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February. The month when we are encouraged to give our romantic entanglements an upgrade.  I believe there is nothing that quiets the red rash of a thorny relationship like laughter. So as you ponder something to delight your sweetheart on Valentine’s Day you might consider forgoing the candy in papery petticoats and the fleeting flowers of FTD. Instead give your loved one a laugh. My husband and I considered a sense of humor so important that we included it in our wedding vows.  (We also vowed never to wear spandex bicycle shorts, a promise we have since both broken). A funny book will do or a movie or maybe a song or poem that pokes fun at human frailties (especially your own).  Here is my valentine to you Dear Readers (both of you) a few things that lightened my heart this year as I flowed through the hilarity of contemporary America.

I got a big snort recently in my favorite style mecca, Wal-Mart  when I noticed a large rack of onesies for men. These are not the functional union suits of cowpokes, lumberjacks, and Patagonia models. These are cutesie cartoonie cuddly onesies. I for one have taken to sleeping in a fetal position since the election so I can relate to the need to pop in a pacifier and wear a blanket with a zipper.  In keeping with this trend, work places have taken to having the occasional Pajama Day. Casual Friday used to mean jeans, then it mellowed to sweat pants and now you can power down in Ninja Turtle flannels.  We haven’t solved the health care crisis but at least we have taken a bite out of chafing.

Hardees, the food chain who came out with the obesity inspired slogan “Eat like you mean it” has topped that joyous tidbit with their Budweiser Beer Cheese Bacon Burger. I just picture some guy in a  barcalounger with a remote control velcroed to his onesie thinking, gee I hate having to get up and get a beer. If only my beer was pre-infused in my food. I guess there’s some sort of cross-marketing deal where Budweiser now has to promote a patty melt lager.

Nothing brings me more delirious giggles than Valentine’s Day itself, February’s attempt to Botox winter. No sooner have the holy family gummy candies been swept off the shelf than in comes the red tide of Mylar, glitter and roses. I did some research at that hotbed of mirth, Dollar General and found that it had the most satisfying love boosters. I especially liked the Sharpie pink ink pack,  fluffy handcuffs, and teddy bear holding a heart saying “rove roo”. I guess there was an attempt to appeal to indigenous folk with the milk chocolate pick-up truck and camo tea candles but I couldn’t figure out who was expected to purchase the large lips on a stick? The best in the irony category was a pack of those prefab valentines kids are supposed to give to their classmates, Captain America’s Civil War valentines.  Civil War. Finally we get close to the realities of a love affair.

– Margaret Baker, HashtagWV #86, February 2017.

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Publisher/Editor in Chief at HashtagWV | + posts

HASHTAGWV ART & ENTERTAINMENT Publisher/Editor-in-Chief, Christina Entenmann-Edwards has been a WV resident since September 2008. She was born and raised in Fairfield County, Connecticut, and is no stranger to hard work and the entrepreneurial spirit. In 2006, she graduated from Quinnipiac University (Hamden, Connecticut), Cum Laude, with a B.A. in History. In 2010, she graduated with an M.B.A. from Liberty University (Lynchburg, Virginia). In February 2012, Christina launched HashtagWV as the area’s first full-color, free arts and entertainment tabloid + online platform. Christina completed the Leadership West Virginia class of 2021, which is an innovative program that grows, engages, and mobilizes leaders to ignite a life passion to move West Virginia forward.