Valentine’s Day — Lovers Edition


In the 21st century, we’re scared of love.  It has sticky bits and awkward edges.  It defies our science and our psychology and laughs at our technology.  There is no App for love, and it refuses to do as it’s told.  It’s the last rebellious relic of our primitive soul.

So, I’ve written a poem for all hopeless romantics (like me) who’ve had a howl and a dance with love — when the fire was bright and the music was high; who’ve kissed in the shadows so tenderly that the darkness held its breath and those (like me) who’ve ached and sighed and laugh and cried — for love.

The one you knew you shouldn’t
The one you thought you should
The one you thought you couldn’t
The one you wish you could

The one that you’ve forgiven
The one you won’t forget
The one who made you laugh and sing
The one you most regret

But when you’re old and going grey
And napping by the fire
There’s only one who has your heart
As well as your desire

Now, let me explain.  (BTW, I’ve seriously mixed up the genders because, even though I believe love is different for men and women, the results are identical.)

The One You Knew You Shouldn’t — This is the one that you took one look at and knew — right away — it was a bad idea.  But you couldn’t help yourself.  Normally, this involves your best friend’s boyfriend or your boss’s little sister.

The One You Thought You Should — That perfect person who, six months later, turned into the Bitch of Belsen.  Or, it’s almost as if somebody photo-shopped this guy’s personality — and it wore off.

The One You Thought You Couldn’t — “Wow!  What the hell was he doing with me?”  Or, that chick was so hot when you slept with her you got a suntan.  Affairs like this never last because eventually these perfect human beings go back to their own species.

The One You Wish You Could — Deep in the heart of 4 o’clock in the morning, we all have that one secret love that nobody — nobody — except, maybe, the dog and your pillow, knows about.

The One That You’ve Forgiven — This is the lover who slam-dunked your heart onto the sofa for three months of red wine, Rocky Road and Rom/Com therapy. But, looking back, you kinda shrug and think, “Ah! It takes two.”

The One You Won’t Forget — Everybody has at least one love affair that flares like a supernova.  In extreme cases, you end up in Vegas or Mexico, swimming in libido, drunk off your ass on moonlight and margaritas, and thinking “When this goes bad, I’m going to burn up on re-entry — but I don’t care.”

The One Who Made You Laugh And Sing — When we were young and our hearts were an open book. . .  But, now, you might have a name but you can’t quite remember the face.

The One You Most Regret — What were you thinking?  You chased this guy relentlessly — even though everybody on the planet told you he was bad news.  Then, when you finally hooked up, she used you like a Swiffer WetJet and dumped your ass in the trash the minute something else came along.  (You’re never going to get that year back, ya idiot!)

And finally:

The last stanza is self-explanatory.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day

One Ordinary Morning


In those length shadows of a season morning
Where someone has traced a frothy window
With bold word letters that seem to drip
And new steam coffee hangs in the air

There I will find you sleepy eyed and bitchy
With your face straight close to the pillow
The blankets pulled up round your hair
And several pouts clinging to your cheeks
There where the air is colder
You will squirm down into the warmth
And in a pillow muffled voice
Grumble in some mild way against the day
I could watch you sleepy and sexy
And let the warmth be temptation enough
But the mischief bubbles and the day is new
And the tease muse needs some teasing too

So place down the coffee at the side of the bed
Reach back the blankets from the sleepiest head
Tug at your hair with a pout just like you
Wake up lady we’ve got wonders to do
Move over woman it’s cold here outside
Come take a shower leave this sleepy behind
Get with it girl there’s a dance to be done
Sleeping’s for criminals songs are for fun

And you move moments by slowly
Turn deeper into the warmth and growl
Like She-bear Sheba with a menace edge
And a faint curl obscenity on your teeth
One eye open and some stalking glaze
Teaches me the better part of valor done
One should refrain and so in pure Christian charity
I offer you nearly half my cup of coffee

Lovers Quiz — Answers

valentine1Here are the answers to our Valentine’s Day Lovers Quiz

A — It was just your average love story.  Boy meets girl; they fall in love.  Nazis invade France.  Boy loses girl.  Girl goes back to her husband.  Boy opens a bar, tries to forget and gets 2 free tickets to Lisbon.  Girl shows up one night, with her husband in tow.  Boy forgets about forgetting.  Girl wants the tickets.  Husband wants the tickets.  Nazis stride around, looking evil.  Husband finally figures things out.  Not very complicated, really, but when you throw in a corrupt French official, some treacherous expats and a dozen or so champagne cocktails, it becomes one of the greatest love stories of all time.

Rick Blaine and Ilsa Lund from Casablanca

B — He was a bachelor who enjoyed hunting and fishing, lying around in his underwear, grunting and scratching himself.  She was from Baltimore.  It was love at first sight — he’d never seen anything like her before in his life.  Typically, they spent their first date rather awkwardly trying to make conversation, but eventually she taught him how to open up and express himself.  Like most women, she was a civilizing influence on him and eventually he ended up in the British Parliament.  However, they always returned to his bachelor pad, where they first fell in love.

