Bora Bora is Romantic, Right?
Somehow, I’ve completely managed to forget that today is February 14th. This is doubly lamentable on my part, because not only is it my mother’s birthday, but it’s also supposed to be sort of the romance writer’s national holiday and religious nirvana. Clearly, I did not get the memo when my publisher was passing out contracts. My werewolves and fallen angels have never celebrated Valentine’s Day, either in word or in deed (or in some kind of 99-cent book special or pink-and-red swag), although I suppose my smoke jumpers don’t have the otherworldly excuse and need to step up to the romance plate.
Other than mass-producing birthday cupcakes from Duncan Hines mixes (at which I excel, because mastering a two layer cake from the same has proven to far exceed my culinary skills), I don’t have a good track record at celebrating this particular holiday. I tend to hyperventilate at the price of greeting cards, even at my grocery store, which sells cards at half-off. For four bucks, I feel like I ought to be able to come up with my own three-line poem and keep the change for something else (like chocolate). I think I’m also supposed to have kept the cards my husband gifted me with during our early dating years. This is another failure on my part, because when we moved from our first apartment to our first house, we naively failed to take into consideration the sad fact that our move-in date coincided with move out date for UC Berkeley and there were no U-Hauls to be had for love or money. Instead, we hand-carried our stuff the twelve blocks between our rental and our house. After the first three trips, I adopted a Donner-party-crossing-the-mountains mentality and jettisoned everything I could into the apartment’s dumpster. Including the greeting cards, as they were deemed non-essential in that moment.
We did manage to spend one February 14th in Bora Bora, and I figure that being on the most romantic island in the world on the most romantic day in the calendar should count. For years. I even brought a large bag of candy hearts with us, correctly figuring that heart-shaped candy would be in short supply on a French island in the middle of the South Pacific. I had vague thoughts that my husband and I could hand out little plastic baggies of sweetness to other vacationing couples, but, in Bora Bora, everyone is a couple and no one is really interested in chatting up an American couple who has been married ten years and who is clutching a slightly smashed bag of sweets. In the end, we handed over the entire bag to a Tahitian groundskeeper raking the beach while his kid played nearby and my husband proudly announced that the candies were par le songe. The groundskeeper took the bag, looked us at like we were probably crazy (I am fairly certain a literal translation of for the monkey made no sense and maybe it’s just us who affectionately call our son a monkey because he climbs on everything), and we fled back to our overwater bungalow. Romance mission accomplished. Bora Bora conquered.