Valentine’s Day tends to rouse the dormant Scrooge in me, I have to admit. It’s the ooey-gooeyness of it all that makes me cringe. Lest you think I have a heart of stone, au contraire, I assure you. I rather love the romantic gesture, just not when it’s mandated by the giant economic machine d’amour which begins stocking the supermarket shelves with heart-shaped boxes of chocolates before the Christmas tinsel is put away. So what’s a girl to do when she despises pre-printed proclamations of passion courtesy of Hallmark?
I turn to poetry for consolation, that’s what. Why do I love Ogden Nash so? Because he has exactly the right dose of ooey-gooey to make this granite heart swell.
More than a catbird hates a cat,
Or a criminal hates a clue,
Or the Axis hates the United States,
That’s how much I love you.
I love you more than a duck can swim,
And more than a grapefruit squirts,
I love you more than gin rummy is a bore,
And more than a toothache hurts.
As a shipwrecked sailor hates the sea,
Or a juggler hates a shove,
As a hostess detests unexpected guests,
That’s how much you I love.
I love you more than a wasp can sting,
And more than the subway jerks,
I love you as much as a beggar needs a crutch,
And more than a hangnail irks.
I swear to you by the stars above,
And below, if such there be,
As the High Court loathes perjurious oathes,
That’s how you’re loved by me.
More than a grapefruit squirts. Ahhh, now you’re talking.
Happy Valentine’s Day, y’all,