Valentine's Day in the rear view mirror (with apologies for my tardiness):
It was a bittersweet walk to Dixie Donuts for their last day but since theirs are my favorite Richmond doughnuts by far, it was non-negotiable.
The cases looked a little depleted, but right in the center was a tray of pink and white Valentine's doughnuts with conversation heart wisdom written on them in icing - "Will you be mine?" and "XXOO" - so I ordered one sporting "You are cool beans" and looked in vain for my fave.
About to settle for something else, I lucked out with my timing and a tray of chocolate chocolate doughnuts came out moments later, the chocolate icing still dripping off them. I ate it standing up at the window looking out on Carytown.
The owner made sure her staff knew that I'd walked all the way over from Jackson Ward - a 5 1/2 mile round trip - and they acted impressed, but what's a little walk for a fresh, oozing doughnut?
Walking back past the Lowe's on Broad Street, a man stopped me to ask why the flags were at half-mast. Clicking my brain into gear - or maybe just smacking it out of its sugar rush - I explained that a Supreme Court Justice had died yesterday and refrained from sharing my opinion of the deceased.
Probably too soon, but I already have a favorite death joke: Antonin Scalia requested cremation in his will, but millions of women will meet tomorrow to discuss if that's really best for his body.
Sorry, it made me laugh.
My favorite Valentine came in the mail from Holmes and Beloved. Addressed "To Karen aka "ff" (Holmes refers to me as Femme Fatale), it read, "You're a charmer, Valentine" and was surrounded by figures from "Toy Story."
It wouldn't be Valentine's Day without Holmes' annual miniature missive reminding me of the February swaps back in elementary school. And unlike back then, no one told him he had to give me one.
Mid-afternoon, I called a friend to see what he was doing and while he claimed to be "chilling," he sounded a little down, so I insisted he come pick me up for lunch and some chatter.
We wound up having a blast, meeting a group of 20 or so strangers who'd driven up from Virginia Beach for a group lunch and welcomed us into their party, for which we became the official photographers.
Let's just say when he dropped me off, he was in a far sunnier mood than the one he'd arrived in, no surprise since he once told me, "You act just like a drug on my mood" and fortunately, he wasn't referring to heroin.
And because everyone wants her friends to think of her as some kind of drug.
Over the course of two restaurants - Camden's and Lucy's - I met two couples celebrating not just Valentine's Day but also their anniversary. The ones who'd been married 31 years were the cutest because he admitted without hesitation, "We like to be together all the time" while she nodded and smiled ear to ear.
Not sure I could do the "all the time" part, but I am in awe of long-time, still-happy couples (like my parents) and wonder what they had that I didn't. It's not just luck, is it?
The other couple had gotten married last year at Lucy's, so tonight's Valentine's dinner was particularly evocative of last year's festivities, albeit with more strangers than friends. They were adorable, too, dressed to impress (each other, no doubt), one in a red sweater and blue tie and the other in a blue sweater and red tie.
It began snowing while we were eating duck breast and goat cheese polenta at Lucy's and listening to the Lord Huron Pandora station which focused on earnest-sounding male songwriters. For my money, any station that works in St. Lucia's "All Eyes on You" on such a determinedly romantic day is fine by me.
Cause I hope
We will never have to take back
What we said in the night
I hope that I will always have
All eyes on you
Sounds romantic to me, but what do I know?