A Valentine’s Day Scrooge

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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.

To My Valentine by Ogden Nash

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,

Barbara

 

 

 

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About Silver in the Barn

Life in a 1915 farmhouse in Central Virginia. Blogging about whatever happens to catch my fancy - sometimes nonsense, occasionally not.
This entry was posted in Random Ruminations and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

114 Responses to A Valentine’s Day Scrooge

    • You not only explored the subject, you knocked it out of the park! Everybody reading this should cllck on the link for possibly the best essay I’ve ever read on the evils of the Valentine’s Day machine. An exceptionally well-written piece.

      Like

      • richmalpass says:

        Thanks very much for taking the time to have a look – as I see it, Valentines is part of a wider hijacking of what should be our nobler emotions in order to simply shift more units. I wrote a piece along the same lines about the Sainsbury’s Christmas ad (which you can find on my blog if you’re bored!) that uses grief and nostalgia to hoodwink customers.

        Like

  1. Eliza Waters says:

    LOL – guess there’ll be no fancy chocolates for you! For me, any excuse for flowers and chocolates is a good thing! 😉

    Like

  2. Carrie Rubin says:

    Great poem. I feel the same way about Valentine’s Day as you. It’s so commercialized that I don’t even care to recognize it. The hubs and I don’t usually do much with it. Unexpected gestures throughout the year are much more fun and meaningful.

    Like

  3. Love the Ogden Nash poem. Makes me want to break out my stash of offensive limericks but I will restrain myself…this time. Happy V Day!

    Like

  4. Awesome! Love the poem!

    Like

  5. nrhatch says:

    I’ve always been partial to Vinegar Valentines:

    Didn’t get that badly needed and deserved promotion at work?

    Roses are red
    Violets are blue
    You may be da boss now
    But I’m gunning for you!

    Tired of an annoying co-worker?

    Roses are red
    Violets are yellow
    I’ve never met
    A more annoying fellow

    What about the neighbor with a crowing Rooster:

    Roses are red
    Violets are a winner
    Shut that cock up
    Or we’ll cook him for dinner!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. fatericsmum says:

    Wonderful Ogden Nash poem — just perfect! I’m inclined to think Valentine’s Day has done more to kill romance than to encourage it …

    Like

  7. bkpyett says:

    Love your post Barbara and the poem is just great! Hope it’s a happy day anyway!! ❤

    Like

  8. Valentine’s Day is a Hallmark fabrication. We’ve ignored it for years.

    Like

    • This comment surprises and pleases me, Jennifer. I know you are a connoisseur of the finer things in life and a proponent of all things romantic so I might have imagined you a Valentine’s enthusiast. But obviously not, as romance and Valentine’s Day are two distinctly different things.

      Like

  9. John says:

    Valentines Day = Halmark Day 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I was only recently turned on to
    Ogden Nash. Apparently I didn’t know what I was missing. This one is great though. Never heard it before. Perfect for Valentine’s Day!

    Like

  11. Oh, me too. I have avoided Valentine’s Day posts for that very reason. But I have (obviously!) made an exception in your case. Just as well. Thank you, Ogden Nash. I like that he loves her more than those jerks on the subway. (The 15-year-old has just got back from a picnic with his girlfriend. Aw. Young love. Before they grow old and cynical like us…. 😀 )

    Like

  12. cindy knoke says:

    Oh my God! Ogden’s poem was sheer brilliance and I had never read it. This is my best Valentines Day present!
    Sending you a free, but heartfelt Valentine~

    Like

  13. Funny. Never heard that before. I like grapefruit and gin rummy though. Have a lovely day 😉💕

    Like

  14. priyanka says:

    I love it ;D

    Like

  15. Yah, good one. We want a nice curmudgeon day too. It is time for us to be recognized too. We could call it Jeremiah day and hold hands with the true Valentine believers who missed out and are now bitter and despairing of true love.
    We could relieve their pain and say: I told you so!. .

    Like

  16. ChristineR says:

    LOL. Good one, Barbara. >3 >3 >3

    Like

  17. ritaroberts says:

    I am going to be different Barbara because I love Valentines Day. I Received a lovely card and a box of Chocolates for Valentine’s day. My man never forgets. Show off aren’t I Happy Valentine’s day to you Barbara.

