Saturday, February 14, 2009

Auntie Dina's Anti-Valentines Lavallieres

Auntie Dina's Anti-Valentines Lavallieres 2 14, 2009
3.50" X 5" mixed media for sale $21.50 each plus S&H

Artist Vikki North started a wonderful collective creative challenge site, The Artists Challenge . She is helped by Michael Edens to put together one of the freshest ideas yet. This month's challenge was 'Unrequited Love'.

I had a great idea (shown end of post) that I didn't get to do due to time constraints and the broken knee, which is now pouting under a huge bubo of bursitis! It was no consolation to know that it wasn't my age but rather the trauma of the fall right smack on top of the bursa sac over the patella that brought on this ersatz gift. Note: Taking NSAIDS like Ibuprofen or Naproxen, elevating and icing the bump makes it go away faster. Or you can have a surgeon drain it with a big needle so you're able to bend the joint.

Bursitis looks like a tennis ball inserted under the skin. In my case, more like half a softball. They are discolored - red or an ugly brown (mine).

Okay. That's my excuse for not following up on the dress design! So here is my total offering with the original concept sketches, the Auntie Dina's Anti-Valentines Lavalliers, and the story I wrote to go with them.

The Story - Love Unrequited

Will somebody here PLEASE make a statement?? Valentine's Day. Sigh. There are 364 days left to fill the year to deal with real love - unrequited love, dirty love, horrible, mean, left-you-alone-to cry your eyes out love, ain't-no-Marsha-and-John about-it love, and we naive idiots name a love holiday for kissy, fuzzy love?

So. This is for the jaded of us, the harridans that have tried multiple times to hang in there for the ring. Some of us even get it and then those promises are just thrown down there in the dust on the side of a pastoral bridle path as knight's horse trots off with Himself on it. Bah! Humbug.

You know. Love dies on a holiday. Or at least that's what I've come to believe after every single love interest ever to cross my threshold left just before a happy holiday. Sometimes I thought it was because they were too cheap to buy an appropriate Christmas or birthday present. Or maybe, I thought, they really wanted to make you suffer by spending another nicety-nice holiday alone. And then Valentines comes along to rub in just how despicable love can be.

And if I have to hear, "He's just not that into you", one more time, I'm going to explode! He was 'INTO' me enough to chase me down, go through a whole series of social rituals, romance me in the bedroom, commit. How could all THAT turn to him being not that INTO me? Is it just, “Gee, I just ran after it but when I got up close to it and put my hands on it, it wasn't all THAT after I played with it a while” ??

We don't FALL out of love. It's a slow, steady decent off a steep cliff that happens after being punked out in public with a seedy comment or joke at your expense, when you see him dancing with the blond with the gold tooth from Boise while you mix drinks at the bar New Year's Eve and she gets the first kiss, when you put on that luscious nighty, light candles, pour your best champagne in your best Waterford and he's late, very very late from 'work' smelling of perfume and that other thing.

It's a slow, steady decent that happens after finding names and numbers in his pockets as you wash his jeans and clean up after him; How he stares blankly at you when you ask a question and he looks lilke he's out in the ozone experiencing Cosmic Thrust; When you catch him in a lie that he's been too slick about and notice he's buying new underwear. Or worse, when you catch him with your ex old best friend Rae who tells you she really does love you as her BFF and wouldn't do anything to hurt you and hopes that you'll understand that she had to do this for her own happiness. Hope Floats. At least you didn't find out about it on Jerry Springer.

My offering for the artists' challenge for those who are as unmoved as Auntie Dina by all the sucky commercials out there reminding us to buy candy and flowers are these Croix des Guerres, Auntie Dina's Anti Valentines awards for love's survivors. There is:

Red Hot Love. This is love as hot as a firecracker with three wine colored roses. Mr. Wonderful beams out at you with stars in his eyes and a warning. Oh baby, Oh Baby!

It's hot at first. But three wine colored roses remind you of the three deadly sins of love: Boredom, Disinterest and Silence. Black lace says you have to go through all kind of antics like wearing feather boas and those nylons with racing stripes up the back, or those porn movies he wants you to watch that have the acrobats doing something unnatural with a tricycle and a chandelier to Boom Chica music to keep 'him' satisfied and staying at home. Let them run the streets trying to rub up against something young in the hopes of immortality and end up old and alone after the 16 year old takes his money and leaves his sagging parts, I say.

Poor Baby Love. This is love as innocent as a babe. First love. Young love that's seduced by an older, more experienced player. Daddy Warbucks. Big Player Dude. The jerk who reads Playboy and Maxim like the Bible. Mr. Wonderful beams out at you with eyes that feeling left long ago. They're looking for the score and you, YOU, my dear are his prey.

It's about game stats and conquests, and you, poor starry eyed naïve babe are the field goal.This is innocence lost and all grown up, the baby swooner just a summer or two away from Barbie and Ken's messed up lives who finally gives in to the bait in the trap and walks in, all believing and soft. The next day that precious innocence is gone. And Sir Callous Cad is gone not too long after that. He's made the target, won the quest, got the trophy, puffed up his chest, added another notch on his gun.

Pink roses and three fragile glass hearts in danger of shattering on black lace show the fleeting time that we're allowed to dream about the fairytale before we see "Into The Woods" and learn what really happens after “happily ever after”.

