I wish you all a happy Valentine's Day, Half-Price Chocolate Day, Daytona 500 Day, and weekend!!!!
This is my favorite weekend of the year. Valentine's Day, and then the Daytona 500! For L'Ailee, there will be an extra layer of excitement, since Fashion Week officially started today. It's depressingly pared down, but hey, at least the likelihood of her catching most of the shows has increased! We have already exchanged Valentine's gifts. We both like receiving gifts at work, so we exchanged flowers and candy and had them delivered to each other's work. Red roses and a small box of handcrafted chocolates for her, bright mixed flowers and two bags of green and turquoise M&Ms that say "I love Jayelle" for me. She will pop into her gym on Saturday and be able to refresh her roses at her tiny shared cubicle. Me, I just have to hope the packet of flower freshening stuff works until Monday. But we've had good results from this florist, and there are far worse problems.
Today, L'Ailee's very best friend (call him "A" here; we haven't come up with a better nickname) and his boyfriend got married. Yes, on Friday the 13th! My mom is such a triskaidekophobe that she sometimes had my brother and I stay home from school on Friday the 13ths, and she still won't schedule anything really important for those days if she can help it. So I got a little twingey. The guys said that, as atheists, they're not superstitious. In fact, I think they liked the date better and better the more people squicked! But L'Ailee, my brother, and my SIL are also atheists, and they are, to borrow the words of the Office's Michael Scott, "a little 'stitious." They would not consider that date.
For L'Ailee's part, she was pissed that we couldn't get the day off and that they simply ran off to a town hall in Massachusetts and eloped. She wanted to go to their wedding! "But you just went to the town hall," A. said.
"We had a *wedding*. The judges in...Jayelle?"
"Yes. We had to make it legal again. But we had a wedding! You were there!"
"I had a wedding, too. You were there!"
"To [your ex-wife]!"
"Yes, and do you remember how crazy that was? Do you remember how crazy *she* was?" Apparently she was crazy when they re-negotiated their child custody agreement, too, and that finally just got done on Monday. "I don't want another wedding, he doesn't want a wedding, we just want to be married now! We're tired of waiting!" He kissed the top of her head. "Please don't be mad at us," he pleaded.
"I won't buy you a present."
"I don't want you to buy us a present. Just let us watch the Daytona race with you on Sunday and say congratulations."
"Oh, all right."
The boys texted all their friends, including us, when they finished! They're staying in a hotel overnight for a very brief honeymoon. A. has to drive his cab on Valentine's night. It's not the way I'd do it, but then again, it's not my marriage. Today was a very lucky Friday the 13th for them, and I'm happy for them.
Love can go very badly. I am not a fan of Rihanna or Chris Brown, yet I was disturbed to hear the reason why they couldn't make the Grammy Awards. They're so young--she's 21 and he's 19. Yet he's already well on his way to being his generation's answer to Ike Turner. And, of course, any young woman with a lick of sense would want to be more like Tina, but not like this. I really pity Rihanna. She had to miss out on performances and her own 21st birthday party. She's slunk out of sight for the moment. It's as if she's being punished all over again for something that wasn't her fault. The worst part was that people who feel real fucking brave when they're behind a monitor blamed her! I like that at least MTV.com and VH1.com are linking to information on domestic violence at the end of every online article about Rihanna and Chris Brown. I really like that MTV has quickly produced a special about it, which will air on Monday.
I don't have many stories about partner abuse as it relates to my life, and thank the Gods for that. But I remember that when I was 14, my first boyfriend verbally abused me and pressured me for sex. Seventeen magazine published an article on abusive teen dating relationships and how they can set a girl up to be in an abusive marriage later in life. It saved me. The girls in it sounded so much like me. When he slapped me, I knew to walk away and never look back. My feet got turned onto a better road. I don't know what I would have done had Seventeen not published that article. I mean, I didn't think of myself as being abused, you know? Abusive relationships meant, you know, housewives with a bunch of kids and not much education. It meant Farrah Fawcett in the Burning Bed. I was a teenager, I was smart, I wouldn't ever let a man treat me like that. Except I was starting to let a boy treat me like that. Shame and denial are powerful things.
A girl today probably sees a dumpy woman crying on Maury Povich or yelling on Cops or fighting some other woman on Jerry Springer, and *that's* what an abusive relationship looks like to her. Then she watches what has passed for "romances" on Heroes--a show I otherwise really like. (To name one particularly heinous example, West the flying stalker, who hassled Claire the damn-near-indestructable ex-cheerleader during Chapter 2. I really hoped a hunter would shoot him down.) Or she reads the Twilight series, where twoo luv apparently means sabotaging a girl's truck and watching her while she sleeps. My intern girls say they don't really want an Edward or a West in their lives, and I know my 23-year-old sister-in-law doesn't, either. (My brother would act very differently if she did!) I know I read questionable stuff about relationships when I was younger, like VC Andrews' oeuvre, including the stuff she "wrote" after she was dead. But I hoped girls today got a little bit better information, too. I hoped they would learn someplace where love ends and control begins. Well, now they're learning.
I wish they'd have learned from a novel instead.
Carie shared the wonderful story about Sam the koala, who escaped the Australian bushfires with the help of firefighter David Tree. But Sam has since found love, with another koala who was burned and displaced! Read about the cute koo-wa-wa couple here! (Yeah, I know. That's how I pronounced it!)
Hindu fundamentalists--and there really isn't another good term for them--have been attacking Indian women for going to bars and threatening couples who celebrate the "un-Indian" holiday of Valentine's Day. Nisha Susan decided she'd had enough. She organized a Facebook group of "Pub-Going, Loose, and Forward Women" to send the self-appointed "moral police" piles of pink panties for Valentine's Day! I *love* this!
The really awesome news: Ezra Temko, a 23-year-old city councilman in Newark, Delaware (I know!), came out as a bisexual man with a boyfriend, after working very hard on gender identity and sexual orientation addendums to their anti-discrimination laws. The bad news? Towleroad's write-up attracted gay biphobes. See who's far more of an asset to the gay community at the link.
Scary cases regarding the right to freely link to other sites. Bet you can guess why I paid attention!
Finally, the new Office Depot Racing site opened today! GOOOOO, TONY! MAKE THIS YOUR YEAR!