Tuesday, February 14, 2006

On St. Valentine's Day

Dear Jeepers:

My boyfriend says that our preoccupation with Valentine's gifts for women is symptomatic of our culture's skewed perception of romantic love. Why don't I give him flowers and chocolates for a change, he says. (I think he forgot to buy me anything.) Last year he gave me a hood bra for my car. That was sort of romantic.

My questions are these: What can I give him tonight that will prove I don't have a skewed view of romantic love, and 2) what should I wear to dinner?

With thanks,
Julie Snow

Dear Ms. Snow:

Some gift ideas:
1) A book of Robert Bly poems. For instance, Friends, You Drank Some Darkness, his translation of three Swedish poets.
A sample goes,

A Dreamt Poem

Her cheeks are like butterfly wings and the pale stuff
stays behind in the insides of my hands.
Her fingers are flute-like and her skin like the mother-
of-pearl cloak in the womb of the oyster.
Only an astrologer with a pointed hat could read the
future in her insides which are filled with
Wrapped in leaping clouds of glowing stuff and
fluttering fringes of cloth the formless
unformed body blazes forth under the
indistinct bindings of sleep.

In other words, girls are made of sugar and spice and everything nice.

2) A sketch, by you, of yourself mostly naked, lying on a cloud of pink petals.
3) The most hi-tech shaver you can find, with at least five blades. (Although it's not really auspicious to give cutting implements.)
4) A kitten.
5) A small pewter bowl for his keys.

You should wear something flowy, but dressed down. Slouchy and pretty are our watchwords to you. And feather boa, that's another watchword.

Happy V Day,


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