We don’t do the conventional Valentine’s Day thing. We don’t do a lot of ‘conventional’ type things. It’s how we stay young. Or possibly, it’s how we fool ourselves that we’re staying young. My theory is that by the time you reach fifty you ought to be deeply into the self delusional behavior, or you’ll be sitting home on a Saturday night, watching Lawrence Welk, or whatever it is that old fogeys do nowadays.
Anyway, we usually skip the hard-to-get dinner reservations, the overpriced roses, the diamonds, even though they are the secret to a good marriage*, and the other assorted must-do’s associated with Valentine’s Day. We stay home, I make a nice dinner and we give each other cards. If I’m in the mood to stock up on some brownie points, there might be a box of See’s chocolates for milady. Cause let’s face it, Mary likes See’s a lot better than she likes diamonds. Some time later, like a couple of weeks or so, when the hubbub has died down and the prices drop from extortionary to just pricy, we’ll go out to a nice dinner. So the money we save not getting all the loot we’re supposed to buy each other for Valentine’s Day, is money that we can use to get much more affordably priced loot later. It’s a good system.
Every year, though I have to find a card for Mary. This sucks. Most cards are so full of saccharine sentiments and lovey-dovey droolage that any normal heterosexual man will feel his testicles withering. I have to go for the humorous cards and they’re mostly painful, but every once in a while you find a real gem. Like the one I got for Mary for this year’s Valentine’s Day.
Searching through the greeting card shelves, I skipped over the section helpfully labeled Holidays: Valentine’s Day: Wife: Romantic, and went straight to Holidays: Valentine’s Day: Wife: Humor: where I found the perfect card. I think more stores should organize themselves on similar principles. Like at Safeway – you go to Meat: Pork: Loin Roast: Probably Wasn’t Dropped on the Ground Yesterday section. Anyway the card I got for Mary this year went something like this:
Falling in love with you is the best thing that’s ever happened to me.
Discovering beer was probably the second best.
But you are definitely Numero Uno.
Long weekends – they may be the third best thing that’s ever happened to me.
And drinking beer on a long weekend with you?
That my love, is like the 3 best things in the world. A virtual trifecta in the race to joy.
But falling in love with you will always be my favorite,
You’re even better than beer.
There, I said it.
And if that’s not love, I don’t know what is.
Happy Valentines Day.
…and the fourth best thing would be drinking beer on a long weekend with you and winning a giant pile of money.
To buy beer with.”
What can I say? Poetry. I’m just a hopeless romantic.
* The “diamonds are the secret to a good marriage” slogan came from a perfectly puerile piece of marketing years ago, from some jewelry retailer who’s name escapes me now. Every time Mary and I saw it we howled with mirth and so now it’s something we use as a private catchphrase to be used when we see some silly piece of advertising that equates romance with any type of consumer good.