I still don’t know exactly who or what Saint Valentine was. I went to the grocery store this morning and it was empty except for the holiday special aisle, which was full of worried men buying chocolate. The floral area was also pretty congested. It’s all so confusing, what’s required of men and women. I bought some groceries and then went to the liquor store for a bottle of wine, which I was planning on doing before I got to the store and realized it was Valentine’s Day. As I was comparing coffee prices in the long lonely grocery aisle, a man’s voice came over the intercom and crooned all of “Love me tender,” then gently suggested I pick up some chocolate covered strawberries at the front of the store. And then, a reprise of the chorus; he had a fine voice.
Stepping away from the American acknowledgement of the holiday for a moment, I’d like to recommend a movie that’s set on Valentine’s Day, 1900, “Picnic at Hanging Rock.” (This link seemed to work, for watching the whole movie with a few commercials; couldn’t find an uninterrupted freebie anywhere). Directed by Peter Weil, it’s a creepy Australian movie from the mid-70s that moves preternaturally slowly, but gracefully. Valentine’s Day is just the pretext for the picnic, things get much stranger as soon as the party reaches hanging rock.
It’s snowing and I have a lot to do today. Happy Valentine’s Day, may your heart be at peace.