Wednesday, February 18, 2004

My Violent Valentine: Bruised hearts, puppetry and wrestling

It's time for me to update so you don't all think I am stuck, wallowing like a pity piggy, in my pen of
S.A.D. (that's Seasonal Affective Disorder for those of you who don't live here).

On Valentine's Day, one of my closest single friends came to my house to indulge. We'd decided to claim the day as our own and gave ourselves permission to drink red wine and gorge ourselves on freshly made brownies laden with Hershey Kisses. The pity party became a piggy party. What could be more appropriate?

Well, all around university campuses there have been posters advertising V-Days. Should you notice one of these and read the not-so-fine print, you'll realize this is a re-appropriation celebration of the day that makes so many lovers-scorned mournful.

V-Day, as opposed to Valentine's Day, doesn't take Cupid's shot lying down. Plans included renditions of the Vagina Monolgues and puppet-making workshops advertising the opportunity to show your vagina's true personality, but alas, I already had plans. Arriving at my house with craft supplies, my friend suggested we have a sort of do-it-yourself puppet conception session. And, so it was.

After consuming an entire pan of brownies and polishing off a nice bottle of one of my favorite econo-Reds, Casillero del Diablo, we created said puppets. Giggling and certain the night could not possibly be dull, we donned our winter gear, puppets on-hand, and set out for some Rockabilly action. On the way, we stopped at a store near the bus stop to use the ATM. While we were there a nice looking, preppy, clean-cut guy in an overly shiny black leather jacket and manicured everything dropped a loonie.

We heard the clink. We all watched it roll and ultimately find a new home for itself under the ice cream freezer. The man, obviously concerned about his image, looked at my friend and me. We could see the desire in his eyes; he wanted that loonie back. There he stood with a decision to be made. He shifted his weight to-and-fro, slightly favouring the direction of the freezer. Finally, he left with his pride intact and the loonie remained lodged under the unit.

Without hesitation, as the door clicked shut behind the preppy man, a truck driver who'd been perusing the map section of the depanneur was heard to mumble, "I'll get the damn thing." With relative ease, this man lifted the freezer, exposing the dirty loonie and told my friend to fetch it. She did. When she straightened herself out she motioned to hand him the coin. He told her, with a smile and a wink, "Keep it." I was tempted to thank him with my vagina. Cheerful and realizing this was the kind of night strange men would lift large appliances for us, we caught the bus. The 30-minute ride passed quickly, and only we knew what we had up our sleeves.

The bar scene was perfect. There was a mix of young and old. A faux-lace tablecloth adorned every table, and wilted roses topped all flat surfaces. The bartender, 80, called everyone "dear" and poured pitchers of flat draft like a pro. It was delightfully ridiculous and I didn't know anyone there.

Over the course of the evening, my friend introduced me to her boss and some acquaintances. There were several girls who personified indifference, even when they danced, and a few men managed to entertain me, just enough. I was having a good time. My vagina was getting a lot of attention and to my surprise, other women were borrowing it, making it talk and growl. My friend's vagina was eventually clamped to a Rockabilly's face. He wore it well.

There were lots of laughs and I was still having a good time when I was smacked in the head with a wilted, but thorny rose. Even in my warm and fuzzy draft-y brain I knew it was going to leave a mark.

Now, I know a lot of people have issues with Valentine's Day and I know some people have issues with the opposite sex in general, but c'mon. I'm not exactly sure what events led to this, or whether it was before or after the same guy sprayed beer from his mouth all over me, but I do remember acknowledging that I'd had enough. I'd been sitting behind him and after I wiped my shirt dry on his, I stood. And, then he stood.

A small part of my brain recognized him as the same guy at the last Rockabilly show who was being an ass to another girl. Almost at that same instant, he pushed me. Later I would realized he poked me with his thumb hard enough to leave a small bruise on my left breast, just over my heart. I think he was projecting.

True, I only did it because my brain was warm and fuzzy enough to allow for my body to react instinctively, but the singular most empowering move my self-defense instructor taught me nearly 10 years ago, resurfaced. With relative ease, I swung him to the floor. Then, I literally (and just once) kicked his ass. Not to hurt him of course, just to humiliate.

I was surprised, when my brain finally caught up with me, that he was laying on his back on the floor beneath me. His eyes were glassy and he looked mad. Really, very mad. I realized this might be the first Valentine's Day I'd be receiving a black eye. Instead of waiting for this to happen, I grabbed a chair and pinned him to the floor with it, by his neck.

With my vagina somewhere else in the bar, I conjured the balls to say, "Do you wanna go at it like this? Or, you wanna call a truce?"

Luckily, he called a truce and I took a cab back downtown with his girlfriend (who said he probably deserved it), and some guy who had a penchant for female wrestling.

Valentine's Day is one thing when you wear your heart on your sleeve, and something completely outrageous when you wear your vagina in its place. It was one of the most interesting holidays I've had.

What is Valentine's day if not for the hottest guy in the bar to be falling at your feet?

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