    Like

    • Good on yer, as my Aussie friend says. Please do not allow my curmudgeonly rants to rain on your parade. After all, you two ARE exceptional, tango-ing away on your magic island. Happy Valentine’s Day to you and your good man.

      Like

  18. joannesisco says:

    I’m new to Ogden Nash too and this was a delightful introduction.

    It reminds me of Gilles who always says simply “I love you enough”. When I took exception to it the first time he said it, his reply was that it will never be too much and never be lacking … always enough. Who would have thought that ‘enough’ would actually be romantic? 🙂

    Like

    • “I love you enough.” Sigh. Reliable, comforting, steady love. How wonderful. And from a scientist at that! Hey, Joanne, can you imagine if some Hallmark copywriter reads this and next year we see cards with that headline? It could happen!!

      Like

  19. julieallyn says:

    Simply the BEST. Love this!!! Happy VD, Barbara! 🙂

    Like

  20. julieallyn says:

    Reblogged this on A Sawyer's Daughter and commented:
    Roses are Red
    Leaves are Green
    This is the niftiest
    Valentine I’ve seen.

    Ugh. OK. Yeah, that was pretty bad but I love this from my friend Barbara!

    Like

  21. I am not a fan of Valentine’s Day, never have been. Never liked V Day at school where it was made such a big deal.. I think my dislike started there. We don’t exchange cards or gifts. We are going out for lunch today, running errands and sharing a hot white chocolate mocha at Starbucks. I do tell people Happy Heart Day if they express wishes to me.. 🙂 Love the poem, as soon as I hit “post” I am going to read it to CH. Oh, and by the way, I also read P. Lively’s Passing On. It was a bit depressing but I enjoyed it.. not the ‘depressing’ but the book.. 🙂 Enjoy your Saturday!

    Like

    • Pix!! I adored “Passing On.” It was incredibly moving and I could re-read it again in a second if I didn’t have this avalanche of other books to contend with. Also, she wrote a very interesting book called “Cleopatra’s Sister.” The premise is that IF Cleopatra’s sister had lived and formed her own kingdom somewhere in the ancient past, how would that affect us today? It’s exploring the idea of the ripple effect one action or event can have through time. Brilliant and not anywhere near as stuffy as I’m describing it. And yes, I think the potential for immense cruelty lies in every V-Day with broken-hearted children being left out or ignored. Infuriating. I hope CH liked the poem. XXX

      Like

  22. suzicate says:

    I’m with you. I prefer to be loved in small gestures every day than a big one time thing on Valentines, not to say we don’t do anything special at all for it, just not a huge over-the-top display nor do we need to make it Facebook public! I’m sure there will be flowers, cards, and dinners, etc…plastered on there but I shall remain quiet! I think it’s just one of those days that have been commercialized to the hilt. Bahumbug, ha!
    The poem is great…and certainly not to be outdone by Nancy’s additions! She cracks me up!

    Liked by 1 person

    • My husband and I are completely simpatico about Public Displays of Affection, so much so that when I was editing this post, I removed all mention of him. If he were to post his love for me on Facebook, I would die a thousand deaths and then lock him out of the house. But he would never do such a thing. Really, Suzi, I think the secret to a happy marriage is loathing the same things. Nancy is a hoot, I agree!

      Liked by 1 person

  23. dorannrule says:

    You come close to my Bill’s sentiments. He doesn’t believe in Valentines Day. Says it is a Catholic holiday and he isn’t Catholic. There really is a Saint Valentine. So ..No cards, flowers or candy here. I do get sympathy valentines from friends. 🙂

    Like

    • Gosh, I hope he doesn’t use the same excuse at Christmas. St. Nick might be Catholic too! Here’s hoping Bill springs loose with a little romance on many other days of the year! Of course we know he adores you, how could he not?

      Like

  24. Grace says:

    LOL, Barbara, my husband would love you! He shares the same sentiments about Valentine’s Day. He has finally thrown in the towel and gives me a box of chocolates each year (it’s all I really desire), but I remember one year not long after our first daughter was born that he came home with a pair of flannel pajamas…not even wrapped! When I made a smart aleck comment about the romance behind the gesture he protested, saying he thought I liked flannel pajamas! 🙂 Sigh!

