♡ Valentines Day♡ …. not just another Holiday for your Favorite Catgirl, it’s also an anniversary for my sweetie, Carolyn and I.
This year marks 4 wonderful years we’ve been together, she and I. My best friend… my most tender lover… and the very “Heart & Soul” who makes me feel whole and happier than anybody could imagine in their wildest dreams. I find I just can’t picture my life without her in it. I’m hopelessly, utterly, and completely hers… now and always.
So how can a slightly goofy Catgirl show her sweetheart just how much she’s come to mean to her? Well…. it has to be special… it has to be personal… and definitely it has to be something I know nobody else would ever think to give her.
And… most importantly of all…. it has to be a surprise…. 😉
So just what silly and extreme resumes did yours truly have to invoke to achieve these goals? Guess you’ll need to “Read On” to find out….
It’s been a devil of a time this year trying to come up with just the perfect gift to celebrate our 4th year together. It might come as a surprise to some people, but for me, this is now…. officially…. my longest single romantic relationship…. ever. Yep… at 39, I can admit that up till now, I really haven’t been all that lucky in love.
The truth is… I’m a wee bit too odd for most people’s taste. Filled with lots of silly quirks, goofy notions, and far more stubborn about some things than a woman ought to be, over the years I’ve probably “turned off” more potential lovers than I’ve ever “turned on”. Yet all that while…. Carolyn was there, aware of all my flaws, and still aching to be more than just my best friend. I can’t believe how I nearly messed even that up when finally she worked up the courage to tell me how she really felt about us. Luckily though…. for once in my life… I didn’t mess things up and found something I never imagined I’d ever have.
Our relationship has only grown stronger as we’ve been together… and even though I keep expecting that wonderful “honeymoon” feeling to fade to comfortable routine, it really hasn’t. 4 years along, we still have that same passion that ignited between us from the very beginning and we each enjoy the romantic gestures and tokens that all lovers in love share to mark the days.
Mind you… that can make “surprises” difficult to manage around the Holidays. I always know that Christmas, or my birthday, or Valentines Day is going to bring me another loving heart filled reminder of just how happy she is to finally be the one who gets to call me “hers”. Just as she always knows there will be something special from me meant just for her.
Only this time out…. I wanted to make it a “real” surprise. That meant getting truly sneaky…… 😉
So began a month long deception that would have impressed the planners of the D-Day Invasion of Normandy, Hehehehe!! As Valentines Day fell on a Tuesday this year, the easiest way to make Carolyn unaware of my secret plot was to come up with the perfect excuse why we couldn’t celebrate Valentines Day at all…. and that was to invoke a phony Valentines Day Catering Party at work. Hehehehe…. Patton had his “rubber tanks” and I had an entire kitchen staff willing to go so far as letting me arrange fake scheduling, post menus, and do all the planning for a “party” that would never happen. Not everybody was in on this mind you…. many of the front end people truly though we had the restaurant booked, and would tell anyone who asked all about our “private party” that evening. Sam was in on things of course… but then she had helped me come up with Carolyn’s real surprise.
You see… that particular evening our favorite tavern, right across the square from work, was having a Valentines Day “Lip-Sync” night. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of that…. I honestly hadn’t…. but it’s a lot like Karaoke. Instead of you singing to subtitled lyrics on a screen though, you get up on stage and do your best “Milli Vanilli” to your favorite song, lip-syncing to the original track. When done right… it looks pretty amazing. When done badly… well, it’s pretty funny… embarrassing, but funny. Sam had heard about it… and knowing I do that sort of thing at home…. thought it could be fun to do in public.
Ummmm. It didn’t grab me at first. In fact, the idea actually terrified me.
The truth is… I’m not much of a public performer. The idea of getting up in front of a bunch of people as the center of attention for something like that is about the scariest idea I could think of. I know…. I know… you are all saying “But Neko? What about all the cosplay stuff? Isn’t that performing? How do you manage that?”
Well… yes and no. You see… for me, cosplay has always been the “crutch” I use to do that sort of thing. Then I’m in disguise and able to “play” at being someone else… I get to concentrate on my “role” and forget that I’m the one on display. Even doing that took a while to get comfortable with when I first got into it. The notion of just ordinary me… lil’ Miyuki Lynn Carstairs…. up on stage in front of a room full of strangers… no way. I’d just wither away with nervousness. Or throw up… neither of which invokes the romantic feelings I wanted. I explained that to Sam, but she just laughed and said, “So then why not “dress up” and just do it like that….”
