February 17, 2003

Valentine's Day Success, Courtesy of

Valentine's Day Success, Courtesy of the Minnesota State Lottery

I don't like Valentine's Day. I find it to be an intrusion on an otherwise routine February. I'm going along just fine, minding my own damned business, when suddenly Hallmark dictates that I HAVE to be romantic.

I bought a nice bottle of Chianti earlier in the week, so that was taken care of, but I procrastinated on the slew of other things I intended to get her until, of course, Friday. As it turned out, this was a good thing, because on Thursday night, following my hapkido class, I bought a $5 lottery ticket on a whim when I stopped to buy milk. A few scratches later, and I was a $200 winner. "Wahl, holeeee sheeeyat!" Bring on Valentine's Day, baby, Ryan has the coin!

I jumped out of work for lunch early on Friday, swung over Hallmark, where I bought a neat candle and a sickeningly sweet Garfield card. I got back in my car, scrawled out some quick thoughts about what Mel means to me, not taking a whole lot of time to think about it and just trusting that my ability to write something great would take over.

Chianti? Check. Card? Check. Candle? Check. Japanese curry I was going to cook for her? Check. Flowers? Well, I'd have to get those after work. It was a rather funny scene after work, when I dropped by a local flower shop. There were about 15 very concerned men milling about the store in a numbed confusion. I totally understood their angst, and they didn't even have a lottery gift of $200 to work with.

I found a nice flower arrangement consisting of daisies (Mel's favorite) and red carnations, all stuck into a flower pot with a heart on it. Ugh. But, whatever. It was snowing, and the roads were shitty, and I didn't want to waste a whole bunch of time looking for a less sickening flower pot.

The road from Rochester to St. Paul was white-knuckle shitty, with slippery slush ruts and a disconcerting wind pushing me to the left. And yet, there were oblivious drivers just cruising along without a care in the world. I adhere to a strict three second following distance from the car in front of me, particularly in shitty weather. Why do other drivers think this is an invitation to slide in between me and the car in front? WHY?

Anyway, I arrived at Mel's at a little past 6 p.m. She's still getting over the effects of her pneumonia (at least that was what the doctors decreed her to have), so she was pretty groggy, having just emerged from her nap. We exchanged gifts and cards. Mel baked me a heart shaped brownie, which I'm picking at right now. *droooooollllll*

And what do you think Mel liked the best out of my battery of gifts? Well, besides the curry I cooked for her. The card, but not so much the card as what I hurriedly scrawled in it while sitting in my car outside the Hallmark store. She kept going back to read it again, and again, and again. And, I couldn't for the life of me remember what the hell I had written. I waited until she went to the bathroom to peruse my own prose.

"Mel, you make me so happy, but also so much more than that. I'm a better me because of you, and I didn't think that was possible. (smiley face). Love, Ryan."

Sounds about right.

Posted by Ryan at February 17, 2003 01:22 PM
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