Vituperative Valentine’s Day
Today we reconvene at our solitary stovetop to pay all due respect to our favorite Hallmark holiday: Valentine’s Day.
While some are inclined to view Valentine’s Day as a couple’s holiday, we welcome its onset in much the same fashion we welcome the onset of an illness: as an opportunity to reflect—all by our onesy, of course—and feel vindicated in our abstemious abstention from the ensuing melee unfolding before us like freshly laundered towels being trampled by a dog from hell (alias Love, with all due respect to Charles Bukowski).
We must confess that when contemplating an alliterative expression that would give suitable vent to our relationship to the holiday upon us (the relationship to abstractions being the sole sort of relationship to which we are prone—barring, of course, inanimate objects and cats, and most certainly not in that order), we found ourselves deferring to the wisdom of dictionary.com. While many words sprang to mind whose meaning we were utterly certain of—Vindictive! Vehement! Vile! Viral! Vicious! Virulent!—for reasons heretofore unbeknownst to us, it was “vituperative” that stuck in our collective craw. As our foundation in “vituperative” was less solid than, say, our foundation in “violent,” “vexatious,” and “venal,” we confirmed our suspicion that “vituperative” was the very word we were after based on the following definition, courtesy of this website:
vituperation (vɪˌtjuːpəˈreɪʃən) — n 1. abusive language or venomous censure 2. the act of vituperating
vituperative — adj
This established, the question is raised: where, among so many eminently worthy candidates, should we direct our vituperation?
This being Valentine’s Day, we could do much worse than to turn our attention to this rendering of that most tragic of archetypes: the Single Lady.
And this, dearish readers, is where we lose steam.
After all, isn’t this more or less apt?
Here we have all the essential ingredients of single ladyhood:
A couch (no doubt indelibly impressed with an outline of our flannel pajama-clad derriere, on account of we never leave it)
A remote control
An answering machine bereft of messages (and, with an extra twist of the knife, announcing this in French—no Jean Luc for you!)
Eighties power ballads
Vats of red wine
Vats of red wine
A sing-along for one
Vats of red wine
This, as we thirty-something ladies, devoid of attachments other than to abstractions, inanimate objects, and cats, well know, is more or less a day in the life. Pretty much the only thing missing is an abundance of carbohydrates, but this shall be summarily remedied by the end of this post.
Nevertheless and that notwithstanding, this Valentine’s Day, we would like to propose a bolder vision of flying solo, and corresponding anthem.
Let’s assess, shall we?
Kindly turn here in your hymnals.
First and foremost, there is the matter of the Danger Zone. What exactly is it? Clearly, the Danger Zone is that inhabited by thirty-something single women. Kenny Loggins says, embrace it! Take the highway right into it! Shriveling eggs be damned!
The brazen woman who rides into the Danger Zone is “Headin’ into twilight/Spreadin’ Out Her Wings Tonight”. You go, girlfriend! Don’t let anyone call you a cheap date!
After all, “You’ll never say hello to you/Until you get it on the red line overload”. It’s all about self-actualization, ladies! Or menstruation. Or self-actualization through menstruation! Cycles of the moon, a-whoo!
Remember: “You’ll never know what you can do/Until you get it up as high as you can go.” We believe the reference here is obvious; this being a family blog, we will avoid coming out and saying it (see: inanimate objects). The moral of the story: it’s all up to you, ladies.
Notice the *solo* that immediately follows this lyric, emblazoned across the black screen in bold red. The moral of the story: it’s all up to you, ladies. Ride into the danger zone!
Ride “Out along the edges/Always where I burn to be”. Sing it, Kenny!
[insert fist pumps here]
After all, as those of us relegated to the social periphery know, “The further on the edge/The hotter the intensity”.
And, as those of us relegated to the social periphery also know, there’s nothing hotter than hot intensity. Especially when flying solo!
So let’s hear it for all of us in the Danger Zooooooone this Valentine’s Day! Better alone than in bad company! And better in your own bad company than someone else’s!
Of course the keeping of one’s own company—whether bad or badass—is hungry work. Whether you intend to spend this Valentine’s Day keening about the fact that you’re all by yourself, or congratulating yourself on navigating the Danger Zone with grace and aplomb, you will need to do some serious carbo-loading.
We are aware that common wisdom currently holds that Carbohydrates are Satan. And this, fellow solo-flyers, is one of the many beauties of being single. We don’t have to care! After all, who’s going to judge you if you make a meal of mashed potatoes? Not your abstractions! Not your inanimate objects! And most certainly not your cats! It is in this spirit that we balefully bring you Danger Zone Mashed Potatoes.
Danger Zone Mashed Potatoes
Sufficient potatoes (Russets or Your Own Private Idahos) to fill a large pot (we used eight), cut into quarters; be the contrarian that you are and refuse to succumb to the common wisdom that you should peel them; the peels, after all, are where the nutrients are, and you, you solo flyer, you, are a lazy sod with no one to impress
An indecent quantity of butter (at least a stick—this is, after all, the Danger Zone)
Plenty of milk (we used soymilk)
Salt to taste, provided you have any
Boil the potatoes in salted water until tender, in stark contrast to your sensibilities. This should take about 20-25 minutes.
Drain the potatoes in a colander and return them to the pot over low heat. Using a potato masher (our preferred anger management device), mash the ever-living daylights out of them, incorporating butter and milk whilst doing so, until you have achieved a texture to your liking (as much as anything is ever to your liking). Salt as needed. Serve with additional, obscene quantities of butter, vats of red wine, and fist pumps. Vituperate any and all who would cast a sympathetic gaze in your direction for thusly spending your Valentine’s Day. Or, better yet, return the favor and gaze with sympathy on those befuddled civilians who would lament that you, you solo flyer, you, are All By Yourself: after all, not everyone’s cut out for the Danger Zone—those poor dears.
Butter: more is more
More of more = even more! Everybody wins.
Some associate Valentine’s Day with chocolate. We associate it with bile—and butter.
Spinsterhood is a dish best served wine-soaked.
Have you ever noticed that wine openers (arguably the most indispensable inanimate object in the single lady’s arsenal, with flannel pajamas and a remote control coming in as distant seconds) resemble goddess figures? The moral of the story: it’s all up to you, ladies.