I received, for my 20th birthday, an old school-style answering machine that, in addition to taping messages on a standard size tape, records phone calls on a separate tape, white-collar crime style. Today (not strictly February 15th, but February 14th) was one of the few days when I listened to it instead of leaving the tape in to be recorded over infinitely. I give you now, one of the strangest (saddest?) valentine's day call I've ever heard:

Alison: dials, waits, is rewarded with a pickup...
Seth: (picks up) Ello...?
Alison: Hi Seth!
Seth: Oh... hey... whatsup?
Alison: Happy Valentine's Day!
Seth: Oh, right... Hey... mumble... I guess mumble mumble?
Alison: What?
Seth: I mumble mumble mumble... Valentine's Day?
Alison: Come again?
Seth: Forget it... mumble mumble mumble?
long pause
Seth: Did you call your mom? (muffled mumbling in background)
Alison: No, not yet. Did you call your mom?
Seth: Yeah... she said mumble was a good idea.
Alison: She said what was a good idea?
Seth: (muffled mumbling answered with muffled background mumbling, turns to muffled background yelling)
Seth: I'm sorry, Can I call you back?
Alison: Sure. I'll call you...
Seth: (more muffled yelling) Bye.

I guess it doesn't seem sad, unless you know that Seth is the father of Alison's unborn child, and lives with his girlfriend in another city. And never has enough time between fighting with his girlfriend to call.
Much love and luck to Alison and new baby boy Eli Thomas Prince-Silver.

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