The Sweetness of the City
I don’t mean to be so jaded about Valentine’s Day. When my best friend Sheila Wiley was alive, she cut out paper hearts and smothered them with glitter and stenciled birds, bits of lace and velvet. Even when she was dying from cancer, she made the hospital staff special Valentines.
Yesterday, I felt bad about posting the last installment of “Only Parents, Children, and Dead People.” It’s not very uplifting. I forgot what day it was, really. Even though I had seen a flurry of activity as people bought chocolates and cards, flowers and trinkets for their loved ones. I blocked it out, chalked it up to consumerism (which I do take part in, just not when they tell me to).
I went out last night to an art museum with my Partner in Crime. Ate an overpriced sandwich at a dive bar, because someone left him a $100 in a tiny envelope anonymously. I watched as couples held hands, kids carried cards shaped like cute animals and bags of candy. My neighbors, an older couple with a dumpy car that’s squeals every morning, carried balloons and gifts for one another. They made the day seem sweet, thoughtful. As the wife walked out the apartment complex’s door, the husband let a shiny, heart-shaped balloon go into the sky. It didn’t fly high, it sagged and dipped sadly near the top of a tree. But they laughed and kissed and started their loud car.
What do you call a sour-puss on Valentine ’s Day? Does the term Grinch apply? I’ll say it does. But yesterday, I saw the world light up in ways I’d never seen before. For some, it ceased to be a pink and red consumer holiday, but something inherently sweet and thoughtful.
So, Happy Valentine’s Dear readers, a bit late. Some of the City’s sweetness has rubbed off on me. That’s a good thing.
Filed under: Creative Nonfiction, Memoir, Minneapolis, Nonfiction, Only Parents - Children - Dead People, Uncategorized, Writing | 6 Comments