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Thursday, February 14, 2008

A David Foster Wallace Valentine

Did it ever occur to you that the simple phrase “Be My Sweetheart” (hereafter referred to as B.M.S.) has been occluded by the desalinization of love, or rather the concept of love, which has been transmuted into an ironic declaration of faux-sentiment for the benefit of self-fulfillment of sheeplike masses (SLM) with the endless Hollywoodization and crass consumer-mongering of the media buoyed by the post-Christmas holiday onslaught of sales-driven shelf-filling multinational retail conglomerates intent on upping the ante on first-quarter revenue?1

B.M.S. is a sentiment I would love to convey to you, as certainly, in the facile go-to antiquated Shakespearean ideal of Romeo & Juliet proffered in sitcoms, or say, a less unrequited offering of Helena and Bertram, Anne and Fenton, or, even more blithely and evocative of the “holiday,” Hermia and Lysander.

I was thinking of sending you roses, or perhaps roses and chocolates; however, growing up with my family and having had borne witness to such FTD and Whitman’s Sampler advancements of affection among siblings and cousins and friends of the family, there was much speculation about merely rendering B.M.S. in such a banal commonplace way. Life is a constant struggle, as is love, is it not? I learned that at Amherst. And, after all, Bobby Riggs could have easily sent Billie Jean King a bunch of flowers, but really, to what avail?2

Rather than merely wishing for you to B.M.S., really the hue and cry of the less-imaginative SLM, of which I would prefer you do not count me any more than I count you since I hold you in such high esteem, (and not a Faulkneresque braying); I conceive an opportunity to more fully explore and develop the notion of sincerely, à la Nathan Hale, asservating my blazing devotedness to you.3

Though to you it might seem nonsensical, my J’et Adoring (JA-ing) or Je T’aime-styling (JETStyling) as I pine for you like Roger Federer longs for a supreme challenger, I cannot dissuade myself from the knowing, gnawing, pained expressionless feeling which permeates my very existence, re: YOU and I. And if you will, however simply, B.M.S., on this so-called holiday, it would mean everything and more.4

Therefore, in closing, I would just like to offer you this opportunity to accept my devotion to you in the form of this easily disposed card (printed on 100% recycled paper) in the name of B.M.S. and the nation’s dependence on revenue generating holidays for last-minute shoppers of all ages in the defense of liberty and freedom, which is a nominal cost to pay for our national security and succor and pity for the SLM. Consider the way of the Satin Bowerbird, as I bounce around preening for your attention … this is my unconventional, yet wholly conventional way of Bowerbirding for you to know that I am ready to have a match with you.

You have found my sweet spot, as it were and—though I digress—I just wanted to wish you a Happy Valentine’s Day. You could call me5 if you like and maybe we could have coffee or take in a game of tennis or something. But please, take me at face value (not faccia felice falsa): because, as you know me, surely I do not jest.



1 Utilizing the recent Wall Street Journal article on the growth of national chain convenience stores, CVS, Duane Reade, and 7-Eleven, “Convenient Valentine Markups Boost First Quarter Sales.”
2 Riggs/King is merely one example; as it would further illustrate the battle between the sexes, and the necessity of the human quandary of why men and women seek each other’s company—though this is a specific integration of a biblical concept and not meant to adversely sideline our friends who
favor a same-sex existence. Perhaps Williams and Williams would be a more apt reference were they not actually related. Anna Kournikova sending Ashley Harkleroad flowers would definitely set off some slash-fic and I myself might read all of it, were I not already preoccupied with celebrating our union on this so-called holiday.
3 Ibid.
4 Insofar as, unironically, I am somewhat smitten with you.
5 You still have my number.

Mick Stingley is a freelance writer. He is single and lives alone in New York City. He and Céline Dion will both be 40 on March 30, 2008.