Happy Valentine’s Day
Excerpt from “More Tales of the City”
The valentine was a handmade pastiche of Victorian cherubs, pressed flowers and red glitter. Mary Ann Singleton took one look at it and squealed delightedly.
“Mouse! It’s magnificent. Where in the world did you find those precious little…?”
“Open it.” He grinned.
She turned to the inside of the magazine-size card, revealing a message in Art Nouveau script: MY VALENTINE’S RESOLUTIONS. Underneath were ten numbered spaces.
“See,” said Michael, “you’re supposed to fill it in yourself.”
Mary Ann leaned over and pecked him on the cheek. “I’m that screwed up, huh?”
“You bet. I don’t waste time with well-adjusted people. Wanna see my list?”
“Aren’t you mixing this up with New Year’s?”
“Nah. That’s nickle-dime stuff. Smoking-eating-drinking resolutions. These are the–you know–the hardcore, maybe-this-time, kiss-today-goodbye, some-enchanted-evening resolutions.”
He reached into the pocket of his Pendleton and handed her a sheet of paper:
- I will not call anyone nellie or butch, unless that is his name.
- I will not assume that women who like me are fag hags.
- I will stop expecting to meet Jan-Michael Vincent at the tubs.
- I will inhale poppers only through the mouth.
- I will not spend more than half an hour in the shower at the Y.
- I will stop trying to figure out what color my handkerchief would be if I wore one.
- I will buy a drink for a Fifties Queen sometime.
- I will not persist in hoping that attractive men will turn out to be brainless and boring.
- I will sign my real name at The Glory Holes.
- I will ease back into religion by attending concerts at Grace Cathedral.
- I will not cruise at Grace Cathedral.
- I will not vote for anyone for Empress.
- I will make friends with a straight man.
- I will not make fun of the way he walks.
- I will not tell him about Alexander the Great, Walt Whitman or Leonardo da Vinci.
- I will not vote for for politicians who use the term “Gay Community.”
- I will not cry when Mary Tyler Moore goes off the air.
- I will not measure it, no matter who asks.
- I will not hide the A-200.
- I will not buy a Lacoste shirt, a Marimekko pillow, a secondhand letterman’s jacket, an All-American Boy T-shirt, a razor blade necklace or a denim accessory of any kind.
- I will learn to eat alone and like it.
- I will not fantasize about firemen.
- I will not tell anyone at home that I just haven’t found the right girl yet.
- I will wear a suit on Castro Street and feel comfortable about it.
- I will not do impressions of Bette Davis, Tallulah Bankhead, Mae West or Paul Lynde.
- I will not eat more than one It’s-It in a single evening.
- I will find myself acceptable.
- I will meet somebody nice, away from a bar or the tubs or a roller-skating rink, and I will fall hopelessly but conventionally in love.
- But I won’t say I love you before he does.
- The hell I won’t.
Mary Ann put down the paper and looked at Michael. “You’ve got thirty resolutions. How come you only gave me ten?”
He grinned. “Things aren’t so tough for you.”
“Is that right, Mr. Gay Chauvinist Pig!”
She attacked the valentine with a Flair, filling in the first four blanks.
“Try that for starters!”
- I will meet Mr. Right this year.
- He won’t be married.
- He won’t be gay.
- He won’t be a child pornographer.
“I see,” said Michael, smiling slyly. “Moving back to Cleveland, huh?”