Tarzan and Jane

C — Even though it was actually an arranged marriage, it was definitely a match made in heaven.  These two crazy kids were literally in a world of their own.  They had so much in common it was like they were made for each other.  Unfortunately, every romance has its rocky bits, and, although most couples argue about sex or money, these two disagreed over the landlord.  Eventually, to keep peace, he sided with her, and, as a result, they were evicted.   However, they stuck with each other through all the hardships and raised a huge extended family — although some would say they’ve been homeless ever since.

Adam and Eve

D — She was the most beautiful woman of her age, and he was the world’s greatest warrior.  They were married — but not to each other.  He embodied the hope of a nation at war, whereas she had a reputation that qualified her for a Dr. Phil special (She’d once been used to pay off a gambling debt.)   However, love conquers all, and they ran off together to travel across Europe — oddly enough. with her husband in tow.  When the three of them finally settled in England, his enraged wife and the British public were not quite so sporting.  Still, for a time, they were happy.  Unfortunately, duty called and he was killed in battle, and beautiful or not, she was tossed out on her reputation.  She died in poverty — alone with her memories.

Admiral Lord Nelson Emma Lady Hamilton

A couple of quickies:

E — It was an arranged marriage that turned into pure love.  Although they were literally “kissin’ cousins,” they couldn’t keep their hands off each other.  The poets sang (in some detail) about their erotic adventures, and they had 14 children.  Unfortunately, she died young and he mourned her for 35 years.  Today, they lie side by side, in a mausoleum he built for her — together forever.

Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal

F — It was an arranged marriage that turned into pure love.  Although they were literally “kissin’ cousins,” they couldn’t keep their hands off each other.  They had 9 children and the recorded details of their marriage were so scandalous that their eldest daughter burned the diaries.  Unfortunately, he died young and she mourned him for 40 years.  Today, they lie side by side, in a mausoleum she built for him — together forever.

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert

G — It was a mismatch for the ages.  He was the world’s most eligible bachelor, rich and famous, with all kinds of handsome thrown in.  She was from Baltimore.  He was waited on hand and foot.  Literally!  The guy didn’t even dress himself!  She was more of a hamburger-and-fries girl, from the school of hard knocks.  For example, she learned about love and marriage through trial and error.  Rumor has it that she gave frequent flyer miles.  Needless to say, his family didn’t approve of the marriage, and when he insisted, they disinherited him.  However, they stayed together for the rest of their lives, traveling the world — purposeless and tragically romantic.

The Duke and Duchess of Windsor

H — They met under rather unusual circumstances.  He robbed her, kidnapped her, and took her back to his hideout, but some girls just love an outlaw.  He was definitely a guy who played by his own rules and didn’t like authority, but she was convinced that society had made him that way.  Love blossomed, even though it was a long distance romance with the local law enforcement firmly in the middle.  However, the two of them did manage to steal a few kisses over the years (along with anything else that wasn’t nailed down) and they were happy.  Fortunately, times changed; our boy gave up his thieving ways, and the two of them did finally settle down.  I think sometimes, though, after the kids were in bed, they’d go out and steal something — just to rekindle the romance.

Robin Hood and Maid Marion

I — They say politics makes strange bedfellows, but when you’re dealing with the fate of the world, love has a habit of getting in the way.  She was a political wunderkind who understood that power didn’t necessarily come out of the barrel of a gun.  He was naive.  She was living with his best friend.  He had an extra-large army.  When politics raised its ugly head and the best friend was killed she didn’t waste any time finding him and getting behind that extra-large army.  But fate wouldn’t rest, and they fell in love.  Suddenly, all bets were off and politics weren’t that important anymore.  He gave her the largest wedding present in history, but in the end, it was she who was naïve and he who couldn’t live without her.

Mark Antony and Cleopatra

J — Finally, who is the Number One Greatest Lover in all history?  This guy makes Casanova, Don Juan and Johnny Depp all look like clumsy geeks.  He has been curling girls around his little finger his entire life.  He has so much sex appeal the mere mention of his name has virgins quivering.  No woman can resist him, and every man would be happy with the leftovers.  And here’s a hint: according to rumors he’s juggling the hearts of 3 women — even as we speak.

Prince Charming and Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella

Bonus Question (If you can answer this one, you’re really good.)

K — She was nothing special.  He was from Baltimore.  They met on a blind date: he was blind drunk, and she was working hard to keep up.  From there, they spent the next 30 years madly in love, chasing each other back and forth across America, fighting and drinking, splitting up and getting back together.  He did nothing less than create a whole new style of fiction and one of the most enduring characters in American literature.  She did nothing more than defy the American government, help him get out of jail and stay with him when he became too sick to live and too scared to die.  That’s why they call it love.

My personal favourite — Dashiell Hammett and Lillian Hellman

Happy Valentine’s Day!