A very fine bottle of Chianti, she says. I don't really think I'll ever see the like again. It was magical stuff.
Click through for more Valentine's Day-based meanderings.
As I recall, there were five of us: M----, St---, L-, E----, and myself. We schlepped our things that Valentine's day out to the bluffs overlooking the ocean (passing over the delightfully bizarre grafitto: "Pack It In, Pack It Out: Only Kooks Litter!"). We had brought our own bottles, but nobody had brought a corkscrew. M---- and I, the ones with the wine, managed to open our bottles most ignomiously by pushing the corks in with one of my pens. Yes, I brought my school backpack to the beach; I was and probably still am that kind of girl.
That night was wonderful. While I had genuinely liked these girls, I hadn't ever forgotten that they weren't related to me, weren't Mormon, weren't permanent; so, before that evening of drunken silliness, I had never allowed myself to really relax and enjoy their company. The First Inaugural Fuck-Valentine's-Day-All-Girls-Drinkathon was the first time that I felt unembarrassing giggling or peeing in bushes in front of female friends.
We held onto our tradition in college, and I have since proudly passed the ritual on to my female friends. My friends and I have often had long-distance, cross-cultural boyfriends, or whatever, so, for most of my friends in the past few years, paying one whit of attention to the drum-beat of Valentine's Day advertising in the US would actually undermine the relationship.
Let me be perfectly candid: sometimes, men, even boyfriends were allowed to attend our "Fuck-Valentine's-Day-All-Girls-Drinkathons." They were made aware of the parameters beforehand (no sentiment! always defer to the grrrls!), and they seemed to be fine with it. As long as everyone is happy and nobody is allowed to snog, then Valentine's Day can occur behind closed doors as it was meant to.
Full disclosure: my mother sends me chocolate truffles for Valentine's Day and has done for ten years. This practice probably enables my alternative traditions.
Fuller disclosure: now that I have a boyfriend who lives in my area code, I should really figure out a way of talking to him about all this.
Fuck Valentine's Day.