "She's My Girl", The Reverend Horton Heat's "Bath-Water Blues" or "Where in the Hell did you go with my Toothbrush?", Bobby Darin's"Down With Love", Judy Garland's "I Will Come Back", Adam Sandler's "Somebody Kill Me", Nancy Sinatra's "These Boots Are Made for Walkin', The Beatles "I'm a Loser" and any "love song" written or performed by Sam Kinison.

So there you have it. Everything to help you survive one of the most sadistic holidays ever invented and just remember as Lily Tomlin says, "If love is the answer, could you please rephrase the question?"

*It seems some enterprising individuals have heard my plea and actually have tried to revive Lupercalia.
1 and 2 Quotations courtesy of A Curmudgeon's Garden of Love edited by Jon Winokur

And finally as with all things I end with Paris on V-Day 2005:

"You bitch, you cheated on me when I had cancer."

I know I promised you a post about the end of Paris, but one of my very close friends, one of the people responsible for that first trip to Paris, died on friday morning. I found out when some pompous twit pontificating in my favorite coffee shop at the top of his lungs about my friend's medical history casually announced that my friend had passed away. When the person I was having coffee with told him that maybe this wasn't the best way for me to find out, his defense was "Oh I thought you already knew." Friends, if and when I end up in the hospital please do me the favor of discussing the details of my medical history sotto voce in public. I do not want the entire hearing community to know about when I was on dialysis or taken off a ventilator.
And while I was still reeling from this news, I was also told that my favorite bar, let me say this again, MY FAVORITE BAR, which is something akin to saying my favorite thing to breathe, suddenly closes. People I am a delicate creature. Much like tropical fish, I do not tolerate major changes to my environment. Don't change the temperature. Don't bang on the glass. Leave that wierd little faux scuba guy right where he is.

Needless to say this is not the way I wanted to spend my Valentine's Day. Sorting through a dead man's papers so that when his daughters, who never bothered to visit him while he was in the hospital for three months, finally arrive, they will not have to deal with a mess. I don't even have the consolation of a drink at my favorite watering hole. I mean knew it wasn't going to be a good day, but I wasn't prepared for it be quite this bad of a day.

My general attitude towards love and romance could be summed up by an incident that happened this weekend. Saturday night, when all of us were having a last hurrah at F's, a fight broke out on the street. A girl was pushing her boyfriend. Finally the man hauled off and shoved her into the street. "You bitch," he said, "you cheated on me when I had cancer." Whil V-day is supposed to be celebrating the best that life has to offer, it often brings out the worst in the interest of getting people to spend money. If Hallmark doesn't get your cash, that, most likely, Stoli vodka or your therapist will.

If my friend were still alive, I'm sure we would sit in our coffee place and he would draw pictures of the people there and I would offer my sarcastic criticism of love, I would narrow my eyes at men bearing roses and balloons, I would secretly wish for them to burst or wilt on the spot, and he would go on, acting like he is ignoring the whole rant, perhaps he would play a game of chess with bland lawyer. And in the end, he would tell me to go back to Paris where the men will throw themselves into the Seine for the love of me. He will tell me that perhaps my problem is that my expectations are too high. And then, with his light Alabama accent, he would put his hand on my shoulder and say "I understand. Surely Darius the Great would sympathize."

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Bury Me Deep: Part One
Now playing: Poi Dog Pondering - Bury Me Deep
via FoxyTunes

I was debating whether to go out on Friday night-on one hand I was being good on my new diet, and if I went out I would be drinking, which meant lots of empty calories. On the other hand, it WAS friday night. My friend the Amazon had texted that she was at a nearby bar, but by the time I got the message she and her boyfriend, Big Bad, were about to leave. So I decided to knit on the couch. Dr. Strangelove came on AMC, and I decided to watch it.

My father introduced me to Dr. Strangelove, in the same way he introduced me to Monty Python, Woody Allen, and Mel Brooks. My father and I often spoke to each other in quoted lines-we had a rotation: Monty Python, Love at First Bite, and Dr. Strangelove. It wasn't uncommon for him to turn to me and say "You're going to have to answer to the people at the Coca-Cola Company!" and I would say "Lt. Batguano, if that is indeed your name" and he would retort "I know Dimitri. I'm sorry too."

While I don't often say anythign nice about my father-this banter and love of verbal humor-had a profound impact on my development, and watching the movie I thought of how much I missed having that back and forth with him.

The movie was almost over when I got the text message from the Amazon that A. had passed on. I had known he was sick, dying even, and his prognosis was poor. The week before the Amazon and I had been talking about him and how his wife was coping with the situation. I hadn't been close with A. We had lunch together once, but mainly I knew him to give him a hug and kiss at the local. We barely even spoke that much. Still I knew his wife, who was always very sweet and complimentary to me. And I knew about his daughters.

So I was surprised when I burst into tears. I didn't even cry when my own father died.

Well, that's not entirely true.

I had moved to Upstate New York 10 days before he died. Even so, I had gone back to CT to spend time with one of my oldest friends. I was going to stay with her a few days and then go spend a few days with another childhood friend. It was August and I knew I wouldn't be seeing them during the year so I wanted to take advantage of vacation while I had it. I had spent about 2 days in CT already, and had even driven by my father's house. I almost turned the wheel. Almost.

But I didn't. I kept driving. He didn't even know I was 20 minutes away when he died.

