I'm a huge fan of Valentine's Day.
Wait- let me rephrase. I'm a huge fan of the day after Valentine's Day, when all the chocolates go on sale. As for the holiday itself?
Let's put it this way. I collect stuffed gorillas, and I love chocolate. So when I have an excuse to sort of make a thing out of it, I do.
I have a tendency to go really overboard with presents for M. Ever since our very first Valentine's Day, when I screen printed a hoodie for him with the phrase "Grover Hungry" on the front, and "Will Defenestrate Bohemians On Sight" on the back.
Shut up. It's funny.
At any rate, this year, I decided to go big. I don't mean just expensive, although frankly it was that too. I mean BIG. I bought my husband a new bed frame.
You're going to get a whole post this week on the details of this bed, I promise you that (and it has been a LONG time coming), but let's say I may have had a bit of an ulterior motive. You know, I get him a bed, and then spend the majority of the weekend... shall we say... in it.
M was also feeling romantic, I guess. Because he got me a collection of my favorite things. He sponsored me my own very real pet gorilla through the African Wildlife Fund (his name is Charles, and he's a Rwandan mountain gorilla!), gave me a big box of chocolates, and took me out for Ethiopian food.
Now, I love Ethiopian food. This seemed like the best Valentine's Day ever. But things went wrong starting the moment we opened the door.
Standing there, performing at about 80 decibels, was a trio of Rastas performing what I can only describe as "Lounge Reggae." They had a microphone, a Casio keyboard, and a tambourine. They sang (and I'm being generous with that description) about Jesus a lot, which was, you know, fine I guess, while M and I waited for our food. And waited. And waited. And waited. Every few minute a horrific screech of feedback would blare into the room, and I would scream and jump.
The Lounge Reggae grew steadily louder, with increasingly more feedback, and finally our appetizers arrived. Only when I took a bite of my second sambusa, I discovered it was filled with beef, rather than lentils.
I sent the food back, and we prepared to leave and find another place to eat, when the Lounge Reggae suddenly stopped. "We were supposed to have a storyteller come tonight, but he didn't show up," the frontman declared. "But I know a story, I guess. It's called Plato's Cave."
I raised my eyebrows at M. Having been (briefly) a philosophy major, I can tell you with absolute certainty that the story the frontman Lounge Reggae Rasta related was not what Plato had intended, as I'm abut 99% positive the story doesn't end with the residents of the cave killing people for trying to tell them about Jesus. But by the time the story ended we were laughing our asses off, quietly I hope,
And he proceeded to tell us about how his car broke down, and he had to walk down the freeway.
You'd be amazed how long somebody can tell a story about that to a slow, smooth, Reggae beat.
"And then I was chased by bats! And wild dogs! And bees! And then came the spaceships."
Mike and I stared at each other. Surely, this must be a joke.
But no, the story went on. All about the spaceships saving him from the bats. And the wild dogs. And the bees.
And then the Rastas finished the night by singing us a song about the return of the mothership.
At this point our parking had long expired, so Mike and I paid and made a dash for it. But our car hadn't even reached Lake Shore Drive when I started feel queasy. And before we were halfway home, I had begged off our favorite ice cream parlor, so we could just go to bed early.
And not in a fun way.
I crawled into bed and went straight to sleep, at quarter to ten. Which is kind of awesome when you've got three small children, but...
Then I woke up in the morning, nibbled on a piece of toast, and hopped into the car to go to my audition.
Yeah, you heard me right. Audition.
As I belched up increasingly more horrific flavor combinations, I quietly prayed that I would make it through my piece before feeling the full wrath of whatever was happening in my gut. I gritted my teeth and put on a smile, and I performed my piece as best I could, before zipping home and straight back into bed, where I passed out again the moment my head hit the pillow.
I was awoken an hour later by the overwhelming need to spend forty five minutes being sick in the bathroom.
And that was how I spent the rest of the weekend. A few minutes in bed, resting, half an hour in the bathroom, crying.
I still haven't touched my box of chocolates. But I guess I got my wish. I spent basically my whole Valentine's Day weekend in bed.
However, today I can tell you that I KILLED IT in the audition! I'm happy to announce I will be performing in Listen To Your Mother!!!!!!
That's right- if you enjoy the blog but you're fed up with all that pesky reading, THIS is the show for you!
May 4th, here in Chicago at the Athenium Theater! I'll be sure to post a link to buy tickets as soon as it's available. But for now- mark your calendars!!!!
To celebrate, I'm going to bust open some of that chocolate.
See you in May!