I heard on the radio that a local sex shop is offering a Valentine’s Day special where you bring in your gun and receive some kind of store credit. I had just dropped the older daughter off at taekwando and thought, We really shouldn’t listen to this radio station anymore. The DJ chatter is bad enough. The song lyrics sometimes give me pause. How do I explain all these guns?
I told my husband about the ad as we were driving down our town/city’s ugly strip of car dealerships, title pawn places and cheap hotels where people might live after their partner throws all their stuff onto the street.
I saw it in the paper, he says.
I heard it on the radio!
Look, there it is!
There was a big vinyl banner up that read Guns for toys.
Shouldn’t that say Toys for guns?, he asked.
Maybe it’s more like a swap, like when women get together and bring clothes they don’t want anymore and everyone goes home with something new.
Later, that evening, we all watched two Charlie Brown Valentine’s Day specials. Peanuts is just brilliant. And the characters are so neurotic. The unrequited love, the endless rounds of rejection and disappointment, Charlie Brown’s inability to see that he might actually be happy with Peppermint Patty (or Marcie for that matter) and instead his fascination with the Little Red Haired Girl; Lucy’s unrequited love for Schroeder, Sally’s for Linus, Linus’ for Miss Othmar, who roars out of the parking lot with her boyfriend leaving Linus clutching the box of chocolates he had gotten for her, not for Sally, which he then pitches one by one off a bridge where they are caught by Snoopy and Woodstock, who happen to be hiding behind a bush.
Dogs will eat anything, even chocolates that represent human bitterness.
Happy Valentine’s Day.