By that time, I was barely speaking to my father. His madness had made it almost impossible for me to spend any time with him without risking serious psychological damage so I had simply cut myself off from him. He couldn't control himself, so I had to think of what was best for me even though I knew he was dying. we had dinner together my last night in CT before the move. He ordered a martini with dinner. My father had been off alcohol, or at least publicly so, for several years-ever since he went into the ER drunk one night. When he ordered the martini, I knew. It meant, there was no point trying to be healthy anymore so he might as well having a drink or two before the ship went down. He had already gone into heartfailure once that year. He had called me from the ER. I was 18 years old on the phone with my father as he told me he was scared he was dying. I kept telling him he was going to be fine. I had no idea what else to say. How do you comfort your crazy dying father? I didn't know. He survived, but I knew that he was living on borrowed time. I just didn't realize how aggressively he was borrowing that time.

The following day, my friend, Jewel, and I went to the mall. When we returned home, Jewel's mother informed me that my mother had been calling. Just then the phone rang. Jewel's mother answered it and passed it to me. Before my mother could say anything, I said "He's dead, isn't he? Pere Lapin is dead." My mother choked out "Yes."

I could see how Jewel and her family transformed when I said those words. Suddenly they were worried about me. I don't really remember the rest of the conversation, but I know I was fine. I was supposed to go to see my other friend, Bridezilla, that night. I called her to let her know of my father's death, but that I was still coming. It's not like my father would be any less dead, might as well continue with the visit as planned until I had to go to the funeral. I packed my things. Jewel's mother was worried, asking me if I was alright.

I was fine. My father was crazy and sick, and he wasn't getting any better. Dying was not only what he wanted, but it was the best thing he ever did. It wasn't until years later that I found out my father had taken himself off the heart donor list. It was his only chance of survival, and he turned it down. He wanted to die.

And I was finally free. Free of not being good enough. Free of not being criticized for not being a basketball player or going to private school or not being healthy enough. Free of his emotional manipulations and insults. I was free.

I took my bag and got in the car. And for about 30 seconds I cried. And then I turned on the car and drove to see Bridezilla. And I didn't cry before, during or after the funeral. I didn't cry for the months afterwards. In fact, I never cried over my father's death. My mother did. She stood behind me, tears streaming down her face, but I didn't. I stood there like stone. Later my mother would tell me that my re-action to his death was so unnatural that she wanted me to see a therapist. But then again, she hadn't seen him the last four years, hadn't seen what he had become. She was mourning a man who died years before.

But I didn't cry. If anything, I was more worried that Pere would find a way to harass me from beyond the grave. He appeared in my dreams, telling me things like "I can't leave you alone for one minute, you don't start fucking up." And finally after a year, the dreams stopped. He was gone, and he wasn't coming back.

So if I didn't cry for him why would I cry over A? Yet there I was, sobbing. I poured myself a glass of Brandy to settle my nerves and called the Amazon. Her text said I should come to visit the family-the building was around the corner-she was there with Big Bad. I double checked because I felt wierd going and I didn't really want to go. I didn't know what I wanted to do, but I didn't want to see them. I'm not good at these kinds of events. People being vulnerable. I don't know what to do or say. You would thinking having lost a parent it would give me insight, but my relatioship with my father, how much I hated him and resented him, it's yet another thing that seperates me from other people. I don't know what it's like to lose a parent with whom I was close, a parent I would miss. But the Amazon was adamant that if I could come over, I should.

I called a few friends. I couldn't explain why I was so upset, but I was. I finished getting ready and began to walk to the building.

I've not been good about keeping up this blog. After the Paris Diaries, I just lost the impulse to blog. It bothered me, and I couldn't figure out why I didn't want to blog anymore. Years ago when blogger friends of mine talked about shutting down their blogs, it was shocking to me. I couldn't imagine not blogging-even if no one was reading. I would get emails from readers asking me not to stop writing, and I would assure them that I would always write. I had been a prolific journal writer since I was 12.

Yet last year, even when I would think to write blog entries, I didn't do it. I had lost the drive, and I had no idea why. But walking to the apartment, I suddenly wanted to write. I wanted to write about how losing a parent is like having a sibling-it's something you have to experience. I can intellectually understand the relationship, but the bond between my mother and her brother is as unfathomable to me as it is for some people to conceive of being mobility impaired. Even if it's a parent you don't like, it changes you. I didn't realize how much until almost 10 years later.

When my father died, I was going to NYU to be an actor. He was thrilled that I was moving to the city, that I was pursuing a career in the arts. Near his last years, he got into sculpting and even dug out the opening chapters of a novel he had written in college. I was going to commit myself to the life he wished he could have led, but didn't. He didn't live long enough to see me graduate as a founder's scholar and then have my graduate school ceremony at Radio City. He didn't live long enough to see me become a professor. He didn't lived long enough to see me become an adult. The last time he saw me, I had all these possibilities open before me, but he never got to see how I developed.

Even if you don't like a parent, even if the parent is long since dead, you never grow out of wanting their approval. There have been lots of times in this last decade, especially after Eric left, that I wanted his advice. He was all shades of fucked up, but he gave great advice. And then, he would make me laugh by singing the lumberjack song.

I got to the building and the doorman turned me away-the family wasn't accepting anymore visitors. I burst into tears again. I called a friend who lived in the same building. He invited me up and we watched South Park for an hour. Then I went over to the local. I knew the packwould be there.

Sure enough, everyone asked me if I knew, and I did. A. had died of liver failure and here we all were doing shots and drinking cocktails. Chocolate Thunder was talking to me about how many people had died recently-her father, her boyfriend's brother, I tuned out on the list. I thought of how many people I know who have died-2 grandparents in childhood, a friend from camp and a friend from high school while I was in college, a professor who committed suicide and college friend ODed the year after graduation, almost all of my older distant relatives-Johnny Coffee and his wife Ruth, Aunt Elsie, Aunt Dot, my grandmother's second husband-my close friend's mother, my upstairs neighbor, a regular who fell off the roof, Dean Martin's wife (my Dean Martin not THE Dean Martin). I'm in my 30s yet my list of the dead goes on and on.

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