Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Valentine’s Date Kit

I chuckled twice yesterday in response to others’ rather cynical pragmatic view of Valentine’s Day. Someone referred to the commercialization of Valentine’s Day as the “Valentine’s Industrial Complex.” I considered that characterization brilliant as I allowed a little free-market chuckle. The other was the renaming of it. “Relationship Predicament Awareness Day” almost induced a chortle. Chortle versus chuckle? Think of the Spinal Tap amplifier. Chuckle goes to “ten”. Chortle, you guessed it; eleven.”
R.P.A. day applies to everyone. Those who’ve been married for decades, those amidst the early phase…maybe six to nine months-ish… of a mutually intriguing relationship that’s fraught with great long-term potential as well as those who are rather early…maybe two months… into an encounter so that the future of said connection remains speculative. The Valentine’s gift selection process for that last group becomes excruciatingly onerous. A jewel encrusted bauble may denote intent about which the giver isn’t yet confident. More practical gifts…offerings that reflect sincere deliberation but remain rather Switzerland like in subplot and meaning (think toasters and iTunes gift certificates) usually go over like a heavy a_s brick.
Now that I think of it, I could use a new toaster. We got no budget for one however. The Cleverley bespoke shoe experience, about which I’ve still yet to fully write, sucked enough of my walking around money to finance a gaggle of toasters. At least eleven.
Oh, and there’s another R.P.A. category…the currently unattached. That would be me…little ADG. The good news is that I’m off the gift buying hook and thus immune from the associated angst. The less than good news is that I’m currently unattached. Hold me.
So there’s no secret regarding the identity of my Valentine’s date. One Miss LFG … the straight A student and currently budding, much to my anguish and delight, lovely and articulate young lady. Articulate, you ask? Yes. We seem to have gone in no time, from twee little misspellings as evidenced above, to thoughtful emails letting me know that “I felt a bit crowded this weekend” and “Please don’t refer to yourself as Daddy or Mom as Mommy anymore.” Mom” and “Dad”, please.” These are verbatim quotes. The great news is that I’m blessed to have a connection with my young’un that allows for this comfortable level of communication between us. She’s eleven.
Oh, right. This is a post about my Valentine’s Date Night attire. Suffice it to say that the fuzziness was limited per…surprise…LFG. I pulled an old chalk stripe flannel suit from the ADG archives and amped-up ever so slightly, the fuzzy dice quotient with a Flusser horizontal striped shirt.
NO tie—LFG would have died had I showed up cinched at the neck. She unfortunately, indexes my level of sartorial deportment against all the other dads who show up for various school functions. I won’t belabor the point. If you read my blog, you of all people know the current sartorial state of daddies attending school functions.
Shoes? My Edward Green stalwart, go-to, never inappropriate chocolate suede monk straps are amidst refurbishment. And my Cleverley side gusseted classics are being remade.
So my fall back was an easy breezy pair of Belgians…with anything but showy socks. Brown shoes with a steel blue suit? You know my position on black shoes. I no likey them. Ok, ok, I did get busted over at tumblr for preening a pair of black Gucci bit loafers. That’s the exception. And LFG was neutral regarding my Valentine’s outfit. Mission accomplished.
Clyde’s Chevy Chase. Five-thirty reservations…the proverbial blue hair Shady Acres Village dinner time. LFG started with a cup of Clyde’s great chili. I opted for fried oysters. LFG tried a half of one. I figure that I’ll be able to talk her into trying another half of one…in about seventeen years. And yes, there was a Stoli Martini to the right of my fried oyster starter…but with a twist instead of olives. I concluded months ago that I was leaving too many olives uneaten, even though I love them. And that’s just wrong. Chicken tenders and a Cowboy steak rounded out our valve-closing culinary endeavor.
Oh, and the crossed utensils in the middle of the table? Tic-Tac-Toe. LFG used blue packets of Equal sweetener. I was told to use the yellow piccolo envelopes of Splenda. Thank God, she's still eleven.
Clyde’s remains a solid venue. It’s slipped a bit from the days of the singular Clyde’s on M Street but so has everything since then. But THE most brilliant stroke was the Bento Box of desserts. LFG and I both agreed that it was the highlight of our caloric line up. Double espresso for me. Sprite for LFG. It was a school night. Shut up.
Let me close this by sharing with you my Valentine’s gift from LFG. It’s a lovely letter. The envelope manifesting a little swatch of duct tape. I’ve defined this collateral adornment as simply LFG’s talisman of uniqueness and artistic freedom. And she made for me another friendship bracelet…that will later this morning, adorn my already junky left wrist.
Onward. In a  Blessed Predicament. With LFG R.P.A. wrist junk.



Dustin B. said...

I find the solution to Valentine's Day (as well as to the Christmas conundrum and the Birthday boggler), in regards to gift giving to your significant other, is to go with more experiential gifts. Less stuff, more time spent together. My wife hit a home run this year by giving me a "Date of the Month". She has planned 12 unique dates for to go on throughout the next 12 months, starting in March. Unfortunately, I don't get to find out what we're doing in March until the first of the month.

ilovelimegreen said...

Please tell LFG that I still call my father "Daddy" and I am a tiny bit older than she is. As for daughters' opinions of neckties, I was COMPLETELY horrified in 7th grade when my my father showed up (unannounced, mind you) to pick me up from school and he wasn't wearing a necktie - I thought he had lost his job.
(With all the pink shirts you have, why in the world are you wearing a peach striped shirt on Valentine's?)

Suburban Princess said...

My son called me mom once. He got to spend 10 minutes on the naughty step - a time out made sure he hasn't done it since.

Am I the only women on earth who doesn't go for grand gestures on Valentine's Day? My husband got up night after night with our son when he was a baby and cleans the snow off my car before he goes to work. Now, that's romantic!

Scale Worm said...

I got a fancy book of self written typed up and decorated poetry from my 11 yer old. I still (every once in a while) get a "daddy".
Thanks for the post!

Young Fogey said...

What happened to Roxanne? Did she see the reaction you set off at Giant, get jealous, and storm off, never to be seen again?

Well, as fine as Roxanne may have been, she'll never hold a candle to LFG. You're blessed to have a daughter who agrees to be seen in public with you wearing such extraordinarily fuzziness. (Mine are still too young to know how ridiculous my attire is.)

ADG said...

FogeyYoung...your "drop shipment" by the way, keeps growing. Roxanne? She be nothing more than a metaphorical aggregation of all my endeavors. Enjoy it while you can...the little Fogeyettes are gonna weigh in one day.

Scale...those little "self" anythings are priceless no?

Suburban...Calling me dad isn't a time out offense over here. I'll take anything I can get. And your husband's gestures are sublime. It's the simple thangs.

LimeGreen-er...I think she'll come back around! And I don't know why I didn't select a pink shirt.

Dustin B ... I think the 12 dates thing is a GREAT idea.

elseinwmsb said...

That letter is the most precious gift you could receive. Please tell me if the orange and
white stripe comes in ladies' and your choice of brown suede shoes is stunning. Why don't more American men wear suede? I saw it a lot when I lived in England.

yoga teacher said...

Re: LFG's request. This is lifted from my daughter's Mother's Day card last year: "For the best Mother, Mommy (when needed), Mom..."
It makes me laugh every time I read it because it's just so...honest!