Valentine’s Day got me thinking: Someday I am going to die. Love is a gruesome, violent and destructive act. The holiday gives most college-aged students the opportunity to act way older and lamer than they actually are, thus reminding me of the sands in the hourglass and my approaching demise. Let’s take, for instance, the Romantic Dinner (or what I like to call, “If 21 year-olds were meant to eat at Scoozi, the place would serve French fries”).
The Romantic Dinner occurs when two people have been dating and they decide that they have to get dressed up like senators and go out to dinner. The conversation goes something like this:
Love-struck: I love you.
Googly-eyed: What’s Bolognese?
Love-struck: It means “I love you” in Italian.
Googly-eyed: No, really, what does it mean ’cause I’m thinking about having it.
Love-struck: Oh, I think it’s like a meat sauce that says I love you.
Googly-eyed: Oh cool. Do you think we could have sex later?
Love-struck: Jesus Christ, this is a nice restaurant. Be quiet.
Romance turns people who were once interesting (i.e., “Duh, I would love to take all of my clothes off and act like everything is normal when suitemate X walks in!”) suddenly become lame (i.e., “No, sorry, I can’t get naked — I’m having dinner at Scoozi. PS, do you have a pair of dark socks I could borrow?)
No. I do not have a pair of dark socks. And if I did, I would strangle you with them.
Forget Scoozi, we have more pressing issues at hand. There are people in my life who are getting married. People who are dangerously close to being my age. Which means that I am dangerously close to the age of weddings — a time that I imagine will be very hard to stomach as I sit and eat crab cakes next to someone’s father, who is weeping and talking about how marriage is like a quilt. It means that I am closer to the age when people will start having babies, and I will have to buy rattles and talk about how children are like a quilt. I am one day closer to the day when my friends will have dinner parties and invite me to bring the casserole, and I will have to explain that my recipe is like a quilt of delicious ingredients. I am one step closer to my life becoming a cheeky episode of “Friends.” I dread it.
So Valentine’s Day got me thinking about death, and then President’s Day rolled around and got me thinking about presidents, which was more depressing. So I decided to go back to thinking about Valentine’s Day.
Perhaps I’m just jealous. I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “Fuck you. Marriage is like a quilt where two people sew themselves together and keep each other warm, and I think that’s sweet, and babies are like quilts with their cute little quilty eyes, and casseroles are like a quilt because there’s cheese AND beans ‘sewn’ together, and I think you’re just jealous because you can’t afford to eat at Scoozi.” And maybe you’re right. Maybe I am jealous. I love Bolognese. And besides, maybe there are things about love that are beautiful.
Love is … love is … well, it is like a quilt. An expensive quilt. Because weddings cost money. And babies cost money. And casseroles cost money (unfortunately).
Love is lucrative. That’s right. Love is lucrative.
People will pay big bucks to change themselves drastically into a lovable person, and I should cash in on the Big Business of Love, because who better to teach others about love than an optimist like myself? Plus, I could make enough cash to take myself to Scoozi.
The way I see it, there are a couple of departments in the Big Business of Love. One is greeting cards. This would consist of me sitting in my bedroom looking at a picture of two bears “kissing” and trying to think about what sweet little anthropomorphic love ballad they’re singing to each other instead of wondering which one is going to rip the other’s face off first.
But I think I would most like to cash in on the “sex” part of the Big Business of Love, because let’s be honest: Sex sells. I think people like to read about sex because most people don’t really get any. I’d be really good at writing about sex positions for women’s magazines. I could wear a pair of stiletto heels and a stylish napkin and sit at a desk and come up with ways to contort your body that will make most people feel inadequate.
Like, for instance, here’s one. I call it, “Running with Scissors.” This is where the woman runs in place while the man lies on the floor trying to have sex with her while kicking his legs as if he too is running in the air. They are running and their legs are like scissors. You’d have to be tall.
Or maybe I should just get a job coming up with position names and leave the “sex” part to someone else. I have a bunch of good names floating around like “The Go Down Moses,” “Chug-a-Chug-a-Chug-a-Chug-a-Choo-Choo,” and “The Simon and Garfunkel” (think: Bookends). I could come up with all sorts of euphemisms for “turning your man on” like: “Rev His Engine,” “Stroke His Canary,” “Sew His Sweater” and “Build His Sandcastle.”
If I could come home from work every day knowing that I’ve touched someone’s life or caused them to touch themselves, I could lie my elderly face down on the Quilt of Death and be fulfilled.
Eli Clark tries a new position daily.