Monday, February 6, 2012

My Special Surprise

I sat down tonight with the intent to blog about stuffed animals, and how the gift of one signifies that the giver is placing him/herself in the role of adult--the one with power and dominance in the relationship--while at the same time subjugating his or her significant other to an infantile, child-like role. Then I was planning on diving into the transfer of adult/child relationships to husband/wife relationships, then wrapping it all into the greater framework of imperialism and colonization. Then I realized that I had probably been reading too many of my old college papers while scrapbooking and that maybe all people are thinking when they buy stuffed animals is: "This animal is cute. My significant other is cute. Ergo, I will buy it." Or something along those lines. So instead of a post titled Stuffed Animals: The Role of Gift-Giving in Imperialistic Relationship Power Dynamics, I give to you a story about an old boyfriend.

Writing 101: Know thine audience. 

It was a cold day in Idaho...for those who didn't have a date. Thankfully, this Valentine's Day I did. My first college boyfriend and I had been dating for about a month, and I just knew he was going to have something great planned for us. I was right--he picked me up and we headed off to one of the most popular restaurants in town. Unfortunately, his great plan did not involve making reservations ahead of time on the most popular date night of the year, so either we could wait an hour to get seated or we could go to Arbys. I was a little nonplussed as I picked at my curly fries, but when my boyfriend told me he had a special surprise for me, his lack of planning was forgiven. What woman doesn't like a special surprise on Valentine's Day?

We finished eating, got into the car, and I eagerly watched as he reached into the back seat of his truck, and pulled out...a pillow. A decorative Valentine's Day pillow, with a cutesy saying on it--I think it was "Be Mine." You know, at least with a stuffed animal, you can read, "He thinks I'm cute!" into it, but all you can read into a stuffed pillow is, "It was at his eye level at Walmart and it was on sale." Let's just say I went home that night reconsidering my life. (Roommate: So what did X get you for Valentine's Day? Me: Ummm...a pillow. There's no way to make that not sound lame.) I immediately stuffed the grand token of my boyfriend's affection into the darkest corner of my closet and then broke up with the poor sap as soon after Valentine's Day as I decently could. The pillow then got flung into the middle of the dorm courtyard, where I watched it get kicked around for a couple days. The End.

There are quite a few morals to be gleaned from this story. (Not that there always has to be a moral.) But I think the most important one is this: only buy decorative pillows for your grandma. 


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