DILLIGS!? Brainy Art and Love Spats

by Mary Tompsett — Gotta love this country. What other nation annually celebrates VD?? Sigh.Your busy li’l mind is already in the gutter—c’mon, VD is short for Valentine’s Day! Check this out:

Roses are red,
daisies are amber.
Do you still love me?
I’m due in September.

Sure, it’s a yawn by today’s standards, but that was my Valentine greeting in the 80’s, boldly impaled on a plastic thingy in a plant for my (then) partner. I left the gift with the receptionist at his IBM office, an ant hill of techies swarming in a conservative, black suit culture. No chance of pregnancy, so I was only shooting for laughs—silly goose that I was. He responded as if I’d hacked up a hairball on his corporate white shirt. How absurd! Hairballs went bye-bye since I’d been daily choking down my cats’ foul-tasting gel in a tube. How lovely that three decades later I can plop the poem in the front row of this intro and sling new hairballs to the unwary. Brace yourselves for another DILLIGS: “Does It look Like I Give a Sh*t?!”

QUESTION: At work there’s one of those “magic pictures” in the hall, a brain puzzle “art” revealing a hidden image if you stare long enough. Everyone sees a boat except me! DILLIGS: Awww, hold on while I dab my eyes with a clean patch of sweatshirt. So, your brain isn’t in the mood for puzzles? Let it make something up! Forget the stupid boat, and casually mention to your coworkers at lunch how shocking to “see” a graphic image from a beef slaughterhouse. (“More barbecue, anyone?”) Then, after lunch, beat a path to HR claiming to “see” your company’s approval of a $20 minimum wage and free child care. (“Wow! Thanks! By the way, I contacted Channel 4 News!”)

QUESTION: As a recent wedding gift, we received a pair of ceramic turtledoves, which we’re told can help communication. What’s up with that? DILLIGS: Simply put, when things are peachy, the doves face each other. But when one of you is upset, that person turns one dove away from the other as a signal. Nice idea, but skip the breakable doves. If tension really heats up, no one should possibly face a mess of sharp pieces. So how about this? A couple of rubber duckies. They’re safe, durable, and they float—all important features. We aren’t limited to subtly turning one duck and hoping our partner notices. No, with duckies we can be a tad more expressive: “Is that my…hey! The dog’s chewing my duck!” Or, “Why is a duck in the toilet?? We need to talk.”

Alternative version: Keep a supply of pastel marshmallow Peeps. In good times you can have a smushing contest of naughty poses. And when the road is bumpy, one or both Peeps may be missing body parts, to be discovered later: a yellow head nestled inside the jar of face cream, or a blue butt gumming up the remote. Duckies and Peeps. Cheaper than real therapy. Who says a B.A. in Psych isn’t worth anything?? © 2019

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