Regular readers know that I am not a big fan of Valentine’s Day. It’s not that I am lonely and bitter and prefer to wile away a cold February night in a dark room sipping tepid soup from a can and lamenting my lost loves, I just hate being told what to do…especially by corporate America…especially about matters of the heart. Luckily, I have a better three-quarters who feels the same way I do, or I would be one of those “she went to Jarrod” schmucks standing in line on February 13th. Wait, there is no “she” in Jarrod, is there? Alas, the point of this post.
After a long day at work and after working our asses off (literally) at the gym, Randi and I decided to spend Valentine’s night dressed in our respective PJs and in front of the television. Qdoba Mexican Grill is right around the corner from the gym and just around the next corner from our house, so we decide to pop in, grab something fast and naked, and avoid the Valentine’s holiday hullabaloo. Jumping from the car and running into the fresh food served fast restaurant, I was stopped still in my Asics. The line for service wrapped around the inside of the dining area. I know this is the Colorado ‘burbs, but I would have expected this more on coupon night at Chili’s…or Chick-fil-a.
Too tired to turn around, we took our places in line and contemplated our culinary wait. To the employees’ credit, the line moved remarkably quick, and it didn’t take long for me to realize why the queue was longer than a Santorum book-signing at Focus on the Family. To help spread the love, Qdoba was offering a BOGO deal, yes, buy one gigantic, feed-a-family-of-four burrito and get one free. No coupon necessary, no phone app required…just a pair of lips, well, two pair. Yep, a sign next to the ORDER HERE section of the counter read, BOGO when you kiss your significant other, family member, or a willing stranger. I nudged Randi’s attention toward the sign, and I immediately knew what she was thinking…A FREE MEAL! I gave her the raised eyebrow “look”, and then I saw the light bulb. Yes, this could be interesting. On no too few occasions, kindergartners in this county have been suspended for PDA hugging at recess, so what do you suppose ogling two lesbians kissing in broad almost-daylight would do? Turn you to a pillar of salt?
Seeing Randi and me laughing, the two women next to us in line assume to be in on a joke. One of them looks at me and says, “I know,” pointing to the the female beside her. “This is my cousin, so it’s OK; we’re gonna do it for a free burrito.” Being raised in the South, and a regular viewer of Downton Abbey, I’m pretty familiar with kissing cousins, so I replied, “We’re lesbians, and we’re gonna enjoy it.”
As an observer of life, I have to admit I was toying a bit with her in order to get a reaction. Much to my surprise, and to my pleasure, she burst with the most pleasant of laughs. “Please,” she said. “It’s pretty conservative around here…and these elected officials.” Then she rolls her eyes. “It’s all good with me,” she pauses and leans closer, “my home office is in San Fran.” I think I fell a little in love with that woman. She goes on to kiss her cousin, has the cashier record it on her phone so she can show her husband, and then she wishes me and my life partner the happiest of Valentine’s evenings.
Having kissed and cashed out to surprisingly little fanfare, my significant other and I take our naked bowls of goodness home, sweet home. I was turning to take the stairs for a quick shower when a friend text to ask if we were watching Glee. That question could only mean one of two things about Fox’s offering of iTunes downloads wrapped around a plot or two; it was either good…or really, really bad. The red light on the Tivo signaled the singing show was recording, and the clock indicated it was more than twenty minutes into the telecast…yay, I can skip through the commercials without catching up.
Now, I had a funny feeling that a Glee episode entitled, Heart, that airs on February 14th would be an obvious ploy to pull both of those under-represented Nielsen family lesbians away from Rizzoli & Isles and their set meters back to Fox. Networks are famous for sweeps shenanigans showering us with girl on girl double entendre all the while doubling down on the double standard. I prepared myself for what surely was to come, more nauseating displays of PDA by Finn and Rachel, a possible sticky hook-up for Sugar and Artie, and Mercedes and Trouty will most certainly spawn while Santana and Brittany will eye gaze, head butt, and shoulder nudge themselves until they need glasses.
And so it begins…or so I thought. There seems to be an evolution…or in this case, I’ll say intelligent design. Take a look.
I can’t believe it. Did Brittany just real-kiss Santana in the middle of a restaurant (like “Finchel”) with no fade to black and no network disclaimer? Or did I get some bad pork? Of course not, Qdoba is aces (thank you Bomb Girls vernacular). I was beginning to believe I would never see a major US network apply their standards and practices equally, without regard to gender, in a loving, intimate storyline. I know it’s Glee, and when it comes to social messaging, it has been pushing the envelope from the beginning, but this episode, entitled Heart, pushes the message right through the front door of millions of homes in the American heartland…love is love, and two female Valentines are equally as deserving of a superseded 60’s pop song as any pairing…and then react accordingly.
I have to say, I started out this Valentines Day of 2012 with a willful disregard for the pomp and circumstance of a retail, Hallmark holiday, and I ended up celebrating a couple of corporations whose standards encourage two lesbians to walk into a restaurant, get naked (so to speak), and kiss for their supper just like any other patron. That’s not just progressive; that’s progress.
Note from ‘Schmootz: I wanted to call this blog Naked Burritos With a Side of Santana: Equality With a Hispanic Flavor. It didn’t turn out that way, but I didn’t want to waste this great title. LOL