Sunday, February 8, 2009

A Honeycomb Valentine and a Valentine Story

This Valentine was given to Ken from Carl and Alice in 1948 (says so on the back). On the cover it reads, "Everything will be quite ducky, and I'll consider myself so lucky if you will be my Valentine." 

The honeycomb paper is folded flat against the duck's body...

...but when you put the tab on the right into the slot on the left, you get a big round honeycomb tummy.

Valentine's Day is not my favorite holiday (errrgh, how many dating relationships break up around that time?). But I do remember one Valentine's Day which turned out to be one fine weird day that was just over the top out of the ordinary (for me, at least). Just laugh out loud funny, but also  sweet.

Nene was an African descent woman with a strong but comfortable personality who worked in a deli I visited just about every day. I would roll my eyes about how my day was going and Nene would tell me about all the imaginary pitchforks she was piercing customers with. 

Nene was someone who loved to be in love. I have NO idea how many husbands she'd had but there was always someone and then more kids. Nene's kids never had just first and middle names, they had long strings of names with one added word-the current wine she liked at the time.

Anyway, Nene fell in love again. This time with a Mexican co-worker. She really liked spending time with him even though he spoke no English. Somehow they managed to communicate they wanted to marry each other and decided to do it on Valentine's Day because all weddings were free at City Hall on Valentine's Day and they didn't have a lot of money. I got invited to attend the ceremony and of course I went. But nobody else did. Nene's kids had been to enough weddings and didn't feel like going and her dad also had better things to do so it was just me, Nene, her fiance and one of Nene's sons who was maybe 6 or 7. He was in full African attire and his name was Shaka Zulu Chardonnay something something something (soon to become) Garcia. 

Watching everyone getting married at City Hall was kind of sweet but sort of sad because all the women seemed to be really young (and pregnant) and were getting married to much older guys wearing borrowed suits that didn't fit. But everyone seemed earnest and hopeful. After Nene and her fiance got married, we all signed the papers and then it was off to the reception. 

Unfortunately, I had a huge assignment at work that had to get done that weekend so I couldn't go but I did bring a wedding present. Nene sent Shaka Zulu Chardonnay something something something Garcia to my car to help bring it back but once we returned to where the two newlyweds were standing, they had already left to go to their car....and I had no idea where they had parked. So, that happy as a pea Shaka Zulu Chardonnay something something something Garcia and I returned to my car to track down his momma and his new dad. I asked Shaka where they had parked and he said the "All-Rite" parking lot. I looked around. Every corner in downtown Kansas City had an All-Rite parking lot. 

The two of us drove around the city trying to find Nene and I was wondering, if I didn't find her, how was I going to return her son to her when I didn't know where she lived, her telephone number or what her real last name was or is.  Or how would I explain to the police why I had this little African American kid in full traditional African attire, including a hat, in my car without knowing anything identifying about him.  I was getting a little panicked but Shaka was just fine with whatever happened, he was very much the son of easygoing Nene. Luckily a couple times around the block we finally found each other and there was lots of screaming and laughing and everything was back to the way it was supposed to be. That was a very good Valentine's Day. :-)

5 comments:

kimber p said...

I loved reading this...lol...you have such a wonderful gift :)

Mental P Mama said...

That was so sweet. I wonder what became of her....

Country Girl said...

I wonder if she's moved on to the zinfadels, shiraz or merlots yet . . .

Maria said...

Kimber-Aw, thanks again for your lovely comment. :-)

Mental-I wish I knew what happened to her too. That girl made me laugh.

Kate-I think merlot WAS in one of those long strings of names. Shiraz would have been a good one too. Ha ha ha. I had her write down the name of one of her daughters one time because I swear there were ten words strung together with that one and that would be the only way I could ever remember it. I wish I still had that little slip of paper. :-)

Deedee said...

What a great story! :)