As of January 1, 2016, Gapers Block has ceased publication. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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TODAY

Monday, February 18

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Airbags

Valentine's Day is for new lovers, young lovers. If you're celebrating your first Feb. 14 with someone special, then you know what I mean. But the second ValDay, or the third or the tenth? It's just a day, maybe with dinner out, probably with a card, and maybe some sex.

I'm writing this week's column at a café in Lincoln Square, where I write often. And there's a cute girl who works at this café, who is clearly in the throws of a young love. I once came in at 7 a.m., and between rushes, her boyfriend came in and they made out for a full ten minutes. And now, just now, he came in with a card for her and they settled on chairs by the bussing station and cooed at each other, damp and sweet.

In every relationship, there comes the time when you no longer need to make out in public (or at all). And it's different for each one, but it's always there, looming.

If they come to you this year, enjoy your mixed CD with the collaged cover, the whirlwind getaway, or the heartfelt poem. Because next year, if there is a next year, there might only be arguments over restaurants you can't afford and a bouquet of limp daisies.

FULL LENGTH MINK COAT Like New, Sz. 12, Value Over $4,000, Asking $1,100, 773-XXX-XXXX

Paulette's eyes always lingered on the coats she took from the customers. Sammy saw that. She always made sure the furs were separated from the rest of the coats and enjoyed running her hands over the shoulders to smooth them on the hanger. Sammy wanted to do something big for her, since he'd worked so hard to get her to break her rule about dating at work. And he did own the place after all, why not look like a big shot? Have her look like he was a big shot?

POOL TABLE 3 pc. Slate, clean, new cloth, any color, all accessories, $450. Call 708-XXX-XXXX

Kimball always talked about how he was going to clear out the second bedroom and set up a pool room. Pam thought this sounded cool and manly. She imagined leather chairs and stained-glass beer lamps and bowls of red pistachios. When she had the pool table delivered on the 13th, only then did she realize that the room was far too small for a pool table and that she'd just purchased him a $450 place to fold clothes.

TREADMILL, Almost Brand New used 2 mos, sit down exercise Bike, $500 obo. 630-XXX-XXXX

They were going to get thin together, Kelsey and Nate. Sure, they liked each other how they were but wouldn't they like each other so much more after 50 pounds got whipped off their bodies? So they chipped in together and bought the bike. Which Nate used and Kelsey didn't. And neither one of them like the other more.

1.31 CT. DIAMOND RING, PLAT. VS1, G-color, $6,400. 312-XXX-XXXX

He thought why not. Yeah it was only three months. And yeah he was, by nature, was impetuous. But why not. And anyway, if something happened, she was the type to give the ring back.

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