Way back in 1975, when FS was in her first year at college, FS thumbed rides home to see her boyfriend (a three hour drive) nearly every weekend. FS thought it was safe to hitchhike back then, which was stupid, considering that there was a serial killer running around the area that year picking up female college students and that one of his victims was taken from campus that Fall. There surely is something to be said for ignorance and good luck. But this post isn't about that.
FS's roomate that year was a hottie named Cheri. Cheri played it cool with the guys, and they flocked to her. Back then, long (naturally) blonde hair was the prize guys sought. Maybe it still is. FS had long (naturally) blonde hair back then, but no figure. Unless "stick" counts. Cheri had nice teeth (bonus in the days before most people had braces) and a good complexion (better yet, in the days before acne was considered treatable). FS had absolutely great skin, too -- but then, most people with the body of a 12-year-old do -- and her teeth were decent, not the best, far from the worst.
Cheri, though, had something FS did not have: Charm. Cheri could charm the pants off any boy, and boy-oh-boy, were they ever eager to return the favor. But no. Suitor after suitor spent long hours at night sharing hot, heavy breath with Cheri. Did they get any? Hard to say. FS would lie in her bed at night and wonder. Did they get some when she wasn't there? Were they just really quiet about it? Was Cheri a tease?
There was one boy by the name of Frank. Maybe. Maybe it was Bill. Or Joe? It wasn't Kurt. FS remembers Kurt. She'd uh made a play for him herself if she'd thought she had a snowball's chance.
Whatever, "Frank" had it bad for Cheri. Maybe Cheri felt sorry for Frank, maybe she needed a fill-in for slow nights. FS never understood why, but Cheri allowed Frank to remain in her stable. Cheri managed her make-out schedule incredibly well. Boys who showed up at the wrong time were led to understand that this was not a mistake worth repeating. As for Frank, well, he wasn't ever going to cut it in Cheri's book. She and I both knew that.
But Frank was smitten, and when Valentine's Day came he professed his undying devotion with the ugliest, most over-sized, garishly colored and hideous Valentine's Day card ever. Ever. The background was reddish-purple, sort of like the squirt of blood that pours into a test-tube after a lab-tech hits the vein on the fourth try. The card-board was embossed with roses which were highlighted with rosier reds on the petals. These rosier reds were reminscent of the watery-looking blood that arises from knees and elbows skinned on a gym floor. There was some pink on the card, and probably some white lace. It was bad. Really bad. The text matched the card perfectly, being heavy on romance and intention and light on mystique and innuendo.
Cheri was way too cool to be horrified--which she was, of course--and handled it by allowing me to share 15 minutes of mockery and laughter at the expense of Frank and his pathetic taste in Valentine's Day cards.
In FS's mail the next day was a special envelope from FS's boyfriend. The envelope was white, the same as the card Frank had sent to Cheri. The envelope was large and rectangular, the same as the card that Frank had sent to Cheri. The envelope had the same dimensions as the card Frank had sent to Cheri. And the card was the same card. The laughter was even better the second time around.
Frank didn't make it to the next semester, and FS dumped the boyfriend the second she recieved her AAS. The guys are long gone, but the memory of that card still brings a chuckle. To this day, FS doesn't do sappy.
Today's lesson is: Know Your Audience. Or go down in your intended's memory banks as fodder for a great story -- one that will be told with relish, and surely embellished, for years to come and at your expense.