Surviving Valentine’s Day: Pauline Parril’s Advice for Married Women
by Pauline Daley-Parril
Valentine’s Day hashtags are proliferating on Twitter. That means one thing: #valentinesdayiscoming. For single women, the 14th of February is tough enough when it’s #nodate and #aloneagain. But for married women, Valentine’s Day is a #minefield #forgetaboutit #norosesforyousister #fml.
For women in general, Valentine’s Day is like trying on a new bikini: single girls hope to find something nice that handles the girls effectively but all too often end up with lingering regrets and maybe a yeast infection from the previous person who tried the bathing suit.
All that married women can hope for is that the top half can still work the old black magic while the bottom half still fits the base.
Meanwhile, the average man is completely oblivious to the whole #chocolates #romance and #finedining thing. That’s because he hasn’t set foot in a shop since the day before Christmas when he did his annual shopping trip. Only women know that, just minutes after New Year’s Day is over, every store and mall in the country turns into a raging river of pink and red hearts with fur-trimmed bralettes on display in every window.
It’s not enough to avoid the flood of lacey crap at the mall. You better stay away from the drugstores too. Trouble is, you forgot to get your flu shot last fall, didn’t you? Now you need lozenges for the bug that is shredding up all the real estate in your throat. In you go, determined to make it past the heart-shaped candies and roses-made-of-chocolate aisle. You quickly skirt the section with the wide selection of ribbed condoms, cherry-flavored lubricants and estrogen massage cream. But, suddenly, you’re confronted by the greeting card aisle. Love is in the air. And it’s sucking all the oxygen from the store.
You pause to look at all the pretty, pretty cards. Maybe it’s a good idea to inject a little romance into your plodding relationship and get your man a special valentine? You pick up a card with a pink satin bow. It says: “You are my forever best friend.” But, last time you checked, your husband wasn’t a Golden Retriever. The card with the velvet trim says, without the tiniest trace of irony: “Every moment I spend with you is a dream.” Every last card is festooned with curvy fonts, cupids, roses, arrows and hearts. As if you weren’t feeling sick enough with the flu before.
The sad fact is there are no realistic cards for wives to give to husbands. Clearly, companies need to offer cards with more truthful messages, such as: My darling, you deserve the best of me. (Sorry I called you a moron yesterday. The stupid of you got the better of me.)
Or: You can be my Valentine, but only if you stop being a prick.
For newer brides, the card could read: Be mine. (Unless you cheat on me. In that case, I will cut you.)
Or: Let’s get married all over again! (Without your drunk cousins this time.)
Together forever. (Unless you screw it up.)
Middle-aged marrieds have even more options: Loving you is my mission. It’s right up there with gaining control of the remote someday.
You are still hot to me. Mostly. (I’m still sleeping in my socks tonight because your feet are freaking blocks of ice.)
You make me smile. (To be honest, sometimes I smirk. Sometimes, it’s an evil grin. And sometimes I laugh hysterically. You say tomato …)
For older marrieds, the card could say: I can’t believe I’m still putting up with your shit. But, wonder of wonders, I am!
Nothing can compare with you! Dude, you could win a snoring contest.
Together, we are stronger. Especially when we fart at the same time.
Never mind. Skip the card aisle. You have a bad head cold. It’s February for goodness’ sake. Your man doesn’t want a card anyway. He’d prefer a roughly hand-drawn coupon for an anytime, anywhere blowjob-on-demand.
Buy yourself some chocolate and don’t forget the cough syrup.
For ex-army veteran Pauline Parril, life marches along in orderly formation now that she is happily married, raising three children, and ascending a promising career ladder. But the handles of her safe and comfortable world soon turn upside down when a termination letter lands on her lap and her once-loving husband Donald grows suspiciously distant. Complications further arise when Pauline returns to school and meets Michael Fortune—the handsome and exciting poetry professor who threatens to get out of hand.
Pauline once endured a long deployment to a war-torn country halfway around the world, but can she survive the front lines of her fraying household? Find out how she does it in The Perils of Pauline, an uproarious tale à la Bridget Jones of an intrepid every-woman stepping through the challenges of rebuilding her life while learning that there’s actually more to discover about herself than she ever dreamed possible.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Collette Yvonne graduated from York University in Toronto with an Honor’s BA in Creative Writing. Her short stories, including From the Cottage Porch and Wild Words 2010, appear in several anthologies. She’s written numerous articles in national Canadian publications, plus over 150 pieces for various Ontario newspapers. Her short story, Snapshots for Henry, was made into a short film, directed by Teresa Hannigan, and received a 2007 Genie nomination for Best Live Action Short Drama.