Welcome to the first iteration of Laps! As you have probably noticed, Amy and I are very into noticing. In Laps, we will recount the activities of a particular day as they happened with as much specificity as possible based on notes scribbled down throughout that day, as a huge part of this website (/life) is nestling into the magic of paying attention.
This first one is #special because it took place on my very favorite holiday (and I celebrate all of them – President’s Day is a close second y’all!) (It would probably be Yom Kippur if I was better at being Jewish)(am pretty Anglican and very into Maundy Thursday actually)(holidays), and we wanted to share it with you before the romance has entirely worn off. In preparation for the big day, I made myself a list of activities I could partake of in celebration, so as not to waste a single ounce of lerve I could squeeze out. In a way, I understand why people tend to dislike Valentine’s — the commodification of love, the relentless sap, the potential penchant for loneliness. But I don’t see it that way. For one, I see it as the only holiday you don’t have to approach with consideration of other people’s expectations, an undeniable benefit of being single. On Christmas, you have familial tradition to contend with; New Year’s Eve is where the real pressure for romance is applied. But on Valentine’s, you can do whatever you like – ignore it, cry for precisely 12 minutes, or go full force and indulge in every romantic notion that pops into your head. It’s just a day marking that, in the wise words of Billy Mack, love is all around; romantic, platonic, familial, global. Personally, I can never have too many reminders.
And so, I spray my nets with perfume and cast them out all day, seeing what I catch and tossing back what will not do.
Laps: February 14
4:50am: Wake up. Allow for moment of high drama to pass that always occurs when I have to wake up early. Today is not so bad to wake up early, because it is Valentine’s Day.
5am: Put on driving moccasins. Take Tatz, my sister’s best friend visiting from Austria, to airport –> flying AirCanada! Enjoy managing to enter and exit O’Hare without being yelled at.
6:07am: Crawl back in bed. Hear birds singing.
9am: Wake up, again. Watch light come in through vertical blinds, which I only let myself do on special mornings. Marvel at loveliness of not having to work on favorite holiday.
9:24am: Head to Amy’s nannying home. Try to get Baby Andrew to crawl, using Crawl by Chris Brown as incentive; mild success. Amy puts Andrew down to nap, as I work on my Angels essay. Amy & I spend roughly 30 minutes watching 4-part series of YouTube videos of “20 Best Romantic Movie Scenes of All Time.” Tears are shed unironically.
11am: Gotta leave! En route to Fresh Market!
11:13am: Arrive @ FM. Realize I have forgotten wallet. Walk around inside anyways, because that’s most of the fun. Also realize gas tank is on empty as I get out of car, but refuse to get gas on Val’s (most-loathed task of life is getting gas/Val’s is fave hol/impossible mixture).
11:30am: Head home, make eggs on toast and have second cup of coffee. Text some people back (cannot multitask enough to text on the go, must chisel out 10-minute increments at table to be communicative pal). Take some vitamins (must be healthy for Val’s). Dance. Open valentines!!!
12:14pm: Go to park. Emotionally walk around in furry white coat while listening to I Will Always Love You, among other songs from infamous playlist. Balance it out by dancing raucously to Kiss by Prince. Pray. Say some poetry. Pray again.
1:15pm: Back home. Put on my red dress. Begin #makeover.
1:45pm: Surprise visit from my best friend Emma! She brings me valentine and chocolate. Eat some, to check for poison. Smile big because favorite thing is to be surprised at door by person I love. Unexpected Val’s miracle!
2:40pm: Take some selfies post-makeover/in red dress. Feel pretty fine. Paint line from favorite poem, “I Love You” by Nazim Hikmet, on large piece of white paper. Paint it three different times, three different ways. Hang best one up on wall, next to other big white pieces of paper filled with lists and questions and schemes and illustrations of anxiety attacks. Decide it looks good next to them. Sing loudly. Receive incredibly funny Hamilton valentines from my best friend Kelsey.
4:07pm: Watch About Time in my red dress. Cry when Domhnall Gleason kisses Bill Nighy on cheek. Think about last time I watched this movie, while living in Holland and recuperating from vicious dog bite. Rewind scenes I like twice. Pause occasionally to get more chocolate.
6:13pm: Return to Fresh Market, wallet firmly in hand. While there, take last cupcake sample, and old guy heading for it says, “You took the last one!” Yes, I did. Purchase ingredients for tiny sandwiches, as well as cupcake and lone vegetable out of guilt.
6:47pm: Make tiny sandwiches. Relish feeling of mixing different cheeses and meats. Wonder how legitimate alleged “dairy allergy” is. Continue to test by eating more cheese. Eat slowly. Finish bottle of wine.
7:11pm: Take bath, with raspberry bath oil and bath bomb containing 7 rose buds (!!!) purchased after weeks of setting aside money for them. Attempt to read I Capture the Castle, but instead just sit in warm water and think.
7:48pm: Drain tub. Put on robe #3, the towel one. Read favorite chapter of I Capture the Castle on couch. Underline effusively. Reread parts I like best twice.
9:13 pm: Watch My Best Friend’s Wedding in fave bralette and robe #4, the silk one. Drink almond milk to combat all the cheese as I eat chocolate cupcake. Miss real milk for a moment. Wonder if I have lost my edge because I cannot finish cupcake. Wonder if this time Julia Roberts will just tell Dermot Mulroney at beginning that she loves him and be best version of herself. Am happy she tells him at all.
11:17pm: Read old love note from favorite Valentine’s Day. Journal various musings pondered upon throughout day. Think of how nice it is to be precisely where I am, wonder at how I have felt the opposite for so many days. Turn off lights, promptly at midnight.
If you’re wanting to celebrate Val’s past its expiration date, enjoy my infamous playlist below. Haters can put it on a private sesson.