When I was a young lad in Berlin, we had no such thing. But thanks to the tireless efforts of Nestlé and Fleurop, even my German compatriots are now encouraged to buy candy and flowers, and purchase a sappy, raunchy or—they say—even classy card on Valentine’s Day.
Nothing wrong with that.
So why not throw in a tender yet timeless story about this festive occasion into the FencingClassics mix.
A word of caution: We have no idea where the author got the notion that things can happen that way. He sounds credible.
Happy Valentine’s Day, you crazy kids.
She acknowledged that he’d outdone himself: A card without tits and raunchy innuendo, and roses in the morning. Then a giant bouquet delivered to her office. And, best of all, dinner at their favorite romantic restaurant! Champagne first, then her favorite cab, the works. He’d even dressed up for the occasion! And if the bulge in his breast pocket was any indication, he’d bought that pair of tanzanite earrings she’d admired at Tiffany’s last month.
What more could she possibly ask for?
She watched him as he cut into his New York strip steak. Dang it, he even had table manners. He was handsome, fit, polite, and the envy of her girlfriends. Especially the married ones.
And yet, the evening was spoiled. It wasn’t him. It was on him. Or better, it was him because it was on him. She’d seen him put them on after his shower.
Black satin, with bright red hearts on them. His lucky pair.
He loved them.
She hated them from the bottom of her soul.
How often had she tried to make them disappear? Pushed them to the very back of his dresser drawer, so that the slimy-feeling fabric hung out of sight over the back edge. She’d “lost” them in the laundry. Behind the washing machine. Underneath a perma-pile of dirty laundry.
Under the bed.
They always came back. A reminder of his past—a past he never shared. Something she’d had to collect like pieces of a puzzle from offhand remarks of his friends, his parents, his brother. There were history… literally his story, a secret history at that.
Which one of a half-dozen skanks had given them to him? The Spanish chick with the thick accent and the total body tan? The dumb blonde who didn’t seem to own a single pair of panties? Or, even farther back, the health nut with the giant boobs?
No matter. It wasn’t who’d given them to him… but that he was still wearing them! As if she didn’t know!
She forced herself to smile back at him and nod. At whatever he’d just said. She felt petty and small, then righteous and indignant again. They’d been married for two years. And he still wore them!
On Valentine’s Day!
The knife in her fist scraped loudly on the plate, and he looked up at her, puzzled. She sorried and smiled again. But inside, she seethed. Damn him! Damn him and his fucking insensitivity! And damn herself for feeling slighted, diminished, embarrassed by them… a pair of worn satin boxers.
It was working. She wore the four-inch-heel, peep-toe patent-leather pumps, with red nail polish. He’d noticed a flash of garter when she sat down. Sproing!—enough to get his attention!
She’d put on make-up and doused herself in the stuff she used to smell like when they first started having sex. Sure smelled good. This was going to be great: If they skipped desert, they’d be gettin’ busy in about 45 minutes. 40 if she’d just stop talking.
He watched her drink down her glass of cabernet with angry gulps.
Uh-oh. What the hell was that? Whenever she tensed her lips like that she’d not be in the mood later. Whew: She smiled! Twitched her lips. Drank again. Tensed her mouth. Damn. Drank again, not like she liked it, but like she wanted to drown something. Someone.
What was it now? He knew that edge in her voice.
He looked around the restaurant. Women in high heels and stockings and short skirts and dresses smiling at horny dates counting down the minutes until the heels would be pointing straight up in the air.
He looked at her. Her tense mouth.
Oh, man. I can’t believe it! All this crap and then no action? Might as well have staid in and watched the fucking game?!
The steak was cold and he pushed his fork into his garlic mashed potato. Shit.
Feeling his blood redirect up to his face, he emptied his glass and signaled for the waiter to bring another bottle. Might as well.
And he even put on his lucky pair!