Saturday, February 16, 2008
On Valentine’s Day I had to pass briefly through Grand Central Station, where I picked up a glossy brochure from a pile that I thought was a guide to cultural events aimed at commuters. At closer inspection, it turned out to be a how-to manual on “making the most of your Valentine’s night,” produced by the K-Y Company and featuring photos of a handsome young African-American hipster couple (he with sideburns, both with modified natural hairdos) canoodling. As I looked through it, I marveled at the energy required for the suggested feats of seduction, especially with Valentine’s Day coming on a school night this year.
Most eye-rolling for me, though, was the section entitled (rather archly, I thought) “Feel the Music.” “Music of the great composers,” K-Y assures us, “can be instrumental for reigniting passion." The targeted reader, a woman trying to seduce her man, is advised to "embrace the full orchestral crescendo from between the sheets.” Hmmmmm. Unfortunately, no pieces were specified, which left me wondering vaguely what the aphrodisiac properties of the famous Mannheim and Rossini crescendos of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries might be. Perhaps the K-Y guide really was a guide to cultural events for commuters, or at least for tourists, after all.