03/17/2009 05:12 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

A Valentine's Song and Small Story

Valentine's Day in grade school was basically stressful, a pain in the ass, and ultimately traumatic. You would have to give a valentine to everyone in class -- it was mandatory -- but the card's size or fanciness you'd give to each person was your decision. Neither my mom nor I were good at crafts, so I always had those sad store-bought ones that came in boxes of, I think, 20. The box usually consisted of ten shitty small cards, eight medium-sized ones, and two really big special ones. Those big ones would go to your best friends or maybe a secret crush -- if you had the nerve. I, being sort of a weirdo and not the most popular girl, had a really hard time choosing who would get what card. First of all, I didn't have one or two best friends for the really big ones. Secondly, the secret crush was an asshole, and I didn't want her to think that I cared. Most of all, I was worried that the classmates, whom I gave the small shitty cards to, would feel insulted and hurt. It was a no-win situation.

But what was worse was the anticipation of not receiving as many quality cards as most of the other girls. I didn't want to look like a loser. Let's say I gave Billy Bell (who I thought was the closest thing to a best friend) the big Cupid card, but in return, did not receive his prized card with the giant candied Valentine heart engraved with "Be Mine." What if my asshole crush, Shelly, got it? And you know what? It happened.

As an adult, Valentine's Day has been more benign and less worrisome. However, there is always that awkward moment in the beginning of a relationship. Do you give a Valentine gift? How good or expensive should it be? Will your present be too overbearing -- scare someone away -- or not up to snuff? One time I gave a great mix tape (of love songs) to this sweet boy I was just starting to see casually -- so I thought. In return, he handed me this silk case with really expensive looking pearl earrings inside. We were in our early twenties. It kind of weirded me out.

Now, the person who I am seeing presently and I have decided not to exchange gifts, and instead, just go to a really fancy-pants restaurant -- it's hard times for everyone. A dinner sounds great! But... what if all of a sudden a silk case or a giant candied heart is presented to me during dessert, as a surprise, and I have nothing? Maybe, I will have to have something wrapped in my purse just in case. What about a mix tape? It's the thought that counts.

Here is the closest thing I have to a nice Valentine's love song. It's from my new record (fan- funded and coming out April 14th). It's called "Sweetheart". My pal John Doe (of X and Knitters fame) provides the sweet harmonies.

Click the play button to listen and read the lyrics below.


If I was your sweetheart and you were my darling

I'd always remember the way you look now

Even here in this diner, your bright eyes shining

You're always smiling when you're by my side

And that man he's rude, he talks to you just like you were his wife, but I would be more kind

My coffee cup has been filled up for the seventh time

And you're so on my mind

If I was your secret and you were my keeper

I think we'd be happy and rarely be blue.

We'd run around laughing, maybe go out dancing

If I as your sweetheart and you were my darling

And all I'd ever want from you is that you would keep it true

And I'd write songs for you

And we'd go around the world to see all the disappearing things

And then we'd vanish too

If I was your sweetheart and you were my darling

I'd take off your apron

You've been a good waitress