T h e A d v e n t u r e s o f C h i c a g o J o

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Valentines of the Past and Present

2007-02-15† Ė† 5:55 p.m.
In the eighth grade Bryan C. insisted on coming over, despite me not showering in the previous three days and having one of those death coughs that rattled down to my bones. Having not left the house, I was forced to find something within the house for a measly present and exchange it with him while pretending that I wasnít actually on my death bed. He was out of the house 20 minutes later, and I had a Valentineís troll doll. If that isnít middle school in 1993, I donít know what is.

In the ninth grade, Donny R. showed up with a big I LOVE YOU balloon and a Walgreenís bag of chocolates. It was so very Donny, and that made me laugh. When the balloon deflated, I stapled it to my bedroom wall. It was still on my wall when I moved out for college, despite having not talked with him since our breakup, when I learned that he had a girlfriend one town over. She lied, saying she was 14 instead of her actual 12 years, and it was pretty rad knowing that she was shoving it to him.

In the tenth grade I had a boyfriend named Chad B. He was on his way out, and he knew it. But instead of just letting our two-schools-over romance fade, he showered me with flowers, candy, and a heart-shaped necklace. On the actual night of Valentineís Day, Daniel S. drove me home from my basketball game and told me that he wanted me to be his girlfriend. I told him he was crazy. That April I changed my mind, and my heartís first pitter-patter was directed toward a lanky red-haired boy who was country down to his core.

My junior year of college, Matt came home empty-handed. In the early days of our five years together, he was a bit of a shit with that sort of stuff. The few VDís after that were marked with flowers of two different colors. Iíll keep quiet on the different colors and meanings and whatnot because I donít want to ruin my street cred as a hardass.

The next Valentineís Day I was in Chicago. Someone sweet sent me tulips, saying he wished he could again see my lips. It never happened, but I wish him well.

The next one I was fully entwined with someone. I got blue flowers (my favorite color) delivered to work, and that night we went out for fondue. Being two not-very-fancy people, we laughed through a red wine haze in the restaurantís romantic darkness about how we were eating ďfancy nachosĒ. Our next year was sushi at a place weíd never tried and exchanged cards that we both made. We likely came home with a bottle (or three) of red wine and lounged on the couch in front of his fireplace.

Last year I threw a Kick-the-Crap-Out-of-Love party with full intentions of watching Kung-fu movies. Instead, the party attendees and I drank a whole bunch while talking and standing around my kitchen island. It was a great way to spend the wretched holiday since I was suffering open wounds from the above-mentioned blue-flower-wielding craphead.

And although Iíve had a few stereotypical, a few thoughtful, and a few bum years, last night was the best of them Iíve had.

The first good part to yesterday was that I got a new project at work. Itís very openly known at work that I have what can be perceived as either the healthiest attitude toward work-life balance or am completely ambivalent to what goes on around me. Usually Iím the one cranking out high-quality TPS reports on whatever it is Iím asked to go though. Everything always gets done, and it gets done well... But itís very clear that I just donít give a crap.

But when thereís a project that has something to do with this one topic, and someone else with very little experience was given the task to lead it, I usurped the crap outta that and have since spearheaded everything, including giving it an official Starter Kit title so it sounds like Iím doing so much more than I am. Muhahaha.

Anyway, Iím working on something thatís reasonably cool. (Well, as cool as the dorky work things go, anyway.) Working on things that donít make me want to poke my eyes out is good, so yay for yesterday at work.

I jetted out of work at 5 to change into jeans, stuff a bottle of wine into my big purse, and head to the dentist. After last weekís teeth cleaning where I talked with my current ho-hum dentist about cosmetic dentistry and was told that insurance would not cover it under any circumstances but that she could replace it for me, I decided that Iíd go somewhere shinier for this massive out-of-pocket expense.

With my appointment confirmed through a nice lady on the Internet, I had pictures taken, an x-ray made, and met a lady with really pretty teeth and lots of degrees who showed me pictures of her previous work, explained everything that Google already told me all about, and then gave me an estimate that made my jaw drop.

I did some side work last year specifically to pay for this. After taxes I had a chunk of change that Iíve been drawing 5.04% on in one of my accounts since then. Iíve been calculating the pennies while pining away for this stuff to be done, working up the nerve to get an estimate so I knew what Iíd have to pony up.

When she showed me the estimate on the computer screen, my jaw dropped because it was so much cheaper than what I was expecting. Like one-third of the amount. So I have my first two appointments scheduled where Iíll get everything started. All work will be complete in about three months. YAY!

With two-thirds of the saved money now just sitting there and my newfound confidence in obtaining estimates with hopes that Iíll be happily surprised, Iíve just made an appointment with the laser hair people to make it so I Never Have To Shave Again.

Bring. It. On.

So after getting the good news on my teeth, I headed to dinner with two friends. We had our usual wonderfully delicious Thai food and washed it down with two bottles of wine.

And then I did what I usually do while drunk: I invited them to move to LA with me at the end of this year. And like all of the drunken people I drunkenly mention this to, they too agreed to go. If everyone I asked to move to LA with me went, Iíd have an entire commune.

A really fucking cool commune.

I ended the night with a trip to Walgreenís, where I bought a big pack of ice cream bars and handed them out to random people on the street, wishing them a happy Valentineís Day.

If that isnít what days should be made of, I donít know what is. †

Miss something?

Moving Day - 2008-02-15
Working from Home is Glorious - 2008-02-13
Speaking in Tongues - 2008-02-07
I Have My Reasons - 2008-01-25
Got an Itch, Fix it, Shine it Up, Sing it Out - 2008-01-23

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