Friday, February 10, 2012


     Have you ever received a print ad in the mail, cordially addressed to “Current Resident”, that changed your life?  Me neither.  But I did receive one last week that made me stop and think.

     Did you know there is nothing that says “I love you” better than a new pair of shoes?!

      How did I survive this many years without such insightful wisdom?  All the Valentine’s Days I have suffered through without so much as a penny loafer?  I wanted to cry for the loss of what could have been.  I had no idea shoes were the traditional token of affection for a Valentine’s celebration.  I looked mournfully at the sad collection of basic footwear littering my closet floor.  They were not given in love — they were purchased at random from various clearance bins around town.  Had I disrespected the sacred sanctity of these precious emblems by carelessly tossing them aside as I walked through the door each evening?  It was a disturbing notion, but it caused me to pause and think further.

      What other holiday symbolism was I unknowingly desecrating in my daily living?!

      Not willing to live another day in fear of misusing the soap dish of “Back to School” celebrations, I started a frantic search for print ads of other holidays.  Stuffed in my Valentine’s clogs, I found a print ad declaring a bedspread the “perfect way to celebrate Presidents Day”.  Oh my gosh!  I once sat cross-legged on my bedspread and ate onion dip.  I am so, so sorry Mr. Washington.  (I cannot tell a lie, though: that onion dip was amazing.)  I found a paper in the kindling box informing me that new plates definitely honor our country’s freedom on the Fourth of July.  I closed my eyes in grief as I remembered the countless meals I had eaten on off those celebratory implements.  I cried for the Easter entryway rug I had mercilessly beaten during my last deep cleaning.  I mourned the Memorial Day ice cream scoop I had so carelessly lent to a friend.  My despondence was inconsolable as I remembered the Thanksgiving dish towels, now in the rag bag full of holes and bleach spots. 

      Why didn’t someone point this out to me sooner?!  I was feeling immense guilt and anguish for the holiday “keepsakery” I so callously mistreated every day.  All this time I had thought Christmas was a celebration of peace, goodwill, and the birth of our Savior, but I am just now discovering it was actually that hideous ceramic snowman soap pump that I let The Yankee use for target practice.  All these years I’ve wasted my time on creating the perfect lavish feast for Mom on Mother’s Day only to discover she really needed a fuchsia power suit from Ritzy Retailer.  The guilt was oppressive. 

      I heard The Yankee pull up in the driveway, his car hatefully crunching the “Happy Father’s Day” pea gravel under his selfish tires.  How could he stomp his Valentine’s boots, now irreparably filthy, across our Easter rug?  He semi-waved as he crossed to the kitchen and reached for the refrigerator.  “Hey!” I shrieked, mascara streaks standing as a scary tribute to my mournful afternoon.  “Don’t you touch that water bottle!  It’s part of ‘Spring Tune-Up’!  And where are my Valentine’s Day fur boots?  You owe me!” 

      You know, all in all, this straight jacket isn’t so bad until your nose starts itching. 

© Bertha Grizzly 2012.  All Rights Reserved.  No duplication or distribution.

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