Simple. So darn simple I’d have never considered it if she hadn’t thought of it for me. With that solved… all I had was to treat this whole idea as just another “cosplay” and find my “character” to portray. It took a while for that…. I needed a song that was perfect… that summed up everything I felt about being together with Carolyn and it also had to be something I could do a costume for. She’s a big Motown fan… and luckily for me it only took a week before I stumbled on the perfect tune. 1966’s “I’ve Got A Feeling” by Barbara Randolph.
The next few weeks were spent secretly performing the song over and over at home…. stealing my moves from every Youtube video of the Supremes, Martha and the Vandellas, and Barbara Randolph herself that I could watch. When I could, I was prowling the vintage clothing stores and eBay looking for my costume. By the time Valentines Week arrived, I had things down pat…. and a sweet lil’ blue vintage halter dress that would have fit right in on any Motown stage. Somehow, I managed to keep all this a secret from Carolyn…. and to put the cherry on the top of my sweet, sweet deception, I let her know just how disappointed I was at having to work that party… and made very certain we could celebrate Valentines Day early on Sunday night instead by going out to dinner at our favorite Moroccan restaurant.
For Valentines itself…. I made certain to “give Sam the night off” so she at least could spend it with her guy. My “party” was to run till 11 pm, but as Kitchen Manager, naturally I’d be able to cut out early and leave the cleanup to the crew. I had Sam tell Carolyn that I’d try reeeeaaallly hard to meet her at the tavern for a couple of drinks before we went home. Sam let her know just how much I was upset about not being able to spend the evening with her… and made very certain she’d come along with her and her date to wait for me so I could at least salvage some of the evening. Little did she expect my real plans…..
Instead of actually going to work that evening, I had arranged a late appointment at my hair salon where I got my hair done up into the cutest 60’s bouffant bob. My hair has grown out quite a bit, and was just perfect for that sort of style. After that, I snuck over to Sam’s apartment where I could get into my dress and makeup before taking a taxi over to the tavern early… well before Carolyn and Sam arrived. The DJ and staff were super excited to be in on things, and let me hang out in the back room behind the stage area out of sight until it was time.
I was sooooo damn nervous. Even with my costume… even with all of my practice, I was still scared to death. Every fiber of my being kept silently screaming at me to chicken out and make a run for it. Even now, I think if I’d had to wait too much longer I just might have. But… before that could happen, one of the bartenders poked his head in and told me Carolyn was here. Sam led her right to the table we’d planned up front near the dance floor where I’d be able to see her from stage. They had a couple of drinks… listened to the first couple of singers have a go, and then it was my turn.
The DJ told the crowd that it was time for a very special Valentine song for a very special lady in the audience… the lights went low, and with my stomach churning and my knees ready to buckle, a microphone prop was pushed into my shaky hands and I walked out and onto the stage.
The music started…. loud and pumping, and thankfully the spotlight was so bright I had trouble seeing much beyond the stage at all. I immediately caught Carolyn’s eye… saw the surprise on her face and began going through my practiced routine. My goodness…. it seemed like it took far longer than the 3 minutes or so that the song actually ran…. and how I didn’t just faint somewhere in the middle of it I’ll never know. By the end of it Carolyn was crying, her eyes shining in the near darkness beyond the spotlight and after I blew a kiss to the audience I stumbled down off the stage and met her at the edge of the dance floor falling into her arms as people began whistling and clapping like mad.
Carolyn kept hugging me so fiercely and whispering how much she loved my surprise, that I know she felt exactly how much I feel for her and what she means to me. The rest of the evening was a blur… filled with more drinks, dancing and fun until well past midnight. Eventually…. we left, slipping away back to our apartment where Carolyn showed lil’ ol’ me in no uncertain terms just how much she loves and treasures this wee lil’ kitten.
…. and to think Halloween has always been my favorite Holiday. Might just have to re-think that…… 😉
So that was my Valentines day…. and here’s hoping yours was as magical and special too, and if you haven’t found that special someone of your very own, here’s a Catgirl’s best wishes that soon you too will have a love that leaves you weak in the knees and burning with passion and all the best things love can offer. Till next time… I leave you with “our song” and plenty of hugs and kisses …. “Meow,meow, for now!!”