Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine's Day

Last night went bowling. Hadn't been bowling since I was a young girl. I believe we went duck pin bowling for a birthday party when I was about 10 years old. Last night I most certainly made everything up as I went along. Didn't have a single notion as to what was proper to do with my body as I bowled. Had to be instructed how to fit my fingers in the bowling ball holes.

My husband said that I was throwing the ball and that someone was going to come and tell me to stop, I might ruin the wood on the bowling lane. But then the loud music started, and the lights dimmed, and the colored lights started spinning, and the bowling ally filled with laughing people, and he must have thought, "no one cares that Karen is throwing the ball".

I actually beat one of my husband's scores. That was when I bowled two strikes. My husband learned how to bowl in school. The kids got on the school bus and were bussed to a bowling lane for physical education. It was very amusing to watch him be so serious about his bowling form. Usually at the last minute, he put so much push on the ball, that his feet slipped from under him and he nearly toppled over. It happened again and again. He complained the lane was slippery.

I looked at his back, standing so still, considering the lane in front of him, all focus, and for once I saw him in a serious mood. It is not so often that I see my husband in a serious mood. He is very attractive when he is serious. He bowled about one game seriously trying to win, and then, he bought a beer. After the beer, when he stood and held his bowling ball and considered the lane in front of him his hips wiggled a little in time with the music and he danced while he bowled. Dancing was disastrous for his score. When he danced, and ignored the bowling form that he had learned in school as a child, he rolled gutter balls.

I said to my husband, "Don't dance when you bowl" but the woman we were there with (another couple) said, "he's having fun". And of course she was right. I was so mixed up as to whether or not to compete or to have fun that I prayed to God to just let me hit the pins and not throw gutter balls. I must have a competitive personality. Out of the four of us I didn't want to be the low score. I wanted the woman from the other couple to bowl the low score. And rotten me, when she bowled well, I was disappointed. I tried hard not to wish her ill luck. But there was a little devil in me speaking.

The bowling was one price for 9pm until 12am. The other couple we bowled with met us at a Friendly's restaurant at 8pm and we all had ice cream and coffee before we bowled.

I did not get to sleep until a little after 2am. But while my husband was snoring, I left the bedroom and set up on his computer his valentine gifts. There was the Tibetan prayer rug with two fishes which was the big surprise. It is small and there is a specific place for it. It fits on top of his pine witch box underneath his computer. I draped the prayer rug over the top of his computer so he would see it when he wakes. Then there was a heart shaped red candy box with a green dinosaur with googly eyes that moved that says "Valentine, you're Dino-mite!", a bag of Werther's candy that he likes to suck on, and a card. This year I went not for the big message card, but for the card with the best picture on it. It had a picture of two puppies asleep with their heads next to one another. Inside I wrote "You're my best buddy" and "Love you forever".

I received a stuffed toy puppy dog, very cute, and chocolates. A whole mess of different kinds of chocolates in a festive bag with pink tissue paper. I am currently, after one day of eating chocolates, dreaming of biting into an apple. A fresh, crisp, apple. And maybe eating a little bit of grilled chicken. There is such a thing as eating too much chocolate where you begin to dream of other foods.

About three weeks ago my husband and I bought a silver necklace in an antique store. This purchase was understood to be an early Valentine's Day gift. The necklace has spokes that fan out like rays of the sun. It is very substantial, a lot of silver, and I feel like Cleopatra when I wear it.

In honor of the holiday I changed the table cloth on the kitchen table to from one that is green to one that is red. On top is a fancy strip of embroidered black cloth, and on top of the cloth there is a fat red candle in a glass hurricane shaped container. Today I dashed to the grocery store to buy several red carnations to put in the small Waterford crystal rose bowl that my husband and I received from my father as a wedding gift. There were tons of flowers at the grocery store, but the prices they were charging! One carnation was $1.50 and one red rose was $3.99. Never mind how much a bouquet of flowers cost. I suppose for the man who wants to impress his woman price does not matter. On Valentine's Day the man is a little desperate. You are under the gun to prove your love. I really wanted flowers on my beautiful table so I bit the bullet and bought four carnations, all different shades of red. A carnation is a flower that lasts a long time.

When I was bowling I looked around at all the happy people and I thought to myself "I have a schizophrenic illness, but look, I am enjoying myself out in public! No one could ever guess at the secret I contain." And I felt pretty. I wore a designer cream cashmere sweater that I bought long ago when I had money from Neiman Marcus and light blue torn jeans. On the drive home my husband said to me that I looked like I was in my early thirties, tops. Truth is, I'm 42. But all of the dieting I have been doing paid off last night. I was not the thinnest girl there, but I had a normal figure. And when you have felt overweight for so long, being normal, feels like the sweetest high. My hair was long and fluffy because I had taken a shower just several hours before we left the house.

I think that I shall ask my husband to take all the left over chocolate with him tomorrow to work and distribute it to his co-workers, or save it for himself as a snack. I want to continue my diet tomorrow. The gift of candy was appreciated, as a gesture, but I really don't want to eat it all. My husband sought to overwhelm me, and this he did. From an economic point of view my husband may find it frustrating that all the candy is returned to him - he will feel like he wasted money - but my eye is on a prize.

I have a goal to fit into the next smaller size jeans by Easter. Easter will be celebrated by visiting with family, and I would like to show off a smaller size to them. I also will change the kitchen table again at Easter, putting on what type of table cloth I do not know yet. But there will most certainly be a new candle holder or stick that co-ordinates with the table cloth. I can always use something I already have, don't have to buy anything new. But I think I will look and plan.

I love having a pretty, decorated house. I would be devastated if my dwelling were destroyed by fire. The objects I own come from decades of patient collection. I think that I refused to try to sell the last two paintings I painted because I wanted them to decorate the kitchen walls. They mean more to me than money. A colorful, decorated living space is a joy to live in. I'm definitely not a minimalist. I would prefer to have someone else's beautiful paintings rather than my own hanging in my house. There is such a thing as being too surrounded by one's own ego. Seeing myself reflected back at myself is not my idea of comfort. I like other people's vision besides my own. But I like quality. I like to be impressed. And quality costs money. So until I can afford the quality of what I paint myself, I have to be satisfied with only myself.

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