You’ve Got Valentines

I told my friend Mark (see: Drinking Buddy of 2007) that I would blog about my adventures last Saturday but I put it off…and then Monday night I got smacked down with some evil stomach virus and it threw everything out of whack. But I did promise — and I keep my promises — and since I can’t summon the strength to get my butt to the sneak preview of Jumper tonight, I guess I’ll nurse my diet Root Beer and get this done.

Saturday I had a blast. Janet Lee and I attended PodCamp Nashville in the morning — there’s a reason for it that I can’t quite tell you just yet, but suffice it to say that the speakers were amusing and inspirational. We didn’t stay the whole time because Janet had to get home for a scheduled phone call with her husband, who was in Romania documenting gypsies and wild dogs.

While Janet was otherwise engaged, I hung out with Ethan. We watched Spongebob and cast spells at each other and discussed dragons and their various colors and powers. (There’s something incredibly refreshing about hanging out with a man who acts like he’s six… when he actually is.) Our plan was to go see Spiderwick, but we found out (commercials are very informative) that it didn’t come out until next week. So we went to get some lunch (Ethan likes sushi!) and then to Art & Inventions to make Valentines.

They really do have the coolest stuff to do in East Nashville.

We each picked out a wooden heart, and Ethan and I sifted through the treasures for a while, trying to decide what to use. I had about 14 different ideas. I thought maybe I might make it for my father. When Sami and I were little, we would go down to the kitchen on Valentine’s Day morning and there would always be something from Dad. A little stuffed animal or a little box of chocolates. As far as I’m concerned, my father is, was, and will ever be the only redeeming feature about Valentine’s Day.

But my heart evolved as I painted it.

I haven’t done any artwork in forever. Seriously. Ten years almost. Sitting there with the brush in my hand felt SO good. The world just kind of fell away, like it did when I would sit for hours beside the radio with my Jem coloring book. And I am so stunned by the way my heart turned out. I still look at it and think, “My god, *I* painted that?” In a way, I feel like I’m not allowed to be an artist. That’s Sami’s arena.

The symbolism is so apparent that even Meg, the owner of A&I, stood over my shoulder and told us all exactly what it meant. But more interesting is the symbolism in the evolution of the piece. At the beginning, I had all those utopian ideas of how my heart *should* look. I started with black paint around the outside and painted the right half. I got the red paint and painted the left half, not touching the black at all.

My heart was broken.
But it couldn’t end there.
So I made wings.

I titled it “Learn to Fly” — after the Foo Fighters song that played on the radio on the way home. I hung it up on the wall in my bedroom beside the blue mirror. And I went to Michaels and bought some more paint and some more shapes…and I’m going to find the time because I need to.

I dragged myself into work today to make a meeting — Chuck sent Lillie some roses and I coveted them as I walked by. (Just because I think Valentine’s Day is stupid doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate flowers, or being the object of a true love’s affection. Especially since I’ve never technically been the latter…but I digress.) I made it through the buy session, and even through lunch — it’s not fair to be starving, only to have your body almost immediately regret it.

I was a whiter shade of pale and had been ordered by my lovely and considerate supervisor to go home even before we got back from lunch, and I would have breezed right by Gloria’s desk had she not said in that stern, patented receptionist voice, “These are for you.”

The “these” to which she was referring was a vase full of the most beautiful white tulips and a big, red heart balloon. I honestly had no idea who they could have come from. And then I read the card.

“Looks, talent, and Dad’s best fishing buddy. You got it all, kid.”

If you give a woman flowers when she’s sick, just expect tears. There’s no getting around it.
Good ol’ Georgie-Porgie’s still got it.

I left the balloon at work, but the flowers came home with me.

You know that scene in You’ve Got Mail, where Tom Hanks gives Meg Ryan a bunch of daisies when she’s sick, and she puts them in a vase and then carries them around the house wherever she goes? That scene always makes me laugh, because I do exactly that. I brought the tulips in the bedroom when I took a nap so they would make me smile when I woke up, and they’re currently right here beside my computer screen, keeping me beautiful company.

I even took a picture of them for Mom — to prove to her that I really did finish those bookshelves.

Okay, so maybe I have been the object of a true love’s affection.
And they’re right: Home is where the Heart is.

Happy Valentine’s Day, everybody.