I survived another Valentine’s Day without a) over spending or b) taking out a restraining order. It’s not that I’m so unbelievably attractive that I have to fight stalkers off with a legal document and a taser, but the whole concept of secretly mailing someone a package and signing the card as “Your Secret Admirer” makes my blood run cold.
The unfair thing is it’s considered lovely and romantic to sign a card, “Your Secret Admirer.” So why is it creepy and wrong to sign it, “I want to drink your bath water,” and leave a smudgy kiss on the card? I think that might be an unfair double standard that discriminates against people who are really passionate about someone. Or crazy.
So yesterday, you know, Valentine’s Day, when I arrived at work and picked up my desk phone to hear horrifyingly ominous words, my heart stopped briefly. And at my age there’s always a possibility it won’t restart. Which is why I avoid fast elevators. Anyway, the voice on the other end of the phone was really breathy and eager sounding and it said the most chilling thing I can hear: “Hey Miss Lorca.”
Now, I realize that may not mean anything to you, my dear reader. But in the world of working in the prison, it means an inmate has just called me on the phone. They are required to put the salutation in front of our first names, because we protect our last names from these lovely people like our initials actually spell out the secret rocket formula. Since the inmates can’t call my desk from any of the phones inside the facility (this is like that horror movie…”We’ve traced the call, it’s coming from INSIDE THE HOUSE!”), it could only mean that this person has either been released or escaped AND that he’s calling me.
Yes, I’m a judgmental person and yes, I did feel a little bad when he began talking and I discovered that he was simply trying to get back into high school and was having some trouble from his guidance counselor. I had even told these people to call me at work if their schools gave them any static. He was just doing exactly what I had told him to do in order to continue his education. I felt very small. For only about twelve seconds.
Because then he ended the call with, “And you make sure to have a really good Valentine’s Day today. You just never know how many you have left.” And he hung up. That was either a warning or (more likely) a stab at my advanced age. You may now be jealous of the adventure that is my life; you got a box of chocolates from Walgreens. I got an aroma wax burner from my husband and a cryptic possibly-death-threat from a convict. Happy final Valentine’s Day.