Monday, February 16, 2009

Band of Gypsies (Who Knows): Valentime's in Four Parts.

Part One.

Valentime’s Day is an event. It typically costs money. It always costs money. And we like to spoil each other. Mr. Husband is my lover. And I am his ever-adoring fan. But for this year’s Valentime’s Day, we did not spend the actual day staring deep into each others’ eyes until we started to feel sick—maybe vomit a little in our mouths—no, we did not. We changed things up a bit this year and went to spend Valentime’s Day with Grandma Jean Stewart who recently lost her Harry. We gave ourselves, the gift of time, and spent our Valentime’s Day listening to stories about the “best nine years” of two people’s lives. Two people who had 40-50 year long first marriages and then unexpectedly found love again when their spouses passed away. Here was Jean, alone on her first Valentime’s Day after Harry’s death. Here was Jean full of stories and details and love.

Before taking off to Nashville, we celebrated in thrifty style. This was a big change from last year’s Valentime’s evening at Chez Lulu. It was way cheaper. Way.

We celebrated Valentime’s Day evening on Thursday night. Upon the advice from my boss, we were recommended to the local Little Caesar’s for the $5 walk-in pizza. What a deal. Walk in. Pick up. Maul. Eat without breathing. Do not chew. Swallow. Nom. Nom. Nom. We didn’t even sit at the kitchen table or make it to the couch—that is how violently we both attacked the pizza, killing it like we were a pair of Roman Brutuses. Neither of us had eaten Little Caesar’s pizza for years. For me, it was the stuff of hockey banquets and Sunday night Star Trek on TV. For Jeff, it was everything. The man loves him some pizza. My Mr. Husband has four loves in life (in this order): 1) Video Games, 2) His wife, 3) Beer, and 4) Pizza. He’s a simple man, and I’m simply his wife who likes to feed him. We inhaled the Little Caesar’s and then opened up cards and gifts. We spoiled each other, which we shouldn’t have done during these economic times, but it is right and proper and good to hear that squeal of delight that echoes through a house upon successfully surprising a loved one with a gift that screams, “I listen to you!”

I also got an iPhone, but that was not for Valentime’s. That was simply because I deserved it and my Verizon contract had expired. My life is anew. It is fresh. I am connected. Like. All. The. Time. There are no barriers. I am everything. Well, at least my iPhone likes to make me feel like that. Not a bad feeling at all. I licked my iPhone the other morning. I couldn’t help myself. Mr. Husband supported me fully. In fact, I believe he gave me a round of applause. That’s super support.

Later that night, we packed our suitcase for Nashville with the goal of seeing Jean, seeing a museum, seeing the Schermerhorn Symphony Hall, and seeing a free wind performance at Vanderbilt. We accomplished a lot in Nashville. Jean put us up at the world’s finest guest lodging—the guest room at Richland Place, the retirement home where she and Harry first met. On Saturday morning, we ventured to the Frist Center for the Medieval art exhibit where we examined lots of reliquaries that supposedly contained pieces of saints. Yes. Pieces. Like bits and pieces of St. Thomas. An ear or tooth from St. Denis. Pieces. Awesome. And the boxes and containers were so magnificently decorated, that one forgot that they contained dead pieces. Pieces.

I really found this fascinating. I was genuinely cracked up over it. Clearly, you see this as evidenced in my repeating the “pieces” point. Driving it home, I am. Pieces. Jean and I would lean in and exclaim about the beauty of an object, and then we’d read the description. Oh! Oooh. Not so endearing and beautiful when the object d’art is something that is so lovely to look at in order to distract from the gruesome ... pieces. The truth—someone is dead in there, at least a piece of someone, and we’re supposed to revel in the beauty of its container. The pieces container. Seriously, I cannot use italics enough to convey our surprise and amusement.

Upon leaving the Frist, Jean asked us Granddaddy Harry’s favorite question upon leaving any type of museum or attraction: “what was your favorite part of the exhibit?” This was a no-brainer for me. Me, all mesmerized and giddy over the reliquaries and their various pieces that I could not see but was obviously deep in imagination land and living with deeper now. Mr. Husband, while not sharing my utter sarcasm-has-nothing-on-me-fascination with pieces, agreed with me about my favorite part of the exhibit: the world’s oldest known zombie hand. If you love video games, you can appreciate zombies. Mr. Husband and I were positively giddy in front of the case filled with reliquaries when we realized the gilded silver encased hand was obviously that of a zombie. There was no doubt. We read through and above and over between the lines that the Frist Center cleverly offered to the casual museum goer to find this:

Found: First known zombie hand chewed off by infected Saint Denis after his being compromised by a band of violent gypsy zombie artisans. The band of gypsies promptly encased their first zombie hand in precious metals and worshiped it with fervor, fever, and bloodthirsty hunger. You never can get enough zombie hand.

What we especially appreciated in this between-the-lines reading was the marketing grab for attention at the end. Those zombies! Always trying to get you hooked!

And that was our Valentime’s Day up until noon: 2/14/2009.

1 comment:

countrypeapie said...

Are there other between-the-lines zombie hands in other museums? I'm thinking of a traveling zombie hand exhibit. Poster art: zombie hand series #12. Do they come back to life in the night to feed on the pieces?