David Cahill


Nick Ellis is 28 years old and still single.
He gets an odd satisfaction out of still getting "and Guest" on his invitations instead of someone's actual name. He can tell within the first two minutes of a first date if there's going to be a second date.
He hasn't had many second dates lately.

Have I ever been dating someone during Valentine's Day?

Suddenly I'm at a real loss, here (This being my first column, I'll fill you in--I have the memory capacity of a goldfish in areas where it counts, but if you want to know what track number "Peace, Love and Understanding" is on Elvis Costello's Greatest Hits CD [six] I have that information flawlessly stored).

I could write about the difficulty in finding the perfect gift for that special someone, but I have an odd habit of breaking off any borderline serious affairs just before Christmas. I can trace the end of every one of my relationships to right around December 16. There's a reason for this, so gather 'round, kids...

Valentine's Day is a natural enemy of the single man. Really, we're not designed for it. You see, V-Day is the perfect instrument for advancing a relationship to the next level of commitment-which means, as a man who enjoys variety, that's an instrument I have no interest in mastering.

I had a first date last weekend. She's a nice girl, I'll probably see her again, but I breathed a sigh of relief when she told me she was going out of town for Valentine's Day weekend. If she had stuck around, one of two things would have happened:

1) I would have asked her out for Valentine's Day. Sure, I fall victim to the feeling that I should be with someone on these occasions. I watch TV. There's no "spend the holiday with a frozen pizza and the internet" commercial out there for cupid's favorite day. So, maybe I'd call her, we'd go out to a nice dinner, and before I know it I've got a girlfreind when I was really just interested in someone to touch on occasion and see movies with. Because that's the way things happen with me. I don't advance the relationship, the relationship advances me. Someday my attention's going to drift too far, and when I snap out of it I'll be decked out in Gingiss formal wear and my mom will be crying. Who needs it, really.

2) I would weasel my way out of it, leaving her alone on the most cheesily romantic day of the year, and she would suddenly have really dirty hair the next three times I called (the fourth time, I always get the hint).

Let's face it folks, this is a chick day. I can't think of any guy who looks forward to Valentine's day, with the possible exception of my cousin Pete, who lives for doing schmaltzy things like scattering rose petals all over his girl's bed while she's at work (sorry ladies, he's married. That girl's no fool). The only possible romantic connection I have is going to be about five hundred miles away that weekend, and I feel like the governor just called.

So my only decision right now is: sausage or pepperoni?

David Cahill is 28 1/2 years old and has been told that he generally has pretty damn good hygiene. He shares a domecile with his wife Pam and a cat named Jack (he used to think he was a dog person, until he realized that it would take effort). His only gripe with married life is all the Anne Geddes crap, and the fact that the soul of his youth has been sucked out of him. David doesn't take very many things seriously, except for "America's Funniest Home Videos," which really pisses him off.
Valentine's Day: The Second-worst Example of a Hallmark Holiday (next to "Easter")

What a scam.

Valentine's Day, that is. Every year, men scramble around the city on a desperate search for knick-knacks for that special other person (in my case, my wife Pam -- love you, honey! This isn't about you! [note to other men: always CYA]). You would think it was a conspiracy.

And you'd be right. My theory: I think that Ty Warner built a time machine, went back tens of millions of years (that's an estimate), and created "St. Valentine," just so he could sell a certain kind of Beanie Baby (the same bear as all the others except it has a heart embroidered on it). Of course, you're saying: "that's impossible. Time travel isn't a reality." Yeah, well, Ty got his funding from a consortium of wealthy corporations, including Fannie May, Walt Disney Global-Destroyer Enterprises, Hallmark, and that old lady that spilled hot McDonald's coffee in her lap. They teamed up, much like the Axis, and built their little time machine, to instill a feeling of obligation upon us. Together they plotted and continue to plot against the "guy" (I use that term collectively).

So, the problem then becomes: how to let your significant other know you care, without playing the fool for one of these multi-conglomerated bastards? Lord knows, I have vowed never to give Disney a red nickel.

Brothers, as dark as all this seems, I have a solution to our mutual woes!-.

Step One: Flowers. Doesn't matter what kind. Just avoid big chains. Might want to steal them from someone's garden. Make something up about how they remind you of something having to do with her (no sports, please)

Step Two: Make a card for your significant other. This is a no-brainer. The beauty is, it doesn't matter what the thing looks like. Indeed, the more amateurish it looks, the more she'll love it. Tip: draw a recreation of the time you first met. Abstract art is just fine, young man.

Step Three: Borrow a Sade CD from someone.

That's it. OK, maybe it's an over-simplistic plan. Maybe I'm an over-simplistic guy. Hey, don't chastise me! You're the one who's read this far! Back off punk! You don't even know me!!!! Aw, you didn't even do that. Is this bothering you? I'm not touching you. I'm not touching you. )$(*&@#*(%&*(&!*@(%! ! #$*(&@# *$& WHY'RE YOU HITTING YOURSELF? HUH?



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