There are a lot of things I really hate about Valentine's Day... mostly the frenzied retail expectations, brainwashed men running out to buy overpriced crap in order to prove their love for their brainwashed womenfolk, brainwashed women plotting out the perfect gift for their poor brainwashed menfolk (who will never understand all that the women are trying to say with the t-shirted teddy-bears and doggerel-laden cards), and the uncoupled all over the nation either pining with loneliness or growling with disgust over the behavior of the abovementioned just because they don't have the thing that the retailers have succeeded in making them believe they must have. I leave same-sex couples out of the equation because they behave with rather less predictablity than their hetero counterparts... some become all gushy and romantic, others retreat to the ivory towers of social superiority, and the rest hit every angle in between.
On the other hand, there are things I really love about Valentine's Day. Mostly the candy. Then there's the red-ness... red is my favorite color, and though I find it rather overkilled this time of year (let's not talk about the claustrophobic episode I experienced in Target the other day when Grandmother made me wheel her down the Valentine's candy aisle in order to pick out goodies for her great-grandchildren, and I was suddenly surrounded by ten-foot high walls of crimson, fuschia, pink, and mauve, all wrapped in plastic or made of plastic or covered in glitter or all of the above, crammed into this long narrow overcolored space with thirty other people... eeek). And theme parties.
I just got back from the Royal Grand Ducal Council's Annual King & Queen of Hearts Show. It was ever so much fun! And I looked fabulous. I finally managed to wear the vintage red chiffon dress I bought a year and a half ago and haven't had a chance to put on. The feathers were a new addition... one of the reasons I didn't wear it before is because one wing had been brutally scissored off, probably to remove a stain or some other damage (and reduced the price of the dress considerably), and I wasn't sure what to do about it (hem it up? cut it off? pretend it isn't there?)
But then Caroline and I were looking through magazines at Tower the other day and she showed me the dress worn by Ginger Rogers in Top Hat that was all ostrich feathers (I remember Miss Rogers talking in an interview about how long it took to film that sequence, and how the feathers were molting in the heat of the lights, and she kept getting the long strands in her mouth as she danced), and I was inspired. Caroline picked up a white ostrich boa at one of our favorite Piedmont Ave shops during her lunch break, and then tacked it onto the wings this afternoon while I was showering and shaving; the feathers absolutely made the dress, I was awash with compliments all evening.
Caroline looked lovely as well, in a dress she bought the same day I bought mine, which she also hadn't had a chance to wear yet. She ran for Queen of Hearts (the King and Queen of Hearts are year-long titles won by selling the most raffle tickets), but lost to Mama Portugal (though by a thin margin). Still, she looked adorable in her consolation-prize paper crown (which is a hell of a lot more dignified than the vast soft-sculptured Imperial-Margarine-type crowns worn by the winners).
Of course you can't have a Royal Grand Ducal Council function without the Royal Grand Duchess Angelique deVille, who got ready with Caroline and me, and was with us when we had our impromtu photoshoot in front of the County Administration Building around the corner from the Bench & Bar (where the party was held).
After the show, and getting back into our mufti, Angelique left us to go surprise her boyfriend with a Valentine's Drop-In, and Caroline and I went to find some food. We ended up eating at Mel's in Berkeley. Dating couples were absolutely everywhere, of course. It was kind of cute, though we had to wait an inordinate amount of time for a table-for-two.
And now here I am at home again, and off to bed. I have to start working on my room tomorrow, and I want to get a good night's sleep. The Day After Drag is always so boring and prosaic... but boring and prosaic are the only cures for Fabulousness, I need them to bring my ego back to Earth.
I was going to write something profound about Love, but now I haven't the energy. Happy Valentine's Day!