Okay, fine, I got the message, you vindictive bitch. I will never again try to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Never. Ever. Again.
I get that you’ve been trying to send this message for years. I get that all those lonely, flowerless, dateless, Valentine’s Days were messages that I somehow missed. I get that the only two times in my formative years that I, by some miracle, was actually dating someone on Valentine’s Day and they “forgot” or “didn’t believe in Valentine’s Day” (as if it were imaginary) were messages that I blithely ignored. I get that, after I finally found my husband, Quinten, you attempted to dissuade us in our celebrations by making sure that we were either forced to be apart or had nasty head colds on the day in question. I even understand how frustrating it must have been for you that I wasn’t listening.
But two plagues and a blizzard? Seriously? That was about as subtle as a sledgehammer.
I mean, I was optimistic two weeks before the fourteenth when it looked like both Quinten and I would actually be free for a night out on Valentine’s Day. I felt even more hopeful when I was able to secure a babysitter for that night. When the babysitter had to cancel, I didn’t despair. No. Unlike previous Valentine’s Days when I dissolved into self-pity, I just changed course and made plans with Quinten that involved our daughter, Iris. After all, Valentine’s Day is about love, right? And we certainly love our daughter.
Hope springs eternal and all that shit.
Foolish of me, really. Because, February, that’s when you, you she-devil, swung into action. First, a week and a half before the planned lovefest, you gave me a plague. The worst cold I have suffered in years. I lost my voice for several days. However, you didn’t plan that one very well, did you? Because I actually started feeling better a couple of days before Valentine’s Day. I still thought we’d be able to get out to celebrate, child in tow.
So, for your second line of defense, you sent the snow. Six inches of snow. In North Carolina. Now, I’m from the Midwest. Six inches of snow doesn’t faze me at all. But six inches of snow definitely fazes most North Carolinians. The mere forecast of six inches of snow shut our city down damned near completely. And, once there was the actual white death, the shutdown lasted for several days. One of which was Valentine’s Day. But, February, that wasn’t enough for you, was it? No. No, it was not.
At 12:07am on Valentine’s Day itself, Quinten and I were woken up by a crying Iris. And not just any crying Iris. Nope. A crying Iris who had just puked all over her bed. Because nothing says “I love you” quite like cleaning barf off a weeping child in the middle of the night.
Yet, still, you were not through with us, were you? Just in case we decided to wear our rose-colored glasses and attempt to celebrate Valentine’s Day a few days late, you decided to up the ante and give both Quinten and I a dose of the stomach plague, too.
Not cool, February.
And, yes, I got your message. There will be no further attempts at celebrating Valentine’s Day in the Holdren household. No flowers. No candy. No cards. No romance whatsoever. Never again.
Are you happy now, you spiteful bitch?
THURSDAY, MARCH 13, 2014
I'm sorry I called you a bitch because you cursed everyone in my house with a stomach virus at the same time we had a snowstorm that shut the city down for a couple of days. March has far outdone you. Comparatively, you are a gentle and magnanimous mistress. Please accept my apology.
LATER THAT SAME DAY
You are an ASSHOLE.
Don’t look all innocent over there. You know what you did. No one is buying the harmless act. YOU! ARE! NOT! HARMLESS!!
First you make us think you’re going to be all nice and awesome and springlike with your sun and your temperatures in the 60s and 70s. But that was a lie, wasn’t it? You are a big, fat, lying liar who LIES! Just when we’d all started to think that maybe the cold and the bluster was over, BLAMMO -- ICE!
Yes, that’s right, we got all that ice you sent, you underhanded bastard. So much ice that you shut down the city. So much ice that you knocked down a tree in our front yard. So much ice that you knocked out the power to two-thirds of our city. Including the power to our house. Jackass.
But you weren’t done, were you? Because you wanted to punish us. Why, March? Why would you want to punish us? What did we ever do to you? The only conclusion I can draw is that you are a sadist.
Your next move was downright wicked.
After fourteen hours of having no power and not being able to cook a darn thing with our electric stove and microwave, we just could not stomach yet another peanut butter and jelly sandwich. So, we went out to look for an open restaurant. There we were, standing in the world’s longest line at a Moe’s Southwest Grill with a child who was tired and cranky and clinging to my husband like he was the last available life vest on the Titanic. We ordered our food, waited some more, got up to the front of the line and were about to pay when…..Iris barfed everything she’d ever eaten down the front of Quinten’s shirt. And herself. Not to mention the floor.
You know the best part of a power outage? Not being able to wash clothing. You know, like clothing with half-digested peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches and grapes all over it. That smells so bad you have to leave it in the garage when you get home. You know what else is really fun about power outages? Realizing that you don’t have the ability to wash anything so that you spend all night awake, dressed in seven layers of clothing (not an exaggeration) because it’s freezing in your house, sitting next to your child’s bed holding a trash can and tensing for action every time she moans in her sleep. Or moves. Or wakes up. Or sniffles. Or rolls over. Or grinds her teeth. Or sighs. Or cries. Because she might vomit again and you need to catch it. Because if she vomits all over the bed sheets you will not be able to wash the sheets and you run the serious risk of your daughter sleeping on a bare mattress because you hadn’t gotten around to doing the laundry before the ice came.
And while I was up all night catching vomit in that trash can, I had lots of time to contemplate what, exactly, you were trying to convey to me with this little slice of hell. Were you trying to give me bragging rights, March? (“I’ll see your power outage and I’ll raise you a vomiting child!”) Or were you trying to teach me a lesson about preparedness? Did you want me to realize that, when the Walking Dead-style zombie apocalypse comes, that it is my friend, Elizabeth, with her 72-HourSurvival Bag that will make it? Elizabeth, who has clothes, and food, and temporary shelter, and all sorts of other useful paraphernalia like three ways to purify water, and five ways to make fire (all of which she knows how to use), who will outlast us all? Because, truthfully, March, the first morning of the power outage, while Elizabeth was popping a can of sterno and making herself a cup of coffee and I was weeping over the handfuls of dry Cap’n Crunch cereal I was eating straight out of the box, I already knew the only thing I would be good for when disaster struck was zombie meat.
So, thanks for nothing, March.
MONDAY, MARCH 17, 2014
More ice? Really??? You get mad at me because I called you an asshole, so you dump more ice on us? Real mature, jerkface.
I see you there, peeking out from behind March. You with your promise of lovely weather and flowers and shit. I’m watching you. Don't fuck it up.