    It has never truly bothered me since a day never goes by when he doesn’t tell me he loves me…now that’s romance!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, my BH knows he an incredibly lucky guy to be married to such an awesome woman. I remind him daily. LOL! You’ve hit the nail on the head, Grace. It’s the every day gestures of affection which render V-Day pointless in this house. When I come down in the morning and find that he’s not eaten his usual cereal because he wanted me to have enough milk for my coffee, I feel true LOVE. Enjoy those chocolates.

      Liked by 1 person

  25. Hah! Well I really don’t care for it, either. When my husband was in the service, his female soldiers used to give him a hard time about not sending me something special, but I assured him I didn’t give a flying fig for any of it. Besides, tomorrow, all the chocolates will be on sale! Won’t that be a nice treat after Sunday dinner? lol

    Liked by 1 person

  26. That’s quite a love poem. Happy Valentine’s Day to you, Barb, even if you may not want to hear it.

    Like

  27. Mel says:

    Ooh, let’s hear it for Ogden Nash – Oggy, Oggy, Oggy – hey, hey, hey! Another Valentine’s Day hater here (there must be a good reason it has the initials VD …?!)

    Like

  28. Sue Mayo says:

    Barb, Love your post today. I had not thought of Ogden Nash in years. Back in the sixties he appeared on a few TV game shows. What a funny guy. In his own words Candy is dandy but
    liqueur is quicker. Happy V day.

    Like

    • Oh Madam, one of the all-time best lines every composed. Take that, Shakespeare. And how I miss those “game shows” staffed by the literati of the time. You would never see that today which is such a shame.

      Like

  29. Parnassus says:

    Hello Barbara, Another Ogden Nash doggerel, The Strange Case of Mr. Ballantine’s Valentine, puts the holiday more in perspective:

    He said to his partner, My name is Mr. Ballantine and I have never received a valentine.
    His partner said, Well my name is Mr. Bogardus and I have received plenty of valentines and I just as soon wouldn’t.
    He said Mr. Ballantine didn’t know when he was well off.

    Anyway, today I managed to resist the commercial blandishments; I made a big pot of gumbo and had my friends over for dinner. Besides, this year Valentine’s Day is being rather crowded out by preparations for Chinese New Year, which begins next Wednesday evening.
    –Jim

    Like

    • Hello Jim. I will provide the ending of this charmer. Poor Mr. Ballantine:

      Towards evening he encountered a maiden named Herculena, the Strongest Woman in the World.
      He said, Madam my name is Mr. Ballantine and I have never received a valentine.
      Herculena was delighted.
      She said, My name is Herculena the Strongest Woman in the World, and I have never received a valentine either.
      Mr. Ballantine and Herculena decided to be each other’s valentine.
      All was merry as a marriage bell.
      Mr. Ballantine nearly burst with joy.
      Herculena nearly burst with pride.
      She flexed her biceps.
      She asked Mr. Ballantine to pinch her muscle.
      Mr. Ballantine recovered consciousness just in time to observe the vernal equinox.
      He thought she said bustle.

      Are you able to obtain okra in Taipei then? And I’ve always yearned to experience Chinese New Year in Taiwan. The photos sent to me of the lavish meal preparations are mouthwatering. Enjoy!

      Like

  30. markbialczak says:

    Well there you go then, Barbara. Happy …. Saturday. Mark

    Liked by 2 people

  31. Yess,can totally identify with this.

    Like

  32. Kentucky Angel says:

    Finally! A Valentine Day poem that made me fall down laughing my head off. I LOVE IT Barbara. Better than Charlie Brown and Snoopy one I received from my daughter and grands. This made my day even better than the all night and most of the day sleep. I’m still laughing, in fact! Ah, how many ways can I say Thanks. I can say it in German, I think–danke. Gracias. Grazie. I don’t remember any more ways, but I think you get my drift. Still laughing.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. I’ll take something like this, any Valentine’s Day (or not), over those syrupy Hallmark cards.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. I just saw your “Freshly Pressed” icon – when did that happen and which post? Congratulations!

