I know in past years, I’ve downplayed V Day. Okay, right. I’ve made fun of the fools who rush out and throw money down in the name of love. I mean, how stupid can some guys get?
I also know some of you are laughing at me this year. Yeah, go ahead. Hardy-har-har.
I’m man enough to admit when I’ve been the stupid one, and the rest of you knew something I didn’t. I get it now.
So I walk into the Hallmark Store, the Hallmark Store for god’s sake, and look at cards. This cute little grandma tiptoes up to me.
“May I help you, sir?” she whispers.
I almost shout back, “Say what?” but I restrain.
“Just lookin’ for a card for my sweetie,” I say.
She looks at me, her mouth open, like I just spit on the damned floor.
“Oh, my,” she mutters.
What? I can’t get a mushy fucking card for Jimmy without being harassed and having to take down grandma? WTF?
“What’s your girlfriend like?” she timidly asks me.
I’m about to yell at her to man up, but I say, “Boyfriend,” instead.
“Oh, my,” she repeats herself.
She takes a step back and eyes me up and down.
“Well, I have a special collection of cards in the back, if you’ll follow me.”
Oh, God! The special grandma collection.
We go through a curtained doorway, past a sign that says something like “This ain’t Hallmark back here. Hallmark has nothing to do with what you see back here. Visit this room at your own risk.” WTF?
This annex is darker, closer, crowded with dildos, whips, leather, and candy. I pick up one of the little boxes of sugar candy hearts. “Screw,” “fuck,” “BJ,” and “Ram It” are written on the ones I can see through the little plastic window.
Okay, yeah, this ain’t your typical Hallmark. This is more like your Good Vibrations version, only not in the city.
“Hey, Leroy!” granny says, louder than she was talking on the other side of the curtain. “This guy needs help.”
Hey, now. I wouldn’t go that far. Maybe guidance, but I don’t need help.
This old guy with wrinkled tattooed skin and piercings everywhere, wearing a leather vest, tight leather pants, and boots, looks up from the chair where he was sitting and thumbing through a magazine.
“Thanks, Marge. I got it.”
She nods to him and slides away back into the other reality behind the curtain.
“What can I get you, young man?” the geezer asks.
“I need a card and a present,” I answer.
He, like granny, gives me the up and down.
“This way. I got just what you need.”
How surprised am I when he does? Real surprised.
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