A Retraction

My Friend Anna emailed me to let me know that there are several people in her house…and possibly several more people in the world…who like Valentine’s Day very much indeed. She herself has her wedding anniversary on Valentine’s Day, so she should know, right? So now I have to shamefacedly admit that there are many good things about The Federally Mandated Day of Love and Happiness and Googly Eyes (besides the flip-flops and pajama pants). I also, in the spirit of Jessica’s and Hannah’s latest entries, have to admit there are many things in the world I myself love, and that are worth celebrating at least once a year, if not more.

1) My red shoes. I don’t know if they are sneakers or trainers or what, I only know I got them on sale and that they are very cute and sporty indeed. I sometimes think they make my feet look a little like Hostess Fruit Pies, for some reason, but that’s probably just my insecurity speaking, right?

2) Tall two percent hot chocolate, no whip. Preferably from the Solstice Caf頯n the Ave, and preferably not to go. Or, alternatively, made by me in what passes for my kitchen and enjoyed with a delectable Hob Nob cookie. Mmmm.

3) The Pride and Prejudice BBC movies. Since I’m currently reading the books, I decided to watch the movies AGAIN, and I love them more and more each time. I can’t help it. “There are few people I really love, and even fewer of whom I think well.” I want to be Elizabeth Bennet. Everyone does, right?

4) Dinner at My Friend Mark’s house the other night. It was, as his dinners usually are, astounding in every way. There was no Flapping Fin this time, much to my delight. He made jello out of port wine and also out of strawberries and champagne (these two jellos were not in the same dish, you may be relieved to know). He says that it was really aspic or a terrine or whatever, but I’m not buying it. If it wiggles and is sort of transparent and gelatin-based and if you can cut it into shapes, then it’s jello. Upscale, delicious jello, jello perfect in form and hue, but jello nonetheless.

5) My new glasses. I got them, did I tell you? Yup. New spy glasses that make me look the epitome of all spyful spyness. You all better watch what you say around me, because you can’t be completely sure who I’m working for anymore.

6) How I look in my bellydance clothes. I’m not kidding. When you are covered in spangles and jingles and bells and are wearing a swishy long skirt and possibly a turban on your head, it doesn’t matter how huge your thighs or hips are or about that potbelly. Means nothing in the world of tribal bellydance, especially not if you can actually use those hips and thighs and belly to do cool dance stuff. I’m still not a great dancer, but I have it together enough to know what I’m doing with the basics, and let me tell you the basics are awesome. I spend so much time hating my body and hating my clothes, that it’s nice once a week to look in the mirror and think Yay! instead of Oh Nooooooooooooooo! I wish I could wear this stuff all day every day. The fact that I can for one week out of the year is seventy-five percent of the reason to go to Burning Man, you know?

7) My mom is coming to visit in April in order that she may go to the Tulip Festival. I can’t wait. She hasn’t made any sudden decisions to run off to Europe this summer (again) so her Garden World Tour pretty much has to be confined to walking around the Skagit Valley in fields and fields of tulips. I would go to a Skunk Cabbage Festival, though, if I could get Mom to come out here and go to it with me.

8) That I have the best idea for a baby present for little Elvis (that’s what I call Manya and Landy’s unborn son for the time being. They’ve pretty much decided on a name, but there’s still a couple of weeks for me to try to influence them). I already told Manya about this when we were at our Swanky Christmas Lunch in Miami, because she hates surprises, so I can write about it here: I’m going to make a CD (with help from My Friend Craig’s company of myself reading Elvis some bedtime stories. Like a Chiara Custom Special Book On Tape. This might sound really conceited…like, oh, Chiara, giving the gift of you talking! How thoughtful! Like we can’t get that twenty four hours a day!..but there’s a good reason behind it. I was talking to Manya about how weird and exciting it would be to see her pregnant (and it was!) and she said I would have to make sure to talk to her stomach when I saw her because the baby can hear in there and that he sometimes responded to outside sounds. “And I want him to know your voice,” she said, “so that he’ll know you.” I did get very sobby when she told me this, I admit. But then I had this great idea, and all I have to do now is get the stories and make the CD. I’m so proud of myself.

9) Oh, fine. Twist my arm. I love my boyfriend too, okay? So much. I love it that he’s picking me up a thermarest at REI today on his way home from the train station so I don’t get cold again on our hike, and I love it that he described the neighborhood in Portland he was hanging out in last night as “Trustafarian” and then said, “You know, my kind of demographic.” I love that he’s the smartest person I know. I love that he is gentle and silly and adventuresome in the extreme and also that he grills an excellent salmon, outside on the grill, in the dark, while wearing a head lamp. I love it that he hasn’t left me for J. Lo yet. I’m glad we’ve been together as long as we have been, and that we really have grown up together in a lot of ways. I’m so glad to be with him, you don’t even know.10) You! I love everyone who reads this. I love writing this journal, and I love that you read it, and that sometimes you care enough about what I write to tell me that I’m wrong about something. Sometimes you’ve even written to say you like something I’ve written, and you know you just make my day when you do that.

See? See all that love? It’s like it’s Valentine’s Day every day of the week up in here.

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