Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Have a safe Valentine's day!

No, I am not going to rant about how commercial this whole V-day thing is. Because everyone knows how crass it is and I am going to add nothing new. In fact, I'd argue that it is as commercial and as crass as any other day and anyone who picks on V-day has a severe case of the fox and the grapes syndrome. Instead, I am going to appeal to the people who celebrate V-day to observe some basic social niceties next time around. I believe that these people are not beyond reason - someone just needs to sit down and explain to them how they may inadvertently cause injury to themselves and the society at large. So if you have big plans for V-day(well, next year, I guess) and if you happen to live in the city that I live in, here are some pointers for a safe Valentine's day:

1. Ask yourself whether your Valentine really loves chocolate. When you keep a box of dark chocolate in front of her, does she gobble it all up with a single-minded determination? Or does she say 'How nice of you!' and then neatly put the box back on the coffee table? If your Valentine does the latter, please do NOT buy her a box of chocolates for V-day. Because you might not realise this, but the box of chocolates that you so lovingly gave her will miraculously find itself on the reception desk of her office the next day and guess who gets to eat it? Guess who puts on 5 pounds over the next week? Losers like ME.

2. V-day, in case you forget, happens in February. In the northern hemisphere, it is the middle of winter. In Chicago for example, the coldest month of the year is February. February is great for cuddling up in bed and having gory sex but here's what February is not good for - promenading by the lake. Did I say it gets really cold in Chicago? And it gets windy too. If you are near a water body, it is colder and more windy. Especially when this water body happens to be Lake Michigan which is usually frozen in February, it is even more colder. So the last thing your Valentine wants to do in her off-shoulders little, black dress is to have a walk by the lake. She might not tell you how much she hates it then but later, two years down the line when you are blissfully married, she might stab you with a kitchen knife. [This whole walk by the lake, stabbed by a kitchen knife is a true story btw. Ask anyone who went to Urbana Champaign or Michigan State five years ago and they will corroborate. The dead man used to teach at Michigan State while the lady studied at UC. She is currently serving time in a Fed prison, I believe.]

3. Decide what is it exactly that you want from V-day. Are you aiming to get laid or are you aiming to watch a Steppenwolf production? If all you want is to get laid, taking your Valentine to the Steppenwolf is NOT a good idea. A number of things could go wrong - she might hate the play and hence refuse to sleep with you, she might want to watch the play but with you distracting her the whole time she might just walk out on you or more dangerous, a peaceful spectator like me who for some Godforsaken reason happened to go to Steppenwolf on V-day might just step out, buy an assualt rifle from a nearby convenience store, come back into the theater and shoot you in the head. So if you have to go somewhere and make out, there are hundreds of movie theaters which are screening excretable chick flicks [which I agree is repetitive]. Please go to one of them.

4. Romantic restaurants are overrated. If Metromix tells you that the most romantic restaurant in the city is Geja's, don't take your Valentine there. It is quite a dingy place and there will be 130 other couples at your elbows every time you turn around. You will both come out of the restaurant smelling of chicken broth which is not what to want to smell of considering your plans for the rest of the night. And I am telling you this because I care and NOT because I happen to live a block from Geja's and could do without all the traffic jams that I had to encounter yesternight. In fact, I have been hearing good things about some romantic restuarants in the suburbs - apparently they are much better than the ones in the city. Maybe try one of them next time?

5. Trust me on this one, your Valentine loves SUVs. Next Valentine's day, take her out to the romantic restuarant in the suburbs on a SUV and your night will be made. Horse-drawn carriages are so passe. They were quite the rage in the 1890s but not anymore. Nowadays, all they do is hold up traffic on Michigan Ave and people like me who usually get home in 20 minutes now take an hour and 20 minutes to get home. Think about this - what if one of us peaceful people in the bus get the same idea as the peaceful spectator at the Steppenwolf?