Does anyone know what happened to those heart-shaped Mickey Mouse lollipops? I’ve had this goddamn craving for them ever since CVS started stocking Valentine’s Day crap in every aisle. They were the perfect sucker, too. Cherry-flavored and cartoon-adorned. They weren’t a bitch to open, either. As a kid, they were the best thing to what I considered a crappy holiday. Odds are they probably don’t even make them anymore.
Nowadays – you know, as adults – we don’t really have those things to hold onto, especially on days like February 14th. As kids, we were sort of forced to hand out paper valentines. We were only let down if our friends received more candy – or, if you’re like me, and you’d go through a box of Kleenex because your “special someone” didn’t write anything particularly special. Even if we were let down, we’d still have a couple of Reese’s cups to turn to… whoa, talk about a former fat kid talking.
An idea struck me last week: We anticipate gifts on V-Day, simply because of our elementary school teachers. Had we grown up never receiving those thumb-sized paper cards or the tasteless candy hearts from our classmates, we wouldn’t be so fucking upset as twentysomethings if we were going home with nothing (and to nobody). But that didn’t happen. Today, millions of children will learn to anticipate a gift, or a sweet treat, from somebody. It’ll stick with them for years and years and years. They’ll be laughing, they’ll be high on Sweet Tarts, and they’ll be absolutely remiss to the fact that they’re now scarred for life. Whatever. C’est la vie.
Since we don’t have our grade school teachers orchestrating the trade-off anymore, I’ve taken it upon myself to fulfill what we can now call “the Valentine void”. This year, it comes in the form of a digital mixtape that’s filled with tunes that’ll no doubt make you feel somewhat depressed. (But like I explained last year, we tend to appreciate that.) The whole seven-track effort kicks off with the poppy-yet-ambient Blair’s “Hearts”, continues with the heart on its sleeve “Miserable Without You” by Jarrod Gorbel alongside a wonderful Nicole Atkins, and picks up the pace with Keegan DeWitt’s “Two Hearts”. From there, it’s a little more uppity with key additions by Pepper Rabbit, Les Chauds Lapins, Kina Grannis, and Gainesville’s lost gem, The Most. That last one comes special and should make you feel inordinately chummy on the inside. I think that’s a good thing, right?
Last point and then I’ll leave you to the music. For those of you who are single and actually depressed, don’t be too down on yourself. There’s something rather liberating and fortunate about being on your own. Think about it: You’re in the unknown territory right now. Sure, it may be terrifying, but if you keep a steady head… the unknown can be vivid and compelling.
By the way, if you feel like returning the favor, I only ask for the whereabouts of those elusive Mickey Mouse lollipops. Seriously.
CoS V-Day Mixtape
01. Blair – “Hearts”
02. Jarrod Gorbel – “Miserable Without You (feat. Nicole Atkins)”
03. Keegan DeWitt – “Two Hearts”
04. Pepper Rabbit – “Harvest Moon”
05. Les Chauds Lapins – “Je t’aime”
06. Kina Grannis – “Valentine”
07. The Most – “All Things Comes to Pass”