    Like

  35. Ogden Nash. A BLOODY GENIUS !!!
    Your hearts should all swell with huge pride when you think of him.
    🙂

    Like

  36. Now, Ogden Nash knows how to romance a girl. Thanks for the chuckle, Barbara. 😉

    Like

  37. Behind the Story says:

    That’s absolutely marvelous!!! I love the turnaround in the first verse from the “hates” to the “love.”

    Like

  38. leannerussnz says:

    Love the poem. Am going to check out Ogden Nash. Valentines in Japan a marketing success story too. https://nihongojapango.wordpress.com/2015/02/06/obligatory-valentines-day-how-to-make-a-guy-feel-special/

    A frenzy of meaningless choc giving and rather lopsided!

    Like

    • Well, after reading your post, I would say so! Lopsided, I mean. What an interesting story; I hope anybody who sees this comment will click on the link. Ogden Nash was a most charming fellow, Leanne, and will be making appearances now and then here.

      Liked by 1 person

  39. That’s hilarious and so thought provoking too!

    Like

  40. Jodi says:

    LOL! Good one Barbara! 🙂

    Like

  41. We got a great laugh from the wonderful Nash poem, Barbara 😉 What elegant rhymes and rhythms Nash commands. Saturday Night Live did a great bit on Valentine’s day shopping at your local CVS you would enjoy 😉 The clouds have moved in here hours earlier than forecast, so I’ll bet its already beginning to sputter snow out your way, or will be by lunch. I hope you are fully stocked on Westie food and treats and have your boots near the door. Looks like a wild ride this week- Wonderful post-V-Day weather 😉

    Like

    • Well, you weren’t far off. snow is falling way ahead of schedule – they said around four or five this afternoon and it started at one. I am stocked and hope you are too.

      Like

      • We are. We were nuts enough to make that “one last trip” to Walmarket just before noon for a few more “essentials.” When is enough enough, Barbara? But since I had let myself nearly run out of coffee, we made the trek. Oh! When have I ever seen lines as long or aisles as full! And everyone was crawling around looking shell-shocked and clueless as to what they wanted to throw into their carts, next. Strange thing is, it was exactly the same at Michaels, next door. Go figure, Barbara. It was actually snowing here on radar this AM, but not reaching the ground. Way too cold for this Virginia girl… 😉 Hope you don’t have anywhere to go for a day or two, and that your loved ones are all stocked up and in for the duration, as well. Hugs, WG

        Liked by 1 person

  42. Lovely poem indeed. 🙂

    Like

  43. reocochran says:

    I am not sure why you are Bah Humbugging, since you have a great partner and love of your life, you would think it would be fun to celebrate with him. Smiles!
    Anyway, I do like all of Ogden Nash’s funny poems and little quotes. He is a comical genius of an elder stateman kind of guy. I remember he used to say funny little quips about animals which could be used when I taught sixth grade. The kids would search through magazines to find pictures that would match the quotes. Cutting and gluing was one of the fun ways to add therapy to Language Arts. (I also liked when we made books of poems with their own drawings, too.)

    Like

  44. KerryCan says:

    Ogden Nash always seemed to get it just right. I never read this poem before but I will add it to my list of favorites, right up there with “If called by a panther, don’t anther”! My personal favorite line in your post, though, is one of yours, not Nash’s–“giant economic machine d’amour.” So accurate and so clever!

    Like

  45. Snowing in Delaware. Missing Virginia. Clever twist on Valentine’s Day!

    Like

  46. Lololol…love this. Mr. Nash reminds me of my husband who writes me funny poems when he is traveling, and no matter what the poem is about, always somehow finds some way to include my horse, Bella (so you can imagine how much sense they make). xo, N.

    Like

    • A most charming story, Nina. Bella is not easy to rhyme, so your Mr. Nash must be most imaginative and brilliant to include her in his poetic feats!

      Like

      • Oh, he puts all sorts of ridiculous things in, we have been having a drama with navicular disease (sort of like arthritis in a small bone in the hoof) so her feet have been in poems a lot lately, and how much she likes to eat, and smelly winter blankets, her big Quarter Horse butt… Since I have zero poetic skills, I am always impressed that some people can rattle them off so easily. Poetry must use a different part of the brain than I generally use. 🙂

        Like

  47. Now THAT has got to be the funniest thing I’ve read all month! Thank you for sharing! ❤

    Like

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