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February

“I am, when necessary, not above reproach for immoral behavior.”

Ah, February. The month of love. I visited (shall not be named) a craft store right after Christmas only to be confronted with all things hearts, red and pink. Entire rows and sections. I wondered why I couldn’t relish Christmas at least until New Year’s, but alas, capitalism at its finest. I was fully prepared to cash in on 75% off decorations for next year but felt pressured into buying some paper heart-shaped doilies so as not to disappoint the weary cashier. I also felt like I needed a bit of time to make a list of resolutions for January, then break said resolutions and feel guilty about not partaking in a dry January before tackling Valentine’s candy. But we live in a fast world, and I know that St Paddy’s Day green will show up by next week, and most likely July 4th. Hats and napkins shall soon follow, and just buying a size bigger, bustier speedo for my blossoming mid-section would suffice till I try resolutions next year. So, getting on the Valentine’s bandwagon and falling off the dry January wine wagon sooner rather than later
was inevitable.

Perpend.

Shortly before Christmas when the magic of the Season was still highly anticipated, I was at a lovely Ugly Sweater party where White Elephant gifts were exchanged. Tables of Texas food, the fridge was stocked, dessert adorned on fine platters, and the best group of friends a girl could have. Now the history of the White Elephant business (according to Wikipedia which NEVER lies) is that some fancy king from Thailand gave out albino elephants to those who displeased him. Now, it’s just a fun way to spend an evening and come home with the albino elephant that will then sit in a closet or drawer till next year. Unless you pick the heart-shaped pink mini waffle maker. Enter a big smile here.

So, here is the story. The game is in full swing, my friend Tony starts us off and gets a yellow hospital gown that no one wants. Sometimes #1 ain’t so swell. A few tonka trucks, some soaps, some Cowboy socks (are they ever going to get to the Superbowl?) come up. A bottle of wine (you’re welcome), and some odds and sods. Quietly my friend Lisa leans over and whispers, “you are going to like my gift; as I was wrapping it I knew it was meant for you.” I am giddy with excitement! I patiently wait my turn. I fantasize about what it could be. Too small for a car, but bigger than a bar of soap. Oh I am all into this game like a fat kid trying to get off a seesaw. Well, said gift is picked before my turn comes up, and it’s the cutest heart shaped mini pink waffle maker. And who gets it? Brenda. She can drink pinot noir like a champion, but who does not appreciate cooking– gets my prized possession. Frankly, a steal would benefit both me and her husband John.

A heart-shaped mini pink waffle maker… Has. My. Name. Written. All. Over. It. I am in love with its cuteness. I had to steal it. I am, when necessary, not above reproach for immoral behavior. Everything is bigger in Texas except this adorable little waffle maker, and don’t mess with Canada, and that dog will hunt, and whatever other Texas phrase could be inverted for my own gains. I would even consider just once saying, “Y’all,” or “fixing to” if it meant owning this gem.

A steal happens and it is safely resting in my lap. I am beaming with pride. Ok, I am gloating. I do not feel shame for my actions, nor do I care that Brenda has lost my gain. I am flaunting my good fortune. I am dreaming about the wee waffles I shall make at the B&B and just how happy the guests will be to see those cuties on the ol’ platter for Valentine’s Day. Maybe even Gordon Ramsey books a stay at The Virginia May, and I become famous. Or I am bequeathed a spot on Oprah’s favorite list. She and Gayle, AND Gordon. I am THAT excited about my new station in life I will have. I have big plans for that heart-shaped mini pink waffle maker. I wanted that waffle maker at that moment more than I wanted to lose 20 holiday pounds. I smile at Lisa. She smiles back. The coup is complete.

And just like that, it’s gone. Second steal. From someone I don’t even know. Who is this person? Who invited them to this party? Does she not know who I am? I beg and plead, I protest like Gertrude in Hamlet. No matter. The heart-shaped pink mini waffle maker now sits in her lap with her protective hands wrapped around it. She looks scared. I glare at her. I eye her up. Does she even cook? I end up with the albino breathalyzer. I am secretly crushed. I hear Gordon Ramsey cursing profusely at my inept ability to hold onto such a rare and treasured entity. Like a spoiled child, I pout inside. Seemed fitting for the occasion. Oprah cancels her reservations for breakfast with me.

A mere three days after Christmas, with the waffle maker incident still stinging, the Handyman, (who survived his northern adventure), presents me with a gift wrapped in Valentine’s Day paper. I gush. He is all smiles. I opened it. My very own heart-shaped mini pink waffle maker.

And in his best Patrick Swayze impersonation, he whispers, “nobody takes the heart shaped mini waffle maker from my girl.”

Men, you have a few weeks. Don’t disappoint. Get fixin’. Get er’ done. Happy Valentine’s Day Y’ALL!

Colleen McCullough is the owner of The Virginia May Bed and Breakfast @ Eagle Mountain Lake You can follow the BnB on Instagram and Facebook @thevirginiamay

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