Here in Florida, our daffodils are
coming up. No blooms yet, but I have high hopes we’ll have a chorus
line of yellow dancing in the breeze come Valentine’s Day.
Back in the big bad 1970s, Valentine’s
Day was not so popular in my lesbian-feminist crowd. It was another
capitalist ploy to get us to spend our money; a patriarchal tradition
designed to snare women into enslaving themselves to men; a sexist
ritual that excluded lesbians – did Hallmark ever make a card for
Now I read in Ms. Magazine that St.
Valentine was kind of on our side. Apparently, he got busted by
Emperor Claudius II for marrying Christian couples when old Claudius
nixed doing so, sometime around 270 A.C. It’s a pretty bloody
story. Nevertheless, it’s now cool to celebrate the saint’s day
because so many Christians (and other religions) won’t marry
another group: us.
I don’t really see St. Valentine
doing his bit for gays if he was around today, but I’m a romantic.
Nobody can dampen my enthusiasm for the trappings of love. Any excuse
will do, even an ancient martyr. Sweetheart doesn’t discourage me.
She appreciates the displays of affection I foist on her.
Not that they’re lavish. In past
years, I’ve made quick visits to dollar stores. Maybe a Happy
Valentine’s Day banner for the front door - or not, given our
neighborhood. Maybe some decals scattered around the house – one
year it was love bug stickers we later couldn’t get off the
mirrors. My sweetheart’s not big on stuffed animals so there’s no
collection of red and white teddy bears covering our bed. This year?
I’m thinking a few heart-shaped balloons so every room she goes
into, she’ll see “Be My Valentine,” “Cloud Nine,” or “#1
FAN” floating overhead, near the ceiling fans.
Our first year presented a logistical
problem. We would be on the road, at the Bold Strokes Books Palm
Springs LGBTQ Book Festival, for Valentine’s Day. It was a perfect
place to celebrate, but how could I decorate our beautiful room at
the Casitas Laquita Lesbian Resort Hotel? I found red hearts, a dozen
shapes and sizes, the kind that cling to glass surfaces, and I
festooned the room with them. I don’t know which of us was more
Candy-wise, Peeps are out. Other
holidays, I’m glad to ply her with yellow chicks or orange
pumpkins, but those putrid-pink and regurgitation-red marshmallow
hearts ruin the Peeps concept. One year, I sought out the prettiest
box of chocolates I could find and was gratified when my sweetheart
even saved the empty box. I remember that my mother used one my
father had given her as a sewing basket for decades: Aww.
Now, we’re both fighting middle-aged
spread – and spread and spread – so the candy is actually
minimal, if any. Probably I should consider sending the money to
Marry, not Ghirardelli. The corner Walgreens, however, might
have a small tasty treat. More likely, a whole aisle of them. Who can
deny her wife a traditional sweet?
I just took a glance at the Walgreen’s
web site for Valentine’s Day. One of their categories is “sexual
wellness.” Hmmm, I thought and clicked on it. Up came the header
“Queen.” This was getting pretty weird. There was only one
product, though, a supplement called Reservatol. It was a buy one/get
one free deal (BOGO). Did I even want to know what it was? Turns out,
it contains red wine and Polygonum Cuspidatum Root. I drilled down
further and found that Polygonum Cuspidatum Root prevents certain
tumor growth. The whole product helps to provide antioxidant
protection and helps to promote cardiovascular health. Thank goodness
for BOGO – I can give my sweetheart one for Valentine’s Day and
one for our anniversary. Hats off to sentimental Walgreens for the
One year, I had a Groupon for a nice
restaurant, but Groupon has changed. I’m not going to tell my
sweetheart that I love her with a Groupon for cosmetic surgery, a
Five-Window Car or Truck Tinting Package or a Birthday Party for Up
to 16 Kids. None of those quite express why I married her.
I know Ellen likes to shop at Cartier,
but that’s out for us. It’s not that I don’t want to bedeck my
sweetheart with diamonds and gold, it’s the money thing. Yes, we
have daffodils in February, but the mortgage on our home, like almost
half of Florida’s home mortgages, is so far underwater we could
sell the house as waterfront property.
Harking back to the feminists of yore,
I don’t need Cartier, Groupon or Walgreens to show my love on
Valentines or any day. I’m planning a homemade card, a funny
refrigerator magnet and all my attention. Or maybe the attention and
the promise of daffodils are enough.
[Editor's Note: Lee Lynch is the author
of over 12 books. Her latest, Beggar
of Love, was called “Lee
Lynch's richest and most candid portrayals of lesbian life” by
Katherine V. Forrest. You can reach Lynch at
Copyright 2012 Lee Lynch