Fidelity Rose Love. This is for the love that told you it wasn't like all the others, the one that made you a promise of no games. It did seem different those first bright days when you were wooed with vigor, a single rose left on the windshield of your old car when you came out from the worst day at work ever. And then you see him there when you get home. He rubs your feet and mixes you a drink and listens compassionately as you recount the wrongs du jour done to you.

You notice that red rose is surrounded by sequin running lights for the wicked on it. He shows up when you go to work on a charity project and hang at a friend's house. Standing around with plenty sighs and frequent glances at you, his watch, and the door in that order, tells you he wants you to hurry up and come home with him to that foot rub and cocktail.

You're too good for your undeserving friends and family. He tells you that you need to leave that awful job and let him take care of you and you swoon like you've died and gone to heaven even though you know that you can't stop working because there are bills and obligations and he ain't helping. He's as tight with a dollar as he is with the grip he has on the small of your back as he glides you into the restaurant.

Then you start to see him every single day parked in the driveway before you can get out of the car and into the house and out of the pantyhose. The foot rubs and cocktails and showing up at friends start to get cloying and sticky and suddenly you realize that you can't expand your chest fully because he's choking the life out of you and smothering what small spark of independence you have left.

This time, YOU end it when you start to smell cordite instead of Drakkar aftershave. You're lucky if you're not stalked along with the way too many phone calls to try to change your mind, the crying, begging and pleading to give it one more chance. Then one day there's no more phone calls and no more notes and no more single red roses smelling like a funeral parlor left on your windshield at work. Someone else is the target.

When February 14th comes around, you're glad you made it out without a black eye, broken bones, or worse. You're happy to head home and see if Sookie Stackhouse and Vampire Bill are doing any better with their love life on TV than you have with your choices so far.

As my Auntie once told me after the desperate demise of one of these hooligan love affairs, “Honey, you flew clean around the roses to lite on the turds”. Words of wisdom. ALWAYS check to see what's behind the flowers.

Last One Standing Love. This is for the time when you finally realize that you are whole and complete on your own without anyone else to fill in the blanks of you. This is also for the one love that left you before it could hurt or harm or disappoint. This is for the one you truly wear black for, the love of your life that won't be coming back, from that last phone call, that last fight, that drive home, that war.

All self sufficient now, you still get a bit melancholy when a really good love scene pops up on the Turner Channel in one of those 1940s gray movies with starlets gazing heads back into the eyes of Clark or Anthony or John. But look around and realize or try to convince yourself that you are better off fiscally and have become a woman of means. You also see that Love Actually IS going to be around with or without you. You smile wrily at the stupid jerks and think to yourself that they have to find out on their own because if someone told them, was able to truly convince them what a hoax all that romance stuff ends up being, there would be no more procreation. It's Nature's big one liner hoax on the human race to bring us down to size.

Three of my beauties have real black stone hearts hanging out there to dry. You know what I mean. Black hearts on black lace show the fleeting time that we're allowed to dream about the fairytale before finding that darkness really can be a girl's best friend, kinda like black diamonds. Wear Auntie Dina's Anti Valentines as a brooch pinned to your top or hat to use as a handy weapon on the next jerk that says,

"I'll treat you like a fine china plate, Babe". (This is likely a virgin college boy who's read too many trench coat mysteries.)

"What's a sweet young thang doin' in a place like this"? (This from the mental giant with those black metal thingies hanging from under the back bumper of his Ford pickup truck.)

"Can I buy you a drink"? (Correct answer, “Yes. And then leave”)

"I need my space" (Then take him to the Grand Canyon and p u s h. He'll have all the space he needs before the bottom arrives. )

Or leave it on the mourning ribbons you won at the Love Olympics to wear as a cameo against your chest to cover the hole where your heart used to be.I only had the heart to make four. I'll send one of these darlings to you in a fancy gift bag if you buy one at $21.50 plus $3.50 S&H. Oh. And, unlike love, you'll get a refund from me on any excessive shipping and handling.


Sketches for original project for the challenge:

1940s style gown with applique and brass corset

Brass, crystal, glass and garnet gemstone wire corset


Eric S. said...

Now that's an Umm "interesting" commentary on love. I'm not sure what to say. Yes I can be wordless, sometimes.

I like the dress, I bet it's heavy though. What do you have in the was of western mountain wear, (MEN's I thought maybe I had better specify that, giggle?

My Mother's Garden said...

Hi Dina!

Thanks for the visit and encouraging words today! I must say you definitely have a gift with words and writing...a gift I admire deeply.I can feel the emotion and zest in your posts. I love your gowns too! Makes me want to put one on and walk into the "Mists of Avalon."


queenlint1 said...

Hey Cowboy! Your poem captured it much better in far fewer words.

LOL! I used to make my husband's Pendleton shirts and fancy western shirts. I did intricate applique and fancy work on the back yoke and used pearl snaps!

He truly looked the part when we rode the horses over for a get together in our valley!!


queenlint1 said...


Thanks for your comments! Coming from such a beautiful blog writer, I truly consider it humbling!

And I LOVE the Mists of Avalon - Books AND movie!! I even bought fabrics to replicate some of the looks.


Audrey Bunt said...

WOW, I think you covered just about every bad thing about bad relationships here. 'nough said!

Sorry about the bad knee. Hope your better soon......

queenlint1 said...


Your story and painting said a part of it much more elegantly!