Patsy Porco

Posts Tagged ‘Romance’

Delayed Gratification

In Aging, Humor, Valentine's Day on February 14, 2017 at 3:17 am

It’s Valentine’s Day, otherwise known as the one day each year when couples over-spend in order to prove the depth of their love for each other.

After 25 years of marriage, I might be a little jaded, but my cynicism is practical. My husband and I haven’t stopped celebrating Valentine’s Day. We just move it forward by a few days. The date we celebrate depends on when Walgreen’s reduces the price of their Valentine’s candy by 75%.

I’m not crazy. Why would I settle for one small heart of chocolate that costs $20 when I can have a shopping-cart full of giant hearts for the same $20 a few days later?

I learned the hard way. In our first year of dating, my husband and I were on the way to dinner when he handed me a box of beautiful handmade chocolates (that his friend’s sister made and forcefully sold to all of his friends). I was touched. They were almost too pretty to eat. The candy set the tone for the evening. I was giddy with romance and anticipating our romantic dinner.

When we got to the restaurant, my husband gallantly came around the car to open my door. I stepped out of the car and the expensive candy which was on my lap fell onto the ground and scattered all over the parking lot. That was embarrassing. And expensive for my husband.

Now I get truckloads of marked-down candy that tastes as sweet as it would have on Valentine’s Day, and if I drop it in the street, it’s really no big loss.

candy-heart

Happy VD

In Humor, Valentine's Day on February 14, 2015 at 2:15 pm

valentine-day-clip-art-valentines-day-clipart copyOne of the benefits of being married is that you always have a valentine on February 14. The irony is that many long-married couples ignore the day completely. Restaurants are packed and charge diners top dollar; price-gouging is rampant for flowers, cards, and candy; and forced romance is, well, forced. It’s a relief to have a permanent valentine because it eliminates the pressure that singles experience.

For instance, back when my husband and I first started dating, he went to a friend’s house to watch a football game with a bunch of guys. The sister of the host announced that she made homemade chocolates; she then proceeded to guilt all of the guys into ordering her very expensive candy. So, months later, on Valentine’s Day, my husband took me to the movies. While we drove there, he handed me the box of candy. Each piece was a work of art. When we got to the theater, he gallantly opened my door. As I got out of the car, I forgot that I had the box of chocolates in my lap. The box fell to the ground and the handmade chocolates scattered all over the parking lot. I was horrified. My husband was appalled that he had been robbed by his friend’s sister only to have his clumsy girlfriend ruin his gift. I haven’t gotten handmade chocolates since.

This reminds me of another story about presents given by a love-addled guy to his girlfriend. Years ago, I had a Saturday job in the circulation department of a local newspaper. I worked with other women, counting money and answering phone calls from disgruntled subscribers. Our office was separate from the newsroom. While I only worked on Saturdays, the other employees worked full-time and took turns working on Saturdays. On one occasion, I was working with a young woman whose desktop was overflowing with cards, small stuffed animals, and flowers. One of the columnists walked through our office on his way to the newsroom. When he saw her desk, he asked, “Are all of those gifts from your boyfriend?” She said that they were. He then asked, “Is he in the service?” She shook her head and said, “No, he’s in jail.” That flustered the writer, who smiled and made a quick getaway. We all thought that this was hilarious. Later, one of the women pulled me aside and said, “I wonder what he would have done if he learned that her boyfriend was actually her half-brother?” True story. Honest to God.

While that story has absolutely nothing to do with Valentine’s Day, it had to be told. But, back to today. My husband and I are going to a Mardi Gras party tonight. I was thinking of taking heart-shaped cookies to the party, as a nod to the holiday. That’s about the extent of our celebration of the day. However, tomorrow, when all heart-shaped boxes of candy are 75% off, that’s when we’ll celebrate. Married couples know that love isn’t restricted to a specific day, and we’re patient enough to wait for markdowns.

St. Joseph’s Pastry Day

In Humor, Religion on March 23, 2012 at 12:02 am

The other day, as I was leaving the vacuum repair store and the owner was telling me that he’d call me when my vacuum was ready, I heard another voice wishing me a “Happy St. Joseph’s Day.”  The shop is very small, narrow, and cluttered, so I had to look around before I spotted an older man with wiry gray hair and a long beard working behind a mountain of broken appliances. I wished him the same. He told me not to forget to buy pastries. I asked him if it was a tradition to buy pastries on St. Joseph’s Day and he told me that it was.

Weirdly enough, this was the first year that I had remembered St. Joseph’s Day. Usually it’s forgotten in the blur that succeeds St. Patrick’s Day, which is two days earlier. This year, I remembered Mary’s husband’s feast day. And, being Catholic, I prayed for those who could use his husbandly/fatherly/carpentryly help. But, because St. Joseph is honored after hangover-day, he is often overlooked. However, when you think of how honorable he was, you realize that we need to remember him now more than ever.

Being noble and self-sacrificing is a lost art. In this era of Reality TV, it’s more acceptable to act selfishly and callously. Feel-good stories sometimes end newscasts and appear in the Lifestyles section of Sunday newspapers, but bad behavior gets the ratings. However, anyone who loves Gothic, Edwardian, Victorian, or Romance fiction knows how deeply affecting are the actions of selfless heroes and heroines. I reflected on that for a minute or two … and then concentrated on pastries.

Okay, until then I had had no idea that St. Joseph’s Day was celebrated with pastries. That didn’t mean it was too late to join the party, especially since a bakery was located on the same block as the vacuum repair shop. Being jaded, I wondered if the bakery had paid the repair shop to promote St. Joseph’s Day. After a half-second’s reflection, I decided that I didn’t care. Any reason to buy pastries was a good reason.

I race-walked over to the bakery and, after much mouth-watering deliberation, bought numerous huge cannoli, along with raspberry and chocolate dough-shaped pretzels. I added two mini cannoli to my order. Then I met up with a friend for a mile-long walk at the track behind City Hall. After our walk, I rewarded us with the mini cannoli. I told her that I had just learned that St. Joseph’s Day was traditionallly celebrated with pastries. She said, “Uh huh, if you’re Italian.” I was amazed that I wasn’t aware of this, since absolutely every Italian tradition was acknowledged, if not celebrated, by my husband and in-laws. I figured that somehow I had missed the significance of the day over the last 20 years of our marriage, but I was more than willing to make amends.

After our walk, I went home and announced a surprise dessert to my husband and son. After dinner, I presented the pastries. My husband and son appeared appreciative, but no more than that. I asked my husband if he knew what day it was. He said, “March 19.” I then asked what saint’s day it was. “St. Joseph’s Day,” he replied. Surprised at his lack of understanding, I asked whether or not his family used to celebrate the day with pastries. He had no idea what I was talking about. He said that every special meal ended with pastries when he was growing up. I took that as a “yes” and moved on. The pastries were delicious. I’ve decided that we’re going to celebrate St. Joseph’s Day once a week, at least.

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