Letter to Lala Aged 14 months (Valentine’s Day)

Dearest Lala,

How are you? How’s the first year of life treating you? Your Aunt Moley is doing all right, although Valentine’s Day has reared its head once again.

Valentine’s Day is rough for your Aunt Moley, Lala. It is a smug holiday for couples. Not to say that all couples are smug….actually, let me backtrack…. they are. They can’t help it. It’s the way people with over 300 Facebook friends are smug and the way pampered dogs who wear sweaters and little shoes on their paws are smug. Life just smiles upon them. And what about the rest of us? Not so smug. The rest of us are politely envious on a good day and jealous on a bad.

I haven’t always been alone on V-Day. Your Aunt Moley was once married. You’ll never meet your Uncle Ex, but he was a pretty nice man. A titch grouchy, a titch lugubrious, maybe, but deep down he was, well….a little less grouchy and a little less lugubrious. He was one of those “I don’t believe in Valentine’s Day types.” But that’s not to say that he wasn’t romantic, our courtship did have some romantic benchmarks. He was my student and I was his teacher. Oh, I know what you’re thinking, Lala!  He was underage and I was like some predatory cougar, but no, it was not so scandalous. I taught adult English classes at night school and he was my very adult student.

While we were teacher and student we would communicate how we felt in code:  He would come to class early reeking of aftershave, and I would show that I was falling in love with him by not wearing my glasses and never correcting his grammar. He had incredible eyes, Lala, they were big and hypnotic, and they made everything he said seem profound. “And what did you do on the weekend?” I would ask the class. I could care less what the students did, except, I did want to know what he did. “I stayed home and washed dish.” He would say and those big blue eyes would just burn into me and I would think, this man is amazing.

And the next thing you knew we were married. Just like that! How do I get myself into these predicaments Lala? He asked me and I said yes. I know that you’re a baby and that one of your favourite words is no. Here’s my advice: try and hold onto that. Still, we had a good run, your Uncle Ex and I. But love is complicated, Lala. You can be completely in love with someone and then you find out this person thinks Two and a Half Men is hilarious and will never give me anything for V-Day and then what are you supposed to do?

Split. In my case I just split.

Oh don’t worry Lala! I didn’t tell him that I was going to get milk and then never return. We had the talk. Tough, but it was the right thing to do.

So now I have to face Valentine’s Day on my own.  I guess I could go on dates or sign up for some kind of online dating, but to tell you the truth Lala, I just can’t do that anymore. I did try when I was newly divorced, I had that unsinkable-Molly-Brown attitude, so I signed myself up for whatever online service would have me. But oh, Lala! The profiles I have read! Would you like to know what movie every man over 40 likes? The Shawshank Redemption; Do you want to know what his favourite TV show is? If they’re pedestrian it’s the Big Bang Theory; if they’re liberal it’s The Wire . Every man loves either sushi or curry.

I once ran out on a date, Lala. Something that makes me equal parts happy and equal parts ashamed. We were to see a movie the two of us, and when we met, he came right into my face to introduce himself. I was hit with big watery eyes and a turkey wattle and to make matters worse, his whole being was encased in a fog of Drakkar Noir. The first word that came into my head was “run” . Oh don’t worry, Lala! I waited until we had sat down in the dark and we had exchanged a few pleasantries. After 20 minutes of the movie, I said that I had to go to the bathroom. I walked very slowly and deliberately to the back of the cinema and then as soon as I hit the door I bolted for the subway. In that moment, Lala, I felt so free!  It was a great moment in my dating trajectory.

If I am to be a good Aunt Moley to you, I should give you some advice about what you should do if you ever find yourself alone on Valentine’s Day. First of all, I need to remind you about the origins of Valentine’s Day. It actually originates from a pagan holiday called Lupercalia (oh, by the way, don’t mention being pagan to anyone else, and for god’s sakes don’t become one, pagans are completely insufferable). Lupercalia is named after Lupercus who is the Wolf god. Now, do you know what wolves are known for Lala? They are known for being loners! Alone. So, forget about the merchandise stores are trying to move, forget about trying to find a date. Just remember what makes you alone special. And celebrate it!

Happy Lone Wolf Day my darling Lala! Keep dancing like no one’s laughing and sing so you’ll never be heard….


Aunt Moley

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