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February 15th, 2002

on valentine's day

I wonder if I've just never noticed this before, or if I've never been out and about much on this day before.

The first disturbing thing I saw was driving past the Fannie May candy store this afternoon, the place was totally packed. Cars double parked, people in and out like insects, an actual line of cars on Neil street waiting to turn in.

Later I stopped by the grocery store to buy some things for dinner. They had six people working behind the tiny florist counter at this store, and a mob of (mostly) men, all of them buying arrangements of roses (one had a sign that said $39.95).

But worst of all was the scene at the greeting card rack, which was a total zoo of shameless men picking out Valentine's day cards. Judging from the turnover rate in the crowd, these guys were spending all of five seconds selecting the "perfect" card for their sweethearts. One guy I noticed in particular was dressed in a filthy t-shirt and holey sweatpants and had a fucking twelve-pack of beer in his other hand, for crying out loud.

I was utterly unable to imagine what must have been going through the minds of all of these people, and how they thought it related to their most intimate relationships.

Who's to blame for this travesty? The mass media and marketing that have so many people utterly convinced that buying roses, chocolate, and sappy cards is a necessary part of keeping a relationship going? The men, who think that they can treat their women like shit all year and somehow make it all up on these few "special" days? The women, who have convinced their men that if they spend money on icons, treats, and tribute a few times a year, that it'll be easier for them the rest of the time, and they might get laid one more time?

Absolutely incredible. I am so glad most of my relationships are sane, and that I years ago ditched all of the people who were wont to play that game. The people I love know I love them, and I try to make sure they know year-round, and avoid these nasty little tribal rituals.

more on 'zero church'

I know I've gushed about this already a few days ago, but I was just reading the back cover of the CD case for Suzzy and Maggie Roche's Zero Church effort, and was again deeply moved.

Maggie had written it on her calendar, the original release date for this collection of prayers: September 11th. It had been pushed back several times before any of us knew what would actually happen on that day.

When we began our search for prayers, I wasn't sure what we were doing. Now I'm beginning to understand... something real about compassion, kindness, and tolerance.

I will try to resist the urge to post more lyrics from that album here, as important as they seem to be to me. They're all at http://www.roches.com/Roches/zerolyrics.html anyway.

Countdown to Match Day: 10 days.

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