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A Look On The Light Side: February 15, 2013

Let’s Forget Valentine’s Day

I’ll just come out and say it:  I hate Valentine’s Day.  As far as I’m concerned, it exists purely to make some people look bad, and almost everybody feel awful.  

When I was single, Valentine’s Day seemed tailor-made to highlight the flaws in your relationship, if you had one, and in your entire life, if you didn’t.  Now that I am married, Valentine’s Day just makes both of us crazy, running around to make sure we buy SOMEthing so as not to come home covered in guilt.  But of course, all the somethings are way over-priced – they saw us coming a month away – so that even when I come home with one, I still feel taken advantage of.  No “good love” there!

Starting in elementary school, it seemed as if this one day in the calendar existed just to show that some girls were WAY more popular than me (nobody then had a rule that “you must send one to everyone”).  I still remember enviously eyeing the heaping mountain of valentines on the desk of one little girl, and comparing it with my own little pile.   

When I grew up, V-Day became conspicuous as the day for which you didn’t have a date.  It was like a tacky re-run of New Year’s Eve — except you can’t hide from all your friends by taking a convenient “ski trip” on a Thursday evening and be back at work the next day.  

Once or twice I did have a date for the big night – which always served to kill the relationship, because at some point during the evening, I always felt compelled to ask, “So – are we a couple?”  And, as J.P. Morgan can tell you, “If you have to ask, the answer is No.”  (To be completely fair, his remark was about asking if you can afford a yacht, which is almost as expensive as a relationship, but the concept is there.)

I began to celebrate Valentine’s Day on Groundhog Day, instead.  For one thing, it was a lot cheaper, since all I required was a weather report and a cup of hot chocolate. When the Bill Murray movie about Groundhog Day came along, that just helped me pull off the transformation.

I evolved my own rule of thumb for the day:  If, first thing in the morning on Groundhog Day, you saw somebody’s shadow on your bedroom floor, well then, you might have six more weeks of a relationship…as long as you both stay scrupulously away from anything to do with Valentines!

Judy Epstein plans to stay in bed with her eyes shut until Valentine’s Day is safely past … but you can always reach her at alookonthelightside.com.

News

One local playwright and his company — The Plainview Project — seem to be headed to the big leagues.

Claude Solnik of Plainview, the Plainview Project’s writer, is married with two children. While he has a master’s degree in dramatic writing from New York University, after graduating he ended up going into journalism, which currently remains his day job. But in his free time he indulged in his true passion, hammering out numerous play scripts until the day they he realized that he needed to stop sitting on these works he was creating and put them in the hands of actors that could give them life.

Even as they hoped the parties would reach a last-minute settlement, commuters across Long Island were scrambling last week to devise alternate plans for getting to work if Long Island Rail Road’s 5,400 workers go on strike July 20. And they were vocal in their anger with the Metropolitan Transit Authority. The strike, it seems, has roused commuter ire over a wide range of LIRR issues, from timeliness to cleanliness to costs.

“I’ll have to figure out a new way home from work,” said Marco Allicastro, a 20-year-old Queens resident waiting for a train home at the Bethpage station after a day’s work at the local King Kullen. “Long Island doesn’t really have a lot of options in terms of transportation. Maybe I should get a new job.”


Calendar

Sonny And Perley

Saturday, July 26

Women Artists You Should Know

Thursday, July 31

Adult Summer Reading Club

Through Aug. 7



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com