Slice February 2015

Page 96

Last Laugh

The Love Train Is Now Leaving the Station

By Lauren Hammack

FOR THE SKIMMERS, I’LL CUT TO THE CHASE: LOVING ME ISN’T WRONG … YET. But this Valentine’s Day, I’m laying down a list of make-or-break demands that might prompt a mass exodus from the Love Train. For the rest of this month’s loving masses, as you select your chocolates and foil-embossed cards for someone who will appreciate them, count yourselves lucky to have dodged the Valentine bullet that is me. I used to be an easy target on Valentine’s Day. It hardly took more than something sparkly or caramel-y to guarantee my happiness, which in turn, guaranteed the return of affection from February 15 onward. Somewhere along the line, however, I developed a jaded preference for the kind of overtures that coo, “My god, you’re a gem!” versus those that bellow, “My god, you wouldn’t believe that line at Walgreen’s!” Let’s get the preliminary “money can’t buy love” disclaimers out of the way before I point out that, if someone wants to go broke trying to buy my love, who am I to stand in his way? For that particular suitor (and long may he suit), I’ve provided a road map to my heart in the form of this tear-and-save list of instant love life improvements that, in no uncertain terms, would remind me your love is gen-u-ine. Whether you’ll have a ticket on the Love Train this Valentine’s Day or you’ll be left behind on the platform could easily come down to your willingness to furnish one or all of the following tokens of affection, not available in stores:

IRONING LADY: First, if you have ever had an ironing lady, you probably grew up much differently than I did, or at least more starched. I pressed and creased for years before I’d even heard of an ironing lady, so if you love me, send her my way. MASSEUR WHO MAKES HOUSE CALLS: I once knew someone who kept a masseur on a monthly retainer. He stopped by for a couple of hours of good rubbin’ every Friday evening to knead away all that remained of a tension-inducing workweek and then quietly showed himself to the door. If these are sold in multiples, go ahead and stock up for my sake. MECHANIC: Think of the love I’d feel if I never had to worry why that light on my dashboard was coming on … if I never had to lie awake at night, cursing the squeal of my after-market brakes … if I could know the fulfillment of completing every scheduled maintenance. Only then would you make my motor run. LAWN GUY WIELDING AN EDGER: Very few things make my heart race faster. (The edger, not the lawn guy.) PERSONAL VALET WITH A HAIR-TRIGGER BS SENSOR: Not to be confused with a personal shopper (see below), a personal valet 94 SLICE // FEBRUARY 2015

is someone I need with me every day for step-and-fetch-it tasks. He would also see it as a display of devotion to unleash his badassery at a moment’s notice on the jerk weaving in and out of traffic on Penn at 65 mph, or the tool who unfolds every shirt at the Gap and leaves them behind in a heap, or the creep who keeps all the company’s Thunder tickets to himself. PERSONAL SHOPPER: I like the concept of a personal shopper, but I especially love touching, holding and carrying things around the store while I get used to the idea of owning them. My personal shopper would have to stand in line for me at SuperTarget while I took a leisurely stroll across the store, stopping to taste the samples on Saturdays, conducting a sniff test of all the laundry detergents and shampoos, matching lamp shades to bases and lingering for a curiously long time on the container and office supply aisles. HAIR GUY AND/OR PLASTIC SURGEON: If I were ever to devote myself to someone solely because of his profession, it would be a serious toss-up between my sweet hair guy, Chad, and a skilled plastic surgeon. Roots to bunions, I could keep them both dutifully indentured for decades. If you could combine these two people into one attendant who, preferably, is frequently mistaken to be Jude Law, then I think our love is here to stay.

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